Vanity Easter Cruise 1914


In 1914 Vanity again went on a cruise around the east coast.

Hobart Mercury Saturday 2 May 1914



The following is from the log of the recent cruise of the Vanity :– We started for our Easter cruise at 10 p.m., Thursday 9th, with our commodore, Mr F. Darling (skipper), E. A. Brooke (first mate and pilot), C Colvin, E. F. Lord (A.B.’s) as crew, on a clear night, with light northerly. Off Possum Bay we put a couple of pegs in, as the breeze freshened and passed the Pot at 11.40. Were off Betsy’s at 12. 30 a.m., and sighted a yawl about half-mile astern (probably Killara). It came out hot and strong across Pipeclay, and one spiteful puff took Brooke and the table across the cabin. Shook out reefs off Sloper at 3a.m., and saw s.s. Koomela about two miles astern. Dropped pick alongside Pilgrim and Niree, off Dunally jetty, at5 a.m. with a clear sky, but barometer rather sulky.

When we turned out at 6.45 it was raining hard, with wind from S .W. Sailed through canal behind Pilgrim, which was in tow of Niree. Were outside Blackman’s at 8am, where we found hard S W to W squalls, and tore across Marion Bay at a great rate, breakfast being served under way, and began to overhaul Koomela. Off Cockle Bay had to lower away, put in two reefs, and set spitfire jib. Blowing great guns from W.S.W., but the little ship seemed to revel in it. Dinghy got pretty full, and E.A.B. had a nice job with the bailer. Crossing Spring Bay it came out a regular white drift, full of whirlies, and anybody who said nasty things about the one-designers would hate taken them back if he had seen the Vanity. Anchored in Grindstone Bay at noon for dinner, and started again at 3.30, but after another couple of hours dusting, put in behind Cape Bailey for the night. We soon caught our tea with a couple of lines, and turned in at 9 30, after a strenuous trip; glass rising slowly.

Got under way at7.15 Saturday, but still a double reef breeze, hard westerly, with clear sky. We got “What oh!” on the trip across to Coles Bay. When we went in with a big sea running and a lee shore, it did not look too good. However, “Breeskey’s” east coast knowledge at last led us to Picnic Bay, or Meredith’s Fishery, which is an ideal anchorage on the southern shore, as when we dropped in calm water at 10.30 the seas were running past not 20 yards away, and with two picks down and a line ashore we were very snug. At noon we had breakfast-cum-dinner, and then took our wet togs ashore to dry. A party from the Field Naturalists came over from Wineglass Bay, and we returned the visit, when Secretary Clive Lord entertained us at afternoon tea. Our genial secretary was also there. Left at 4.30 for the yacht, but Edgar stayed at the camp all night, presumably to study natural history! Hermione was at Wineglass, and Pilgrim came in at 5 p.m. After tea we ran the seine, and got some fine flounders, as well as a lot of crays, and our supper was such as is supposed to lead to bad dreams. The barometer was still in a bad temper.

Next morning at 6 a.m. we did a bit of pyjama drill at the warps, and went back to bunk. Had breakfast at midday, and cleaned ship when Lord returned. Mrs Commodore and friend came on board for afternoon tea. Just before this, Brooke and Colvin had a slight argument about Greco-Roman, or catch-as-can, and it ended in the former having a swim. We went back to Wineglass with the party, E.A.B., in his Marathon style, setting a hot pace over the hill. After tea and an hour with Zonophone, were in Blanket Bay at 10 p.m.

Had to turn out at 4 a.m. on Monday to shift warps, as wind veered round to S.W., and this was the fourth day of southerly stuff. There was a very heavy slop outside and little anchorage. Colvin and Lord went over to the Pollywoggers camp for some tucker, and returned at 3.15. Vice-commodore Tinning and crew came aboard for lunch, and left again at 4 p.m., under guidance of commodore, who knew the track from A to Z. The only difficulty was finding A to Z. At evening away back brought some meat for the camp which he expected to find at Coles, but as he could not get his old gee gee over the ridge the Vanity’s crew, casting name aside, humped those sheep over the hill, and got there at 6.15. They fitted pretty tight, but our friend Clive rose to the occasion and administered medicine suitable for that tired feeling. Stayed for the camp fire, and then went on board the Pilgrim.

On Tues-day we got a bit full of this everlasting southerly, and as Brooke had to get home, he walked over and joined the Koomela. The rest of us turned out at11 a.m., but did not get away till 5.30 p.m. Found an uncharted rock well off shore, but sustained no damage. Plugged away against a heavy slop till8 p.m., when we anchored just below Hagard Bay. Bar. rising, 30.16.

Wednesday. — On deck at 7 a.m. Bar.30.26. Breakfast under way. Heave, slop, with our old friend the sou’-wester. Off Schouten Passage 9 a.m. Passed close to Seal Island, 11.30. Wind veered round southerly, and were under the Parson and Clerk at 2.15 p.m. We were off Chinaman’s Bay at 5 p.m., and saw a peculiar storm to the eastward, about three miles away. It then came in hard S.E., and with eased sheets the yacht fairly romped over the rather heavy ground swell. Anchored inside the Spit at 7.30, and after tea tried the Flounder spears, without luck, and turned in.

At7 a.m. Thursday, there was no wind and an adverse tide, so we cleaned up ship and the crew removed their hirsute appendages. A light S.W. at 9.30 took us through the first cut, and then we were becalmed tor two hours. A little easterly took us to the canal, which we sailed through at 1 p.m., and rang up “Home, Sweet Home”. Started again at 2.30 and with spinnaker set, bowled along to Slopen Island, at 3.50 p.m. This was such a change that when the skipper saw the sun over the cross trees he forced (?) the crew to celebrate it with bended elbows. Carried spinnaker to Yellow Bluff, and rounded the Iron Pot at 5.50 p.m. with due eclat. The local Tommies put up in the limelight from the Battery, but we never blushed. Picked up moorings at 8 p.m., having had a fine nor’-easter from Dunalley. Thus ended our Easter trip, and we are all quite satisfied with the sea-going qualities of the O.D.’s, having had a fine cruise, and are now looking forward to the next.”

Within a few months of her relaxed, carefree cruise, the world was at war and many of the One Design owners were in battle.