Monday, 22 September 2014

Sailing .. Relationship challenges, good times and home waters again

Me, happy.  On the way back to our home waters!
We've just arrived back in our home port of Pittwater near Sydney after a great cruise to Jervis Bay.  The last few days have been a mix of river anchorages, frustrating ocean passages, large swell, uncomfortable night moorings and sunny windless passages. 

Sailing can be boring ...  it's slow and often tedious & monotonous.  On the other hand, when done with loved ones and friends, it is a welcome blend of socializing, scene changes and new places.  We've done all that and more since my birthday last Thursday.

Friday morning we woke up again at Collingwood Beach/Jervis Bay.  The day was splendidly calm and sunny. 

The first thing I reach for in the morning on the boat is my android tablet to check the weather forecast.  Boating comfort and safety go hand in hand with the weather and it's a habit to look at the forecasts at least 2 times a day.  Friday's forecast told us the wind was due to die down considerably in the next day or two and then change direction and blow quite hard by the end of next week.  We had heard good reports about the little township of Greenwell Point about 20 or so nautical miles north from Jervis Bay up the navigable Crookhaven River and with the changeable winds forecast George and I decided today was as good a day as any to have a look.  We contacted the others and after much discussion among the 4 skippers three boats decided to head out.  Unfortunately John and Ruth on 'Barrenjoey Light' had to stay around to collect their daughter who was joining them in the next couple of days. 

Leaving Jervis Bay on a stunner of a day!  That's Peter and Sue's boat like ours - 'Celay' - leading the way out.
Now, regrettably, not many sea journeys George and I start is without a disagreement or argument.  It just seem to have to happen for some reason.  George sets his mind on what HE wants and I set my mind on what I would like to have happen.  Mostly its pretty much the same thing but my Georgio doesn't see the need to discuss any of his decisions.  Me, I like discussion and joint decisions .. I am strictly egalitarian.  George, not so much.  This departure, like all the rest, had to feature a rather stern exchange of words (not so much an argument but not really a discussion either). 

Outside, in the ocean, there were warnings of a large swell against an uncertain light wind ... or to say it another way - sure fire seasick stuff!  George wanted to put up the MPS sail which is perfect for light winds.  However, if the wind is too light the boat rolls and pitches and stalls.  I wanted assurance that we weren't going to make the 3 hour journey one where I spend most of it sick as a dog .. he didn't care.  The MPS - a beautiful BIG red sail - was going up.  George doesn't subscribe to my egalitarian beliefs .. particularly in sailing.  Just another challenge in a LONG relationship. They never really mean anything, George always wins (usually) and they're gone as quickly as they start with no (mostly) resentment.

The MPS flying in all it's glory.  The day sail under the BIG red sail was great .. just enough wind to move us along and keep us from flopping around in the waves.  Apparently, I was proven wrong again.

After a pleasant sail, we arrived at the Crookhaven River entrance which was easy to sail into with just enough of a breakwater to keep the rolling swell away.  The trip down the river was short and our 3 boats arrived at the Greenwell Point township and dropped anchor in the fast flowing river near the fishing boat jetty. 

That night we had drinks on 'Celay'.  "Drinks" is my favourite sailing activity!!  I must say if it wasn't for the camaraderie and socializing around sailing I don't think I would do it.  The exchange of stories, fun and company is what makes it all worth while.  I like the drinking bit a lot too!
Peter and George enjoying the social scene aboard 'Celay'.

The next day we walked around the riverfront and had a BBQ together on shore ...

One of the local pelicans ... they are HUGE here and fearless.  They'll come right up to you wanting food.
You can just see our 3 masts in the background.  This was a lovely little township.

The gang at our picnic table.  Like true Australians there we were having a BBQ outside ... it was quite cold with a hearty breeze blowing!  That's why that tarp is hanging on the side of the awning .. we put it up to break the wind. 

After 2 nights at Greenwell Point and with the wind promising to be good - 15-20 knots south/southeast - for our sail back up north to Sydney we got up at 5am Sunday morning to make our way out of the river with the tide.  The day was sunny and the wind, to begin with, was light but OK.  Sadly it didn't stay that way.  George and I didn't argue about anything but we changed sails a lot trying to get the boat moving.  The 9-10 hour sail to Sydney turned out to be just plain frustrating.   There was a big swell with a wind chop on top of it - nauseating - and the wind moved around a lot from directly behind us to 20 degrees on either side which made propelling the boat a nightmare.  We finally (after 8 hours and my increasing complaints) pulled the sails down and motored to Port Hacking and Jibbon Beach.

Now, if you remember, on the way down we thought the world of Jibbon Beach - calm, lovely, nice place to spend the night.  Things change with a large swell.  Even though it was reasonably protected from the surging surf we still had a lot of rolling  .. and a mooring buoy that sounded at times like it was coming through the side of the boat.   Not a good night's sleep.

This morning daylight brought a chance to drop the pesky mooring and set out again into the ocean swell.  I decided not to take a seasick pill - mainly I just didn't want to keep taking them since I had taken quite a few the day before.  Usually it takes two days for me to get my sea legs and stop feeling like I was going to puke and today my body didn't fail me .. I was OK.  We set out for our home waters of Pittwater - another 6 hours journey from Jibbon Beach.  There was little to no wind forecast so we motored.

Along the way we saw 2 humpback whales escorting a little one down the coast.
I tried to take a photo of the 3 of them breaking the water but only got this with their "blow".
Excellent sight!!

Home.  The cruising grounds of Pittwater, my favourite place for boating!!!!

I'm so glad to be back - no more ocean voyages for awhile.  Please.  We're staying in Towlers Bay near the RPAYC club tonight and tomorrow we'll moor up at the club to wash the boat and unload.  Then it's home and I get to see my dog.  I've really really missed my Molly.

It's good to be home.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are back home safe and sound. With the Egalitarianism there are reasons why there is one person in charge ( the skipper) on a boat, one of them is a legal requirement, so the egalitarian thing just has to take a back seat till you get ashore. Hey no reason why you can't be the skipper.