I vividly remember the incident that triggered my "I don't like sail boats" phobia. They lean and this means they can tip! Dad's first boat was a Heron. When he first got it, he took me and my sister and my mum sailing with him on the Yallourn Storage Dam. We were all correctly bundled up in our life jackets. We got to the middle of the lake and we tipped over and he couldn't get the boat right side up again with all the sails up. We had to tread water in the middle of the lake till one of the ski boats from the local ski racing club came and rescued us. I can remember it was cold and I had a wool jumper on. The wool went all wet and squidgy and I was so heavy. Great first introduction to sailing! You can understand why I never warmed up to sailing with a start like that. Needless to say my Dad got much better at it.
Yet as I was sitting and watching the start of Sydney to Hobart Yacht race on Boxing Day following in Dad's family tradition, I realized that I do sort of miss it. Yachts are an inextricable part of my childhood. This is the first year we won't be going down to the caravan on the Gippsland Lakes in 30+ years. With my Dad gone and all of us getting older and at the stage where our kids have summer jobs, we weren't using it anymore. So Mum sold it a few months ago. Ends of eras are always sad.
The Bar-B-Jo was a plywood wooden built boat and looking a little shabby and the hull was starting to leak so in the winter of 1981, it got a total makeover. I remember my Dad and my uncle stripping it to the bare bones and rebuilding it in our driveway. It got a paint job too and the Blue Hartley is the yacht of my teenage years.
In the last couple of years of his life. Dad was looking for a new sailing challenge. So he bought and restored a Flying 15. This is a racing yacht with trapezes out the side. It only really got a chance to be sailed once after its restoration before Dad got too sick. He painted it red, 'cos red goes faster. He named this one the Will-Mark after his first two grandsons. In hindsight, I think this was his mid life crisis red sports car. My sister and her family inherited this one. She was always a much better sailor than me.
You may wonder, why I don't also have a phobia of woolen jumpers after the 'treading water in the lake in wet wool' incident. I worked hard to overcome this but the sound and feel of wet wool makes my teeth itch still. I can still appreciate a good wool jumper but avoid getting wet wearing them.
|Vintage 10983 Polo Ralph Lauren "Big Yacht" jumper from ResaleVintageCloset|