robbies ramblings

A LIFE IN BOATS

Boating | January 8, 2013

Looking back over the years boats have been a constant part of my life. It started when my father took me fishing on Victoria's Westernport Bar.The boat was timber built in the clinker style,powered by a small diesel engine which struggled agianst the fast flowing tide.The skipper had failing eyesight and we often found ourselves knee deep in slime as we freed ourselves from exposed mud flats that Arthur failed to spot.

The next exciting moment happened when my father decided to build a boat of our own.The basic hull and cabin structure were purchased from Blockey The Boatbuilder at Mordialloc and fitted it out with bunks,cupboards etc.It was our sixteen foot dream and was cruised extensively around the Gippsland Lakes before finishing its days on the Murray River at Mildura.It was also on the Murray that i learnt to water ski.The boats used were designed for speed,powered by big block V8 motors,exhaust noise resonating through the bush.Coming off a slalom ski at 90 k.p.h. then doing unintended somersualts along the river was not the best way of seeing the scenery.

Of course yachts are boats also so i left the stink boats behind and to go sailing.I crewed on a Sun Maid 20 for a number of years completing the Marley Point overnight race many times, round Philip Island race and many bay races learning about spinnakers,gybing and how to be wet and cold while still having fun.There were some nerve wracking moments especially when late one moonless night the yacht went completely upside down,the spinnaker full of water.After some anxious moments locating crew members the boat was finally righted and we were sailing agian.The annoying part was we were unable to use the spinnaker for the remainder of the race.

After a few years of crewing,the right girl came along meaning marriage and children but there was always a boat in the family.This time it was a catamaran that made its way under the carport.The Maricat was great fun to sail either alone ar with a crew.We sailed on Lake Learmonth in all conditions,pushing the boat to the limit as i just loved the speed and thrill of one hull flying high.It was boats all round as my son sailed a Sabot while my daughter crewed on various boats.In my quest for peed i moved up to the Mosquito class and went even faster with an even greater number of capsizes.I also enjoyed the maintainence side of things and one year re-painted the Mosquito's hulls inside in front of an open fire.We eventually moved to the Gold Coast and the Mozzie was sailed on the Broadwater for a season or two.

Now i live on the northern N.S.W. coast and the current boat is a small tinny used mainly for fishing.However i now have a grand-daughter and have been considering buying a small yacht for us to enjoy.Or maybe a should build one repeating the cycle that started sixty two years ago.

After all,there is nothing quite like messing about in boats !!!!!


Any Comments?

About robert walker

hi my name is Robert Walker

married two grown up children,one grandchild

live in Lennox Head N.s.w Australia

work part time as a grocery manager in Bangalow N.s.w.
Read more »

Hobbies & Interests

  • reading,art,fishing,sailing,travel

Categories of Published Work

The Tugboat Follies

By KYRA FREEBURG
Published: February 14, 2011

Using your voice even with crayon is a great first step!