Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vagabond Sailing on Sunday

Yesterday was a great day down at the Club. The weather forecast had gloomily predicted high winds of up to 30 knots and our Big Boat race had been cancelled, due to this and to the fact that we only had 2 boats entering.

Instead we drove down to the Club at 9.30am to see if we could get an hour or so of Vagabond sailing in before the predicted high winds drove us off the water. And what a day! We got all six Vagabonds rigged and Guy and Brian got our brand new safety boat into the water. (That's them on the left.)

All the usual suspects were there, despite there being no racing. Peter and Barbara teamed up together in one boat for a bit of racing practice. Junior sailors Chris and Tim were in another. Paddy took out a bunch of kids and Colin and Peter Lawson shared a boat. The winds were certainly gusting when we got out in the bay past Salamander. I was crewing for Guy Le Plastrier and we were both hanging out over the side for all we were worth at some stages.

Of course, our kayaks were in use. The kids just love them and quite a few adults were seen having a try too. For those people not too sure of the Vagabonds, it provides a great alternative. Just paddle as little as you like, as close in to shore as you can.

Sid and John Rekers went out for a trial ... John's first time in a Vagabond, I believe. And he managed to throw himself overboard! Luckily, he managed to crawl back on board and Sid set to with the bailer. Despite Paddy's claim that the most efficient bilge pump in the world is a desperate sailor with a bucket, they still needed a tow from the safety boat to get back to the mainland.

This gave young Tim the idea that he hadn't passed his single tow for his Level 1 Sailing course. Out he went in a boat with Guy Le Plastrier and performed the routine faultlessly. Tim and Chris are both extremely keen sailors and are now pushing for their Level 2 course to be held as soon as possible.

Chris and Jill Ashton came down for the day. Jill leapt aboard the Vagabonds and had a thrilling time. She now plans to take part in the next Sailing Course. Well done, Jill!!

Chris was unable to participate due to his broken wing but he took the wonderful photos shown in this blog. Thanks, Chris!

Barbara and Don went out in Don's small catamaran. Bright yellow, we could see it flashing around the bay at great speed. Don's friend Doug turned up to give us a bit of encouragement too. (That's his huge 45'catamaran up the beach a little.)

And people kept arriving from all direction. Ron and Val came down to watch the sport. Lee, Tim's Mum, was there with his sister Teagan who went out for a quick sail. New members Bill and Julie Tucker came for a little while and Kerri Deane came down late after working a night shift.

It's so good to see so many members enjoying themselves at the Club on a Sunday.

And not just members!!! Strangers strolling up the beach stopped and came in for a soft drink. People visiting the Art Gallery saw the crowd and came to see what was going on. By that time the bar was open and they signed in and had a drink with us.

The weather held for us and everyone got in a heap of sailing before we cleaned up and put all the boats and kayaks away and started to think about lunch.

El Providore's rissoles and sausages were, as always, in demand and Jill helped me out by handling the kitchen side of this while I sold tickets. Thanks Jill! Everyone cooked their own meat and sat down under the trees in front of the Clubhouse to enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon.
Of course, timing is dependent on tides and weather but these Sunday Sailing Days are terrific. Come down and join us next time ...

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