Early birds to the weekend had to face strong winds that raised white caps even in the canals of Paynesville. Little wonder no boats were launched until the quiet of Friday morning. For those present on Friday there was some tootling around the canals, bearings to gather, ferries to dodge in McMillan Strait and a pleasant drop in from the water on David and Jan Gibson at their Raymond Island property. Winds were gradually abating by nightfall and, as the main contingent arrived, good weather was forecast for the weekend. Friday dinner was at the Paynesville pub, a good night in good company. The highlight of Saturday was a visit to the 15th century replica caravel, Notorious.

It is a splendid replica and the craftsmanship of David Wylie was stunning. Planks fastened with trunnions, the use of grown timber features such as knees and the hand rails on the companion way and the whipstaff helm raised much comment. To walk below decks gave one a good impression of the conditions under which Columbus’ crews sailed, see the arrangement for the “galley” as seen in the photos below! The afternoon was spent with some sailing and cruising. It was great to see Tony and Linda Remington arrive for a day visit and David and Jenny Stott for an overnight stay with Penguin.

Sunday morning saw the group rendezvous with Bernard and Maureen O’Kelly’s, Nellie, and Jenny and Barry North’s, Peace Train, at the Fisherman’s wharf. Bernard and Barry had offered their boats to Melbourne members and families without a boat for the trip to Spermwhale Head for a barbeque lunch. When all boats arrived at the jetty, there were seven boats and a canoe. Frank Raisin had sprung a surprise on us all by sailing his canoe across Lake Victoria to join us for lunch. Gary and Margaret Stewart’s tug, Tickettyboo, was a late but very welcome arrival. It was a very pleasant trip back to Paynesville in the afternoon with fair winds and a good run. The waters around Paynesville were very busy during the weekend with sailing schools, trailer sailers, yachts of various sizes and all those horrid plastic speedboats on the water. At one stage it looked as if Frank was to be swallowed by two large trimarans sailing up behind him.

On the Monday a large proportion of the group had to pack up and head back to Melbourne. Three boats, Leigh and Kerrin McNolty’s TS16, Jim Stockton and Penny Braybrook’s Drascombe lugger and Geoff and Jill Carroll’s Kibbee II set out to visit Johnsonville across Lake King but were forced to turn back by a very strong Northerly which sprang up mid morning. A return to safer waters saw them pull up down Newlands Arm for an idyllic picnic lunch before returning to the Allawah moorings. In the evening the members from East Gippsland including Doug and Marion Gullickson who had missed the Sunday gathering visited for the evening meal.

On the weekend we were delighted to be joined by Wally and June Johnson. Wally showed great enthusiasm for the boats. Although at 91 he was not able to come aboard from the high jetties, but he was very busy with his camera. When we also consider the youngsters who attended from Andrew Yen’s family and friends, the age range for our group was less than 10 to older than 90. With over 26 or more adult members attending with 10 boats on the water one could say this was a very successful activity for the Association.

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