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!
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Thursday, October 1, 2009
The winter has been very long. It is supposed to be spring but we are suffering from endless rainy periods. The land is saturated and the rivers and bays around the coast have a lot of floating logs and rubbish. Last Sunday a very deep low pressure cell crossed Tasmania bringing very high winds and tides. The storm saw waves of nearly two metres from the South West rolling into our normally sheltered bay. The locals say they have never seen seas like it. At least five yachts dragged or broke their moorings and ended up on the mud banks or the rocks around the bay. Pathfinder faired poorly. Although the mooring held well the severe winds broke the mast just above the spreaders. The loss of pressure on the mast from the stays caused it to fall over the side. Frantic phone calls were received at 8am in the morning. We went over but there was nothing we could do. The seas were too dangerous to take a dinghy out to the yacht. All we could do was just watch. We were consoled by the thought that everything would be fine - it was all insured and we could get everything back to normal. Every one at the club was very supportive and caring. It was hard to watch others risking their lives to get their yachts off the mud or rocks before too much damage could occur. By mid afternoon the stormy seas had eased off and Coach Harry was able to go out and have a look. It was too hard to get aboard but he was happy that the hull was largely undamaged. A stanchion was bent but no real damage to the fibreglass. The biggest shock came when we realised that we had missed the last payment on the insurance and they had cancelled it. They did not send us a reminder - or we did not receive it - and the brain has been so preoccupied with the new job that the payment just got overlooked. The stress levels have never been higher. One quote on a new mast was $20,000. Does it mean that the Pathfinder will never sail again? We are now battling with the insurance who are not keen to insure her as she is, but will not assist in fixing her even though we have been with the company for 6 years. The boys at the Club think they can fix her with a sleeve...but will the insurance company go along with that? Its emotionally draining and it looks like it could be financially draining as well. And I was just feeling pleased that I had got the boat looking beautiful for the opening of the season. All scrubbed, antifouled, polished and with a newly refurbished genoa. Alas, life is going to be tough over the coming months. I am very grateful to the boys who worked wonderfully as a team to dismantle the whole rigging and bring it all ashore. Apart from the broken mast all else seems fine. The furler has even survived intact. Everyone chipped in and gave a hand in clearing the decks and laying it all out in a friend's front paddock so we could see what needed repair. We are seeking materials and/or professional help to fix it. One of the club members - the Commodore - arrived the other day with a spare length of mast that we could perhaps use as a sleeve and the boys have had daily conferences analysing the task and looking at all the options. I just hope that the conferencing just not take over from the fixing! 'Til next time. Keep us in your thoughts.