Sailing

Every Wednesday evening from October through to March I go sailing. I’m out of work no later than five o’clock and jostling with traffic on Punt Road so that I can be at Royal Brighton Yacht Club ready for Twilight Racing. Once there I take the long walk along the pier where I pass many fishermen hoping for a catch. Regardless of the weather there is always a stunning view across the bay to the city.

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By the time I get to the end of the pier and into the marina I’ve forgotten about work and any worries I might have. I greet my sailing companions and we talk about our week as we get the boat into the water using the overhead crane. We discuss the wind and which headsail we should use. We set up the sails and cruise out onto the bay ready for the start.

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I began sailing last summer for the first time and gained a little more confidence and skill each week. The winter break has set me back somewhat but my sailing friends are generous with their time and encouragement. I make mistakes but they don’t seem to mind. Most of the time I go out on Zardos; sometimes I go out on San Rafael (that’s me sitting on the edge of San Rafael below). Both are S80, 8 metre yachts designed for both racing and cruising.

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There is nothing better than sailing on Port Phillip Bay on a warm summer evening. The views are spectacular whichever way you look – the city skyline to the north, the colourful boat sheds lined up along the beach between Brighton and Sandringham to the east, and the sun setting to the west.
What I love most about sailing is that it forces you to live in the moment. You don’t have time to worry about work and life as you race to the next marker – tacking, gibing and discussing tactics.

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When the race is over, there is more work to be done – pulling down and folding the sails, rolling up ropes, and pulling the boat out of the water and onto the hardstand.

When the packing up is done we go back to the clubhouse for a meal and a drink. We talk about the race and mull over ‘what if we’d?’ or ‘maybe we should have’. Mostly though we agree that we had a lot of fun and it didn’t really matter if we won or came last. It was just nice to be out there.

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13 comments

  1. Sandra Barton · · Reply

    Makes me feel relaxed just reading this Michelle and thinking about you all out there on the water. Continue to enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely pictures too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Val murdoch · · Reply

    Hi there you! You constantly amaze me every time you post – you sure are finding interesting new things to do and good on you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, beautifully written. I felt as though I was there with you. Wonderful photos. Look forward to your next piece. Continue to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] evenings I go sailing on Port Phillip Bay. You can read more about my sailing experiences here in a previous post. Each week I get to enjoy some pretty stunning views from the boat and then […]

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  6. Michelle, besides the fantastic photos, the narrative is simply inspiring. It is an excellent choice you make and I could feel serenity in your words and photos.
    Have you had sailing experience before or did you start last summer? Can you share a bit more? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a very insightful woman Lucile. Even via the web you sense there is a little more to a story. I had a huge upheaval in my life a few year’s ago which you can read about in my old blog http://www.frombarcelonatotahiti.wordpress.com. A very old friend reconnected with me and through her and her new husband I discovered a love of sailing. I first went to Mexico with them and sailed from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz. I then sailed through French Polynesia with them again last year which you can also read about in my old blog – it was a pretty amazing experience. They have a small boat here in Melbourne which I now sail on each week. I love sailing as it forces me to live in the moment and not think about too much else. I’m about to make another big change in my life and leave my job. I want to just live for a while and do the things I love – travel, take photos, write … and whatever else comes along.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Michelle. I had a hunch that there was a story behind it and that you were looking for something more when you decided to start sailing. I don’t know if it was just insight or perhaps a projection because I started doing many things that I never had time to do before and the trigger was not an eureka moment but life changing events. The loss of my brother after 4 years battling cancer, plus a serious motorbike accident of my husband, coupled with enduring a very confronting and stressing time with a disrespectful and power hungry boss at my corporate job, when put together, made me take a decision to live life before it would be suddenly taken from me.
    I just read your old blog and learnt more about your life. Please accept my deepest sorrow and condolences for the loss of your husband.
    I found fascinating what you did and commend you for that. Nothing can be more helping than the the love, encouragement and support from family and friends.
    I commend you even more for taking this final decision to quit your job and dedicate your life to what you love. I so relate to your decision.
    I wish you all the best and will be here following you along the new path.
    Warm hugs.
    Lucile

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lucile. I feel you’ve become a good friend even though we’ve not yet met. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome, Michelle. Likewise, I share the same towards you. Thanks for being my friend.
        X

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh this is fabulous Michelle. What a great thing to be able to forget all our troubles for an evening each week. It took me a long time to figure this out for myself. I have a similar feeling when I get out with my camera for a photowalk. I travel a lot and used to spend my evenings in my hotel room hunched over my laptop answering emails. But now, I get out with my camera, meet people, and turn off for a few hours. What a difference this has made to my outlook on life!! Your photos are stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again. I couldn’t agree more. Taking photos is also something I love and as you say it gets you out and about which is so much better for the soul.

      Liked by 1 person

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