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SANDY POINT

Written on: Friday November 2nd, 2007

A journal entry from: The long flight away from home.

 

Hey Guys

Since my last update things have been pretty busy here in Melbourne. The last two weeks of school saw the completion of a few assignments as well as the sitting of the phase one real estate exam. Needless to say, it was a busy time with lots to do, therefore, my roommates and I organized a mini golf tournament and Halloween party to celebrate the end of classes. Although Halloween is on the 31st, we had our day on the 19th due to exams.  

We had great weather for the golf and we?re 10 people playing best ball teams of two for 18 holes. Fun was had by all, but my roommates Hanna and Johan came out as the victors. That evening we had people over for a Halloween party in the convent, which we decorated before hand (the convent is scary enough on its own but we decided to add a little more stuff and changed the light bulbs to red). All in all it was a great day and a good way to end the semester. 

Last Friday, Nov 2nd I joined Paul, a mate from the sailing club on a 4 night windsurfing road trip down to Sandy Point. Sandy Point is 2.5h south, south-east of Melbourne and is at the most southern point of the mainland. Unlike the rest of Australia, this area which is called ?Gipsland? is very green and receives plenty of rain. It is the dairy capital of the country and it is said that if this area ever becomes in drought, then the country is screwed. The scenery on the way down was very nice with gentle rolling farmland hills. 

We got to the place in which we would be saying as it was getting dark, it was a cozy 2 bedroom cottage with 4 bunks and a queen size bed. Little did we know, we would be up to 14 people at one point during the weekend all sleeping there. Luckily, a few people slept in their vans, and being one of the first to arrive I managed to get a bunk for the 4 nights. After a good bbq and a few drinks we hit the sack in anticipation for the following day.  

For those who don?t know, Sandy Point is home to the world?s best natural speed sailing course, and until recently it was home to the world record of a sailing craft for many years (this record was beat by a windsurfer using a man made trench in France two years ago). In Sandy, you sail on an ocean inlet which is about 500m wide and is banked by a sand bar on low tides on the one side and beach with rolling sand dunes on the other. Depending on the wind direction, one can blast a foot or two away from the beach or sand bar to get the maximum flat water, and hence maximum speed. Having always heard and read about this place when I was back home and always hearing people on the beach talk about it, I was really excited to finally get a chance to sail there, let alone see it.  

We were not expecting any wind until Sunday, however it seems that all the dreaming of wind during the night must have prompted the wind gods to give us a gift. The inlet was about a 3min drive from where we were staying and once arrived you drive along the beach and park along side the dunes (you have to park up closer to the dunes due to the incoming tides which have flooded numerous cars in the past). The weather was not the greatest, with low temperature and rainy overcast which resulted in frigid conditions. The wind wasn?t that strong so I rigged up my biggest sail (5.7m2) and got a good couple of hours in.  

One of the Melbourne windsurfing shops had organized some races and so on for all the windsurfers, however, not being a member of the state windsurfing organization I could not participate since insurance was needed. But this did not stop me from having a good time on the water. That night the store had organized a presentation night and bbq which had a good turn out. 

Sunday, brought along much better winds in the afternoon and for almost 3 hours I was fully powered on the 5.7 and it was a blast. The direction of the wind wasn?t ideal for speed, but I still borrowed Pauls GPS to see how fast I could get. 3 times I walked with my gear half a km up the beach to try and get a better angle and would then blast down wind aside the sand bar. My top speed was 25.9 knots (48km), I was pretty happy with this considering that I was using a freeride-wave board and a pure wave sail, compared to people with speed specific sails and boards.  

Although 25.9 kn is relatively slow, it was still an amazing feeling to blast along extremely flat water and feel the tension throughout your gear and your body and listening to the sound of the board skimming along the ripples of the water. 

It rained a lot throughout the weekend and many places in the surrounding area has severe flash flooding causing people to evacuate their homes. Luckily, it wasn?t that bad for us, but we did loose power for a day and half.  

Monday brought variable light winds and I didn?t not bother to rig up since most people were using sails 2m bigger then what I had. Instead, I walked along the beach and across the dunes to the open ocean and just took in the sights. It truly was a nice place. On Tuesdays the forecast was not looking that favorable so we ended up just making our way home after lunch. 

All in all it was an amazing time, and definitely one of the highlights of the year. It was great fun on the water and great fun at the cottage with all the guys. All the guys were very helpful and I learnt a lot of good tips. It was also good just to see so many people enjoying windsurfing (which in ?my? eyes is the best sport in the world). 

I now have one more exam in a few days, and will start studying for my phase two real estate exam which I will write on the 23rd. Mom and Dad will arrive on the 24th and on the 27th we will travel up to Cairns, and then down to Brisbane/Fraser Island, followed by further trip south to Sydney and area and then back to Melbourne to fly out. So time is really starting to fly and I plan on just trying to make the most of my last two weeks and half on my own and try to get out on the water as much as possible before having to sell my gear and just enjoy the city, the sights and the weather. 

This is most likely my last blog until I get home, so I hope you have all enjoyed them and I look forward to seeing everyone over Christmas and the New Year. 

Cheers, 

David W.