It was a mixed forecast that greeted the Hanse Owners setting out on the annual sail away to Port Stephens. With winds out of the west early Friday morning and a large swell predicted for the Friday evening some owners made the most of the conditions and headed up the coast during Friday, while others with prior commitments departed Friday evening for an overnight passage.
For some, this trip was their first taste of night time coastal sailing and by all reports the amazing bright orange moon on Friday night was a site to behold. The strong winds and large swells proved testing but as dawn approached with clear skies, warm spring temperatures and an abating breeze, all yachts headed in to berth safely at Anchorage Marina. The remainder of the day was spent kicking back and relaxing, enjoying the fine weather and first class facilities at Peppers Resort.
As the sun set the crew gathered at the “Captains Bar” for pre dinner drinks and then moved on for a 3 course meal. A happy, well fed but slightly tired group of owners retired for a well earned rest, while a hardy few continued to party the night away.
Peter Hrones, Managing Director of Windcraft Australia the Hanse Yacht importer, said “When we set up Hanse Downunder the idea was to gather a group of owners with a common love of sailing and enable them to get more pleasure from their yacht than just sailing alone. The spirit of community, or family, that I see at events like this and our annual owners rally brings a smile to my face”.
“Having come to Port Stephens for four years with Hanse Downunder, it is great to see the same regular faces joined by new owners of both new and second hand Hanse Yachts. We are now at the point where we have owners who have bought a pre loved Hanse, and join in these events, enjoying a benefit of yacht ownership that is like nothing they ever imagined,” he said.
“I’m passionate about sailing and have been since I was a child. It is a great pleasure to see so many owners here sharing that passion and experiencing the pleasure of owning a yacht,” said Hrones.
Sunday dawned overcast but warm and only a puff of gentle wind. As some owners departed for a day sail to Newcastle, others headed out to Broughton Island. In the calm waters on the north side of the island the owners had Providence Bay to themselves. Clear, calm and slightly cool water enticed a few to take a dip and swim ashore, while most sat back to take in the view accompanied by some fine food and wine. After having a large school of dolphins ride the bow wave on the trip back to the marina, it was a casual barbeque and drinks on the dock to finish off a relaxing day.
Monday saw most owners head off at dawn for the return trip to Sydney with a much calmer ride than the trip up the coast on Friday, and sightings of dolphins and whales were common. With all boats safely in their home port the trip is now but a memory, but it has fuelled the fire to travel further as owners ask “Where to next?”