Monday, 9 March 2009

Great weekend

The weather this past weekend was superb; I suspect it was a last taste of real summer before autumn settles in, but it was really lovely.

On Saturday Heather and went for a bike ride after a morning of domestic duties. We rode to North Beach then I left and set off on a bit of a charge into the northwest wind, across from the beaches, past Burwood and along QE2 Drive to Northcote. At the railway corridor I decided I'd had enough of headwinds so I turned south and rode the railway cycle track. I left that at Glandovey Rd and returned home via Rossall St, Carlton Mill Rd, and Bealey Ave - only 30km but 15km had been into a strong head wind.

Saturday night was good and bad; we had a lovely dinner of blue cod and salad, then I watched the Crusaders lose to the Highlanders, and had an early night.

An early start (for our crew) on Sunday morning saw us launching Impulsive at 10.30am, in conditions perfect for water skiing. It was so calm and sunny that we didn't even try to sail, but motored all the way up the harbour, around Adderley Head, and into Port Levy. We motored about 2/3 of the way down that harbour, past large mussel farms, and moored in a little bay at 1pm. We dropped the anchor about 40m off shore and eased in backwards until we were so close to the beach that Darren could step off and hardly get his feet wet - the beach was all boulders the size of softballs, and was so steep that we could float a metre away without touching ground.

Shot with a Flip Ultra, which is not great at long distance photography or finding dolphins. The clip jumps from lunch in the boat to a beer at the pub after sailing, because we were too busy sailing back to record any more video.

Darren's search for mussels came up empty-handed, so we ate lunch, hoisted the sails, and pulled up the anchor. We followed an intriguing twin masted cruising yacht out to the open sea in a good 10 knot easterly - which died as we arrived off Adderley Head, between the two harbours. I suspect that the headland acted like a rock in a river, with a "bow wave" upwind, and we were in it going nowhere, 200m from the waves breaking on the rocky cliffs.

We were about to start the motor, when along came our mate Chris Hutching, in his little cruising yacht Henry Salad (reputedly a Monty Python character, but I'm dubious about that). We motored on till we were in Lyttelton Harbour out of danger, then tied up with Chris and drifted about having a drink and a chat for half an hour, before parting company. That was followed by a terrific spinnaker run (with crackers and pate) back downthe harbour, in a 10 knot breeze. We gybed three times, twice successfully, but during the last gybe we let the spinnaker fall uncontrolled onto the forestay, where it tangled into a wineglass. (I must remember to tighten the sheet b efore gybing.) Rather than rip the sail, we gently lowered it and unwound it, and ended the day about 5pm.

Tired but happy, I slept extremely well.

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