After a cloudy start, the skies cleared to provide brilliant weather for the WBA’s annual sailing day at Rye. OOD Chris Mcdonald was there bright and early to greet sailors, rigging Thoura while he waited for his crew, son Lachie.

Jim and Penny launched Talisman and sailed on a lumpy sea towards South Channel pile, where around 20 seals were sleeping off their Saturday night, oblivious to the cormorants and gannets on the roof. 

Chris was soon joined on the beach by Kerrin and Leigh McNolty (Mirror Kokomo), Linda and Tony Remington with Dulcibella and a REAL outboard, Frank Raisin with Paul and Karen’s Beth, Jill and Geoff Carroll (Kibbee), Tony O’Neill with his catboat and friend, Frank, and Kirsty and Peter Batchelor (Kirsty Ann). 

The Prez, Chris Kelly, dropped by with delicious emergency rations for the troops (thanks Sue!).

Post-lunch sailing conditions were even better, with steady 10-12 knot NE winds.  Chris and Lachie aimed for the South Channel fort, while others took to the water closer in. 

The Batchelors took the opportunity for some snorkelling in the clear calm waters.  Jim and Penny headed across the shipping channel to the seals again and were gobsmacked to be overflown at low altitude by three Hercules aircraft practicing for the following week’s Airshow.  Thunderclouds massing on the western side of the Bay were visible for most of the afternoon but only a few sprinkles of rain were felt at Rye, and there was even some swimming after the boats were retrieved.

The only downer was the presence of a large number of jetskis, as apparently Rye is designated as a PWC-friendly beach. At its peak, we estimated 30 to 40 PWCs moored in the shallows.  Apart from a few pests, the riders were mostly well behaved but the noise as they roared around on the water was at times quite intrusive.   Over the traditional fish ‘n’ chips supper, the possibility of relocating our beach sailing day to a quieter spot was raised; Mt Martha, Safety Beach and White Cliffs were some of the suggestions.  Any feedback or other ideas are welcome.

Penny Braybrook, with photos by Chris Kelly and Kerrin McNolty