for a trip like that. No lifesaving gear, nor lifelines around the deck, no engine, nor navigation lights. If a ship was sighted in the distance at night, we would flash a torch onto the mainsail. At one stage in the hard blow, she began to leak, the pump stopped working and I had to lie on the floor and bale into a bucket with a cup because the narrow bilge didn’t allow anything wider.
The only drinking water we had was in several four gallon (18 litre) kerosene tins, which were empty by the time we arrived in Eden. No one would sell us water but Jock exchanged a carton or two of Cascade beer for enough to get us to Sydney.
The trip up the N.S.W. coast was delightful and on the last full night before arrival, we had our meal, I took the helm, the others turned in and I had the loveliest sail. The breeze was light and on shore, it was shorts weather and I sat, steered and kept an eye out for passing ships. Later in the night, the sky colour changed and this puzzled me, until I realised after it continued to brighten that it was dawn breaking. I had sailed right through the balmy night and time had totally disappeared from my mind. A few hours later we sailed into that wonderful Sydney Harbour, full of yachts, waterfront homes, beaches, ferries and everything exciting. I remember spending a few days living on the boat before I flew home to begin work the ‘Lass’.
Flying was the most remarkable experience for a 16 year old – the thrill of finding my way to the airport terminal in the City, then to the airport and boarding a giant plane (then a DC4), flying to Melbourne and changing to a DC3 for the flight across the strait. I think in those days every flight dropped down in Launceston.