Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brisbane to Gladstone

After some dreadful days weatherwise, Good Friday broke clear, blue and windless. Chris Dauth and his son Shaun had joined Dreamagic last night and after fuelling and watering we all went for pizza. Shaun is 14 and with two sisters I think he enjoyed a “Boys Night” out.

Rona and Robert Callway joined the boat at about seven and we motored across the bay to watch the start of the 2011 Brisbane to Gladstone. The fleet numbered 45 this year and were divided between some of the fastest yachts in Australia and some older cruisers that Dreamagic could have cleaned up. Very different from when we did it in 2009 and with the weather gods obviously asleep it was going to be a very pleasant, if slow trip up.

The fleet may have been 45, but the spectator fleet was hundreds. We kept a dutiful distance from the start, motor sailed over the line behind the last boat, set our sails and proceeded to climb up through the fleet.
Congestion at the start

South Passage: my favourite yacht
As the fleet rounded the first turning mark we carried on across the bay, sneaking through Skirmish point and following the coastline to Mooloolaba. I had expected to catch the leaders as they came back across the bay but the wind was so light that they were miles behind us. We motor sailed to Mooloolaba in perfect conditions, watching a beautiful sunset before arriving at the Wharf marina about 7.00pm. Chris's wife Evelyn and daughters Caitlin and Rosie joined us for pizza before retiring.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

WAGS 6th April. New Friends


Rona, Simon, Linda, Rob, Chris, me

Rona and I have spent the past week in Cairns to pick up my car and some boat bits. We drove down, arriving late Tuesday for the Wednesday WAGS.
A long time since Dreamagic did a sail change!
After the shocking weather we have been having I was hoping that the Gods would give us a break but the forecast was not looking good. What with being tired from the two day drive it was tempting to cancel but with crew on the way we took up our normal position at the bar.

The day was fantastic!!! The wind blew about 25 knots, and the rain stayed off. We rigged with the number 2 we had brought from Cairns and a reef in the main It was immediately apparent that was still overpowered so we furled to about half the jib. Simon Coxon, an old friend of Rona's  had joined us for the day. (Actually, that should probably read "A Friend of Long Standing." Simon is younger than me!) He has "done a bit of sailing" so I gave him the helm and Dreamagic surged around the course like a cut snake. The crew work was great and we finished somewhere in the first half of the fleet.

We had decided to party on Dreamagic rather than go back to the club so Rob, then Chris took turns to play guitar while we sang, supped wine and ate BBQ’d snags. Linda and Simon were in little shape to drive so the guest rooms were utilised, Chris Waldron and Rick stopped by later having flown in from Melbourne. A great day out.