(The following is written by my secret guest writer, only to be known as ‘M’.)

Leave at 4am. Dark and windy. 20 knot southerly. We get out past West Head and turn into Bass Straight. A big swell and lumpy wind waves in the dark. Kinda fun as the little tri all reefed down tackled it easy and made me confident. Sun comes up like a big bald head not far before Cape Shanck. B goes below to sleep and I reef down to just the storm jib as the tri was going way too fast to be at the heads by high tide on the Rip Bank.

We settle into a beam reach climbing over a friendly swell as big as houses and an unfriendly jagged wind chop. Not a smooth ride at all. I decide to arrive an hour early and see how it is. The flood stream continues to go into the bay for 3 hours after high tide at the heads. I put up the mainsail and fanged it the rest of the way and got there a tad early but near the top of the tide. Point Nepean surf was going off and we sailed in close to get a look. It is nearly high tide and calm so we whip in on the flood stream. Some guys are surfing the point, so we go closer in for a look. B sleeps nearly the whole way leaving me to ponder the wilds of nature.

After getting down the bay a few miles we cross the shipping channel and go back thru the cut. I love our little nook next to the spy bridge. I go in a little too eager and hit the old metal wall. Eeeeck. More repairs to to… Go to a svelte garden guesthouse café. [Athelstane House – Ed.] A piss poor ploughmans lunch and some divine wine and I’m ready to crash. B goes into op shop mode and I trudge along. [He says ‘trudge’, I say ‘dragged’ – Ed.]

To celebrate our return we get 2 kilo of fresh mussels for dinner. I sleep and B makes the boat a palace. Dinner is divine. Sunset sees us beset by mozzies… it is a slaughter on both sides. The boat smeared with blood… theirs and ours. Delirious, we start throwing full jam jars at them.

On the boat at dusk