4hr scenic tour

Last Sunday I dropped the DeckHardware RIB Cadence in the water at Bayview.  It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now, go for a tour around Pittwater and have a look back in time at the water in which I learnt to sail. The RIB of course was the perfect boat to do it in. I’m lucky that it’s now all set up that it’s easy to launch and retrieve singlehanded.

I started off by going anti-clockwise, first up into the upper reaches of Newport an area that was pretty much mangroves in the 50’s and early 60’s mucking about as a kid.  As time has gone on, all of it is now fully developed with many a home and wharf building out the land and the water.  I can remember picking up my first Manly Junior crew by boat as he lived on the opposite side, it was either that or  a pushbike for him. Continuing around and remembering the old  Newport pub, where our parents would be inside whilst we played on the carousel, that’s now a multi story carpark rather than the drive through to the bottle shop.

Then into Crystal Bay, where again it was all mangroves where kids could run amuck  and we did!  However this time it was stopping to say Hi to a couple of old salts, one on  the end of his jetty and the other in the cockpit of his lovely yacht. It was good to stop and say an all but brief ‘G’day’ to Hugh  Treharne and Ken Beashel, both legends of the sport of Sailing and certainly don’t need any introduction. Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has certainly grown and changed with the times, as kids we used to climb the trees where the main clubhouse now is. One boat spotted on the marina was Patsy a Swanson37 that I did my first Mooloolaba race on in ’81. Still in the Yaffe family ownership, Daniel who I sailed with for a number of years was on board with his family and about to head out for the day. It was good to catch up.

The major change to Pittwater over the decades is the sheer number of boats on  moorings, the area that we leant to sail on in the 60s is full.

Heading north past Salt Pan Cove, and on a mooring  was a rather familiar Adams10. Yet more memories although they’ve made many changes to what I thought was the best A10 deck layout.  Then into Clareville and there was the old Swanson42 Tawarri,  as a teenager I did a RSYS Cruise on board with the Lewis family, spending a week aboard racing offshore and up to the lake.

Up to Barrenjoey and across to the western side brought more memories of camping at Resolute Beach with our Manly Juniors and walking up to West Head. Then on into  Coasters Retreat or  the Basin as many know it and more camping  and overnight memories.

Then it was around the corner of Longnose Point and into Towlers Bay. There’s a lovely beach on  the Northern side where we spent a week with the girls on Indulgence after a Coffs Harbour Race one January. We literally had it to ourselves but the other day it was packed , times have changed.  Next up was Lovetts Bay and then Elvina Bay, where there was once  plenty of bush and now there’s houses right round both bays. Still going at 4knots [the speed limit] and heading up McCarrs Creek, for a change [not] the water was full of ‘jelly blubbers’. The constant thud of hitting them with a centreboard, didn’t matter what I was sailing. Another boat that I was surprised to see, was a little Primaat called Tainui. Tainui was built by Bill Burrows, an old sailing foe of my Dads. Many a JOG race was had against her in the 60s. Bill also made the mast for my fathers first yacht  Temeraire, so there’s the connection.

I finished up my tour of Pittwater by going past Church Point and Bayview, looking at where we used to live and how things have changed. Surprisingly the houses are still there, they haven’t been updated. Only the addition of solar panels to Church Point was noticeable, but Bayview is still the same colour some 5 decades later. It was a great day, something I’d been wanting to do for some time.

Next up however, it’s back on the MHYC start boat and running a regatta for the  Sydney Farr40 Fleet this coming weekend.

About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official and Equipment Auditor (Yachting Australia).

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