Packing up the boat, loading all the gear into the car was quickly achieved and we sadly had to return home. Plans are being made to put some work into finishing off the paint work, fixing the lights and installing the new aerial for the VHF radio over the next weekend with the possibility of another trip away before the winter sets in and makes conditions unpleasant. I plan to also have some fishing lessons with a friend. Although I caught more fish than I ever had before, I was reluctant to kill and clean them - what would we do if that is all we had to live on I do not know! The lucky finned friends were thrown back much to the disgust of the people who came with us. Still ... next time maybe! 'Til the next time - good sailing to you all.
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...
Monday, April 5, 2010
It was with enormous excitement and not without some trepidation that we set off on Good Friday to sail Pathfinder out into the beautiful waters of the D'entrecasteaux Channel, south East of our home base at Cygnet. This was our first opportunity to go cruising on her since her purchase in mid 2007. Teamed up with two other yachts manned by friends, we headed South East and across the Channel to an anchorage called the The Quarries. A sheltered bay protected from the Southerly winds we were able to settle down for two relaxing and totally enjoyable days reading fishing and socialising with friends. Pathfinder went well although the very light winds meant we had to motor and sail. We found the boat comfortable to live in and the modifications made when we were fixing the mast worked well. We have some issues with the electrical systems which will need to be addressed fairly urgently. The fuses kept blowing which controlled the navigation lights which was an issue. Fortunately we were at anchor deep in the bays at night surrounded by other yachts, all with anchor lights gleaming. We had torches to read by as the cabin lighting was also defective. This was all checked out two weeks previously and found to be fine so what the issue is will need to be explored. After two nights at the quarries we sailed further south to a very picturesque bay called Mickey's. This was like something out of a magazine. Tree lines shores, white sandy beaches, great fishing - everything one could wish for. The company was great and the yacht performed well. Easter Monday saw us all go our different ways. My 'significant other' needed to be back home to start the apple harvest by Tuesday so mid-morning we set off sailing home with a steady 4 knot wind from the south behind us. It was a long days sail with Pathfinder reaching almost 5.5 knots on the last leg but mostly sitting on around 3-4 knots. This was the longest sail we had taken the yacht on together and without additional company so it was a really good test for us. We had to navigate ourselves home without guidance from others. For novice sailors this was a challenge but one which we achieved with few hassles. It was such a great confidence booster to know that we were able to navigate ourselves back to the mooring with ease. The sail took all day but it was full of pleasures. Two seals, basking in the sun on the surface had quite a surprise when Pathfinder snuck up on them! The winds were also favourable, if a little light.
Monday, March 22, 2010
It was an enormous thrill to be able to take Pathfinder out on her first sail in 7 months last weekend. The Challenge Cup gave me the opportunity to test sail her with the repaired mast and re-rigging complete. A worthy Old Salt who had never sailed her before came aboard to take the helm. With no intentions other than to have a great relaxing day we were able to make the 5 hour trip to Port Huon and back in relative comfort and with much better ability to sail into the wind and to sail effectively on port tack than ever before. The usual fickle wind conditions both helped and hindered us. For most of the early part of the race we were well up with all the other boats. We did, however, become becalmed in shore when all the others went out wide and sailed on. Once in the main river we were able to make up some distance on the rest, only to become becalmed again up near the final turning buoy. A strong beat to windward on the return journey, when a stiff sea breeze blew up helped but we were still too far behind to make up much. We finished 15th out of 18 boats and considering the conditions we were happy. The men of the club were again very supportive and encouraging so there is a good chance I will get the opportunity to take her out again before the sailing season draws to a close.