Wednesday, December 13, 2017

‘Tis full summer here, we’re getting unusually hot weather, dry and often windy.  It was 30 deg C a couple of days ago, that’s about 85 F, much hotter than we’re used to.
But the beaches are crowded, people are out and about, especially in the evenings, my dog is flat on his side in the long grass under a shady tree and I’m having to refill his water bowl a lot more frequently than usual.

Summers here, and its going to be a good one.  The Kenepuru Kapers dinghy cruise is on again, here’s a video from last time which shows what we got up to last time, thanks Hamish.

For those who’d like to join in, here’s the facebook page,  last year was a real treat, I spent much of the  time with Brian Hogg on his 6m Whaler “Emeraude”, there is plenty of room to sleep on board, he’s a pretty fair cook and we got along famously.   For dates and more information ---

The Lake Rotoiti Classic Boat Festival was on the day after we pulled out of the water, and we, in Emeraude, managed a very handy win in the sailing race, helped by very gusty and strong winds on a course that took us out into the worst of it.  Emeraude handled that well. Sailing on my own designs is a treat, I learn a lot from that.

While several of us are planning to cross Cook Strait on the boats own bottoms, buttthat doesn’t prevent others from crossing on the ferry and either launching at Picton and meeting the rest of the  fleet at a pre arranged place, or for the mainlanders, joining us where suits.

Last year was four boats, six people, and we had a very relaxed and enjoyable time, with the occasional “learning experience” to keep it interesting.

In the meantime, next weekend, a couple of us, with anyone else who wants to join in, are sailing from Sandspit across to Kawau for the weekend,  Haddon and I hope, Anthea, will join us on Saturday, and more are welcome.
Breakfast/brunch at Kawau Yacht club on Sunday, probably around 10 am or so. Good food and a lovely place.

15/16/17 Dec, the tide is helpful, and I expect that we’d be leaving Sandspit mid evening, so if anyone has to finish work and drive on up you should still be ok for water in the estuary.

Then there is the Mahurangi Regatta of course, the biggest classic boat event in NZ and a mind boggler for those who’ve not been there before.  I’m planning to take Spook up there, my 18ft on deck gaff sloop, Ive not sailed her much of late and its past time I did. She’s a sweet little ship and deserves more than to just sit on her trailer dreaming of the sea.

That event is on January 27th next. 
There are a lot of small boats based on the beach, which by the way is a great place for a family picnic while the boating events are on, the small boats race the same course as the big boats (which is exciting, having a 70 foot gaff cutter bearing down on you when you're sailing a 12 footer is a bit intimidating but accidents are almost unknown) but once around instead of twice.
There are rowing races as well, events for the kids, sandcastles, egg tossing and a fairly serious tug o war event.  One of the best days out of our summer.

I’ve just had a call from Marcus Raimon telling me that there is a move afoot to include a “Small Ships” class in the annual Tall Ships event in the Bay of Islands, this would be for sailing boats under 6m, of somewhat traditional type, the rules to be set sometime, and its quite possible that this summer that class could be included on an “informal” basis, with the next event including it “officially” if there is enough interest.

Jan 6th.  Pathfinders, Navigators, Houdini’s, SCAMPS and Pilgrims, all would be very suitable.  The party after the race is ledgendary!

I’m thinking that the “Summer of the paintbrush” had better include some new varnish for Spook, new wheel bearings on the trailer and a tidy up for the dink (My prototype Scraps) . Its about a three hour tow to get up there, I can do that.

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