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Afloat Magazine Article - "Don’t step on the brightwork"

posted Feb 3, 2021, 4:27 PM by Pat Grogan   [ updated Feb 4, 2021, 9:48 AM ]
In response to an article about Hugh Treharne in the November Afloat magazine , our resident JBCYC Historian, Peter Cowman, submitted and had published the following article in the Afloat magazine. Keep an eye out for it.

Hugh Treharne is certainly a man to admire. I had the good fortune to sail with him on two occasions and learnt much to confirm that he is a fine person and sailor.

In the mid 1990’s, Hugh began charter sailing adventures on his yacht, Bright Morning Star, a 51ft sloop he had built himself. Hugh was advertising coastal and ocean sailing voyages for paying crew and I signed on for one of the early trips; Southport to Middleton Reef to Lord Howe Island. On board was Hugh as owner/skipper; Bob Holmes as mate/cook; Hugh’s son and about six paying crew. 

We departed Southport early one morning with reefed sails and a 20kt southerly which stayed with us the entire trip. After 50 hours on starboard tack, we arrived at Middleton Reef and anchored in calm water just outside the reef. We spent the day swimming and fishing (until the sharks became too aggressive) and appreciating the lonely isolated seascape with the somber wreck of the Runic nearby.

At nightfall, we set sail south passing Elizabeth Reef in the night. Next day we slowly raised Lord Howe Island in the distance, but the light faded as we got closer. I was on the helm as we sailed towards the dark mass of the island with only one or two lights visible. 

Hugh, who had been watching the depth sounder and GPS at the chart table downstairs, came up on deck and studied the scene for a few minutes. It was very difficult to gauge distance in the blackness and we were sailing quite fast. (No chartplotter on that boat). Eventually, Hugh broke the silence: “Peter, you’ve got your foot on the varnish”. Well, what a relief, we don’t need the life jackets. “Oh yes, sorry Hugh”. 

Hugh passed on his sailing knowledge in coastal and ocean yachting to many sailors of varying ability, all of whom would have benefited from his skills and generous nature. The Complete Sailor; an accurate description. 

Peter Cowman
Nowra Ph: 
0419 XXX XXX