Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sailing on Port Phillip Bay

I have a friend (well maybe a few) who has a yacht moored at Sandringham Yacht Club not far from home. He and my other friend (see, I said I had a few) are yachties of some note.

Both these Yachties will be called “Dazza” and “Al ex-Prez” and to explain this would be a further story so lets leave that to another time, maybe!!! Needless to say that the girls, Tracy, Denise and Sue don’t need silly names – it’s a boy thing.

Al ex-Prez is the big bloke to the left and Dazza to the right

Anyway the two blokes sail a thing called a Tazer – I know nothing about yachts, boats and ships but I’m told that the Tazar is a little boat, or is that yacht. Anyway, I’m informed by these two blokes that these “things” have a weight limit when it comes to competition.

Seeing that Al ex-Prez is a somewhat bigger person, of taller stature and with maybe a little condition around the middle, well let’s just say he enjoys a good grazing occasionally so he needs to pick his sailing partner carefully.
These two blokes recently returned from the World Master’s Games in Sydney and I understand that Al ex-Prez, that’s the bigger bloke, needed a somewhat more lighter bloke to improve on the weight limit. That’s where Dazza comes in. Now Dazza is what you’d call in cycling terms, a climber, similar to those Spanish hill climbers that just twiddle up hills like there’s no tomorrow. This is due to his lighter frame, his frame, not the bike frame. Are you still with me?
I’m also told that he is a talented sailor and has done some ocean races in the past that include Bass Strait crossings from Melbourne to Tasmania. Now that is serious stuff....

The big boat moored waiting to load on the food and refreshments.

Hence the reason for this blog (yes, I know, I’m long winded, an intended sailing pun). Dazza keeps his father's larger yacht, boat – whatever – at the Sandy Yacht Club. I’ve been hassling him for yonks to take Sue and me out for a sail and he finally came good.

LEFT: Looking across the Sandringham marina while enjoying a cool beer. Does it get any better?
A full moon rose above the horizon and reflected against the Bay waters for the whole night.

Loaded up with food and refreshments we met at “Bonsoir time”. Sue had prepared a caramelized onion and blue cheese tart, with a side dish of asparagus topped with shaved pecorino much to the delight of Al ex-Prez.

Chicken, potato salad, green salad, caramelized onion and blue cheese tart, asparagus with shavings of pecorino cheese all washed down with some good Italian beer and wine.

I brought some refreshments and thought we might go all Italian with Peroni beer, Prosecco, a dry sparking and a red from Montalcino in the Toscana region.

Back to this sailing thing – I thought I needed to look a little sea faring so I went down and bought a pair of sandals, and a sort of beach style t-shirt (Sue wouldn’t let me wear the Hawaiian shirt tucked away in the wardrobe for occasions like this) to go with my shorts. Being a cyclist, I thought the lycra might not be a good look. And just incase we decided to go for a dip, I put on the budgie smugglers under the shorts.

On arrival at the yacht we spied Dazza and Al ex-Prez in full flight on the Tazer. Al ex-Prez, remember he’s the big bloke offered me an opportunity to experience the thrilling delights of sailing. Now not wanting to seem a little petrified, I agreed to allow myself to be in the good hands of Al ex-Prez.

He explained my responsibilities but it was all “jibberish” (another intended sailing pun) to me. Ropes are not called ropes, they have other names which didn’t sink (let’s not take that word seriously) in.

Anyway after a little time with Al ex-Prez, I actually started to enjoy being out there with the wind and waves of Port Phillip Bay, although a little wet from hanging my bum out over the side of the Tazer.

LEFT: The view of Melbourne, possibly some 10Kms away.
The moon had risen but still reflected over the water.

On our return it was back to the serious part of entertainment. The night was just perfect in the mid-30s, a cool wispy wind travelling across the calm water and keeping us a very comfortable while viewing the shoreline from a kilometer or two out in the bay.

BELOW: The three photographs below were taken off the shoreline on a short time exposure while the boat gently rocked back and forth. This caused the lights from the shore move. I then used a little digital creativity to intensify the colour and contrast.

The night came to an end all too soon but tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and definitely will be a late night – we wish our readers a safe and healthy 2010, the start of another new decade. Do you remember where you were on New Year’s Eve 2000?

Thanks to Dazza and Denise, Al ex-Prez and Tracy for a memorable night, sailing on Port Phillip Bay.

It's the end of the night and Dazza makes the final adjustments before we leave. 

PS – Translations are available on request from our European readers.


  1. Happy, prosperous, magical new year to Sue and you Leon!

  2. And too you also Nadege. Let us know how your celebrations go.

  3. Looks like great fun. Strike the mizzen and swab the poop! Or something like that...

  4. Leon, I got the gist of it! Watching 'Skippy, the bush kangeroo' in the early seventies wasn't a complete waste of time after all! ;^). Martine

  5. Martine and Walt - LOL.
    I really like talking STRINE.
    Hope you both had a great NYE.
    WCS - don't know about swabbing the poop, our dog died a few years back...
    Martine - who was your fave in Skippy?
    Love talking to you both.
    Just arrived home from our NYE with our friends. Will send you some news on the next blog.

  6. I suppose you won't believe me if I said it was Skippy??!!
    You really want to know? Well, it was Tony Bonner, the helicopter pilot. But I suppose you'd already guessed that, hadn't you? Martine

  7. Tony still some acting these days. If interested, do a google.

  8. Tony still some acting these days. If interested, do a google.


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