Post Christmas Sail
Position: 34 46.41 S 137 51.73
With the Christmas festivities behind us, I decided it was high time to get away from the Squadron marina and go for a bit of a sail. To this end, at 1314, I slipped Sylph's mooring lines and got underway. I had hoped to get underway earlier in the day, however, yesterday was taken up with replacing the masthead steaming light which had somehow been damaged, presumably by a slapping halyard during a windy night. In the process of replacing the light I also discovered that the lower stern light was not operating. On investigation, it turned out a wire had been damaged and needed replacing, so this took up all of yesterday afternoon.
Thus, this morning I still had quite a few chores to do before we could get underway, such as getting the dinghy on deck and doing some laundry, hence the late departure. Once we had motored clear of the yacht basin we turned into the wind, got the mainsail up with two reefs, then altered course to the west, setting the jib (partially rolled up) as we cleared the Outer Harbor breakwaters, The breeze was a brisk Sw'ly which freshened as the afternoon wore on and my decision to reef down on departure proved well justified. The seas also built up as we ventured further out into the middle of the Gulf, but Sylph shouldered them aside as she drove forward at six to seven knots. It was nice to have the fresh air blowing and the salt bitter sea once more cascading over Sylph's decks (though the seas breaking over the coach house managed to reveal that I had not properly dogged the skylight down with a few dollops of water making their way below - promptly fixed).
By 1800 we had rounded the Middle Spit beacon that marks the north of the shoal that provides Port Vincent anchorage with a modicum of shelter from the S to SE quadrant. Once around the shoal, we short tacked down the bay between the shoal and the shore. As we approached the Squadron moorings at the head of the bay, I furled the jib, started the engine and then handed the main. In lighter winds I would have attempted to sail to the mooring, but with the fresh breeze and a couple of boats moored up in the near vicinity, I thought it wise to motor to the mooring. I am pleased to say it all went well and I was able to pick up the buoy's mooring line first time with minimal fuss.
It is too windy and late to attempt to go ashore this evening so I settled down for a nice fresh vegetable stir fry and a peaceful night. I have it on a good authority that Port Vincent is quite a happening little town at this time of year with lots of visitors expanding its population. Hopefully the wind will ease a bit overnight so that in the morning I can get the dinghy in the water and get ashore to see what might be happening. Also I believe that there are a couple of Squadron boats in the marina here so I will attempt to catch up with my some of fellow members if I can.
Now that Sylph is steady again, Oli has emerged from the depths of the quarter berth and appears content to view the world from the shelter of the cockpit.
All is well.