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Another Pleasant Reminiscence - Timtarri
Greg’s outstanding photos of Inma in Hill Inlet sent a flood of wonderful memories coursing through my addled brain as I recalled our family’s Whitsunday experience back in 1977. Of our 3 children, Tim was 8, Tarya had just turned 5 and Paul was 7 weeks old when we headed off, Timtarri in tow and a Sabot dinghy on the old Holden’s roof. Timtarri (#105) was the first of our four RL’s and we had such wonderful fun with her that she still holds a strong place in our memories. We had arranged to rendezvous with the late Archina and Geoff Olney (the RL24 Association’s first Life Members) and Scud (#35) at Airlie Beach which we duly did and then followed the most marvelous month’s sailing imaginable. The beginning, however, was not so auspicious. Arriving at Cannonvale, we could see Double Cone Island on the horizon and I thought, “Holy Dooley, have I got to sail my little family across an ocean to get there?” Sensing my acute discomfort, Geoff took us directly to the look-out above Shute Harbour and the relief was palpable. There, right at our feet, were the Islands of the Whitsunday Group and suddenly we felt we could handle it. Our confidence was rocked a bit a day or two later when, at anchor at Airlie Beach enjoying the sunshine, we saw Ken, Ruth and Pete Hackett sail round the point in full wet gear with Sasha heavily reefed in the main and with a tiny storm jib, an emphatic testament to the conditions prevailing at sea. However, with the encouraging support of Geoff and Arch. and the Hacketts, we soon learned to cope with the ever-present S/E Trades and the colossal tides. We had a wonderful time.

One particular highlight was our participation in the very first Whitsunday Fun Race. With only the family as crew, we were getting along quite nicely (in fact doing better than Ross normally does in races of any sort) with Sasha not far ahead and Peter Trigger’s Yogi Bear just astern. There weren’t many other T/Ys in the fleet – mostly big multi hulls and keel boats so we were feeling pretty good. Suddenly, Tim was overcome with sea sickness and went below to steer the Porta Potti. At the same time, Paul started bellowing for a feed so Jan also retired below to nurse her baby leaving 5 year old Tarya and her clutzy dad to run the ship. The situation was somewhat complicated by the fact that we were barreling down-wind at the time with the kite up and the end of the run looming fast. Not wishing to end up in New Zealand, I ran a line through Tarya’s life jacket and made it fast to a stern cleat. She then stood on the seat so she could see ahead and steered, following to the letter my instruction (prayer?) to “just follow Mr. Hackett.” Using feet, hands and teeth, I somehow managed to claw the spinnaker down and get the pole away before we reached the mark which we rounded despite Tarya screaming “Daddy, I can’t do marks”. She can! Did it magnificently, too, but to no avail as the long beat to the finish had us on our ear most of the way and we slipped back badly. But we weren’t last, we had a wonderful time and like all the other participating boats we received a most attractive metal medallion embossed in 5 colours. It has become a family treasure as has the memory of our Whitsunday Odyssey (with apologies to Homer).

Ross Corben1-Jul-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: Another Pleasant Reminiscence - Timtarri
Ross, I am a late starter as far as the WS go but learning fast. There is some envy by me when I hear about those old cruises before everything was developed.

I have lost count of how many sailors stop to chat with us when in berths or anchored, the common thread being they were now cruising on bigger yachts but started with their families on an RL24.

One guy stays in my memory, a very weathered gentleman at Hamilton Island had a couple of million dollars worth of 70 footer in a pen further down the berths, he kept stopping at INMA to chat about his RL many years ago, the hundreds of cruises he did with the kids in the 70s and 80s. I believe if I had offered we would have been casting off and out sailing on the RL and he would have been happy with that. He did comment he did more sailing in the old RL than with any yacht since.

When ever an old RL owner stops to chat they talk through a smile as they recall their best times sailing.

The RL24 seems very small compared to the keelers and cats up there but the RL works well enough for us.
Greg2-Jul-2009    Edit    Delete 
Never Short of a Friend with an RL.
I've discovered that almost 'every' sailor used to own a RL24. I've had some great advice and help from previous owners (and current ones). They certainly hold a place in the ex owners hearts. I recently completed a sail from Darwin to Bynoe harbour and return with some of those ex owners who are now on much larger yachts.

Here's Kermit with fellow Darwin sailors on the long weekend at Crab Claw Island.

Mike.
Mike Skinner2-Jul-2009    Edit    Delete 

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