Akuna Bay Cruising Club

October Long Weekend - Harbour Trip (by Commodore Stephen Smith)

Tuesday 20 November, 2007

The recent (seems like a long time ago) October long weekend saw many of the club members travel down to the harbour. "Eagle" and "Banyandah II" (on her last Club outing) headed south to the harbour on a beautiful October day, the Friday. Kim Murray traveled on "Eagle" and Scott being much more adventurous came with Kim and I on "Banyandah II". It was a good trip down the coast, where we had to put a number two reef in the main sail off Manly Due to the freshening winds, by the time we turned into the harbor we were on maximum reef on the main and about 50% on the genoa (sailor speak for reduced power). The wind was fresh to fearsome with a wave going over the dodger just off the sow and pigs. We anchored up in Lane Cove River twice, having dragged the anchor once, then settled down to the usual dinner on board.

The Saturday was a beautiful day and as we had arranged to move in to the Marina at Cabarita we moved there after breakfast. Bob and Marg Taylor picked all off us up on "Sez-Am" and took us to Darling Harbor for the day. Rob Green turned up with then 15 min old Riviera 43. After christening "The (new) Shed" we adjourned to Nick's for a lunch that took all afternoon. Other club members, who had come in by car, joined us for lunch.
During the night the electronic gremlins took over our boat with the CD player turning itself on to full volume to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "I'll do it my way" at full volume at 3.00am (scary). I suspected one of the Murray's to be responsible, however they still have not confessed, so it is still a mystery.

The Sunday saw the fitter of the crews walk around the bay. One of our daughters and her boy friend joined us for the day where we had planned to all board Banyandah II pick up Frank and Janet from the fish market. This being duly executed in frightening circumstances, we doodled around Darling Harbor before sailing over to the Zoo and anchoring up in one of the beautiful bays for a lovely lunch, talk and a few great wines. Then back to Cabarita for afternoon tea before farewelling the Gardner's into a taxi home.

Sunday night saw a huge westerly rip through Sydney. We registered 40 Knots wind speed on our instrumentation. It was really scary. The boat was bashed around badly with some of the other boats trying to mount the marina. There was a sports cruiser on the outside row on the end, I thought it was going to sink. There was a 60 Hallsberg Hassy yacht just down from us and the lean it had from just the wind on the mast was spectacular.

Monday turned up a nice day to start with so off we head back to Akuna bay. A great sail home until we turned into around Barrenjoey where we encountered 36 knot westerly again. Kim and I enjoyed that bit but the kids who were still with us had their eyes closed and heads between their legs. I guess it is what you get used to. As we traveled down towards America Bay to join up with the others some idiot started a BBQ on hungry beach which set fire to the whole area. Lunch in America bay then back to Akuna.
Just as we were leaving America Bay in a very strong gale force wind we noticed a small RIB (15hp outboard)with two occupants in distress. We backed up to them to talk to them but could not understand them (we thought due to the wind), however after getting them on board it turns out that they were from Moscow did not speak very much English and had borrowed the boat for the day to go for a picnic at Lion Island. They had launched at Akuna bay made Lion Island but had run out of fuel on the way back in was must have been horrendous conditions in such a boat. They where quite impressed with "Banyandah II" as we were able to make coffee and produce beer food and wine from various places. The man of the two kissed the dock at Akuna bay. We tried to explain about boat size and forecasts but are not confident they could understand. They thanked us, disappeared and have not been seen by us since.

Another great weekend with more than a bit of adventure.

Stephen Smith
Akuna Bay Cruising Club.