Sailing on the Harbour

Sailing on the Harbour

Our friend Andrew, (The Captain) from climbing is a bit of a sailor (as if you couldn’t guess from the nickname). It runs in his family and his dad built a 8 meter yacht which they keep moored up at  Henley Bay (not the Thames) on the Parammatta River (north west of the Harbour).

This December Captain Andrew was at a bit of a loose end so suggested a group of us take the boat out for a day on the water on the Harbour. The crew was Captain Andrew, me, Matt, First Mate Onni, Pirate Stuart, Heather, Dal and Ruby. 8 people was a bit of a squeeze for the boat apparently, but we did OK and nobody fell overboard.

We met about 10am, made sure we all had a wee (more about that later) and set off for the boat. Andrew has a bad shoulder after recent surgery, so Matt did a good job paddling to and fro with everyone in the rowing boat to the main boat. Before long we had hoisted the mainsail and we were off! We went a long way with the sail and then hoised the jib (a smaller sail) for a bit more power as it was a calm day with not a lot of wind. The temperature was probably in the high 20s, so very pleasant.

Captain Andrew knew what to do, gave good instructions and Onni had sailed before, so between them they had it all under control. We did lots of tacking of the jib and mainsail. Luckily nobody managed to get hit in the head with the boom! We had a quick snack of some very healthy fruit, carrots and hummus – between 8 people we had 5 pots of hummus, mainly all different! We sailed under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House which was pretty cool!

After a while we broke out the engine for a bit more power and some control around the main Harbour area where it was a bit busier. It was a bit choppy too and we got some good angles on the boat and bouncing about in the wakes of the bigger vessels. Stuart kept us all entertained with some pirate chat up lines.

We went along the north shore of the Harbour and dropped anchor in Taylor Bay for lunch (including more hummus) which was nice and peaceful. Matt and Stuart quickly got in the water and went for a snorkel. After a while we all joined in with a swim too. The boat was quite small and had no loo, so the choice if you needed a wee was to go in a bucket down below with a ‘modesty towel’ over the hatch or get in the sea which is where it ends up anyway. This and the nice sunny weather tempted even me to have a swim!

After lunch we headed back in a leisurely fashion with a bit more jibbing and motoring. Captain Andrew provided an excellent service and let Matt and I off at Luna Park as we had to get home and back out for my Christmas party. The idea of sailing in the sun and swimming in the sea before a Christmas bash is still very strange, but very good!

It was an excellent day with great company and I’m keen to do it again.



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