Sunday, February 1, 2015


Not far from the tree (See post below) I was crossing the new Hatea River lifting bridge on my bike when I saw in the distance a small dinghy being sailed well. Take my word for it, it was being sailed well. Us old hands just know about this stuff; we know a boat well sailed just like an aboriginal tracker can see at 30 paces an animal spur invisible to untrained eyes.

So I turned my bike around and rode back to the top of the bridge. As she sailed closer I liked even more of what I was viewing. I think that this little yacht represents a great 'can - do' attitude. The little pram dinghy, only slightly less blunt in the bow than in the stern displayed some interesting features. She is a safe little vessel with buoyancy chambers fore and aft and as she probably doubles as a yacht tender she has a good all round fender to avoid damaging topside paint.

The rig is intriguing. The star on the mains'l gives its provenance away. It is obviously the top third of an international olympic 'Star' class mainsail with a new panel sewn in at the head. The gunter rigged mast and boom are rudimentary and homemade and the jib is a cut down sail of some sort; I can't place the red 'F1' on it. I like the way the mains'l  has been cut so that the end of the boom gives enough clearance for the helmsman.

The skipper and crew of this little ship who were obviously enjoying their sail as they skillfully tacked to and fro across the river saw that I was taking lots of photographs and as you can see from the photo gave me a friendly wave.

I liked what I saw because it showed me yet again that you don't need a million dollars or even many hundreds of dollars to enjoy sailing when you apply the old 'KISS' principle - Keep It Simple Stupid!

As the skipper waved to me, I waved enthusiastically back - I like to think he knew that I knew that he knew that I knew that they were having a Champagne sail on a small bottle of beer budget.
 Good on ya! shipmates, you're the real deal.

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