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A Day on La Rose

Posted in: Featured on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

It was one of those perfect Moreton Bay days, with clear blue skies, mild temperatures and just enough wind to make raising a sail worth the effort.

We weren’t going to waste it.

Our friend and neighbour John invited us out for a sail on his boat ‘La Rose’, a beautiful Nantucket. It didn’t feel great leaving Tygress in her berth but a day on the bay on any boat is not something you pass up, besides she had Fluffy for company.

The breeze didn’t pick up until after lunch so in the morning we motored out of the channel and turned the bow towards St Helena Island. Most liveaboards don’t own a boat built for speed, we own what are generally referred to as cruising yachts, slower but built for comfort. Built for the journey as much as the destination. So what followed was a very peaceful and delightfully slow trip past Green Island in the direction of St Helena.

 

The chart for the area we sailed.

The chart for the area we sailed. Green and St Helena Islands are up the top right corner and our home port is bottom middle.

 

Ben and I had never been so close to St Helena, it was exciting to watch the indistinct horizon form into sights we could clearly identify. Through binoculars and the camera lens we could make out the ruins on the island. For 60 years onwards from 1867 St Helena was the site of colonial Queensland’s major prison, although the last prisoner left in 1933 thanks to the islands national park status the ruins are still there to see and explore through guided tours.  We were happy enough sailing past and enjoying the view from a distance.

 

St Helena and it's prison ruins.

St Helena and it’s prison ruins.

 

Entranced by the view we almost ran out of water, so we turned around and headed for a lunch stop at Green Island. Safely and expertly anchored I offered to prepare a lunch of roast chook on bread rolls. Simple fare yes, but what a place to prepare it, at a table with 360 water views and almost complete quiet. We weren’t that far from shore but the silence, when jet ski’s or motorboats aren’t roaring past that is, is almost perfect.  We ate, we talked and we waited for the wind.

 

Green Island off the portside, we had it almost to ourselves.

Green Island off the portside, we had it almost to ourselves.

 

Not long after lunch it came, not much, but enough wind came for us to set out and raise the sails.  Most motor boat owners will never understand the joy of turning off the engine and moving under the silent power of sail. For them it’s all ‘powerrrr’ and speed. But for sailors, the power of the wind is ancient, it’s free and it speaks to their soul.

 

Not much wind but we weren't in a hurry

Not much wind but we weren’t in a hurry

We were probably going even slower than we were under power but we didn’t care, we had no where to be other than in the moment. We headed toward King Island talking about boats, enjoying patches of silence and then back to boats again. John has lived aboard for almost 15 years, he has owned a few different boats and has many stories to tell. He has the kind of salty mind that unsalted, inexperienced sailors like to pick through for any pearls of wisdom, experience and ‘what not to do’s’ that they can glean. And if you like boats then spending an afternoon on one, talking about them with a fellow boatie is heaven afloat.

To top off our wonderful day on the bay John popped over to our boat, after an extremely frantic tidy up, and we spent a few hours drinking and trawling through boatsales.com and yachthub.com for our next boat! Life is good!

 

Captain John of La Rose and me.

Captain John of La Rose and me.

 

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