Today (Friday 8/10/2021) I got out for a sail.

I launched from Altona, and sailed along the sparkling, scenic coast towards Williamstown, past the yellow T28 buoy that lies off Point Gellibrand, said hello to one of the resident seals who happened to be home, tacked around a bit in the shipping channel, then enjoyed a good beat home. Today was one of those gust-calm-gust Northerly wind days, where you are either drifting round with your sails flapping, or leaning back and holding on as the boat takes off at an exhilarating pace. At the last moment, of course, the wind shifted to be absolutely directly off shore from where I wanted to land, so some good tacking practice was included for free. I was 2 hours on the water, and all packed up to head home well within my 4 hour outside time allocation. It was a bit over 8 nautical miles for the trip, all in all a thoroughly satisfactory outing.

Sailing gives you time to think. Here’s a summary of today’s thoughts:
1. I suspect lockdown restrictions may disrupt organized sailing and boating for a while to come.
2. Sailing/boating in company is fine.
3. There may be some WBA members within 15 kilometres of either the Warmies or Altona Yacht Club/Safe Harbour who might be interested in getting out for a sail/row/paddle/motor.
4. The Bay can feel like a large and empty place when you are out there alone. It is reassuring to have at least another boat around.
5. Being less structured means you can pick the day: no rain, no wind forecast over 15 knots, preferably less, preferably sunshine rather than overcast. And you can easily pull the pin if you don’t like the look of things from the shore.
6. Being less structured means you can pick the destination to match the wind.
7. Midweek is great as the ramps are not so busy, but weekends are doable at the moment too with patience.
8. Being on the water is just fantastic, and even 2 hours out is well worth it!

I wonder then, if any WBA members are lucky enough to be within the magic 15 kilometers of this wonderful bit of water, either Altona Safe Harbour or the Warmies, and might be interested in lining up a sail. If so, please drop me an email. We can exchange SMS details, then watch Willyweather obsessively, and hopefully get out for some splendid spontaneous boating and future Shavings fodder.

Gary Hardy

Call for Contributions

Have you recently had a great day on the water, voyaged from A to B successfully, or completed a small project such as a locker lid or new spar? Our members would love to hear about it!.

Please send a short paragraph and a picture to the Shavings Editor, preferably by email to, so that we can include your account in Shavings.

We also encourage members to share their achievements and experiences at club nights. Bring along photos, drawings or examples and feel welcome to talk about these as part of the meeting.

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