Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Sailing We Shall Go

This is Cronulla Beach NSW. Don't let anyone ever tell you that Queensland is the only place to be in Australia for beaches!!

Here's the view from my balcony.

Maybe it wasn't the top floor, but it was perfect as far as I was concerned.

For one thing, it did not contain smelly boys!!!!

The boys in question, No2 Son (aged 23) and Small Boy (aged 13) were ensconced at a seedy Motor Inn 10 minutes down the road. They had arrived on December 27th, after a massive 1427km drive, for seven days of sailing in the NS14 Nationals. Now, only two of them were sailing so for Small Boy, the following four days consisted of a fair bit of this:

In the mornings, 60 boats which had been secured at the Sailing Club overnight:

departed from the inlet for the open sea, leaving a scene like this:

Very pretty but pretty boring for a 13 year old on his own. Fortunately, one of the Sailing Widows back at the Club lined him up with a few other Sailing Orphans and they amused themselves by jumping off the jetty and undertaking any number of other unsafe activities usually undertaken by pre-teen boys whilst in a group. I try not to think about it.

Seriously though, they weren't allowed to stray from the environs of the Sailing Club so they could not really take advantage of this:

which was just as well as far as I am concerned. I mean, when did you know young boys to actually 'swim between the flags'????

I arrived on New Year's Day after a stressful New Year's Eve with the Baby Angel (who is about to be renamed the Baby Succubus!!!!!! >:-(...) who required me to pick her up from a party at around 1am. On arrival at the party I discovered that she had moved parties and a little bit more driving located her at a Toga Party no less!!!! Interesting as she did not have a toga!!! She was less than grateful for being collected at 1.45am and even less grateful for being conveyed to the airport for a 9.30am flight the following morning. By the time we reached Sydney we were not speaking and after some fairly harsh words and tears from both of us, she departed for her flight to meet up with her Dad whilst Himself collected me from the airport.

I was in need of a major chillout.

Here I am looking a lot more relaxed than I was; although the first day in Cronulla actually went very well.

We started with breakfast on the Mall

where I commenced my New Year's diet by having fruit salad with yoghurt and muesli.

After a hard day's shopping with Small Boy (who is very into clothes at the moment!) we walked around the point to see what we could see of the race. This was about it.

Unfortunately, the boats race quite a way out to sea. We could see them through the binoculars, but even then we couldn't read the sail numbers to know who was winning. There's one lime green boat and one yellow boat but other than that, they all look pretty similar from a distance.

On this day, the wind was blowing at over 20 knots and about 12 of the 60 entrants withdrew from the race or were forced to withdraw due to damage. This is not lazy 'messing about in boats' you know! If you haven't already seen it, take a look at this video shot by Himself last year in a mere 15 knots of wind! The other thing the boats have to contend with sailing here, is the ocean swell. On one day Himself told me that the swell was so big that when you dropped into a trough, you lost the wind!! That means the waves were over 4m high!!

My sailors were pretty much the worse for wear after their previous four days of sailing. Both were sporting open wounds on ankles and knees and No 2 Son had sprained a tendon in his wrist so he was wearing a wrist splint out there. Nevertheless, they were overjoyed with the performance of their new boat (I call it 'Retaining Wall') which saw them achieve some of their highest ever finishes in this kind of competition. I think their best result was 17th, which, in the calibre of sailors competing, was VERY good indeed.

On the second to last day they were in 24th position overall and gunning for a top 20 slot. They were up early, tuning the boat to perfection; adjusting the tension on the side stays, the rake of the mast and the angle of the dangle (well I DON'T KNOW what angles they adjust!!!). They were pumped.

Small Boy and I decided to head into Sydney proper on the train to see The Rocks, the Opera House and the Bridge. It was a one hour train journey and we left it a bit late to depart as Small Boy was, once more, agonising over which T shirts to buy with his Christmas money. We ended up finding a shop which enabled you to choose a colour and style of shirt and then a transfer to go on the front. not being a great decision maker, it took Small Boy over 40 minutes to choose his colours, styles and designs. Here's one of his choices:

the other one is here:

although do not ask me WHAT he is doing in this photo :-D!!

We made it into Sydney eventually but didn't have much time to do more than have lunch and play around with a bit of parkour on an outdoor sculpture.

(The BA and I had visited this sculpture once before. It's a wonderful place to wander and wonder about who lived here in the past).

On the train back to Cronulla we spoke to Himself to see how the final day's racing had gone.
It transpired that there had been a collision before the start, involving three boats. One hit another and the second, turning sharply to try and avoid the first collision, ploughed straight into the side of Retaining Wall. The side stay snapped and the release of pressure was so great that it bent the mast and snapped it off at the base! The whole rig crashed down over the side of the boat and proceeded to be dragged under the hull, the broken side stays gouging away at the deck and crunching the sails underneath like a Christmas cracker.

Fortunately, after a protest where the first boat was found negligent, a new mast will be provided by insurance.
UN-fortunately, my dear husband has decided he will ALSO get the old mast repaired so that he 'has a spare'...aaaaaauuuuuuuugh!!!!!! More money!!!!!

After one more day basking in the luxuries of a hotel over looking the sea (we moved the boys up for the last day too. It turned out the seedy motel was only $20.00 a night cheaper so we gave them a treat. A separate room of course!! No smelly old sneakers for me thank you!!) we headed back to Adelaide.

After more than 15 hours on roads like this,

we made it back home, boat still in tow and most of us tired but happy.

Next year the competition is in Tasmania. I don't think I'll be up for that one.


chaoticfamily said...

Love the photos lovely... One day we will make it to Australia and New Zealand and absolutely a lunch/coffee meet with you.


Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Funny on the smellyness! But looks like a great room! And you're right - not thinking about it was probably for the best! My boy could take that long to pick out the t-shirts too,

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed looking at your pictures. Especially the beach pictures. Australia is very appealing. Australian pictures of beaches are especially appealing when it's freezing outside and all you can dream about is summer.