Welcome to Yachting Girls

Welcome to a blog where the adventures of a team of crazy women who are mad about sailing can be shared.
We are living in the beautiful Huon Valley in Tasmania, surrounded by outstanding sailing waters.  In June 2007 my husband and I purchased a Columbia 27 cruising yacht.  My husband crews in a Top Hat 24 in the races held by the Port Cygnet Sailing Club so our yacht was going to sit idle for most of the sailing season.  A great idea came to us - lets have an all women crew and take on the men!

Follow our adventures...share our laughs...cheer us on...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twilight Races 5 &6 /09 plus two Sundays!

Well dear reader, it is a while since I have blogged and a lot has happened. Invariably I come home from an evening or Sunday sail and am just too sleepy to take up the laptop and blog. To tell the truth tonight is not much different! Over the past three weeks I have gone back to work after a 5 week summer holiday which was very busy, got a new job, gone through a very stressful time telling my boss and colleagues that I am leaving and have actually done two days of work in the new position. As a school teacher I am required to give 8 weeks notice from my job but as I only work 4 days a week I am working the fifth day at my new school until I can start full time. This has been very tiring and it seems like a year already since we went back to work! We, the girls,  have continued to race on Tuesday evenings and have had a really good time. The weather - yes the proverbial weather - has been kind with lovely sunny evenings and steady sea breezes most of the time. Race 5 was really good but we still only placed 9th out of 15 yachts. We thought we had done better. We had a great time and the team work was excellent. The 6th race was also great and we were placed 5th out of 10 yachts. The winds were kind, the sea great. Having to give way to other yachts at the buoy seems to be a common problem and tends to put us behind. We enjoy ourselves, winning is not everything and we are improving every week so whose complaining. 
I hope to get Pathfinder out of the water on Saturday next to give her hull a clean and to get the jib removed and repaired. The boys at the club are going to help me as my "significant other" is far too busy with his work to be bothered with her at the moment. In fact he is really grumpy at the moment so to even ask him to help is beyond me!   

Sunday racing has been very interesting. Last week I again joined the Cap'n and my 'significant other on Wyvern on a novelty race which started and finished on the clubhouse verandah. We had to get aboard the dinghy, transfer to the yacht, set her up, sail a triangular course and then return to the mooring, pack up and row in to shore. It was good fun all trying to get into the dinghies and out to the yachts the fastest. The winds were very blustery and one of the Solings was almost completely flattened by a gust. Full of water she and her crew were in peril of sinking so we halted our race and were able to get close enough to throw them a bucket to bail with. We then kept them company until we were confident they could make it back to the moorings safely. We were credited with 20 minutes and were given a win. We deserved it!  It was very challenging sailing to aid the other yacht and Coach Harry, who was the other Helmsman, was most appreciative of our help. Sunday racing today was again aboard Wyvern and was a pursuit race. We headed off first and made it down the bay and across the river before being caught up by Bianco. We had a good downwind run home but as the wind became lighter and lighter we were gradually overtaken by a number of boats. It was a very pleasant sail and the 9th place out of 12 yachts did not really matter. I am continually gaining confidence and now feel comfortable if asked to take the helm or trim the sails. The joy of being on the water is worth more than the place in a race.   
We have also sailed for pure pleasure this weekend - we motored south into a stiff sea breeze on Saturday and after a nap at anchor in a sunny, beautifully quiet, serene bay headed back under sail through a cold, overcast evening. Just pure pleasure. 'Til next time... may your winds be light and your days warm...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sunday racing again!

Having planned to sail on Wyvern with the Cap'n and my "Significant other" I was delighted to receive a call from Skipper Jim suggesting we take Pathfinder on the long race from Cygnet to Port Huon. I jumped at the chance and we had a really interesting day.  The wind was very light at the start of the race - not unusual and at one stage we were completely becalmed on the far side of the bay and going nowhere. Wyvern was not far off and in the same predicament.  Out came the Spinnaker.  A new experience for me and quite a challenge to set it up.  It helped us make headway and once we got into the Huon river the sea breeze kicked in and we were flying.  The sea breeze unfortunately got too strong for us to manage the spinnaker so in she was hauled.  We managed to run before the wind very well under just the main and genoa and left we Wyvern in our wake. We made good time and crossed the finish line about 5 minutes ahead.  We were unfortunately a long way behind all other competitors so only came second last.  But we had a great sail.  Skipper Jim will not be available for a while so we will not be doing Sunday races for a while.  The learning curve continues.  Once across the finish line at Port Huon we had to return to Cygnet so we motored and sailed and made very good time into the head wind.  I had considerable practice on the helm, mainsail and job which is helping me gain more confidence and knowledge.