Day 1 – Friday 19 June 2020
With COVID restrictions now being relaxed, this was the first time we had a chance to get away to have our first sail on Sanity, 14 weeks after we purchased her. When Cabin Boy advised us that he had work shifts on Friday and Saturday evening, and school activities on Saturday and Sunday, we thought we would have to delay – yet again. His big sister came to the rescue, offering to stay with him for the weekend, chauffeur him around and feed two cats and a dog. THANK YOU!!!
David, one of the Sydney based Syndicate members very kindly went down to the boat the day before, filled the water tanks, plugged in the water heater, so we could have a hot shower on board, and organised us a visitor’s pass to the Cruising Yacht Club (CYCA). Another THANK YOU!!!
We drove up on Friday morning, stopping at Eling Winery Cafe for lunch and arrived at CYCA early afternoon. The car parking fairies were looking out for us – a short term park out the front, followed by an unlimited park 300 metres further down the road. Very lucky for that part of Sydney.
There is something to say about walk on/walk off yachting. 15 min from arrival to ready to sail – no trailering, mast raising, running rigging, bending on sails, launching and trailer parking.
We spent the evening familiarising ourselves with the marina, boat, drinks and dinner on board.
Day 2 – Saturday 20 June 2020
After a cafe breakfast at the Marina, David met us at the boat to familiarise us with taking her in/out of the berth. After his expert demonstration, and tuition while I had three practices I was much happier with this evolution. It is tight though – less than a foot between Sanity and the boat on the left, and the boat needs to be driven out forward, and then reversed, in order to make the turn to get into the channel. Prevailing winds are from the north and south, and the berth is orientated north to south. A southerly wind will help with the turn, but care has to be taken so it doesn’t blow the bow around too quickly, pushing the stern agains the boat next door. A northerly will push the boat forward out of the berth too quickly boat requiring forward/reverse jockeying to make the turn before you run into the boats opposite. Reverse takes 5 – 10 seconds to engage. No stress – joy 😦
Less than 5 knots on the harbour, 15 degrees, sunny and a lovely day to motor around getting a feel for the boat. The boat is in an amazing location – a mile and half away from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
We decided to head west up the harbour, motoring past all the familiar sights from growing up in Sydney. Past Fort Denison, the Opera House, Circular Quay, then across to the north side. Past St Aloysius, sailing our own boat underneath the Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, Balls Head Bay, Berry’s Bay, HMAS Waterhen, Berry Island – the foreshores of Kirribilli, Milsons Point, McMahons Point, Waverton, Wollstonecraft, Greenwich, Northwood, Longueville, as we headed up the Lane Cove River.
We made it almost as far Riverview before turning around and following the south bank of the river past Hunter’s Hill and Woolwich before turning up the Parramatta River past Cockatoo and Spectacle Island. Still no wind, we motored up to the Gladesville Bridge, before turning around and heading past Drummoyne, Birchgrove, Balmain, and back to the Harbour Bridge. We raised the sails however the wind dropped from ~ 5 knots to nothing, so back to motoring. We picked up a public mooring at McMahons Point to stop for lunch.
After lunch, back under the Bridge towards Taronga Zoo where we hoped to pick up a mooring, however everything taken by stink boats! With no wind and no real desire to anchor in the harbour, it was back to CYCA. After a successful berthing without hitting anything, it was off for sun downers.
Day 3 – Sunday 21 June 2020
Rain, hail and a forecast for possible thunderstorms so we decided to finish up early and head home to Canberra. From making the decision to in the car and on the expressway heading south to Canberra in less than 30 minutes. Much better than a two hour packup for the trailerable and then navigating through Sydney towing a 25′ / 8 metre trailer! The first trip was a great success – so far so good!