Carnarvon – April 29 to May 18, 2003
After a great sail from Denham, we made Carnarvon in good light. Having done two races up here previously and having lived and sailed out of here in the '80's, our approach was not difficult. We opted to go into a 'pen' as we would leave the boat here to return home for a week.
Teggs Channel was easy to negotiate, except for the dredge proving to be a little of a challenge. Forgot to call him on Ch16! A little man came out to wave us around. It was not until we were right up close that it became obvious on which side to pass. We came into the Facine on a reasonably low tide, but no problems. With 300ml under the keel at the entrance to the marina, it was a breeze! (Luckily for us there was little of the latter!)
We were welcomed into Carnarvon by Toby and Suzie (ex FSC). Toby came out to meet us sailing in his little blue clinker dinghy. A night out at the new refurbished Carnarvon Hotel was very enjoyable. Had a chat with ‘H’ from Freo Doctor. It is the most I have said to him in the 12 years I have raced against him. Toby and Suzie were fantastic in their support. A car to get the needy bits and a source of weather info are always welcome.
Our first few days in Carnarvon involved getting up around 8am, walking to get the paper, back for a coffee and finally deciding at 11am what to do with the day. With temperatures around 35 degrees, a wander across to the ‘beach’ for a swim and a laze around was the order of the day. There were many memories surrounding me from days when I lived here and the two races to Carnarvon I had done.
After taking a chance and booking our flight to Perth on the 6th May, Emily phoned at 5.30 pm on the 5th and told us she had just delivered ‘Dylan James’. Perfect timing!
Perth enabled us to organise repairs – like the radar that had had an intermittent fault for 18 months. Peter could purchase the necessary bits for ratlines that we decided we did in fact need and the rubber strip to close the gap in the washboards we have been meaning to get for 6 years (for keeping the mosquitoes out more than anything else). It was wonderful to stay with Heather again and catch up with friends and family. Spending time with the children and grandchildren was very special to us. We had a great time with Thomas in the Maritime Museum. The pace of a two year old in a museum is my kind of pace! It was fantastic to see the delight on Thomas’ face at seeing all the boats. We will make a sailor of him yet! The architects would have been proud to hear a 2 year old exclaim ‘that’s a big sail’ with reference to the roof of the museum from ‘C’ Shed.
Our timely departure from Peth saw us escape one of the fiercest fronts to cross the coast. A deep low centred off Leeuwin caused a huge tidal surge (full moon and high tide) and just over 70 knots of wind! Poor FSC had the collector jetty flooded. We were ever so pleased not to be there. Carnarvon had rain (the first for over 10 months) and only 25 knots of wind some of the time. Mild in comparison! We delayed our departure for an extra 2 days for the swell to subside from 5 metres!
Much to our relief we did not get charged for the excess baggage on our return to Carnarvon – even with the radar bits and the dozen bottles of wine. Mahdi and Miss Conduct were in the Facine, and as we are planning to leave the same day, we will leave Carnarvon on Sunday the 18th May to cruise in company with them for a while. John from Miss Conduct had kindly organised a case of bananas, which we thought we could share. We ended up with a case each!
We look forward to the prospect of seeing our own whale shark! Oh to be so lucky!!