Summer 2014 I Edition 21
CONTENTS is the official publication of
Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Sinbad Street, Shorncliffe QLD 4017 PO Box 399, Sandgate QLD 4017 P: 07 3269 4588 F: 07 3269 0818 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.qcyc.com.au
From My Desk
Gill Surf to City Yacht Race 2014
QCYC Sailing Club
Course of Action
QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone guide
Paradise. Karanja continued
Doing it 2013
Chasing the Sun
COMMODORE Phillip Lazzarini “Sassy” VICE COMMODORE Scott Murphy “Out of Orbit” TREASURER Lawrie Bingham COMPANY SECRETARY Glen Somerville DIRECTORS Darrell Price “Presto” Peter Watkins “Aelous”
Cover Picture: “Out of Orbit” prepares for the start of the Gill Surf to City Yacht Race by J Statham EDITOR/ADVERTISING - Mark Gordon Looking Glass Publications W: www.lgpub.com.au M: 0456 557 772 E: email@example.com ART/PRODUCTION - Sammy Gordon Looking Glass Publications W: www.lgpub.com.au M: 0497 645 550 E: firstname.lastname@example.org The opinions expresses by the authors and contributors of articles in Cruisin News are not necessarily those of Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Inc, nor does Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Inc guarantee the accuracy of statements made by contributors or advertisers or accept any responsibility for any product or statements made herein. Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Inc does not accept liability for advertising material published in Cruisin News which may contravene the Trade Practices Act. Other than for the purpose of review and subject to the Copyright Act, no part of this publication maybe reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher.
FROM MY DESK by Nigel Statham
Last month’s Gill Surf to City Yacht Race was my fifth year with the event and the forth as Race Director. One sailor told me after the race that it had been the best day of his life. Those of us with partners and children may find ourselves in hot water if we were caught making comments like that but, there was no doubt that this year’s race was a classic.
For those of you who were following the last Volvo Round the World Race, if someone have told you then that the boat you were watching pounding through the Southern Ocean on television would be lining up on the start line of our own little race just a year or so later you may well have laughed in their face.
International sporting federations are all faced with the problem of keeping contact with the grass-roots of their sport. On the one hand the ruling body may appear remote and disconnected, on the other clubs and sportsmen fail to engage fully with their national and international bodies.
It turned out to be true though. A twelve year old race record was well and truly beaten as a result and, given the depth restrictions in Moreton Bay, one might assume that the new record could stand for a while.
Sailing however has one advantage - the Olympics are not the unique pinnacle of our sport. The Olympics are increasingly orientated towards “stadium sports”, with formats that attract television audiences worldwide. Some sports have been transformed radically to meet these demands, archery being an example. There are forms of sailing that can meet these demands, and they will continue to thrive in the Olympics. As an aside, ISAF and IOC continue, inexplicably, to ignore team racing - by far the ultimate stadium sport in sailing! We are fortunate indeed to have other high profile events - equally unrepresentative of sailing as club sailors know it - that present other aspects of our sport including the America’s Cup and the major oceanic races in mono-hulls and multi-hulls. These events give sailing a far higher profile than it would achieve based on the type of sailing we “mere mortals” know and love. Meanwhile, there are the great events the winning of which we, the ordinary sailors, recognise for their true sporting value - would you rather win the Inshore or Offshore Surf to City race?
But what does that have to do with Elliot Sevens threading their way through the inshore channels, locked, as usual, in their good humoured battle of banter peppered with spurts of sailing or the WAGS sailors who are entering their first real race or the ever increasing offshore multihull fleet? This diversity in sailing is the great richness of our sport and it is the reason the Surf to City is great. Finding a balance between the different, and possibly contradictory, constraints and needs of the many versions of boat in the race will always require constant negotiation and compromise and perhaps, this was never truer than this years event.
Queensland Cruising Yacht Club is keen to support all types of watersports at the Club. If sailing isn’t your thing but you would like help or support setting up something within QCYC for fishing, kite boarding, canoeing or whatever is your passion, we are only too happy to help.
LEGENDS of BRISBANE TO GLADSTONE
PRE-RACE PARTY Live Music
Special Guest & Speaker,
SATURDAY 12TH APRIL FROM
Lucky door prize to view Ticket price includes the start of the race welcome drink from Lady Brisbane and canapés
Smart casual, Cash bar, No door sales
$30 Image: VidPicPro.com
COMMODORES REPORT Phillip Lazzarini
A big welcome to all members, especially our many new members, to our first Club magazine of 2014. Since I last reported to you, we have held the AGM, and welcomed the 2013/14 Board members of Lawrie Bingham, Peter Hackett, Scott Murphy, Glen Somerville and Peter Watkins, with myself remaining as Commodore. The Board is pleased to announce that subsequent to the AGM, we have appointed Darrell Price to a casual vacancy to assist us with the work load. Of primary concern for this year is the creation of a revitalized strategic and development plan to carry the Club forward. The first steps in this process are well underway with a large number of capital expenditure and management projects identified. Areas such as further Clubhouse enhancements, utilities upgrades, security and handstand improvements and developing additional income streams are all included at this stage. When complete, the new plan will ideally encompass these and other projects and a preferred completion date, based on revenue expectations and borrowing capacity. I look forward to sharing it with you in due course. One of our major events, the Gill Surf to City Yacht Race has just been completed for the 21st time and was one of the most successful races yet. The event saw over 85 competitors and a new monohull offshore race record being set by Peter Harburg’s magnificent new Volvo 70, Black Jack. The crew completed the course in under seven hours, a truly remarkable performance given that the wind over the course probably only averaged 10–12 knots. Congratulations and thanks to all competitors and crew who made this year’s race one to remember. Also many thanks to the Race sponsors Gill and Mostly Underwater, two sponsors who have
now supported QCYC for some years. On a personal note, I was very pleased to be one of four QCYC boats who contributed to the Club beating off all comers to win the team trophy for best performing Club for the second year running. Well done to Boss Racing, Coco Loco, Out of Orbit and of course, my own crew on Sassy! Also, a big, big thank you to the many volunteers who make this unique race possible. I counted approximately 15 who spent most of the day and night assisting our race manager, Nigel Statham. Southport Yacht Club also provided invaluable assistance to us by making their premises available for the race briefing, the start boats and start teams for both the inshore and offshore starts. Thanks go to all the staff at the Club and also the crews at Seaway Tower, Gold Coast Coast Guard, Victoria Point VMR and Marine Rescue Sandgate, all of whom play a pivotal role in the event’s success. It is not too long until the Brisbane to Gladstone is upon us. We are very proud and pleased to announce that QantasLink have for the fourth year running agreed to be the principle sponsor for the race. This support allows us to run a professional race, and provide other benefits to all club members. Many thanks QantasLink. Herb Prendergast, our race manager tells me we will have some big boats lining up for the start on Good Friday, the 18th April, including the famous Ragamuffin, whom I am sure many people will remember as one of the most popular dive and charter boats in the Whitsundays over recent times. Rags is making a comeback to racing and will I am sure revive some old memories for many of us. In closing, I invite all members to come down to the Club and experience the high standard of meals being provided by our Chef, Adam. You will not be disappointed. Don’t forget they also put together special packages for private functions for members. Hold your next birthday, wedding or divorce celebrations at QCYC. Until the next Cruisin News, safe and enjoyable boating.
21 Years and Still Brisbane’s Best
Adapted from press releases published by Peter Hackett and Nigel Statham
After a few too many weeks sitting around watching cricket, tennis, and even the Sydney Hobart race, it was time to start the year with the unique Gill Surf to City Yacht Race from Southport to Shorncliffe, Brisbane.
Occasionally the weather gods get it right, and they were certainly smiling on the 85 competing boats to the point that one competitor later commented that this had been the best day of his life!
Now in its 21st year, there is just nothing quite like this race, where you can choose the challenge of a reasonable size ocean race outside Stradbroke and Moreton Islands and back into Moreton Bay at night, or the challenge of racing through the gorgeous string of islands and channels inside the bay – in very close company!
As expected, Black Jack completed the ocean course and blasted across the finish line in an elapsed time under 7 hours to take a few hours off the race record and even beat the multihulls home. Thankfully their canting keel was up enough to not pick up any of the old crab pots and sunken sharpie keels around the fisheries beacon. They also claimed corrected time on IRC from Jessandra II.
In the Offshore fleet, the headline entry was Peter Harburg with the former 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race entrant Telefonica, which Spaniard Iker Martinez won the first three legs of the race with, but ultimately finished the VOR fourth overall. Shipping his new Black Jack to Australia in 2013, Harburg ordered modifications to bring the yacht up to Australian standards. Following a strong race in the recent Sydney to Hobart, Harburg and his long-term sailing master, Mark ‘Squark’ Bradford, were unquestionably aiming squarely at setting a new race record and finally toppling Bobsled’s record of 9 hours, 36 minutes and 45 second set in 2002.
Local hero Scott Murphy bought extra bags of lollies to get his young crew on the wings and win PHRF Division I also from Jessandra II in his home built gold rocket. The Queensland Cruising Yacht Club coup continued with Commodore Phil Lazzarini easily winning Division II ahead of Bad Habits. In the ocean multihulls course, Andrew Stransky just edged out Boss Racing with his continually dominating Fantasia in the lumpy conditions which suited his waterline length nicely.
There were plenty of traps for the unwary on the inside course with the tricky decision of when to put the kite up as the fleet entered the bay after tacking out of the Karagarra Island channel. A few sailbags came home with just luff tape in them, and a couple of boats also had to motor home with new low profile rigs. A well sailed little boat called Bruce ventured up from the Richmond River to give the hotshots a sailing lesson in Division 2. Their corrected time was 26 minutes ahead of line honours and Sports Boat winner Bad Grandpa.
Christopher Eldridge proved that there is plenty of speed still in his Compass Careel Alyth for a similar domination of the competitive Division 3 fleet from Best by Farr. Mad Max cracked the multihull line honours and PHRF easily this year from rapidly improving On Top sailed by Ian Jones and an imported high performance crew from the Sunshine Coast. The OMR was a narrow victory for Coco Loco and QCYC member Garry Scott sailing hard in the final hours to edge out Mad Max by only a couple of minutes.
Photos courtesy of N Statham, J Statham, VidPicPro, BlackJack Yachting, J Peng and H Predergast
Deagon Slipways REPAIRS - RESTORATION - MAINTENANCE
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Tel: 3269 6513 www.deagonslipways.com.au
The QCYC Sailing Club is a sub section of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club aimed at providing a genuine pathway for those that have learnt the basics and who are looking to gain confidence by sailing with a group of others either in their own boat or in one of the Club’s fleet. Guidance and encouragement, rather than detailed tuition is the format with safety and fun the priority. The QCYC Sailing Club meets on the first Saturday of each month and welcomes both budding and experienced sailors. The Club allows sailors to improve their skills through sailing with others and spending real time on the water. If you are looking for a formal training environment you should visit our Sailing School pages. During each session, rescue boat cover is continual and provides a major comfort for everyone, regardless of how much experience they have. As a QCYC Sailing Club member you have access to the fleet of Vagabonds, Corsairs and Lasers, as well as Sailing Club members’ personal boats including multi-hulls and mono-hulls. The structure of each session is very relaxed and decided based on the weather conditions on the day. For example, a couple of more experienced members could be out in the
Lasers, a few might be taking turns in a Vagabond while others are getting used to spinnakers in a Corsair or keelboat. What is important is simply to go sailing and gain the experience only hours on the water can bring. There will also be opportunities to get involved with the QCYC racing fleet. You can expect to experience most aspects of sailing vessels, with social, racing and “destination” sailing days planned in advance. Joining the QCYC Sailing Club is easy. You simply join the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club as a crew member (for adults) or junior member (for under 18’s) and then there is a simple, annual payment to get involved with the QCYC Sailing Club*. With twelve planned sessions a year plus other impromptu getogethers, getting involved with the QCYC Sailing Club works out at just $10 a month but if you are still not sure and want to join in with one of the sessions to see if it is for you, this can be arranged in advance for just $25 for the day. The QCYC Sailing Club is the ideal pathway for anyone who has completed a Yachting Australia Better Sailing course or has similar experience so, what are you waiting for, join today via the forms on our Club website.
COURSE OF ACTION
Adapted from an article by Kevin Green published edition 22 of Sails Magazine
Yachts wishing to enter the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race need to comply with Safey Regulations specified by Yachting Australia. These regulations specify that for this particular race as least thirty percent of the crew, including the skipper, shall have undertaken the YA Safety and Sea Survival Course (SSSC). Whilst most people initially view this as a an additional hassle in order to just go sailing, most agree after completing the course that it is one of the most worthwhile they have done. Having completed the SSSC course many years ago, Kevin Green signed up to do the course again and was surprised to find that a lot has changed over the years. Our first morning would be spent in the classroom, with the afternoon spent practice firing flares followed by pool work. The second day would be more theory followed by the dreaded exam. The first thing that struck me as we sat in the Adina Hotel in Surry Hills on the weekend morning of the course, was the significant differences from the original safety course material - that I’d swatted up on the night before - and the latest material handed out. The electronics and communications sections were markedly different. Course material comprised of a 50-page folder – the Australian Government Survival at Sea handbook - and I’d brought along my own copy of Yachting Australia’s Blue Book.
CLASSROOM SESSION The session opened with a reminder on how basic training could very possibly save lives. Then there was the example of the 1979 Fastnet race in the UK, which uncovered the need for basic survival training by competing crews. During the busy classroom session we covered a wide range of topics
including boat preparation, seamanship, heavy weather strategies, meteorology and the final topic of emergencies. Emergencies encompassed radio communications, flares, MOB procedures and abandonment. Of particular interest was the life jacket session. Lifejackets are the core of personal survival so finding out about the latest Australian standards (introduced in 2010) whereby buoyancy is now measured in Newtons (N) with 100N the minimum requirement for offshore and 150N the best, was a worthy update. This session covered and demonstrated the importance of maintenance, prompting me to have my Burke PFD serviced by the manufacturer - as seals can and do wear out over time. All and all it proved solid information for everyone, but especially for those who hadn’t completed higher certificates of competency such as Yachtmaster. The first aid component was particularly welcome because dealing with the knocks and concussions of everyday sailing is fairly common. But so is learning to identify a crewman with the onset of seasickness or hypothermia; I realised my Senior First Aid Certificate had also lapsed. Other facts learned included understanding the need to conserve warmth by not wasting energy and retaining heat in survival conditions: basic but possibly life-saving information. The theory part was mixed with real- life experiences of emergencies to illustrate the points. Such as the time an owner abandoned ship in panic upon finding the cabin sole awash, without first checking the cause. Sounds obvious, I know, but in emergency situations people can panic and lose rational thought. A central part of the course is instilling training to get the sailor over that panic hurdle.
FLARES ON THE WHARF Early afternoon saw us down at the wharf ready to deploy orange flares, a pyrotechnic colour used for guiding helicopters to your position. Despite modern electronics, flare usage remains an essential part of the course so actually practising firing them is very important. Again this was something never before done in emergencies by most students, so pulling the pin of the orange flare was exciting practice as the white hot tube glowed in our gloved hands. INTO THE POOL For the afternoon’s practical session we gathered at the pool and began donning all our cold weather gear. I took no chances and pulled on thermal underwear, trackies, a hiking shirt, woollen jersey, topped off by my Burke offshore gear and deck boots with ski socks. I made sure the seals on the gear were tight and then donned my PFD lifejacket. Like most offshore sailors I’d opted for a manually inflatable jacket as the automatic version can inadvertently activate when hit by large swells of water washing aboard at sea. Our instructor for the three- hour pool session briefed us and ensured everyone had correctly fitted their equipment. Most of the group were wearing their own PFDs. After the signal to activate our PFDs we made some adjustments with some inexperienced students missing crotch straps . Unlike my first SSSC course there was no jumping from heights, nor darkness or heavy-duty hosing, so I felt our group were getting off lightly. Nevertheless the 23 degree water soon had us all fairly chilled as we drifted around and when we were splashed I realised the importance of having a facemask integrated into your jacket. With only my woolly hat on, the hosed rain blinded me during our group huddle (to keep warm) so I couldn’t see a thing and was unable to prevent a colleague from drifting away. Among the important information that the instructor told us was nominating a number to everyone in the group and sticking to it when calling the roster at regular intervals. When the group dispersed to swim several lengths of the pool the dragging bulk of my
wet weather gear became apparent, but the real test of how incapacitating a fully clad sailor became was the inability of some in the group to simply climb out of the pool. Another interesting test was attempting to put on the PFD while in the water. My Burke jacket proved easily accessible and the stainless toggle belt simple to operate. Some other crew had push button locks which our instructor pointed out was not the ideal choice as it could inadvertently release. LlFERAFT DRILL Our weightiness in the water was again evident when we tried climbing into the life rafts that we’d launched. Chucking them into the pool to inflate and then self- righting them was easy enough but boarding was a challenge for most. The instructor said that larger crew members invariably had more trouble than smaller crew. Liferaft drill was the highlight of the course for many attending as they’d never used any before. Our groups used both types most likely to be encountered aboard vessels – the standard offshore model and the more highly specified international SOLAS model. As we huddled within the 10 man SOLAS model in pitch darkness with the sealed canopy being sprayed with water. I realised just how scary it would be if the inevitable capsize occurred out at sea. THE EXAM On the second day the classroom work revised the pool learning and more theory before we attempted the open book exam. The 45 multiple – choice questions in the exam were fairly challenging and finding the right answer was not always plain sailing, so I was very relieved I was told me I’d passed but, more importantly, I’d learnt a lot during this most valuable of courses that I’d strongly encourage all offshore sailors to attend.
If you are interested in a SSSC course https://www.marinetraining.com.au/ runs courses in Queensland.
Ullman Sails www.ullmansails.com
“We believe in helping people get MORE from their boats” 3/76 Andrew St Wynnum QLD 4178 Phone: 07 3348 7245 Mobile: 0409 057 689
When are you ready for cruising? Hang around boats long enough and eventually you will find someone who has been preparing to go long range cruising for years. They dream of the Whitsundays or Fiji, maybe Thailand or beyond. They continually upgrade their boat and it’s a credit to them sleek and cosy below, efficiently two -handed and hi-tech on deck. However, when they discuss their plans, there’s always a new piece of equipment they want and always a new savings target they need to reach before sailing away. “Next year maybe,” they say. “next year.” The sad truth is they may never depart. Their boat is in much better condition than many who have circumnavigated the world successfully, and if they gave up work right now they would still have more annual income than most cruising couples. Cruising on a sailing boat can be, by far, the most economical yet luxurious way of seeing the world up close and personal from your own floating home. Where else can you have a multimillion -dollar view at a fraction of the cost? How else could you pull up anchor and change the view if it no longer suits you? The danger is that lots of expensive gadgets hit the market every year, many of which tug at your ‘need’ to ensure safety or comfort at sea. Advertisements and commercials are brimming with suggestions that unless you have what they suggest you are risking your family or crew safety. “Is your GPS smart enough?” ... “The safety conscious skipper has a PLB for everyone on board” ... “This generator will change your life for the better” ... “This new chain counter for the anchor will
Adapted from an article published in the Oct 2013 edition of Sails Magazine
make your life easy” ... “No modern sailor should go to sea without an AlS on board.” How much should you believe? It’s true that only you can decide on what’s best for you, but the more gear you have, the more can break down, the more maintenance will be necessary. Your cruising adventure may be enhanced by less gear, not more. As far as technology is concerned, particularly for remote region sailing, less definitely is more. Having said that, if an AlS is within your budget, the ability to call a ship on a collision course by name - so that those on the bridge will be alerted to your call above the clatter of ship noise and radio chatter – is worth its weight in gold. However, common sense is actually more important and contributes to safety more than buying more gear. For instance, electronic charting certainly makes the life of the cruising sailor easier, but if you don’t carry paper charts on board and know how to use them you are risking plenty. Then there is the question of marinas. Many people flock to the perceived safety of marinas and moorings, all of which add significant cost to the adventure. Swinging on an anchor is blissful as long as your anchoring gear and techniques are up to scratch and you have learned how stop yearning for 240 volts. At anchor the breezes are better, the boat moves gracefully with the waves, the neighbours can’t bother you and the scenery is definitely superior. Even the ride in the dinghy can be an enchanting experience. All this means you can reserve your marina stays for when you have a real maintenance need.
Here are ten suggestions for enhancing pleasure in cruising and at the same time lowering the cost: 1. KEEP IT SIMPLE Start with a simple boat that you know how to fix yourself. The more gadgets, the more electricity, and the more fuel you will need, the more headaches you will have. As to the size of the boat, remember that the larger the boat, the greater the costs of replacing just about everything, the more you will pay in marina fees and the more difficulty you will have snuggling into small anchorages. The most important feature of a cruising boat is that it is strong and sturdy. A sleek, light, plastic fantastic might look great on the water on a Sunday afternoon, but could be tiring to sail when the wind is up and the way is long.
3. LEARN TO ANCHOR CONFIDENTLY Invest in a new generation anchor and learn how to use it properly. Think about 50 knots in an anchorage and prepare. A high wind in deep water at sea may be significantly easier to deal with than the same wind when close to a rocky shore. Investigate anchor buddies, snubbers and riding sails. Being happy at anchor in most conditions will allow you to avoid expensive marinas. 4. KEEP SAILING If you are cruising there is rarely a need to motor, so avoid it. You are on a sailing boat and wind is free. Waitout the calms if it’s feasible and safe to do so. Carry extra provisions in case you are becalmed and you won’t be tempted to start that engine . Row or sail your dinghy whenever possible - you’ll get exercise and save on expensive fuel.
2. LEARN TO FIX THINGS THAT BREAK OR DO WITHOUT When equipment breaks, and it always does, even on a very new boat, your options are to repair it, replace it, or do without. Make up a ‘minimum equipment list’ - a list of things you cannot do without – and carry multiple spares for all of them. Sourcing spares in remote places can be very expensive - if not impossible. You are better to carry more spares for the gear ou have than to get more gear. Carr service manuals for the rest and make sure you understand how to follow the instructions before you leave or, carry entire replacement pieces of equipment - a windlass, GPS or compass, for instance.
5. BE TIME FLEXIBLE To be safe, time should never be ‘of the essence’ when sailing. Never make agreements to meet in certain ports on certain days - you will either be venturing forth to make the deadline when conditions dictate against leaving, or arriving at the agreed point with too much time to spare. Remain easy going about your schedule and your ‘needs’ . 6. SHED POSSESSIONS The less stuff you have, the less money you spend, the less it costs to insure and the less you have to worry about. The one thing not to skimp on is tools. When they start cruising most people bring too much clothing and not enough tools.
7. GET TO KNOW THE LOCALS When cruising away from home, it’s easy to spend all your available social time in the easy camaraderie of other cruising sailors. Certainly do this but also take time to get to know the locals. No matter where you are, the locals will open a window into the local happenings and treat you to rewarding experiences . If they like you, they may also show you how better to get around in their world . This will not only be more pleasurable, but you may also find how to get the best local supplies marine parts, fuel and food - at the best prices.
10. LIVE NATURALLY. Leave your previous life pleasures behind. Find and discover enjoyment in your new lifestyle. Relish the simple pleasures of swimming, snorkelling, hiking, reading a book, watching the sunset, identifying stars, and fishing for the evening meal. And keep a bicycle onboard for when visiting ashore. Sailing away from your busy lifestyle can be the most amazing way to see other worlds while taking your home with you. You never have to unpack. You see everything slowly so you get to absorb it. The best times are the ones you didn’t plan for. The ones that create lasting unexpected memories because you just let life happen ,and it took you to places you didn’t even know existed. Those places in your heart are not usually bought with money.
8. TRY ALL REGIONAL FOODS It’s surprising how many people avoid foods they don’t know and pay more and more as they travel to obtain familiar meals. Part of the fun of sailing away from your known environment is experiencing the flavours of local vegetables and unusual foods. Purchasing local will always pleasantly reward you, and it will inevitably be less expensive. 9. DRINK WHAT THE LOCALS ARE DRINKING Think flexible. Your favourite red at home might be expensive once you sail away. Go with the local drinks. like beers and fresh fruit juices if you don’t like the wine. Cutting down your alcohol intake is sometimes one of the unrecognised rewards of living a less stressful lifestyle. Stock up in the places where alcohol is reasonably priced and at other times be prepared for new taste experiences.
starting vessel to draw attention to the traditional flag sequence which counts down the last five minutes before the race start. A further sound signal may indicate premature starts by individual yachts which must return and re-start. If the wind is from the south, southeast or southwest, the fleet will have a spinnaker run to the first mark off Redcliffe. If the wind is from the north the fleet will have to tack up the Harbour to the turning mark. This could see some close encounters between competing yachts as they cross tacks, some sailing right to the edge of the exclusion zone to gain a tactical advantage. STARTING VANTAGE POINTS
Viewing Guide The QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, the Queensland Cruising Yacht Clubâ€™s flagship event, will start at 11am on Good Friday from Moreton Bay for the 66th year. From the start, yachts proceed via a buoy off Redcliffe Point to the North West Channel up to Caloundra and through to Gladstone, a distance of approximately 308 nautical miles. Weather dependent, the first yachts can be entering the Harbour in Gladstone around 7.30am the following morning with the bulk of the fleet finishing late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Entrants in the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone race for the Courier Mail Cup, one of the oldest perpetual trophies in Australia that has been competed for on a continual basis. The current record for the fastest time to complete the course is held by Skandia [Grant Wharrington] in a time of twenty hours, twenty four minutes and fifty seconds set in 2004. As the countdown to the start begins, the QCYCâ€™s guns will be fired aboard the official
The sight of the fleet racing across Moreton Bay is a truly spectacular event to witness first hand. If you are on land head down to the Bluewater Festival at Shorncliffe or the Festival of Sails at Redcliffe. Later on in the day the boats race close into shore at Mooloolaba but it is hard to predict exactly when that will be unless you are an expert weather predictor with a crystal ball in you backpack. Whilst the views from shore are well worth the effort, the best seat in the house is on the water. Brisbane Cruises run trips out to see the start or you can really treat yourself and snap up one of the very limited tickets for the start boat itself. These are made available to Club members a week before the race and sell out in a matter of hours. ADVICE FOR SPECTATOR CRAFT The Moreton Bay exclusion zone comes into force some hours before the race start and covers the race course from the start up to and around the Recliffe turn. Around the start and turning marks a series of buoys and yachts carrying official flags help mark the zone whilst Water Police vessels patrol the spectator fleet ensuring everyone safety. A chart of the exclusion zone will be published on the race website, www. brisbanetogladstone.com.au closer to the event.
FOLLOWING THE RACE AFTER THE START
All competing yachts will display race flags from their backstays and race numbers on their bows. Please be sure to keep well away from any vessel displaying these.
All the free to air TV channels will have reports on the start of the race and news bullitens throughout the weekend. Radio stations such as 4BC and ABC will also be covering the race in greater detail but if you really want to get involved you need to head to the race website. The official race website www.brisbanetogladstone.com.au ranks in the top 4% worldwide over the Easter weekend and is your information portal for everything there is to know about the blue water classic. Included on the website is the complete list of yachts entered along with a photograph. There’s also archival data including results of the past 65 races. You’ll also be able to follow the event on twitter and via Facebook. YACHT TRACKER By far the most visited page of the website is the Yacht Tracker page, which allows viewers to track the entire fleet or a particular boat from start to finish. Yacht Tracker uses a specifically designed tool that calculates the predicted results for each and every boat in the fleet, so you can see how each boat is performing.
Images: Julie Geldard vidpicpro.com
Each yacht will be fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker that will obtain the yacht’s latitude, longitude, course over ground and speed over ground, and then transmit that position back to Yellowbrick HQ using the Iridium satellite network. Each yacht’s position is then visualised on the race map. In addition, the system also shows distance to the finish line and progressive corrected time positions under the IRC, ORCi and PHRS handicap divisions
PARADISE Karanja continued
By Fred Robb
The ship was on her northward run, so upon leaving Mombasa she headed due east out into the Indian Ocean, the next port of call being ‘Victoria’ in the Seychelles. The Seychelles are a group of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 1800 km east of Mombasa. The largest island, Mahé is approximately 27km long by 6km wide and mostly covered by ranges of hills. The main town on Mahé and capital of the island group is Victoria, situated on the north east corner of the island. It faces a large bay. It is in this bay, just off Victoria, that we drop the anchor. The bay itself is quite deep, requiring almost all of our fifteen shackles of cable, but we had to anchor as the port only had a small jetty, mainly for local fishing boats and local traders. As soon as the anchor hit the bottom, we were surrounded by an array of fishing boats and ‘bum boats’, trying to sell their wares. These vessels were followed more sedately by the Agents launch, Customs launch, and all manner of other relevant/ irrelevant officials and bribe seekers. There were usually quite a few spectator craft too, as our arrival was always a big event in the life of the islands. The two K’s were the only ships that called there on a frequent, regular basis. We brought much of their domestic requirements and loaded most of their exports; copra, palm
oil and cinnamon. Most people travelling to and from the islands, travelled with us, so we got to know quite a few of the locals. An hour or so after our arrival, boats would come out to pick up the passengers. A small tug would come out pulling barges/lighters and it would be onto these that we would unload and load any cargo, using our own derricks and gear. The ship had electric winches which was a definite bonus; much quieter and cleaner than the old steam ones and less of a ‘sauna’ for those remaining on board. In 1966 the Seychelles was a British Colony and had been so since the early 1800’s. One passenger we did carry whilst I was on board was the new Governor, his Excellency the Earl of Oxford and Asquith, and his family. He was a very nice bloke with whom I had a couple of chats once I got over my Pommy habit of bowing and forelock tugging. There was also an expat group of British civil servants and professionals stationed on the island and most of these also travelled on the two K’s for leaves, postings and repatriations. The locals were a very happy, carefree, colourful people; laid back, not a worry in the world and why should they have, living there. We would soon make new friends whenever we went ashore, the people would just come up and talk to you, invite you into their homes, feed you and be friends for life.
The girls, though initially shy, were like the rest of the Seychelloise, happy and friendly and most of us soon had girlfriends. I suspect, being brutally honest, one can suggest a small number of the young ladies would see us as providing a welcome opportunity to get away from the islands and they perceptively recognised us as ‘easy pickings‘. These girls were maybe influenced by the few magazines that came to the islands, showing a modern ‘western‘ and hugely more affluent life style over the seas. Why anyone would wish to leave the Seychelles is beyond me, but some of the girls succeeded through liaisons and probably led wonderful lives. The grass is always greener in these matters. Whilst I was on board there was a wedding between an officer and a Seychelloise; this instance was slightly different from the norm. Poppy was a well-educated and travelled girl and the couple had met when she travelled on the ship, returning home from South Africa. The wedding was a wonderful occasion and a day I will not forget. The officer concerned was Duggie De`ath, a Junior Electrician, who had fallen head over heels for Poppy. An engagement was announced and the wedding planned for the next trip. I believe Poppy’s Dad was in commerce, perhaps owning a couple of shops; he was certainly well known in the town. The wedding was held in the Catholic Cathedral in Victoria, the ceremony being performed by the Bishop of the Seychelles. It felt as if the whole island turned out. As many of us as possible went ashore to attend the festivities.
Victoria Town Centre
Poppy’s Wedding ‘Bure”
The reception was held at Poppy’s family home which was situated behind Victoria, at the edge of the town. The house had a bit of land and her father had built a large bamboo and palm thatched ‘bure’ in which the reception was to be held. There was a huge spit roast over an open fire in the courtyard and, for the first time in my life, I unwillingly witnessed chooks being killed for the pot. It was a mammoth spread and a wonderful party; the Seychellois certainly know how to enjoy themselves and they dragged us somewhat reticent Poms into the celebrations. We danced, drank and ate fit to burst and were all somewhat the worse for wear when we sadly had to leave and return to the ship in time for her departure at 1800 hrs. We were actually a tad late; the skipper was hanging over the bridge wing giving us dirty looks whilst the passengers leaned over the promenade deck rail to give us a cheer as we staggered and wobbled up the gangway. When we did manage to get ashore we had a couple of favourite haunts, the Beau Vallon Beach Hotel and the Hotel des Seychelles, the latter being our favourite. They were both situated on the north-west corner of the island, a two mile taxi ride over the central mountain range. Both hotels faced onto beautiful palm fringed white sandy beaches and looked out over the perfect azure sea. A native of the Seychelles, the Giant Turtle, could be seen wandering across the beach at the right time of the year. From a distance they looked like large boulders. It was a truly idyllic spot and we would just hang out in the beachside bar, wondering if life could get any better.
Doing It 2013
Trailable Trimarans Cruising the Curtis Coast Story By Phillipa Bolt It all started with an email from Bob Forster with his newsletter from “yesteryear” of “Doing It”. Some 21 years ago a group of Trailertri’s F720 set sail to see the Curtis Coast of Queensland. As a result of this early story, here started a “Doing It” now in 2013 with two Wavelength 780s and one ol’ Trailertri F720 setting sail to see the Curtis Coast of Queensland.
The Course: Urangan - Hervey Bay – Burrum Heads, Burnett Heads, Baffle Creek, Round Hill Head (Town of Seventeen Seventy), Lady Musgrave Island, Fitzroy Reef, Gladstone, The Oakes (Wavelength), Sea Hill Point (New Horizons & Aquilo One), Yellow Patch, Hummocky Island, Great Keppel Island, Keppel Bay Marina. This was an adventure I was so looking forward to in our Aquilo One. Off- shore sailing that we have never experienced, onto reefs that left you thinking at high tide -“what the heck are we doing out here with no land in sight!” We left Brisbane 9.30am Thursday 15th August 2013 with boat in tow and arrived at Hervey Bay at 2.00pm. New Horizons arrived an hour later. We rigged and launched, then motored to our berths for the night at the Hervey Bay Boat Club Marina. Wavelength arrived around 5.00pm joining us in the marina.
The Boats and Crew: Wavelength Skipper, boat designer and builder: Bob Forster. Crew: Bruce Forster, brother andTony Murray of F-24, F1eleven fame. New Horizons: Wavelength 780 (Wavelength no. 2) Skipper: Ted Kerr – Keen on racing! 2013 QCYC Winter Series Multihull Winner Crew: Neville McElroy, Sydney – future F22 racer to watch out for. Aquilo One:Farrier Trailertri F720 built 1984 Skipper: Little Jessica (a new beaut autopilot tiller steer) Crew: Allan and Phillipa Bolt – restorers of old.
Day one “Let’s get going” - as it was thirty five nautical miles to Burnett Heads and the wind was a SW/SE 5-10 knots. That was the plan - but somehow time got away from us all. Aquilo One was ready to go. Being the slowest boat in the fleet, we left at 10.00am. We decided that we would start and the others would catch up. We were about half way to Burnett Heads, spinnaker up with wind dying, when a radio call to the others found that they had only just left, being over two hours behind. With wind decreasing, the others would not make it to Burnett Heads, so that nights destination was changed to Burrum Heads. Aquilo One turned around and headed back on a nice beam reach, arriving before the others and anchoring in a beautiful spot near the public boat ramps. New Horizons was sighted with Wavelength behind sailing up to meet us.
left stranded, as I didn’t have the energy to jump back on board. The effort to collect me resulted in yet another grounding. The locals were having a field day watching, however, they were eager to help and yelled directions where the channel position was. Wavelength was next to arrive. With our radio contact to advise them of the situation, they were able to negotiate their way up the creek successfully. Day Two Woke to a lovely day and headed out with New Horizons to do a spot of fishing while we waited for Wavelength to pack up. At around 10.00 am we set sail for our next destination, Burnett Heads. The three boats were on their way. On Aquilo One, we threw a trolling line out the back. To my surprise a fish jumped on the line. It was quite exciting until it broke the line. The seas started to become choppy with a north-easterly blowing, making for many tacks to our target. It became a long, wet, cold and nauseous day, going into the night, arriving at 7.00 pm. New Horizons, still being in race mode, made it in daylight while Wavelength and Aquilo One arrived later, in the dark, trying to work out navigation lights into the river in rough conditions. I found it a little stressful! Not a happy person that night! Wavelength had booked a Marina berth while New Horizons and Aquilo One anchored in the Burnett Heads Boat Harbour at the river mouth. Day Three Up eager, determined to leave early - Had breakfast and radioed the fleet that we were leaving at 8.30am. It became another day of windward tacking, starting beautiful in the morning but becoming choppy towards afternoon, creating another wet, cold and nauseous day! We arrived after New Horizons at the Baffle Creek bar at 3.00 pm on an outgoing tide. The entrance was to the north of the creek mouth and hard to find at first. We dropped sail and gunned the motor through the bar and made it, only to end up on our first sandbank. With the outgoing tide, it was easy to motor off. A local fisherman came to our aid, pointing out the lie of the main channel. We headed towards New Horizons, who we could see in the distance, then realized they were ‘sand banked’. Too late, then we were also! So another effort by me in the water pushing Aquilo One off the bank - with Allan on the motor - only to be
That night we celebrated dinner on Wavelength with a long tailed tuna caught by Bob and Bruce while trolling earlier in the day. Bob prepared sashimi as an entrée, which I have never tasted before and could not believe how scrumptious it was. The BBQ was lit, almost needing the fire extinguisher, then a feast of tuna steak was enjoyed by all finishing with a red sitting under the stars.
Day Four We needed to get going as high tide was 7.55am and it was really flowing. New Horizons was first to leave, then Aquilo One and Wavelength just behind. We watched New Horizons make it over the bar safely. Aiming for the right position across the bar was a little tricky at high tide as it all looked safe until we came closer. On first sight the waves looked small, but once upon them they were much larger and so up and down like a yoyo we went. I stood on the bow to guide Allan and thought we were through until a little further ahead, waves were breaking. So with a quick hand point to the right, we missed. However, rising up on the crest of the next wave, I was staring down the other side to very shallow water and sand. I held my breath and hung on waiting for the crash but unbelievably we had enough water to get us through. That was scary! Wavelength was 30 mins behind us and made it through safely.
This day we decided to use the No. 1 jib instead of the genoa. We had North-East winds again so this jib could point us a little higher and save some distance, as well as steady the boat. Towards the afternoon, the wind grew stronger and the waves higher, so yet another wet day of twenty four nautical miles, taking six hours to arrive at 3.00pm at the town of Seventeen Seventy on Round Hill Creek. We motored in and saw New Horizons had already arrived and was ‘sand banked’ and then we managed to settle on one too. This was becoming a habit. It was not long before we were off with the incoming tide. We waited for Wavelength to choose where we should anchor. The decision was to anchor off the beach in front of the caravan park. This proved to be one of the best decisions of the trip as they had showers and laundry. WOW. I never thought I would drool over fresh, hot, soapy water.
Day Five Today, being a rest day, Allan and I walked up to Round Hill and viewed the sea. The cliff is spectacular and the view north to Bustard Head marvellous, with a sweeping beach all the way – glorious. The sand bank at low tide north of the entrance to Round Hill Creek is enormous when viewed from the lookout. Ted and Neville chose to motor upstream to do some fishing and had apparently got stuck, yet again, on a sand bank. They were happy fishing there for the day until they were able to float and motor back to our spot in front of the caravan park. After lunch I rowed the tender over to Wavelength to discuss tomorrow’s trip to Lady Musgrave Island. Forecast was SW/
SE 20-25 knots, decreasing 15-20 knots late morning, with 10-15 knots later going NE/ NW in the evening. We planned to leave tomorrow. At sunset, our group, with red wine in hand, formed a line on the beach to watch the sun disappear for another day. Spectacular. It also seemed a ritual for the people of the caravan park, as they also were perched on the sand to salute another wonderful day in paradise. A tasty meal of steak and vegies cooked on board, then off to bed for an early start, since it is thirty five nautical miles to Lady Musgrave Island.
Day Six Woke early to prepare for departure when Wavelength radioed that we should stay put today due to the weather really gusting offshore and wait for a better weather window, which was coming. So it was a day of all together having coffee at the local café and then a walk over to the beach and up to Round Hill Head. And of course the treat for the day, we get to have another shower.
the channel opening, as the outgoing tide was running at around five knots. It’s great having someone in front to test out the new destination and relaying conditions back to the fleet. It was a thrill pushing through the channel at 2 knots flat out looking at the glorious coloured coral surrounding us. Once within the lagoon, a millpond greeted us. After anchoring near New Horizons we could see Ted out with the rod and catching bream. Wavelength arrived and our flotilla of three were settled very comfortably. Day Seven The perfect day dawned for our crossing to the Lady, so Aquilo One was motoring out through the heads at 7-30am. New Horizons and Wavelength needed some supplies before starting, so would leave later.
I couldn’t resist a celebration on our first off shore trip, so made pancakes. With the surplus, I did a food drop to the others via the tender, and I believe were enjoyed immensely.
An incoming tide was still on the go with a bit of swell outside the heads so we sailed along nicely at 5 knots. We were approximately two nautical miles out when the wind dropped. However, once the mainland started to look smaller, the south-west wind picked up. We finally sited New Horizons and Wavelength departing the heads with approximately four nautical miles between us. Did a radio check and all was well. Quite a swell to start with but we’re sailing an average of five knots and for once, a dry boat on a beam reach with thirty-three nautical miles to go. This was the best sailing since the start of our trip with a good speed. However, there was a bitter cool wind so we put on our wet weather gear and PFD’s to keep warm. With about nine nautical miles to go, we still could not see Lady Musgrave until a wave took Aquilo One up high enough to see something on the horizon. I jumped up onto the cabin roof and could see land. It is so amazing that in rising one foot or so can reveal more on the horizon. Lady Musgrave started to form, wave after wave, bringing us closer and closer. A sudden greeting came from a porpoise flying past our hull and then off he went, disappearing into glistening water. Ted was way in front after passing us under his little yellow kite and was first into the lagoon. Wavelength was catching us up closer to Lady Musgrave. New Horizons radioed us to advise that we should down the sails and gun the motor to get through
Day Eight What a day. A bit of wind with a bit of rock last night at high tide but once the tide went out we were protected by the surrounding wall of coral and in a mill pond once again. We visited the island and enjoyed a walk on the beach and then through the island. Trees and ground are home to a variety of birds. A camping area is available with eco toilets. I felt a feeling of isolation and solitude on this island – peace. The lagoon had many other yachts and power boats anchored with the daily tourist boats visiting. The Wavelength crew had already walked the island and been for a snorkel and were on their way back as I began my snorkel with Allan rowing the tender close by. Ted and Neville, well you guessed it, they were fishing. This afternoon we enjoyed sun downers watching another great sunset. To be contined next issue....
Chasing the Sun By Nigel Statham
Phang Nga Bay, Thailand: N Statham
It’s a fact of life that not all those who dream of sailing are able to, or even want to, front up for a yacht of their own. Luckily, lack of a boat isn’t a land locked life sentence. As I found out first hand last year, chartering a yacht means we can all realise the most exotic sea dreams for a fraction of the price of a new yacht. Every destination has its own style and flavour. No corner of the globe is left out, whether cruising around the stunning islands and beaches of the Whitsundays, taking a Mediterranean getaway to historic coastal cities such as Dubrovnik or, as I did, exploring the magical islands of Thailand, sailing holidays provide a unique way in which to experience the culture and the beauty of the area. You can stop off at uninhabited islands along the way, explore quaint fishing villages, cruise by historic ruins or sail to majestic waterside towns all at your own pace and creative itinerary. And because these destinations are spread all over the world, there will always be somewhere where the conditions are just perfect at any time of the year.
Krabi, Thailand: N Statham
There is an exotic charm to the Asia Pacific, whether you’re cruising the beautiful waters of Thailand and Malaysia, or the South Pacific gems of Tahiti and Tonga, or even around the natural landscapes of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. Get away from busy city life and escape to swaying palms, coral lagoons, mountainous rain forests, shimmering turquoise seas and charming island villages. There’s no better way to explore them than by sailing! We chose Elite Yachting Phuket for our trip. A specialist in bare boat and crewed
yacht charters in the Andaman Sea, Elite Yachting operate one of Phuket’s premier charter fleets of sailing yachts, including both monohulls and catamarans. If you’re a keen sailor and prefer the traditional experience, you’re likely to go for a monohull, but if you’re passionate about the social experience of cruising, catamarans provide greater stability in the water and have greater indoor space so they may be just the yacht for you.
most arrivals landing onto a strip of fine white sand tucked deep into the long, U-shaped main bay, called Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. The other large bay, Ao Siam is a pretty place where lonely strolls in solitude are possible. Racha Noi is uninhabited and has no services or accommodation, but there’s some great diving in this area.
It’s no wonder that Phuket has become South-East Asia’s sailing and yachting centre. The weather is perfect for sailing, with the north-east wind season, from November to April, being fine and clear, and the southwest season, from May to October, bringing occasional rain between long sunny periods. The protected eastern side of Phuket is sheltered from rain and wind, allowing for gentle cruising all year round. Phuket’s waters provide one of the best cruising areas in South-East Asia. A typical eight day cruise would start in Phang Nga’s bay where the islands soar straight out of the water like beacons. Highlights include a visit to James Bond Island - the location for the film The man with the Golden Gun or the Sea Gypsy Village at Koh Panyi which is set on stilts over the water. Next sail to Krabi, one of the favourite destinations in the area. With long sandy beaches and plenty of restaurants, it is ideal for swimming and relaxing. For the more adventurous go to Railay Beach and try the rock climbing which is considered the best is South East Asia. Then it is on to Phi Phi Island where there is some of the best snorkelling. Go ashore amongst the many narrow streets where there are an abundance of shops selling souvenirs, fresh seafood, dive trips and many restaurants to choose from. In the North bay is a large amount of bars where the Thais do some of the best fire-dancing around. The next day, sail the short trip to the magical landscape of Maya Bay where the movie The Beach was partially filmed. Enjoy snorkelling with colourful coral reefs and under water life, best enjoyed in the late evening when the tour boats have gone home. Racha Islands are best known as excellent diving and snorkeling destinations. Racha Yai, reveals itself in splendid fashion, with
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Closer to home, The Whitsundays, a group of 74 islands and islets in the shelter of the Great Barrier Reef, is rated as one of the world’s most beautiful sailing grounds. In fact, Bareboating in the Whitsundays was voted as the Best Cruise or Yachting Experience in Australia at the Australian Traveller 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards. Golden sandy beaches, unparalleled fringing reefs, tropical fish and frequent sightings of dolphins and humpback whales are only a few of the marvels you are likely to experience. Cumberland Charter Yachts are an Australian Owned and Operated Company located in The Whitsundays. Their innovative website features clients access to their own charter centre so no boring paperwork! It also has a huge FAQ directory and sample itineraries such as this one:
On the first day of your trip, cruise across the glorious Whitsunday Passage to overnight at the fjord-like Nara Inlet. The next morning, have a dip in the waterfall, check out the Aboriginal drawings and then cruise down to Hook Island Observatory. For the afternoon, sail over to Cateran Bay where you could have a snorkel off the sandy beach and admire the unspoilt beauty of magnificent coral formations in their own environment. As the sun sets in the background its time to light the barbie and sit and enjoy your little piece of paradise. Next morning, another swim with the fish and then sail up to Butterfly Bay. Onto your fourth day and it is time for a great sail down the outside of Hook and Whitsunday Island. Go past magnificent Hill Inlet, see the view up to Whitsunday Peak and then be astounded by the sight of 5 kilometres of pure white sand. Whitehaven Beach is the epitome of the Whitsundays. Totally natural, unspoilt and picture perfect it really does have to be seen to be believed!!! Anchor at the southern end and either dinghy or swim ashore and just stroll along this natural wonderland.
Next it is through Solway Pass admiring the view of the Southern Group of Islands including Lindeman and Pentecost and into magnificent Hamilton Island Marina. Hop ashore, hire a buggy, buy up big at the Bakery, look over the Resort, enjoy a cocktail by the pool, then on with the glad rags for a night out on Hamilton. Day six and it is time to drop the fishing lines in Cid Harbour to see if you can hunt up some dinner and then enjoy the peace and tranquility as the sun sets and the water turns pink - reflecting the colour of the clouds. Up early the next day for the walk round to Dugong Inlet and the beautiful fern grove followed by an afternoon cruise over to Long Island where you enjoy some shore based hospitality, walk or enjoy the range of facilities. Last day, so on your way early to cruise up the scenic Molle Passage, passing Shute Harbour and Daydream, around Pioneer Point and home to Cumberlandâ€™s base at Abell Point Marina where you can regale the staff with tales of your holiday!!!! Courtesy of Elite Yachting
MEDITERRANEAN The possibilities offered by a Mediterranean sailing holiday are almost limitless. From the thousand islands of Croatia’s Adriatic Coast to the secluded anchorages of southern Turkey, the rich culture of Italy and the ancient history of Greece, it’s easy to find an ideal sailing experience in the Mediterranean. Highlights of your charter could include world –famous beaches, lively resorts, quiet fishing villages, secluded anchorages and tantalising cuisine. Options include itineraries in protected waters with short passages between stops or longer open-water crossings to remote islands and coastlines.
Courtesy of Elite Yachting
No formal qualifications are required for most yacht charters. When booking your trip the charter company ask you for a comprehensive resume of your boating experience with questions such as have you owned a vessel, have you chartered before, have you been in charge of a vessel overnight, do you understand the rules of the road at sea? Once you arrive they will then provide a thorough briefing on your boat. A typical briefing at Cumberland Charter Yachts will start just after 8am and run through the boat and area. The briefing will provide you with everything you need to know about the boat, AV system, navigator and running gear. Next, you will motor out of the marina and set a short course towards pioneer rocks and then spend some time going through anchoring procedures and completing the required radio checks and log ons. Finally turning into the wind, you hoist the sails for a short trip before dropping your guide off at Daydream Island.
If you don’t feel you have adequate experience, you can always choose to have a skipper on board who will take care of all the work for you. Hiring a skipper or sail guide is ideal for sailors who may not have enough confidence or sailing hours to take the helm and also for those who like to have plenty of time for swimming, snorkelling and simply chilling out with a book or a glass in hand. You’ll also be able to take advantage of your skipper’s ‘ insider knowledge of all the best places to visit, sheltered anchorages, and best restaurants in port! If you would like absolutely all of the work done for you, Elite Yachting can even provide you with a personal chef as well. For an added sense of peace, you could even sail in a flotilla with some companies. A flotilla is the ultimate in social sailing and the perfect balance between independence and unobtrusive support. In a group of up to 14 other yachts and headed up by a lead boat, you can sail from destination to destination, safe in the knowledge that help is close at hand should you need it. And don’t forget, every evening you can join other sailors in your flotilla and participate in evening meals. Yacht charters can seem expensive when you first look at the brochures but consider this; you are paying for far more than some accommodation, you are paying for an experience that goes way beyond some package holiday resort. And truth be told, chances are you will do far more sailing in that eight days than many Moreton Bay boats will in the whole year. Put it like that and the question becomes, when are you booking yours?
www.phuket-yachts.com or www.charter-yacht.com
Holiday Tales By Col Graham “SC Colandi” In September 2013, Diane and I visited Hong Kong and later Langkawi Island in Malaysia. Lured by good shopping and Asian food, Diane pestered my reluctance to go but later persuaded me with the idea to go sailing in Hong Kong and go to Langkawi or Phuket on the way back. So we wrote to the respective Yacht Clubs outlining our intentions and got some vague replies. To smooth the way our QCYC manager Nigel provide us with an introduction letters which helped us greatly especially entering the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC). Unfortunately the girls had their way and shopping was the priority and we were off to the Stanley markets; Star Ferry, Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and then speedy Bus. Next day, after a trip up the myriad of escalators, directed by ever helpful locals, to the lower Peak terminus and the a steep ride on the 125 year old Tram we found ourselves at the top of ‘The Peak Galleria’, a very modern commercialised sky terrace of shops, restaurants, and hotel. Back on the Harbour we set off to RHKYC. Flashing Nigel’s QCYC introduction letter got us through the main gate, passed all the luxury cars and into the Club grand entrance staffed by a very helpful day manager, Xanthia. RHKYC’s history goes back over 100 years and today is spread over 4 locations with 3 marinas and a rowing club. It’s no wonder RHKYS is referred to as The premier Yacht club of Asia.
All too soon our Hong Kong visit had ended and we caught the burner to Kuala Lumpur. We enjoyed the real Malaysian food when we found it and did all the normal tourist things. After a few days struggling in the chaotic traffic visiting the markets and fantastic shopping, we caught a hours flight north over Penang to Langkawi Island on the Malay-Thai border. We hired a small car for around $A20 a day. Fuel was only 63cents a litre and Langkawi is also a duty free site, no taxes and everything is inexpensive; a great haven for yachties.
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club is at the SE end of the island next to the massive Ferry Terminal in the main town of Kuah. There are 200 berths to a max length of 60 meters and features full sailing facilities. There is also two classy restaurants and a waterfall swimming pool with jacuzzi. We met Eva who, with her husband run BlueWater yacht charter. They had started out in the nineties from Europe, circumnavigating, and finished up in Langkawi. You can hire from a day boat, to a traditional Malay Perahu Pinisi, right up to a 3 masted Barquentine, a bit big for us! A 20 minute speed boat taxi ride took us to Rebak Island Resort which has 5 star accommodation and a protected 189 berth marina and a hard stand catering for 70 odd yachts with full refurbishing facilities. The chandlery, run by Aussie Noel Bradley, can get any marine item landed far cheaper than we pay in OZ. We chatted to an old salt who had sailed a Colin Archer ‘Gaffer’ from the US and was preparing to close up his boat and fly down to Australia and tour for 6 months saying Rebak was very safe and inexpensive to leave the yacht with the fellow cruisers looking after things. They even have their own ‘Hard Dock Cafe’. We were delighted to see at Rebak, SY PollenPath ,a 20 year old Herreshoff Ketch built in Martha’s Vineyard US, now with second owners and having covered 70 odd thousand sea miles and I believe a couple of circumnavigations. Someone said She was for sale, perhaps we should have tossed our airline tickets and had a leisurely sail home. We did manage to take a sundowner sail (motor) out on an old timber ex Sydney schooner called Tiki owned by owned by Ryoko and Jamie Scott, a delightful Japanese and Canadian couple who have taken up residence in Langkawi and run another successful charter business Crystal Yacht Holidays; well recommended. The Asian food onboard was sumptuous and we had a refreshing swim off the back of the yacht out amongst the steep limestone cliffed islands. Malaysia is lovely tropical paradise, with exceptionally polite and helpful people, and beautiful scenic sailing waters.
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Published on Feb 20, 2014