Chapter 101

The Sail back to Brisbane

Thursday, 5th June, 1986 we cleared customs at Main Wharf and took a taxi back to Rebecca. The crew for the return trip was: John Beath, Geoffrey Mayfield, Craig Gillett and George Stubbs. We left Vila around midday and headed into a 20-25 knot SE gusting, at times to 40 knots, so we reduced sail and punched into it all day. George was suffering from his usual first day malady. We could not make Lenakil before nightfall so stood off for the night, resulting in being approximately 14 miles south of the entrance at 0100 hours Saturday.

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Chapter 100

Being the tourist in Vanuatu

Barry, from Pango Village, seemed to take us in tow with his mini bus. Crews were divided into three groups to be guests at three villages, and ours was Pango Village; so, on Friday afternoon, Barry collected us and took us out to see the village and the food being prepared for the evening feast; we saw the pit with a raging fire which would create coals to cook the food to be placed in the pit; the food included pork, fish, taro, bread fruit, bananas, pineapple, etc.

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Chapter 99

Brisbane to Vila Race – 1986 and tropical cyclone Namu

I again began thinking of entering the Brisbane – Vila race. Geoff was keen and we could get a crew. The race was held in conjunction with another from Sydney and was scheduled to start at 14.00 hours off Shorncliffe pier on Saturday, 17th May, 1986, so there was a lot to do in a short period. I still had some recreation leave due that was no problem. I then took Rebecca out on the first Sunday in April to check the sails. We had laid them out on the lawn earlier and this resulted in having the main recut to remove the baggy shape.
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Chapter 98

Creating easier access to climb the mast

1986 begins…January was a busy time in the office and on the boat. Experience to date revealed the desirability of being able to climb the mast on your own. I did not like the appearance of fixed step irons, but when I saw a sample of locally produced aluminium folding mast steps I was sold on it and reached an agreement with John Gilbert for 19 mast steps at $7.50 each, used as samples and a trial go with photographs to be taken by the supplier.

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Chapter 97

1985: the consequences of using Deks Olje and work all round……

I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve on the boat the moved back to Kangaroo Point. During January I had some timber delivered to Dauphin Terrace for scaffolding and erected it for Lyndon to paint the house. I remember taking a Friday afternoon off on ‘flexi time’ and taking the boat down the river when a severe storm hit while I was motoring past Doboy Creek, rain, hail, wind and no visibility, so I stood by close to the south bank of the river until, after thirty minutes, it eased and I found I was sharing this area with a tug also sheltering there. All was going well until I became allergic to something early in February.

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