The strong southerly forecast caught me unprepared for the trip to Newcastle so I had to abandon boatbuilding and prepare Passion X for a Wednesday morning departure ahead of the Thursday front. The main tasks were loading all the category 4 safety items, doing an oil and fuel filter change and loading the boat with our bedding, clothes and provisions. In a classic just in time I returned home for dinner and a trip back to the yacht for a overnight sleep so we could depart at 6 am on the Wednesday morning. This was the last daylight saving Wednesday of the year so we had enough time for a safe trip to Newcastle.
We arrived Newcastle at 4 pm just as the wind was building and surfed a wave into the harbour at over 12 knots. Kevin had been kind and accompanied us on the trip up in case the wind arrived sooner than forecast and as Elaine was seasick for the last four hours his assistance was most welcome. He made a quick departure to catch the train back to Gosford and Elaine and I settled in for few days of rest while waiting for the Newcastle to Port Stephens race on the Sunday.
After the last minute rush to prepare Passion X the few days in Newcastle were most welcome.
Sunday came soon enough and we took part in the most genteel race I can remember. A two sail reach from the start line to the finish line! Some yachts set spinnakers and ended up so low that eventually they dropped the kites and came quite hard on the wind to finish.

We had an interesting tussle with Lady A who carried a code Zero skillfully and we only passed them at the finish when they had to furl the sail. Lady A took out the handicap and we were pleased with a 6th place out of a large fleet.
Sail Port Stephens was the usual great regatta with the best conditions kept for the sailing days and the miserable wet weather falling on the lay day. The final day was abandoned when there was no wind.

Drifting conditions for the first race of the Commodores Cup

Elaine grabbed the opportunity to head back to Newcastle that afternoon so we scrambled to reload Passion X and headed out at 3 pm. Sunset was around 5:30 pm and maratime twilight just on 6 pm so we had an hour of motoring in the dark to reach Newcastle.

Sunset 10 nautical miles out from Newcastle

Monday was the last light wind day to get south before the next southerly front arrived so we set out at 7 am and arrived safely in Sydney Harbour at 4pm just as the wind was picking up to 20 knots.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had such good weather windows for out trips.
By 7 pm were were back at West Pennant Hills having unloaded Passion X.
Next day I installed the engine beds in the new build and today I began to prepare the bulkheads for the king plank. The king plank runs from bulkhead C to the engine beds and the engine beds run all the way to companionway at bulkhead H so in a very short time all the significant structure will be installed.
Now that daylight saving time has gone for another 6 months I have installed lights inside the hull and there I worked away today out of the wind and rain.

Comments are closed.