Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kangaroo Island

The past few days we have enjoyed the social aspects of cruising. On Wednesday we decided to accept an invitation from Peter, a part time resident of Kangaroo Island whom we had met at the winery on Monday, to join in the “Strawbridge Pointers” sailing day. Greg the organizer writes an article for “The Islander” newspaper about each sailing adventure which Peter had read with some interest and thought it would be a good way to meet people from his local community in American River. The residents enjoy a social sail each fortnight visiting different destinations and investigating the history of the island or just generally solving the problems of the world. This Wednesday the topic to be debated was the location of “Kanguroo Head”, where Matthew Flinders first landed on Kangaroo Island. A number of residents meet at the American River Jetty and those without a boat are allocated to crew on one of the participating yachts. We were fortunate to be introduced to Robert & Margaret Bruce as crew and were joined also by Peter for the day sail. There were 9 yachts participating this day of all shapes and sizes including some beautiful 1940’s timber boats. The route after clearing the leads of American River was across Easter Cove to the current Kangaroo Head. We enjoyed a lively sail across the bay and dropped anchor under the cliffs just off a small sandy cove, where two of the yachts rafted up next to us. We shared our cockpit for lunch and discussed the merits of monohulls and multihulls and shared tales tall and true about our collective sailing adventures. The debate, normally held over lunch was postponed until sunset drinks ashore as we could not raft all the participating boats along side one another.

It was a good sail back to American River and Robert used his local knowledge to sail us up the channel where we took a mooring just off the boat ramp for the night. It was interesting to watch Robert’s reaction to characteristics of a sailing catamaran as he is having an ongoing debate with friends David & Glen Churchill regarding the merits of catamarans. David & Glen are thinking of purchasing a cat and Robert has been trying to talk them out of it. This was Robert’s first sail on a cat and now he may have to rethink his argument, but having seen the friendly banter between them I think the debate will continue.

We enjoyed an early drink in our cockpit, while we waited for the last of the boats to return, then once ashore headed to the Churchill’s home where they made us all very welcome. Once we had completed the important business of meeting the locals and pouring that first glass of wine the debate began between the two nominated teams. Our team led by Robert was of course the best – had the most accurate information and logical arguments however the opposing team won the day using a little poetic license and spin a more convincing yarn, also they addressed the topic whereas Robert’s team were very convincing but apparently were off topic . Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, as they say!!

David & Glen had commitments the day of the social sail and were unable to participate but were keen to check out our boat so we had them on the boat for dinner on Thursday along with Peter. It was a good evening where a few of the local Kangaroo Island wines were sampled over conversation about the community on the island.

It turned out to be a fortunate decision to turn around return to Kangaroo Is as we have met some interesting people and enjoyed participating briefly in community activities. We now have a short weather window to get to Robe and have just left our anchorage at Eastern Cove, KI. We expect to be in Robe mid morning tomorrow and hope that a forecasted window on Tuesday/Wednesday will hold for us to go on to Portland.

One of the many great beach houses around the shore of Eastern Cove on Kangaroo Island.

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