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3rd June 2020

Athena inaugural cruise in Sai Kung – David Walder

Earlier this year some close friends bought a beautiful brokerage Swan 53 called Athena, through Simpson Marine. With her new owners wanting to make her inaugural cruise a special one, the long Easter weekend was set aside. Together we planned a short sail and an overnight stay at Hong Kong’s Snake Bay, followed by sailing in tandem with friends on their Beneteau Oceanis 45, Wonderwall, to Double Haven (Yan Chau Tong) on day two. After overnighting in Double Haven, we planned to sail back to Hebe Haven Yacht Club/Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Shelter Cove.

As with all the best laid plans, the weather did not play ball and we arrived on Athena in a red rain storm. After sitting out the torrential rain in the comfort of Athena’s saloon, the weather cleared enough for us to set off for Snake Bay. We had a rather wet passage but our friends were thrilled to be out sailing their new yacht at last.

Miraculously, on dropping anchor in Snake Bay, the weather improved dramatically and the girls decided to take the dinghy ashore to explore the deserted village of Tai She Wan. They quickly returned to tell us about the sinister derelict buildings and spooky life-sized animal models of the village’s abandoned watersports holiday resort. Unsurprisingly, no one else was keen to go ashore, so after a delicious meal cooked on board Athena, we all called it a night.

The following day, after an early swim in Snake Bay, we headed out to sea to rendezvous with Wonderwall. We had the most glorious sail in perfect weather conditions, with lots of happy, smiling faces. Arriving into Double Haven, it is hard to believe that you are still in Hong Kong. Enclosed by three islands, it is peace and tranquillity personified – the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here the fun began with everyone swimming and relaxing on board the two boats. That evening, we all got together on board Athena for a celebratory barbecue, expertly cooked by her new owners.

The next day, we enjoyed a fabulous sail back to Sai Kung, which definitely cleared out the cobwebs! On our return, we all agreed that Double Haven is the most wonderful getaway spot, and we are so lucky to be able to go there without even leaving Hong Kong waters.

We wish Athena many more very happy and safe passages.

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