Hello from Sydney

Sydney Harbour

Dear Friends and fellow club members,

Well, it has been 6 weeks since we arrived for our new life here in Sydney and much has happened. The weather has been variable to say the least, with a hot wet Christmas day and it then settled into what the met office says is the hottest January for 90 years. Didn’t seem too bad to us but there were a couple of days over 40 which didn’t last long as, when that happens, a southerly wind comes in to cool everything down.

If January was the hottest, February is starting out as the coldest and we have actually had the heating on and a duvet on the bed these past few days. People are accusing us of bringing English summer weather with us. Anyway it will warm up as it is still summer. Enough with the wevver.

I have started my sailing here, thanks to our fellow club member Pam Cassidy who is out here for a month or so. Pam introduced me to some of her friends at the Cruising Yacht Club ( which runs the Sydney-Hobart race and most of the offshore races here) and I had my first race two weeks ago on a Northshore 108, described on the website as a NORTHSHORE 108 (hotted up Northshore 369)

The new Northshore 108 is a 36 foot long racing yacht that is super quick around the course. Great twilighter and serious club racer. The concept is a simple fast, easy to handle racer with low maintenance user friendly interior. Great IRC racer.  Having been more used to the comforts of the LSC fleet it came as a bit of a shock, especially as I was expecting to have a leisurely sail and a couple of beers. This was serious Wednesday Racing (not as serious as Saturdays but enough for me) in 20 knot winds and it seems I acquitted myself well since they have asked me to come at anytime. Hope to go again tomorrow.

Also making, again through Pam, several other acquaintance with members of the CYC and my old club, the Middle Harbour Yacht Club so it looks as though I won’t be short of a sail here albeit mostly racing. I haven’t been to the club with which we have reciprocal rights yet (the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron) but I will get there.

We are currently ensconced in a spartan 1 bedroom furnished flat with the most amazing view (see photo) but it is in walking distance of ferries and shops and we are loving it. We have now bought a modern flat in Mosman,which Lale loves and will make into our home. It has a spare bedroom so if anyone comes to Sydney and needs a place to stay we will be happy to oblige. It is close to the city and right near the harbour. We hope to move in on 1st March.

The last copy of the LSC magazine arrived and made me nostalgic. I loved sailing with whoever would take me and the memories are strong. The  description of the October frostbite, my last rally with the club, was good and I was interested to read about the the London Frostbite Race and would have loved to join that. Keith's rally to the Frisian Islands sounds excellent and of course the Quentins cruise on the Lot will be memorable for those lucky enough to go. It was good to read Richard Keen's description of the cruise aboard Waverley, something I have always wanted to do, maybe on our next trip and Celia Mason's log of the transatlantic trip was very interesting. The LSC magazine is a good read.

Anyway, I will send you all a letter from time to time and perhaps, if I can, send an article for the magazine on sailing in Sydney and surrounding waters.

Pam has returned to the UK now and I can highly recommend her as an entertaining and excellent crew for any of you who have a berth free.

Richard Williamson, 15.02.2013 | More from Richard Williamson’s blog