Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rhyll, Phillip Island - 38° 27' 53" S 145° 18' 33" E

The Grayman

Almost as shocking as it would be him taking up snowboarding, Dad has gone to the dark side and bought a stink boat!  Who would have ever imagined this? After more than three decades, three sailboats, an uncountable number of Bass Strait crossings and multiple epic return cruises between Flinders and Cairns, he has been seduced by the throb of a 225HP outboard.

As children, we were brainwashed to be sailors.  From the little Quickcat, Arafura and Hobie catamarans we sailed off the beach to the grand adventures aboard Western Rambler (Brolga 33), Nova Vida (Duncanson 37) and Francis (Morgan 43), we could always look up and see a mast and sail.  Even our near-death experiences; in particular the memorable Christmas Cruise of 1988 in a Bass Strait squall, 70kn winds and towering seas; was under sail.

In what we can only imagine to be an old age crisis, the whole axis of our world has shifted and we now have a power boating father. 

Our power boating father - looking rather pleased with himself!

We found ourselves heading to Phillip Island for the sea trials of the new acquisition - Arvor 755 Weekender.  Described as:

The sporty and spacious model which is built on the cornerstones of safety, comfort and style. Designed for 9 people you can take it out to sea, explore your local rivers or head out to your favourite fishing spot.
  • Length overall (m) – 7.76
  • Length of hull (m) – 6.99
  • Beam maximum (m) – 2.85
  • Fuel Capacity (L) – 300
  • Water Capacity (L) – 80
  • Maximum number of people – 9
  • Maximum Load – People, Gear, Engine (kg) – 1235
The boat that adapts perfectly to your plans. Equipped for serious fishing, flexible enough for cruising fun.

Fishing?  No mention of draft?  What is this strange world we are entering?

All aboard!

So off we headed, Dad at the wheel, zipping along at over 30kn.  The time to get from Rhyll to Sandy Point was measured in minutes rather than hours.  This baby can fly! We dropped anchor metres from shore not having to worry about a keel.

She goes like the clappers - beats the hell out of Francis and Popeye!

Music blaring (we are power boaters after all), we lounged around the huge cockpit and ate lunch. It was great to be back on the water, we have been feeling very landbound. The wind picked up from the umm, who cares where the wind is coming from? Back we flew bouncing over the chop with a satisfying roar of the engine. 

The proud owners
The happy crew!

Not quite ready to hang up our own sailing boots, we understand how this works for Dad.  I reckon there is going to be a hell of a lot of fun had on this little baby!

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing... about in boats — or with boats. In or out of ’em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.


- Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows

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