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

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Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

The Wooden Boat Association is based in Melbourne, with regular sailing days scheduled on Albert Park Lake, as well as other venues around Melbourne, and at least one weekend each year elsewhere in the state.

Especially welcome is the first-time wooden boat builder or restorer, who can expect to receive ample advice and assistance in getting their dream onto the water.

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  • Regular meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers and activities. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club, with visits to other venues from time to time.
  • Monthly sailing days, on Albert Park Lake and other locations close to Melbourne.
  • Use of the Association's own boats, two traditional sailing boats, Begonia and Lindsay Symons, our canoe Stringybark, and our extremely rare Port Philip 12.
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  • Companionship with sister associations in other states

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