Courage, quiet determination and a dose of sibling rivalry go a long way in perfecting their sport. These spirited young men know how to have fun out on the water!
A very brief history and a few short stories of our Esprit B/R O/B.
We purchased the boat from the original owners in January 2015, and she is stamped as a 2006 build.
Before the Esprit we used to race keelboats (Holland 25, Young 88, Farr 38) and went ocean racing a bit. And many many years ago as kids, we skied behind Streakers (5.85 cruiser and a 5.02).
Life changes and in the interest of safety around the kids, I decided to go back to skiing as two of our three boys are vision and hearing impaired, and rough weather yachting isn’t hugely safe for challenged kids. They both have a degenerative genetic condition and the obvious signs are hearing and vision impairment. Anyway, for skiing they whip off their hearing aids and glasses, pop them into a Tupperware container and get busy on the back! (not sure what is safer, nonetheless, we never have any shortage of fun). They certainly have no shortage of courage and quiet determination. Its interesting how they use tactile skills a their sense of feel on the water to ski. To watch them concentrating and negotiating the whole experience of being towed is quite humbling. Their ’step’ brother Thomas is new to skiing and isn’t the most confident skier but he is learning rapidly, going really well and the other two boys keep a bit of sibling rivalry going. Thomas loves three up shenanigans.
The boat has been to all the usual spots, from Mildura to Rye to Hazelwood Cooling pond and most spots in between. The usual haunts are at Lake Eildon at Goughs Bay or Jerusalem Creek if day tripping. Christmas is typically at Mansfield and down to Goughs to throw in. As I write this we are in East Gippsland planning a skiing holiday here, looks like a new secret spot…
What we love about our Esprit is the brilliant flexibility it offers. We ski in the Bay as we live over the road from it (and occasionally go up the river with food and drinks) but we mostly ski off the boat all day on the lake with 7 plus onboard. It handles chop, is amazing to ski behind and the kids love mucking around on their wakeboards in between. Bearing in mind none of us have or will ski at Moomba, the Esprit still provides such great accommodation, performance and most of all, flexibility for our boating with very, very few compromises.
One of our favourite trips was up to Mildura with our Tassie friends Andrew Morse, Claire and their youngest daughter Ellie. (They have a Shortline that gets around at the top of the Derwent, New Norfolk which is another beautiful secret spot) We chartered a houseboat for 8 days over Easter 2019 during the school holidays. Andrew, Claire and Ellie arrived from Tassie late in the afternoon and they jumped into Ange’s (my partner) car and we towed the green machine to Bendigo to break the trip-and it is a fair trip….When we got to Mildura the following day, it was pretty quiet and we just could believe how brilliant the conditions were. As we all know, when someone says how good somewhere is you think, yeah, I’m sure it is, and it’s probably embellished. Well it is actually every bit as good as people say!
Every morning the boys were up for dawn patrol before we finished and they jumped into the spa before breakfast. Isn’t that the best way to enjoy family holidays! The boys progressed their skiing so much in such a short time and best of all, to watch and see their sense of achievement and progressing their goals is fantastic. As always the boat performed flawlessly and we ran up a stack of hours-Andrew and I both had sore arms, backs, hamstrings by the end of the trip which is nice to say when you go for a family trip.
One of our funniest trips was a day trip to Jerusalem Creek once in mid November, just the kids and I. Andrew (son#2,) is as deaf as a post without his cochlear on or hearing aid in (and pretty blind too) and he fell off doing his own version of a world record attempt at 100 or so kneeboard 360’s (its his special thing). Well he fell off about 100 metres from the bank and floating in the water near him looked like a reed from off the bank or the shallows. It became pretty clear pretty quickly it wasn’t a reed but a snake. So Wes, who’s also vision and hearing impaired, yelled out to Andrew and I suggested that might be fruitless, to which we both giggled (as mentioned, Wes is also hearing and vision impaired). Anyway we grabbed him, scooped him up and he was emphatically reminding us ‘I haven’t finished yet Dad’ in a somewhat emotional state of confusion as to why his ‘world record’ attempt had been shortened so suddenly. We plugged his ears back in and told him why he had to stop for a bit before went to get his board and headed off elsewhere. That spot is now named ‘snakies’ and the boys laugh like mad whenever it comes up. The interesting thing was the day hadn’t heated up (10am) and the water wasn’t ‘summer’ warm yet, but the snake was still swimming…
No one has more fun than us!