Kotuku took us on many little adventures around Darwin Harbour. During the dry season, we would have practice sails, well, I would. Every weekend was spent with the explicit purpose of practicing something. Most importantly, I needed to learn how to put up the sails and remember parts of the boat – port, starboard, running sheets, genoa, main sail – the list of parts to remember is never ending. Oh, I also had to learn how to tie knots. A very important skill when out on a yacht. Luckily my children all did scouts, so I had extra tuition at home. The clove hitch was easy. The bow line took a bit more practice and then some!
Kotuku taught me how to put the sails up and down, how to tack, how to reef and how to cheese the lines. It sounds like a lot of work, but it was so much fun. At the end of the day we would anchor off Fannie Bay to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets and enjoy a BBQ dinner.
On the long weekends, we sailed to Crab Claw island and Tapa Bay. That was about as far as we could go given the constraints of Kotuku, as we could only carry limited provisions.
We started to visualise what it would be like to sail further out and for longer periods of time. For that we would need a bigger boat with better facilities. That’s where the list started to take shape. A proper head, galley, less claustrophobic main cabin a boat that would take us to distant shores where we could be self sufficient for extended periods of time.
We decided on a plan, formed a budget then welcomed yachthub and boatsales onto our screen.