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Picnic time

We've sailed past the Colmslie Beach Reserve a few times now, and our boat is specifically designed to be sailed up onto a beach, so we decided our next trip would involve a beach picnic. We packed an esky with some vegemite and peanut butter sandwiches, apples, a thermos of ice coffee, a blender bottle of local soylent analogue, and museli bars then buried it all in zooper doopers.

2024-01-05 Brisbane River to Colmslie Beach Reserve

We have our process pretty well nailed down now, so we were in the water in under 20 minutes. Just before our previous sail we met a nice bloke at the boat ramp named Rod. He lives aboard one of the boats moored just off the ramp. He seemed dead pleased by our pool scoop we brought along for fishing floating rubbish out of the river. Whenever we see anything floating by we attempt to drag it up. We did find an entire Monobloc chair floating down the river but we didn't have space on the boat.

Alex's tacking performance continued to improve and we made good speed upwind, downriver. We did get stuck drifting towards an anchored boat after a failed tack, prompting us to man the oars as a contingency. Fortunately we were able to pick up the wind again before we ran out of room. We had stronger and gustier wind today than ever before, producing some sporty sailing. Michelle had to move about the boat to help with balance. Alex became uncertain he possessed the mettle for sailing as the sails snapped full of wind on a gust and we surged forward. Sam was cackling like a madman. Good times

As we turned in towards the beach Michelle lost her hat again. She was wearing Sam's favourite yellow wide brim school hat. Sam was being performatively sad while we circled around a few times and managed to retrieve it before it sank, to much merriment. We then lined up a course that would drive us straight into the beach. There was another family playing in the water as we approached. They appeared nonplussed as we coasted up onto the sand. I jumped off the front and found the boat easy to drag it further up, so the rising tide didn't rob us of our boat during lunch.

A photo of Alex and Sam unpacking the esky. Sam tried to go straight for dessert.

A photo of our boat pulled up on the sand. Alex, Sam and Michelle are standing on the beach in front of it.

A photo of some multi-story river cruise boats. Just to the right of the big white boat you can see the paddleboat on which Michelle and I got married, the Kookaburra River Queen.

It was pretty great to be able to reach into the boat and pull out goodies. There's loads of storage space in there. I can't want to go camping somewhere on Wivenhoe.

A photo of Michelle sitting on some grass between to gum trees. Michelle having some quiet time in the shade.

A photo of two boys standing in water next to the boat. Alex is striking a strongman pose with a zooper dooper. Sam is holding a vegemite sandwich. Alex with a coveted purple zooper dooper. Sam kept “accidentally” dropping the crusts of his sandwich in the river, to the delight of some plump toadfish in the shallows.

A photo of me I got stuck with the less desirable pineapple zooper dooper.

The return run was smooth until we got to the dock next to the boat ramp. We'd never made an approach in these conditions so it was pretty hairy and we had to make a few runs at it. Rod was keeping an eye on us from his tender as he ferried some folk over to his boat. We made contact with the dock on the third try. I tasked Alex with tying us off to the dock. He leapt over and then realised he didn't bring the mooring line with him. I jumped off too and tied us off.

A screenshot of google maps roughly showing the path we took.

I developed an innovation for making it easier to get the boat back onto the trailer: The mooring line is tied around the base of the mast. I tied the free end to an aluminium bit near the rear of the boat. This meant I could stand on the dock and control the position and orientation of the boat to guide it onto the trailer. It made this process trivial, even with wind and current. We got up into the carpark, removed the bungs, tilted the boat up and discovered the hulls were 🎉 completely dry 🎉. The leak was actually now properly fixed, happy days.

projects/sailing/blog/5_beach_picnic.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/19 06:02 by tjhowse