There was a beautifully restored Hartley 16 owned by Wes Purves and crewed by Ian Scott, aptly named Staying Alive, a Welsford Houdini of Ian Kington, crew Hugh Hobden and a younger Farr 5000 with solo sailor Mike Inns. Ian Scott was the senior member of the crew who had not been out in a trailer yacht for many years, he thoroughly enjoyed the day, a very accomplished sailor.
We launched from the Naval Point slipway mid-morning, dodging the freedom camper vans (mostly pairs of young women!), the aim was to sail around Quail Island on the high tide. It was a slow start with fitful puffs of wind from the East, but pleasant enough. Eventually we made our way to the SW end of the island, motors used occasionally. Mike had the best of it, the Farr gliding along ahead of the other two boats. We made it through the gap between King Billy Island and Quail Island. By midday the temperature had shot up to 30 degrees and the crews were sweating it out – relief would be the shade under the trees by the barracks on the island and a dip in the sea.
The three craft were nosed into the beach and after a short swim we settled for lunch at a picnic table, the usual sailing talk to accompany lunch. Lunch done, Ian and Hugh in Wally decided to head out into the harbour. A quick look up wind saw little white caps on the horizon, a taste of what was to come! A long board to Charteris Bay was achieved in the building NE. Tacking onto starboard with full sail and the chop of the out going tide made life interesting. Getting further up the harbour it became too much for Wally so the jib was dropped, the crew having a precarious time on the bowsprit,
a hand for yourself and a hand for the ship was applied! Wally sailed much easier as wind and sea built even more – back to the slip to haul out, dodging old mooring piles and a work barge. The other two boats made a great sight heaving over the chop and storming into the launching ramp.
Over coffee, we reflected on a great day's sailing that had a little bit of everything, all a little bit weary with the effort, but was worth it.