Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ahoy Matey!

All Aboard?
Have I mentioned lately how great it is to live in this amazing city? At the drop of a hat one can go from staring glumly at her not-quite-yellow, not-quite-green walls to bam! On a boat in the middle of the ocean in a varsity sailing regatta! I was one such lucky person this week as a last minute drop out helped me change my mind about not entering this year's regatta with the university sailing team. What can I say? The team needed me, the forecast looked ok and my assignment wasn't that interesting, so I said yes! Yes to one day of unbelievably perfect sunshine and 14 knot breezes and yes to one day of less than perfect weather but a fun time nonetheless. Not knowing what to expect I left my camera at home on Day 1 of the race so all the pictures are from rainy and overcast day 2, but I think the clouds give a nautical mood to the photos anyway.
I was really impressed with the Yacht Club- The Royal Prince Alfred. It was nautical and cozy yet new and spacious and didn't have that musty, damp feel common to some clubs.
The outdoor picnic and patio area was a really pleasant place to sit and have a hot latte after my 2 and a quarter hour public transport ride to Newport at 6:30 in the morning aka before the rain started! (But it's not as though I would go around hinting that I'd like a car... I mean maybe if Christmas were around the corner or something I would but.... hey wait a minute.... lol. If only people here drove on the right side of the road!!)

Where was I? Oh yes, the regatta. Skippers Afloat was our home away from home for 2 days as we waiting in the middle of the ocean bay for our turn to race. My partner and I completed 9 races on day one, and 1 on day two before it was called off due to high wind conditions.
Other (larger) boats certainly enjoyed the big wind. There were some amazing catamarans zipping about around our little pacer dinghies.
At first we had four fleets out, but ended up with two by the end due to broken bits n' pieces.
Our fleet out on the water.
Our fearless 'Skippers Afloat" skipper steered us through the storm using the trusty steer through the window technique! I say, a couple of windshield wipers would go a long way on this boat!
As you can imagine, the 60 hungry sailors devoured our catered lunch each day with fervor I usually reserve for Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunately I clawed my way to the table before the ham was gone 'cause I think I would have starved rather than be forced to eat some of this stuff: Vegemite. No offence to the Aussies who love it (and they all do- must be genetic) but it smells like stale beer which I have to brace myself just to pour down the drain, never mind putting it in my mouth!
Lots of nice boats to admire, but it makes me miss sailing at home with my Daddy.
I'm supervising the hauling up of the anchor. Hey someone's gotta do it!
And after all that I got to make the 2+ hour journey home again. At least there was some pretty scenery to look at on the way out to the bus stop.

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