Although the weather forecast had not been particularly brilliant the gods smiled on us and the sun shone for us. Our visitors from the Lake Illawarra Model Boat Club and friends brought a good selection of their models although the wind strength meant that only a few of the models were able to take to the water. In the full size category there was the relaunching and naming of the Linda J, Andrew Cohen’s work in progress early in the proceedings. The bubbly was duly poured over the bows of Linda J and with much ceremony she was launched to float proudly by the lake’s edge. Andrew had some interesting floatation devices aboard. It was found that there were a couple of places the boat needed to take up and when the floor boards floated Andrew knew it was time to start bailing! Nevertheless he has a done a fine job of restoration keeping the authentic touches to show that his boat has a working history.

As well as the model boats, a highlight of the day were the exceptional displays of bailing techniques given by two of our members. It has been said that the most efficient bilge pump is a frightened sailor and a bucket. Given that neither of our two sailors was in a state of fear, the buckets were wielded in a professional way by Andrew Cohen in Linda J and Frank Raisin in Begonia. There was a certain balletic grace in Andrew’s uplift and deposition of bucket contents over the side of Linda J. Later in the afternoon, it was decided to wet Begonia’s keel as she had not been in the water since December. A long summer out of the water meant that the ingress of water into Begonia was somewhat faster than anticipated and Frank leapt to the rescue with a fine and efficient action that saw gallons of water efficiently and quickly deposited back into the lake by his flashing bucket. After a short time, it was obvious that the inflow was not going to slow so Begonia was hauled out of the water to be left to take up in the weeks ahead. Both Frank’s and Andrew’s demonstration of the fine art of bailing was much appreciated by the boat modellers who are known to bail their boats with a syringe and short length of tubing!

Both guests and WBA members joined for a barbeque on the top deck at lunchtime with delicious seafood entrees and a choice of salads and meats to follow. We thank all who contributed to a delicious lunch either by providing table fare or by assisting in cooking, serving and clearing up. Lunch was a highlight of the day and gave everyone a chance to enjoy the company of members and guests. As this was our first sailing day at Albert Park for the year, it was a most enjoyable return to the Lake.