Sunday, June 27, 2021

______________ HOW TERRIBLY STRANGE TO BE SEVENTY ______________

In 1968 Simon and Garfunkel released their 'Bookends' album. One of the songs on the album is a rather bleak little song about a couple of friends sitting like "bookends" on a park bench. The song is called 'Old Friends'. I disagree with the bleak portrait painted by the lyrics except for one line, which states  - "How terribly strange to be seventy". Yes indeed - I know, because yesterday I turned seventy. Bleak? "Rock on!" I say.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

__________________________ WINTER RACING _________________________

I raced my first winter race today - the third race in the 2021 winter series. The first race was called off because of stormy weather and I missed the second race because I had something else on in Auckland. But better late than never and there are still a few more winter races to go.

The main mission today was to try out my new C-Tech Industries produced carbon fibre sail battens - all 6 of them - they worked beautifully and are real keepers. I should have had a set a long time ago. The mains'l with its full length battens is now a whole lot easier to raise and lower. The battens pop back with the sail shape easily when tacking and the mains'l is setting really well. 

Getting the correct individual deflection for each of the six battens is a bit of the dark art and this set seems to have captured the correct incantations. The battens are also half the weight of the fiberglass set. They are worth the expense.

The forecast was for lightening, thunder, a deluge of rain and 8 - 15 knots of wind. What eventuated was enough wind (3 - 5 knots) to get three races in. The moment the racing was over the wind vanished and the rain began.

Treading my way out among the mooring boats on the way to the race course. The wind did pick up after this photo was taken and we had some enjoyable racing. I think I did ok - but are waiting for the mixed fleet handicap results. As always it was nice to be out on the water ------ Shipmates, tell that man in the yellow boat to pull the mains'l outhaul out and fix the set of the sail!!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

______________ COASTAL TRIP - TUTUKAKA TO WHANGAREI _____________

This is my friends David and Alices new yacht. Yesterday I crewed for them on a trip from Tutukaka to Whangarei. Their yacht will be hauled out for a scrub and other work by a Trav - Lift at Ray Roberts Marine.

Heading south in a variable 6 to 10 knot easterly wind with the Hen and Chickens islands in the distance. There was a big ground swell running which had been building for a week. My stomach didn't appreciate the cheeky magnitude of the easterly swells assertions and replied in a rather negative and unsociable way.

Having rounded Bream Head (astern in the distance) we sailed up Whangarei Harbour with the assistance of an incoming tide.

The two skippers enjoying their new boat.

The sun was setting on this cold winters day, but each of us were well wrapped up.

Close to our waiting berth we passed this large super yacht that is owned by some multi billionaire. The masts are so tall that as she passed by Onerahi airport (which borders the Hatea River at the head of Whangarei harbour with the river or harbour at either end of the runway) all flights were delayed as she went past. It is a moot point I guess as to whether the mast heights were a hazard, but they would certainly be a distraction (especially if the pilot was a yachty!).

Our magnificent local lifting bridge obliges as we slip through. I ride over this bridge almost every day on my folding bike in the course of my daily exercise - so I waved to my old friend Mr Bridge as we passed.

Safely moored and job completed - and well timed as well, for as we off loaded onto the pontoon the rain started to fall and chased us to the waiting car - the end of a great day on the water.