3 January, 2018
As normal the Christmas Break in 2017 saw much activity on Peter Robyn. There was the Sydney to Hobart finish, New Year Fireworks, King of the Derwent and a day sail to Droughty Point.
Droughty Point was our first outing on Wednesday 27 of December. The weather was perfect 27 Celsius and a gentle (forecast) NNW breeze followed by a lull and SW moderate sea breeze. Our exit from the berth was tricky as the NW was blowing us the wrong way rendering the steering useless so we tried a rope around the berth pole but it was no good. Eventually we rolled backwards further down the marina and used the same technique on another pole which did work as there was no boat in that berth. It kicked us around nicely. Maddie, Jamie, Jamie's parents and I were the only ones to head out. Beccy is still recovering from a nasty broken shoulder and our other girls were working. The first part of the forecast was mostly right however as we approached the point, strong NW gust hit us and we heeled over and gained up to 10 knots speed over ground. We rounded the point into Ralph's Bay and it was a washing machine. Unusual for the normally tranquil location.
I used the Mark Richardson approach and asked a passenger - 'should we continue to Richardson's Beach' they were up for it - enjoying the sporty sail . The sails flapped around in the fluky wind and we heeled a fair bit, so I made the decision to head back to Droughty Point which we could see was a calm paradise and there were two yachts there already a catamaran I think call KiaOra and our new (dry dock friends) John and Shirley on Dove Tail.
We anchored up alongside Dove Tail, after a 90 minute cruise and had lunch. It was a great Hobart sunny day we swam and lazed on the beach - worried the bulls we could hear in the paddock above might join us. The bay was busy this day eventually with around eight boats in it.
We used the dinghy to head to shore and it was perfect for four passengers with no breeze to row into. Maddie and Jamie both got their daily exercise rowing in an out. Two trips for the five of us. It was a great day. Heading back we motor sailed as the promised sea breeze didn't eventuate. Still there was no danger I would heal over and starve the engine of water coolant. Pretty much zero wind with a couple of maybe 6 knot patches.
Arrival into the marina was a disaster. As I approached my berth from the North East with calm winds for once - all was looking good. Right at the last moment Masterpiece gunned her engines to high revs kicking up a hell of a propeller wash and pushing us immediately sideways towards Madness and Sjoyren. Holding myself over the side of the boat and kicking us off the piles and other boats we avoided any damage other than to my legs - cutting one deeply some how.
Sydney to Hobart - I kept a close eye on the Rolex Standings over the break and was pretty excited when I noticed Comanche and Wild Oats trading places in Storm Bay with a predicted arrival of around 8pm - (daylight -yes- time for some photography). Heading out at 8pm we waited until 10.15pm and in the darkness Wild Oats approached pretty close leaving a fine slicing tack across the finish line. So much so, that I misjudged their line of attack and was told to move to starboard by the police rubber ducky. I stole a few very dark high ISO shots and with a lot of noise removal managed a nice one with the lights of Taroona and Lower Sandy Bay in the background. It was a shame to see the win and record taken and given to Comanche but the move Wild Oats made at the second rounding point in the Harbour was pretty dodgy so understandably there was a penalty - its just the severity is questionable to a novice like me.
Another bonus was noticing that Dorade was coming in in daylight hours so a short sail out on 30 December saw us in glorious light welcoming them in with Sirocco and Serica also from the RYCT and one of them a sister Sparkman and Stephens yacht. Lovely times and very exciting. I captured a ton of photos as I was pretty keen on the amazing and historic Dorade.
New Year's Eve - was a blow out and I took seven out for the show. Sophia was lucky enough to get off work on time. We collected Beccy carefully from the floating fuel berth so she didn't have to hurt the shoulder. Although she managed to get back off ok from the normal berth. The wind gusted a lot and put me off my photography so the photos are pretty ordinary. Despite the poor conditions the passengers were happy to see the show and we came home contented and celebrated the year with some pretty decent Champagne.
King of the Derwent - Taking a further half day off work we popped out to see the KOD as they call it. The forecast was for gentle winds so all would be good - yes? Well on taking Bella's boyfriend for the first time while hoisting the main and teaching Jamie how to do it, we lay to the gunnels in a 25 knot blow and the girls were pretty anxious as Lochie on the stern seat was almost in the water. I thought about reefing but the cries for life jackets and get the sails down dented my enthusiasm so we motored and the passengers (Maddie, Jamie, Bella and Lochie) were delighted with the racing action seeing a few spinnaker broaches and deeply heeling racing boats up close was a first for them. Only Rhona H - having a very experienced crew persevered with sailing while Westward was motoring like us.