Where do I start? What a lot has happened in the last few days! We’re down in Sydney now with Pink Lady sitting proudly in the water ready for the show . . . mostly. But I better start from the beginning. It’s a long story.
The last few days in the shed were both exhausting and pretty exciting. We may as well have been living out at the shed, basically arriving with the sun and leaving long after it had set. A particularly unforgettable moment was finally starting the engine. It was Friday afternoon with only hours before the truck arrived to take the boat away. So, when the Yanmar fired up first go a cheer went up around the shed.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, the crane and the truck arrived and carefully settled Pink Lady on to the truck for the trip down to Sydney. What a sight she made heading off down the highway, and what a strange feeling - relief and . . . Well I’m not sure how to describe it. Not that we exactly had time to sit down and think about it! After cleaning the shed and running around for the last odds and ends, it was time to scrub off the last remains of resin and paint for the ‘Bon Voyage’ dinner.
What a night it was! Recognizing everyone in all those fancy outfits made for a challenge. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen everyone without a layer of paint, resin and dust. Bill Woods set the scene. Then, between courses, Don McIntyre, James Castrission and Jesse Martin gave us all wonderful insights to adventure. I think everyone agreed that we could have listened to them for quite a lot longer! Announcing my boat's name and auctioning the memorabilia was exciting, and the night passed quickly in a daze of pictures and handshakes.
Thankfully, on Sunday morning we were able to sleep in before setting off to follow the truck down to Sydney. All went well until Monday morning when we arrived to find that the truck hadn’t made it without a bit of drama. The targa frame that we’d poured time and effort into had been damaged badly by a low cable, and on further examination was basically declared a write off. Seeing the targa in such a sorry state was hard for us all, but it was particularly hard for Phil who’d put most of the hard work in. It’s a bit of a setback, but on the upside it was a relief that the hull and mounting points weren’t damaged.
Luckily, Monday improved when Pink Lady was launched smoothly at Sydney City Marina. The Yanmar engine fired up smoothly again, and David Lambourne arrived to put the mast in. Now she is looking like a proper boat! There is still plenty to do, but having a rig is pretty cool.
After a few hours sleep at 11:30pm, it was time to motor across the harbor to join the stream of boats entering the show. And no, we weren’t up that late just to enjoy the city lights. We were up late because to enter the basin where the show is held the city monorail had to be dismantled, at night. The new tiller, prop and more powerful engine gave me something to think about while manoeuvring into our berth, but all went smoothly, and finally being on the water at the helm was pretty exciting.
Make sure you come along to the Sydney International Boat Show to say hi. I’m really looking forward to the show, and the atmosphere down on the water is already so exciting! You’ll be able to catch me in the Better Boating Lounge at 2pm every day.
See you there!