J/97E – Nigel, Caroline and girls

Hi Ray and Sandra,

Just a friendly update to let you know how Manana is going.

As you know we spent the first 2 weeks of our ownership with the boat at RPA, exploring Pittwater and up Cowan creek (yes, we agree that Smiths Creek is beautiful). After getting the engine serviced in Newport, Dad and I motored and sailed the boat to Port Stephens (with a stopover in Newcastle Harbour at the Newcastle Yacht Club).

We then spent the best part of 2 weeks living on the boat for the school holidays, exploring Port Stephens and being based at the Soldiers Point Marina. The kids had a great time living on the boat, getting rides in the dinghy (towing behind the boat), and making friends with the dolphins swimming around under their noses. And yes, the Easter Bunny was able to find the kids on the boat and deliver his payload.

We then brought the boat back to the lake, and tackled the infamous Swansea Channel dogleg. Mooring barge healed us over, Marine Rescue on station to help if needed.

All went fine, and the boat is now safely in its pen at the Lake Macquarie YC. We came into the lake last Friday week, and had our first race on the Sunday at our little local club (not LMYC). The local club is very casual, with family atmosphere. We sailed with the kids and a friend with his kids, giving them all turns to do various jobs etc. In the end we won the race easily against boats like a Masrm 920, Far 1104, Elan 43, and others. And that was also with a dirty bottom (hadn’t been cleaned since you had it done before we purchased).

So all in all, in the first month of ownership, we have sailed/motored the boat something like 300 nautical miles, we’ve put about 40hrs on the engine, we’ve slept about 16 nights on it, and won our only race so far by miles. I suspect this is more use than the boat has ever had, and I think she likes it!

We’re loving the boat.

Nigel and Caroline.