No title (1987, October 7). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), p. 14. Retrieved from

In 2013 I wrote about the launching of our little boat Titania in 1987.  She was a Sprite dinghy a  class first designed in 1934.

My mother, Greg and I launch our new dinghy.

Not long after the launching, Greg and my father, Rafe, took Titania for a sail on Lake Burley Griffin. The wind came up and they discovered what an unseaworthy little tub she was.

It was blowing a gale. Titania was reluctant to head into an 80 kph wind and, when she was forced to try, the tiller snapped. Rafe and Greg were blown downwind the length of the lake and shipwrecked on Aspen Island.

They were obliged to walk back to the car and trailer several kilometres away. In their absence a Canberra Times photographer took this dramatic picture.

When a neighbour casually mentioned the picture of a boat in the newspaper a few days later, Greg had a look at the image proofs. He remembered furling the sails carefully; in the photograph the sail is ‘whipping from side to side’.

The photographer had freed the jib and main to create a more lively and interesting picture.