Paul's Around Australia Trip 2011

The Shake Down Cruise


Grant Walker

Kate Westcott

Pascal Gerarty


Peter Doyle

Cameron McDonald

Laurie Nolan

Jon Barber

Judy Westcott

Ben Harrington

Pittwater to Port Stephens - Overnight

The objective was to get the yacht and crew tested with a decent overnight trip as well as some fun racing at Port Stephens for the "Port Stephens Regatta"

A crew of 5 sailed up in 22 hours which was slow but was into a strong

northeastly which meant a lot ot tacks.

Grant Kate Pascal & Emily sailed up, and then left on Sunday.

The race crew was Peter Cameron & Laurie and involved 40 yachts in 3 races over a 3 day period. The first race was "Three Pub Race" the second was "A Three Island Race" which did a figure of eight course around the islands near the entrance to Port Stephens and the final race was "Around The Bay".

We all learnt a lot about the yacht and were able to test many of the new sails rigging and equipment.

Port Stephens to Pittwater

Jon Barber and Paul caught the bus from Central and took 4 hours to get to Neilson Bay Marina. We elected to sleep and leave early (like 3.45 am) so we could be at Newcastle by 9am to pick up my sister (Judy) and nephew Ben).

What a great sail – a nor wester at 15 knots or so had us averaging 6 knots for 5 or so hours. Sailing at its best.

We pick up the extra crew at the ferry wharf spot on 9am and then headed off to Pittwater. All  up it took 17 hours (versus 22 hours to get to Port Stephen) and we sailed 80% until the southerly came so for the last  3 hours we motor sailed.

It was Ben and Judy’s first offshore trip and they went great.

It was a “shake down cruise” and yes we shook out a few things. Tore a spinnaker sail; had to drop the main as it came off the furler and the engine exhaust leaked. A busy week ahead to fix al these items. Better now than later.

Port Stephens is a great place and I am planning it as a first stopover after picking up Mia at Newcastle and then dropping her off at Port Stephens. This is her only chance as she is off to Nottingham University for the rest of the year.

Only 3 more days before Guinevere departs, the plan is 10am at Avalon Sailing Club and then head off at about 11 am. Pretty busy getting last minute things together (eg just ordered 89 additional charts to cover the circumnavigation).

Feeling both excited and anxious now that it is so close.