Chapter 105

What a small world we live in: Rebecca as a Len Hedges Domingo Class design is recognised as a close sibling to Cassie, a ferro cement version of the same design

The Johnsonian Club outing was organised for a wet Sunday, 14th December. Peter Elliott and his family came with Jesse and family on Rebecca. A storm hit us at the Hanlon beacon from the N.N.E. 25-30 knots, so sails were reduced and the conditions over ‘the Paddock’ were such that I somehow got disoriented moving about in the storm that I hit the sand and coral near the Hanlon beacon but got off using the motor and joined Paul O’Hare in Flyaway for lunch at the Lazarette. It was still an enjoyable day and we returned to Manly with a 15-25knot NNE breeze late afternoon. While the boat was at Manly I had the motor serviced and oil and filters changed and topped up the fuel tanks. On the Sunday before Christmas Oscar came with me, sailing from Manly as far as Doboy Creek then motor to Kangaroo Point. It was more convenient to have Rebecca there for me to get to work and I enjoyed the trips up and back.

Christmas day and Boxing day was spent off St. Helena with family and friends.

Wednesday, 31st December, 1986 we left Manly in afternoon and anchored in Deenbilla Bay, joining Debutante, Alan Dart, Taslander, Richard Crooke, Short Sighted, John Aineo and later Faraway, Fred Hemming and Cooloola, a friendly welcome to the New Year.

1987 started in the usual pattern, work, boat and work again. There was another Brisbane – Noumea race planned for this year and I considered entering so had a sail check. Jeff Mayfield came out with Ian Davies, who ran Hoods Sails here. After a short run in the bay and verdict on the mainsail was that ”nothing could be done for it is beyond repair”, keep as a spare heavy weather sail, so a new mainsail was ordered.

Around the time I was sorting out what to do with the mainsail I was anchored opposite the Customs House and noticed this young lady paying a lot of attention to Rebecca from the river bank; I went ashore and spoke to her. It turned out she was Kosti Simmon’s daughter and she rcognised the lines of Rebecca as those of Len Hedges Domingo Class designs. Kosti was a quantity surveyor who was in Port Moresby around 1973-74 and lived on his yacht Cassie with his family. Cassie was the original design, a ferro cement centre board yacht and had a series of articles “Cassie Cruises North” in Cruising Helmsman around this time; I also remember seeing the yacht in the harbour at Port Moresby and I liked it’s lines. I was pleased to show his daughter what the multi-chine steel version was like and it made me realise what a small world we live in.