• Heather Taylor

Weekend on the boat

I've just finished up 43 hours on the boat - Fri evening until this Sunday afternoon. It was really good to test everything out - sleeping, cooking, hygiene options, rowing after a poor night's sleep, experiencing a degree of seasickness on the choppy river. I set off as the sun was setting.

Waking up in Mosman Bay. Ok night’s sleep, probably a first night camping level of sleep. I rocked in the wind for the most of the morning. I thought the wind was starting to die down around 10 am. So after after a quick breakfast I thought it was safe enough to leave my mooring and head off.

I was very wrong. The wind (40-50 km/h) swiftly took the boat through the mooring and I ended up standing in the water next to a dock that was too high trying to keep the boat from hitting it and the rocks on the shore. The boat was dented by the dock :(. I was there for about 20 minutes thinking what on earth would I do. This boat came by and cheered me on until I was able to yell to them that I actually needed help! They kindly gave me a tow to a nearby mooring where I could wait out the wind in safety again.

I achieved low grade seasickness while waiting for the wind to die down on the new mooring. It was also a good learning experience of being at the mercy the weather conditions. I had had grand plans of rowing for hours which did not happen. A good test of patience.

My friend Andy swam out to visit in the early afternoon. We tested out the water maker before rowing back into the city centre together.

I drop Andy off at Queen Elizabeth jetty and then went to find a mooring for the night. The row back into the city ended up being about 3.5 hours as the winds were strong over the Meville Waters and we couldn't tell if we were actually making any ground. As a consequence I settled for a spot near South Perth rather than heading further up the river.

Camping in the middle of city centre on Saturday night was quite surreal. While I was cooking on a Jetboil camp stove, I could see and hear people out on the town for dinner and drinks.

During the night I got up a few times to check all the anchorage as I didn't feel as certain about the mooring line having connected it to the attached line rather than the mooring itself. The floaty of the mooring line had banged against the boat when I tried the mooring. But all was well. After a broken night's sleep, I had breakfast and headed back to the sailing club feeling pretty tired despite having done much less rowing than anticipated.

That said, it was overall a good weekend trialling out various things. Patchy sleep on a rocking boat and micro-correcting your movements, which I’m doing now still if I close my eyes. I've got few things to fix and a lot to organise. I think the key to this is creating so many small systems to make things easy to do when I'm tired. And I'm very much looking forward to getting out on the ocean as I've been told it's easier than the river as there's less to (almost) hit in the windy weather, and also a bit more private!