What a perfect day to sail across Corio Bay to the safe haven of St Helens on the edge of Geelong. St Helens an ideal launching place for small boats and the base for the Geelong Coast Guard, even enough water for my 40 ft Adams drawing 4’ 6”.

St Helens has good facilities with floating pontoons, good boat ramp, toilets and plenty of car parking. Only a one hour drive from Melbourne and 10 minute sail to the RGYC.

We enjoyed a morning tea on Patternmaker and had a chance to meet with Chris and Sue Kelly and talk boats. Lunch was on the lawn overlooking the harbour and was a good chance for our Geelong people Paul, Reina, Pam and myself to meet the WBA visitors.

There was only a small turn out of craft but was still a very enjoyable day had by all. Boats in attendance included:

  • Insouciance: - a Hartley 18 which Frank Raisin had sailed across from Mordialloc.
  • Sea Fly: - with Chris McDonald who enjoyed a sail outside the harbour.
  • 2 Kayaks: - paddled by Penny Braybrook and Jim Stockton they even encouraged my wife Pam who has little experience in Kayaks to have a go. Looks like my next build will be a timber Kayak.
  • Bling: - a Diamond class sailed across from Geelong by Paul Gunner and Reina Sarah. The boat would have to be one of the best examples of this class you are likely to see.
  • Green Bean: - Rob and Pat Ripley a late arrival but Rob Ripley still managed to get her in the water for a sail.
  • Louise: - was not really part of the group but deserves a mention as she is a very original 1900 Pilot Boat once used at Port Phillip Heads. Owned by a local, Roger, who hopefully will join the Geelong Chapter once we get up and running.
  • Patternmaker: - my Adams 40 launched in 2011 built from strip planks and diagonal veneers. Again sailed across from the RGYC by my wife Pam and myself.

I would like to extend my thanks to the WBA and Chris Kelly for the invitation to attend and be your OOD at St Helens visit. It was a pleasure and great opportunity for our two boating organisations to get to know each other. To this end I would like to extend an invitation for the WBA to visit the RGYC for another get together perhaps in spring as your calendar will permit.

The RGYC has great facilities for boat launching, Marina, BBQ area, café, bar and plenty of lawn space for kids to run around. I have mentioned this to our board and they would love to see you come and visit our club. Again thank you for the invite it was a pleasure for my wife and I to meet some of your members.

PS Don’t forget the 2016 Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong 12th-14th march 2016. The event will for the first time have off the beach sailing for small craft so mark the date in your diaries.

Regards, Stuart Dickson
(Chairman 2016 WBF of Geelong RGYC)

Photos by Chris Kelly.