This post continues on from "The photo shoot".
As on previous trips we all took turns at the helm, although I did take over when we got too close to the racing or were on a dead run. Both Nicky and Lee said that they felt that they were starting to get the hang of basic sailing. That's true, but we are still a long way from being a slick racing crew. Every time we go about we lose ground, but practice makes perfect they say...
We put into Mobbs Bay for lunch and there is a photo of our camp, we spent a pleasant hour boiling the billy (or rather the very fine kettle that Rob found in a garage sale). Unfortunately I managed to snag my trousers and this caused a remarkable amount of merriment and some quite unnecessary photography. So I can't be accused of censorship I include a photo of my torn trousers.
By the time we finished lunch the ebb was running strongly and it was time to sail back to Fisheries Creek and pack up for the day. All went well until, about half a kilometre from the entrance to the creek, we started the outboard and dropped the sails. I was feeling quite like a pro. Then, for no obvious reason, the motor just cut out. Stopped dead. Kaput. We tried to restart it to no avail, probably flooding it in the process. So nothing for it but up for Nicky and I to hoist the sails again while Lee found the boathook. It looked as if we might have to fend off from some very formidable looking pylons.
Then I had to decide what to do next, I remembered that Cheryl had told me a story about Terry's prowess one day when their engine failed and he sailed back up the very narrow Fisheries Creek. I wasn't sure I was up to that, especially as there was an alternative. When we sailed past the Richmond River Sailing Club earlier I had spotted their tractor launching one of their trailer sailers, so I decided to seek their assistance.
It was lucky that we had Gary as a shore party, as he was able to drive my car and trailer up to the Richmond River Sailing Club. Nicky and Gary found the tractor driver and he agreed to haul us out. Thank goodness as by this time it was dusk. I stayed with the boat and waited, beginning to wonder what was causing the delay. Apparently the tractor had run out of fuel and Gary had gone off to get some more. Eventually, as the photo shows, we were hauled out. I hope the Richmond River Sailing Club thinks the fuel was a fair exchange for a tow. We really were very grateful.
NB I have had the motor running fine since I got home and I reckon it was just one of those things. But I have got out the catalogues for new outboards and I am seriously thinking of upgrading to a more environmentally friendly (and electric start) 4 stroke.