We had the regular crew of Barry, Darrell and Paul (me). The day did not start well for us. After rowing out to the mooring Barry tied the dinghy off and we set about rigging. I noticed that the dinghy was floating bye, so I hastily went below decks grabbed a boathook and throw it to Darrell who reached for the dinghy only to miss it by 30cm, I grabbed a longer boat hook and got it into his hands asap, however as the dinghy continued to drift away Darrell missed it again by 30cm. Just my luck that I grabbed the short one first!
The three of us watched the dinghy drift away towards a rock cliff on shore. We then went to plan “B”, get the outboard in the water, get the fuel up and get off the mooring under power. By this stage the dinghy was up against the rock wall. We carefully nosed Farrago into the cliff face, noting some rock shelves only meters away. We managed to snag the dinghy from the bow. We were now only a metre or two from the rock face (and praying nothing was under us). The breeze was blowing us onto the cliff so once we secured the dinghy we shouted out to Barry to reverse out as quickly as we can. Well it was then that Barry reefed on the throttle, however to our horror the little outboard did not respond, she had no power. This is not looking good. After what seemed like ages, Barry yelled, I’ve left the damn choke on. After jamming it in the motor revved back into action and we backed out of a tricky situation.
We secured the dinghy back onto the mooring and motored off to then find that the outboard spluttered and stopped altogether in the middle of the river. After some analysis we realised that in our haste we had not opened the breather on the fuel tank. That sorted, we were all good again.
Finally, Barry is heard as saying “I know I tied the dinghy to something… it looks like it was to itself”.
We had a nice SE breeze to start the race. We were joined by Xena on the line as the only other contender in Division 3. We pulled ahead and enjoyed some long tacks down the river. We were a little surprised that the first Division 1 boat mowed us down by Woolwich. Pat, Michele and team were moving fast.
We did witness Axis of Evil being rounded up by a large yacht under motor. I did take the opportunity to bring the “keep clear rule” to their attention as we passed them.
After negotiating the usual “washing machine” under the harbour bridge, we rounded Fort Denison and headed home. We took the opportunity to hoist Barry’s latest acquisition, a spinnaker he had got from the new owners of Rob’s old Farr, Roustabout. We held the spinnaker to Cockatoo when we had to drop it and hoist again around Snapper. It became too shy again at Five Dock Bay so we dropped and re-hoisted at Searles to sail to the line. On handicap we came in ahead of Xena by just 23 seconds. A most enjoyable sail. The log from my Microsoft Band is below.