Nepean to Horaceville in a Couple of Gybes…

Sunday August 19 and Monday 20 seemed perfect for an overnight in Pinhey Point cove, afloat, swinging at the anchor. Well, almost perfect, because the wind, albeit moderate, was forecasted to be steady all day (and night) at about five knots from the NE, for which the point at Pinhey cove offers no shelter. Hence, Sassy knew it was going to be a “berceuse”, and a “berceuse” it was…

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At 9:04 she was already on sail. Close to junction marker KN8, she set to a starboard tack with an open sail for a broad-reach/run. When abeam of Aylmer Island the wind veered a few degrees forcing a course adjustment to starboard, and half a mile further, she had to gybe to a port tack. This she held for two more miles until she gybed a second time, this time back to a starboard tack, and headed to mid-stream. She continued on this course until abeam of Pinhey Point. Then she headed upwind on the auxiliary, doused sail and headed to the anchorage.

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At Pinhey Point Sassy usually claims a spot midway between the tip of the peninsula and the docks, which, at her arrival, was taken by a larger sailboat. However, the skipper announced that they were just leaving and Sassy meneuvered a few minutes inside the cove until, while facing the wind, she was able to drop her Bruce in six feet of water, where 50 feet of rode (including 40 feet of chain) awarded her a comfortable 6 to 1 scope. The Belgian 5 Kg. Bruce then soon set and showed to be able to keep the boat in place even with the Tohatsu cavitating in full reverse.

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A few moments later Woodpecker, Kirill and Natalia’s PaceShip 25 (she had left Nepean over an hour later than Sassy), showed up to anchor windward of Sassy. QRP, the dinghy, was called to duty and a superb afternoon was spent visiting the estate, walking into the past while visiting the Victorian mansion turned into a museum, and then, chatting on a bench in the park and fixing all the problems of the World while watching the gentle swinging of the boats in the cove and along the shorline.

After sunset the sky remained clear, with a bright waxing gibbous moon shining from the South. At dusk, in a large arch towards the South, Mars, Saturn, the Moon, Jupiter and Venus lined as a tiara hovering above Sagittarius and Scorpio, with Saturn right above the center of the galaxy (the star completing the line-up between Jupiter and Venus is Spika, and the one below and to the left of the Moon is Antares, the red star at the heart of the Scorpion.

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Dinner was a full can of “chunky prime-rib with vegetables” with a couple of slices of German 7-grain bread, and a glass of Almond milk (all items that can endure a couple of days with no refrigeration). And at 2:00 am, when the skipper went for his regular middle-of-the-night tour on deck and looked up at the zenith, he was greeted by Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Perseus, Pegassus…

The awakening was at 6:30am. After a frugal breakfast (French-press coffee, cereal with Amond milk and a slice of toasted german bread), Sassy weighed anchor at 7:30am. In the still sleepy rays of the raising Sun, she tiptoed past Woodpecker so not to awaken her. With light headwinds, the return journey was courtesy of the Tohatsu, and at 10:00am she was already moored at her slip in the Nepean Sailing Club marina. Her stowaway for this trip was a blue fairy desguised as damselfly, likely of the Enallagma genus (Bluets) (E. exulans, the “Stream Bluet”?).

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A short lived but very rewarding overnight at the anchor, the only one this Summer so far…

PS.- Over a dozen other fairies, these ones all in the shape of adult Monarch butterflies, were also encountered in this trip…

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