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Report on Junior Sailing Expedition on Saturday 19th March 2016 on Waterwitch

posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:23 PM by Admin hycnz

The re-arranged weekend trip to Motuihe Island was replaced by a day out on the water on the Upper Waitamata Harbour on Waterwitch. Stephen Boulter had kindly offered the use of Resolute as well, but so few Juniors were able to come last weekend, that we ended up taking just one yacht out. Meeting at 9.00am at West Park Marina were Emma Brockes with mum and dad, Cathrin and Chris, Caleb Wood with mum, Mel and finally Stanley Abdelnoor, my grandson, made up the party of eight with Gary as our skipper. 

After a safety briefing we left the marina under motor in a freshening breeze from the north east. We motored all the way to the Harbour Bridge, with Gary keeping close into the shore out of the steep chop in the main channel, so as not to put off any of our passengers. Stanley was hungry all the time and had eaten his lunch by 11am even before we had raised any sails. We waited close to bridge and were rewarded with a couple of shrieking bungy jumpers, who dangled upside down like flies caught in a spiders web.

In a quiet spot in the lee of the bridge we unrolled part of the genoa, and proceeded at a leisurely pace, back towards Kauri Point, with everyone who wanted to, having a go at helming Waterwitch. Emma was very keen to steer and was first to helm. We passed the stranded yacht on the beach below the Chelsea Factory, which hadn't shifted an inch since first spotting her well heeled over and firmly aground, on the way up to the bridge. We continued up river until a huge gust hit us out of Hellier's Creek, which resulted in furling the genoa and continuing under motor to explore round Herald Island. We hunted for a mooring to pick up in a wide stretch of water beyond the boatyard, and successfully tied up and got the boarding ladder over the side so people could swim off the boat. The tide was so strong that the water was swirling and eddying past the lower rungs, and we had to make the decision not to swim as we had no tender to go and rescue anyone who got swept away. Instead we grabbed any ropes close to hand and had fun tying useful knots like the reef, figure of eight, round turn and two half hitches and the most important of all, the Bowline! Caleb was so creative tying about twenty reef knots one on top of the other, and forming a stretchy sculpture, great fun to look at and pull.

We left the mooring, did a short excursion around the boatyard creek and saw Gleam a beautiful classic yacht moored close by. Beautiful lines from a bygone age but still well kept and obviously still sailed. We looked for another mooring on the way home to give the chance of a swim to anyone brave hearted enough, but a large dark rain cloud came scudding over and with an increase in the wind, we just headed for the marina, successfully making fast by 4.00pm. Thank you Gary for a wonderful day on Waterwitch, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 

 Gill Moore
 Dinghy Sailing Coordinator
 Stanley's Nana!