Our current adventures with Peter Robyn a 1950 classic wooden sloop
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12 February, 2018
What a great weekend on Peter Robyn. My first unofficial race (didn't enter) with an unofficial did not finish due to gear failure (the reef clew blew out of the old sail in strong wind).
Kettering Wooden Boat Rally was excellent fun. I set out Friday afternoon taking 2 hours leave from work and was underway at 3.30pm in 10 - 16 knot breezes with a bit of swell. I was heading straight up wind to Kettering so several tacks were involved. The wind dropped at the Tinderbox heads so the Storm Bay swell was not so severe.
I pulled into Kettering around 8.30pm too late to take my allocated spot on the wave attenuator (it was already taken) so moored up as instructed next to a "No Mooring"sign on the fuel berth :-(
Day one came with a beautiful sunrise and the promise of a super cell (120km/h winds). Needless to say I didn't head out for that race although a good number did. Vanity was 4th. Curry night at the Rally sounded good, although not wanting to risk it I cooked steak on board the boat and simply had some wine with everyone after dinner.
Day Two was race day for me even though the forecast was for high wind. I managed a sail in a race with the crew from the Yacht Vanity (https://www.facebook.com/theyachtvanity/) . Rob can't reef his huge gaff rig yet and the forecast was for over 20 knots, so he and his cousin John sailed with me. It was very helpful having someone on the winches and another on the main. We really put in some heel and had a ball until the ripping sound of the reef clew just after our first tack.
Day Three I headed back up the channel in around 4 hours compared to slightly longer on the way down. I have several videos and photos of all the action below including some nice pre-storrn shots and a couple of nice sunrises over the boats.
Sailing down to Kettering at Tranmere
Returning from Kettering at Taroona
Kettering Wooden Boat Rally Photos
31 January, 2018
Since last posting, Peter Robyn has had a couple of small trips out. On 6 January 2018, I slept in Sandy Bay as I did last summer. The forecast was for a tranquil night with a strong windshift and gusts around 9 - 10.00am the following morning. While the outcome was accurate the timing was out by 6 hours. I nodded off peacefully around 10pm - blowing out the little oil lamp. A still night quickly turned at 4.00am into a 30 knot north easterly and I was no longer in the lee of the bay - I woke suddenly to the sound of a dragging chain and had to get on deck ready to fend myself off a nearby yacht which fortunately I missed. Once passed, I let out more rode and she held fortunately before grounding on the shore which was 100m further on. Phew. After watching for a good 10 minutes I went below again to finish my night's rest - albeit uneasily listening out for the familiar moaning sound of a dragging chain.
My next outing on the Australia Day long weekend was less eventful and turned out to be a perfect evening. The winds were 6 - 7 knot gusts (?) according to Windy Weather App and what a lovely sunset we had. Beccy and I headed out for some champagne sailing in ideal conditions. With the new hull clean and smooth she tacked and gybed perfectly in light conditions without stalling even once. We had such a nice sail Beccy commented how nice it is to have Peter Robyn and how she would like a sail to Cygnet over the Easter weekend. Excellent! As I had hoped to spend Australia Day weekend at Woodbridge I asked if we could tie up in Constitution Dock at the public floating Marina and await Isabella's shift finish at a nearby restaurant and we could take her back to RYCT via boat as an easy trip home. A cool way to spend a hot night. Perfect, Beccy thought it a great suggestion. We sailed peacefully on a fading breeze slow and easy into Sullivan's Cove. I dropped sails 50m off the breakwater and gently idled in enjoying the peace. As I approached a free pontoon I noted a lady kicking her feet in the water. Three sheets to the breeze she was surprised to see me approaching and asked if I was alone. "No my wife is resting below" I replied dropping the bow line onto the cleat. The lady humped off to the next yacht and made a lewd joke about a bow line and lower part of the human anatomy. She so embarrassed the neighbouring skipper who helped me with my bow line they had to leave quickly. Bec and I spent a perfect calm evening having grilled salmon and salad from Flippers (all others were closed) as we waited for Bella. We later found the biolumescence was here in the cove and were delighted when a half empty cup of tea lit up the water like blue paint. It was amazing! Later as I headed back around Battery Point - I noted the bow wave was a long blue line angling off the boat. What a miracle this sight is to behold.
Peter Robyn is entered (awaiting confirmation) in the Kettering Wooden Boat Rally on the Regatta Long Weekend 9 - 12 February. I will post some pictures and a story after that adventure.
Champagne (only 1) sailing - Australia Day Long Weekend 2018
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.