Bat Wars ~ The Sequel

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….. ok, so it isn’t Star Wars but…. Bat Wars ~ the sequel picks up where the last post left off.IMG_5674

Our nightly invasion by winged ‘storm trooper’ bete noire continued unabated until a ‘secret weapon’ was built and deployed to assuage the invading hordes.

This all sounds a little grand until you realise that the ’secret weapon of mass distraction’ was actually a child’s science toy modified and placed in a tin bucket and hoisted to the battleground masthead. IMG_5713
The reasoning went something like this. Bats, poor eyesight but great hearing and radar…. sensitive to light.. perhaps, but would need lots of it to make any impression there. So, noise it is then. Something that could be set going and not need attention throughout the night but not so noisy as would also keep us awake. Then I hit on the idea of a child’s toy. A quick peek into the online catalog of K mart science toys, I found a possibility… an automated spider project…. it ran on AA batteries and looked like it would make plenty of noise. That afternoon I purchased the $10 toy and put it together then and there whilst enjoying a nice cup of coffee next door.
I might add that disappointingly I was getting no support from my best friend and partner Dini, ably assisted by co-conspiritor and co-scoffing fellow sailor Dave Halton.
This of course set my resolve to overcome their lack of faith and support for my new Bat Wars weapon even further.  That evening as bats filled the sky the new ‘secret weapon’ was readied and hoisted aloft. The effect was immediate. Bats suddenly aware of something whirring, scraping and clicking at this masthead became confused and were deflected in droves. No small amount of satisfaction was mine as my nearest and dearest had to eat their words…. the secret weapon was a great success.
Further versions of the new Bat Wars weapon saw wire scrapers replace the plastic arms of the mechanical spider to give an even nastier sound of metal on metal with a corresponding increase in effectiveness. By stays end the Bat Weapon was a tour de force, allowing Freespirit to keep what functionality remained in her masthead equipment intact. IMG_5668
Conditions for moving further up the coast were coming so we motored out of the Clyde River, once more negotiating the lifting bridge. A fascinating piece of engineering that allows the Princess Highway to span the Clyde whilst allowing tall masts to pass with ease. The damn things never look high enough though when you are the yacht passing beneath, however the passage went off without a hitch and we were once more back in the Bay proper.
IMG_5669Bats notwithstanding we on the whole enjoyed our stay at Batemans Bay and so we sadly parted company Sunday afternoon at 3pm, slipping our mooring lines and heading out to sea once more, destination Port Hacking. Throughout that evening and well into next morning we enjoyed champagne sailing under the stars. A steady 15-18 knot breeze allowing us to glide through the calm seas in comfort and speed. This was Dini’s first ever night sail and despite her initial nervousness, enjoyed it immensely. After a spectacular moon rise early next morning we unfortunately ran out of wind and our lovely sail become motorised. Good conditions prevailed however and we made Port Hacking easily that afternoon, Trufflehound joining us shortly thereafterIMG_5684
Next morning after a long restful sleep and breakfast, Dave, Dini and I went into Gunnamatta Bay on Freespirit. A beautiful day to be on the water, we glided by homes of the rich and famous to pick up a mooring not far from the dinghy dock ashore.IMG_5690
Shore time had been a little sparse of late so a good walk around the streets of Cronulla was called for amid doing some laundry and stopping for lunch at The Burger Co… without doubt the best burger I’ve ever eaten.  Topped up on a few fresh groceries and libations before dragging the whole lot back to Freespirit for a leisurely cruise back to Jibbon Beach for the evening.
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6 Responses to Bat Wars ~ The Sequel

  1. Sonja says:

    Congratulations to Dini on her first successful night sail. Your bat weapon sounds intriguing Col. Invention is the mother of necessity as they say Not long until you sail into Sydney heads now. Hope there’s some champagne on ice 🙂

  2. David Meikle says:

    Wow, nearly at the ancestral landing place! Sounds like all is going well. The spider was a stroke of genius!


    Sir David and Dame Dr Bronwyn

    • freespirit52 says:

      Yes! tomorrow we enter the Sydney Harbour Heads and start a whole new chapter in the Freespirits story.
      Thanks mate.
      The worst part of the BATtle steategy was getting up at 4am to put fresh batteries in the weapon!!

  3. Nick says:

    Well i have read your blog on my way in to work each evening and enjoyed it immensely. Someday I wish to sail around Australia myself. Also my father used to own a jarkan 10.5. I was driving over the Anzac bridge this morning and recognised freespirit. Welcome to Sydney.

    Happy sailing

    • freespirit52 says:

      Hi Nick,
      Thank you for welcoming us to your city and for being along for the ride.
      Hope to bring you another post soon when we experience what Broken Bay has to offer. Good luck in your future sailing adventures too. The Jarkans certainly are a great local boat, have seen quite a few here since arriving.

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