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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '10, 23:18 
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Location: Loxton,Riverland, SA
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Hi all, well finally got something done. Not like I have much else to take my time away :roll:

6Th June Sunday.
Derek took Charmaine, son Joshua and I to Sanctuary Cove arrived around 09:30.
Met up with Catalina agent and organised 'Rocket' to bring up to Raby Bay Marina. Stopped at Fuel dock fuelled up and proceeded into the Coomera river and down to the Broadwater.
Motored most of the way as not much wind in the right direction etc. All was going well on a making tide so had some push up through the islands towards Jacobs Well. Near the branch off to port to head up to Jacobs Well I just happened to be looking at sounder. We were in the channel no problem there and all of a sudden I saw the bottom coming up rapidly. Backed off real quick and headed for the starboard marker more. Too late sounder showed 0. Lucky had dropped speed from about 6.5 knots to 2-3 and 'Rocket' gave a bump and we stopped. I was mystified as I have never had an issue here ever with boats that draw far more than the 1.42 this one did. Selected reverse to see what would happen and thankfully she came off. Poked the nose around gently and found channel again and off we went. Still mystified about that experience right in a channel (more on this later) Managed to get over the shallows OK near Jacobs well and proceeded on towards main channel and into the lower Moreton Bay area.
Once we got out of Main channel and near Redland Bay enough wind to have some fun and quiet sailing. Unfurled the main and the HUGE Genoa (150% easily) and headed up and out towards Peel Island. Gave son Joshua the helm as he had been pestering me all the way (as they do) had a great sail and went past Raby Bay before tacking back and into marina just on dusk. Moored her up aft in and secured then went home. We had parked Charmaines car down there as we left to go to Sanctuary Cove in the morning.

7th June Monday
There was an issue with the new freezer, so Simon arranged for the Brissy agent to come take a look. Met him down there around 08:30. He arranged for a fridgy tech to come down on Tuesday to solve the issue (so we thought)

8th June Tuesday
Fridgy tech arrived 10:30 and he went through the system. A small crack was found on the receiver/dryer cut that one out. Sweated new one in, vac the system down and charged with gas.
All appeared to be working now so all good. I did a few more little jobs required and decided to provision on Wednesday etc, for a Thursday morning departure (only a week or so late)

9th June Wednesday
Spent the day provisioning, getting my gear into the boat Hmm that bag a bit heavy!! Guess with safety gear and wet weather gear does not take long to have a heavy bag. All sorted by late arvo and Charmaine, Joshua and I decided Fish and Chips were the go and Joshua wanted to eat on the boat. Had a nice evening and I decided to stay on boat and Derek coming first thing in the morning and we off.

10Th June Thursday.
Awoke around 05:00 got everything sorted and ready to roll. Forecast did not sound great but we were going and that was that. Westerlies forecast at 15-20 increasing through the day to 25-30Kts. Decided a track from Raby Bay to Bribie island via Redcliffe the go, good wind and flat water close in. Derek was late arrived about 07:00, Charmaine called to see if we had gone yet. Joshua wanted to see us off so they came down. Got away at 08:30 only 2 hours later that intended. Never mind do what we can. Out into Moreton Bay to a beautiful start. Popped the sails and across we went tracking towards the channel between St Helena and Mud islands. Nice 15kts from the west/Sw nice reach with the occasional tighten up when breeze went into the West. Family watched so I was told later from Cleveland Point with lots of pics being taken and said it was just a wonderful sight under full sail on flatish water. Passed by Green Island, then St Helena to the Nth and down the channel sort of towards the Coffee Pots at main shipping channel into Brissy. Tracked East of these as could not be bothered tightening right up to follow that channel. Across the Bay we travelled getting a little further of the bay Coast. Wind started to increase and once we had a good 18kts 'Rocket' was trying to round us up. Furled/reefed Genoa that settled that down (Rocket is a masthead rig and found heady reef first worked best with it) The Genoa is huge at a good 150%. The wind increased to a good 25Kts with gusts to 30 so great day to get the feel of a boat I did not know ha-ha.
Leaving Cleveland
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Derek at helm
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This is getting interesting
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Anyway, was all a bit of a handful while I figured it out. Finally had heady well reefed and main on reef 1 and it was much better to handle. Across the Bay past Redcliffe and up the channel past Bribie Island and Pumicestone Passage jump over the shallow bit into Spitfire channel as we made our way Nth the wind started to back off. From about 10Nm from Mooloolaba it was down to about 5-7Kts and we were motoring. Pulled up and anchored in Mooloolaba Bay just West of the River entrance. Bay was like Glass so rather than the 2-3Nm up the river at the basin area we anchored there. Was great sitting in the cockpit with a few cans watching the sun go down, one of the few days we actually saw the sun. Distance covered approx 65Nm. Averaged 7.6Kts
Redcliffe
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Caloundra Starting to Glass out
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Mooloolaba bay
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11th June Friday,
We were up, had brekky and on our way before sunrise.
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Forecast today was for SE 20-25Kts seas increasing.
Goal today was to get across the Wide Bay Bar before the sea got up to much in the next day or so and settled somewhere in the Sandy Straits for the night. Not much breeze early so we were motor sailing with main up only, the swell had certainly picked up over night from the SE and the main helped keep the boat from rolling. SE piped up but not heaps around 15Kts and a bit from time to time.
This was the day we got our first of many Dolphin visits on the trip.
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Decided through the day to motor sail again for a while to be sure to make the bar on a good incoming tide. Arrived of Wide Bay around 15:00 very good time made. Had trouble picking up the first lead and was not 100% on way points (as chart plotter was removed at Raby Bay as not functioning for whatever reason?) Was using iPhone navionics as the back up (worked flawlessly) and paper charts.
Carlo Blow and Rainbow Beach
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Found our way across and the bar was not very heavy at all turned along the mad mile and that was a bit of rock and roll but nothing compared to other times I have been across. Decided we would just keep going and see where we get to. Once past the barges it was not worth having sails up, flat as a tack and no real breeze to talk about. Furled them both in and ended up at Garrys anchorage.
Another successful day with about 80Nm covered in total. Averaged 7.6Kts
Derek Chilling out after WBB crossing
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Garrys
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12th June Saturday
Left Garrys at around 07:00 after a nice cooked brekky. Forecast today, Se 20-30Kts seas increasing in Hervey Bay.
Motored for a while until past the shallow bump, the wind slowly increased as we moved up the Strait and once past Boonlye Pt shallows, we unfurled the sails and had some great sailing on flat water. We discussed our options as we were going to head to Rooney Pt Fraser island with the thought of maybe Lady Musgrave following day. Decided with the forecasts as they were that did not appeal to head out to LM. We decided to make Bundy the destination today. Out of the Straits and across Hervey Bay we went. Wind ever increasing but piped out at around 25Kts, but the seas where rather lumpy and confused in places. seen this all before in this part of the world and as we moved further North across towards Bundy the swell started to lift as well. Once far enough out in Hervey Bay the SE swell rolls around Breaksea Spit and just keeps coming. It was bit of a roller coaster with the wind dead behind. It was about now I was really wishing for a whisker pole. we experimented with Goose winged sails with a preventer on the main. We had about 10-15deg to play with in keeping wind in the main and not backwinding it and the Heady full. there was enough wind to stop heady collapsing with the swell, but as mentioned would have been even better and faster with a whisker pole. The 150% Genoa worked well when you got it right with good boat speeds. This was pretty well the day, dead running. spotted the runway lights of Bundy (Shipping Channel markers) just after sunset, we finally arrived in the river and anchored off the channel near the Yacht Club area at around 20:30hrs. Both pretty worn out always on the helm. Had some dinner a few drinks and off to sleep. Distance covered 78Nm. Averaged 8Kts.
Group of Sea Kayaks in Sandy Straits
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Sunset heading to Bundy'
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13th June Sunday
Pulled the pick at about 06:45. Forecast much the same SE 25-30Kts seas 2.5 with 2 metre swell.
Bundy Lighthouse
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Bundy Shipping lane runway
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Today destination was Pancake Creek just out of Gladstone. Initially wind around 15-20Kts and once again lots of dead running (where is that whisker pole? or better still small kite would have been cool)
It's tough but some has to do it
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Wing to wing dead running
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Wind increased through the morning to be pumping a good 30Kts+ We were reefed down on both Heady and Main to stay as comfortable as we could without fighting the boat and making good speed. This was the day all day long.
The gusts were reaching toward 33Kts and seas were a little bigger than predicted. Dead running even with strong wind is a rock and roll ride no matter what you do with only a heady and main sail.
We did try full heady at one stage just to see what it would do but it was not so nice to helm and not have the heady flog hard at times. so in it came to about 75%. We arrived Pancake and went inside to the inner anchorage and pick down by about 17:20 just on sunset. I was not feeling confident for whatever reason with the anchor. So kept a very good eye on it for a couple hours. The wind was belting through the anchorage at around 25Kts. It then happened, the anchor dragged and Rocket started to dance. First time I have ever dragged and there were a few boats around, but due to my gut feeling all was good. We lifted anchor and moved a bit North in the anchorage. Dropped the pick again and set it, let the chain sag down and the gave it all we had with full reverse, it took up and stopped us dead and now I felt far better. Turned out it was a good move to go were we did. A few drinks in the cockpit very well sheltered with dodger and Bimini as well as the zip in insert between the 2. We bedded down around 20:30 both rather worn. Distance covered 75Nm. Averaged 7Kts.
Mad Derek having a swim in Pancake
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14th June Monday
Up early checked forecast and it was not so nice. SE 25-35Kts big seas etc. The wind was already blowing 28Kts through the anchorage. Discussed it and I just was not that interested in sticking the nose outside in this and what was coming, so we stayed put. We were intending to stay anyway and have a look around, but we did not really want to try getting the new tender of the deck in this wind. So it stayed put too. Just kicked around having a read, a nice arvo nap which is always a luxury for me when I can get to do it. Watch a DVD, you know all those things you do when stuck somewhere.

15th June Tuesday
Up early before sunrise. Forecast same again as yesterday and already had 30Kts whistling through the anchorage, Nup bugger that lets stay again.
Just hung around doing what you do hanging around. We were not alone that was for sure, not one boat left.
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Late arvo heard a boat on the radio asking 1770 VMR for info on Pancake. I will keep the name out of this for reasons to come. 1770 could not give much info on depths etc. They
were trying to decide where to go, they had come up the outside of Fraser and basically had a mutiny to come in as the conditions were big and they had been going for 36 hrs. They were not a young crew onboard etc. I piped up on the radio as we were in Pancake and gave them the info they were looking for as were deciding on here or behind 1770 in the bay area.
I have been anchored in that 1770 Bay in similar conditions (remember Linsay?) and I told them they would not enjoy it. Roll from Gunwale to Gunwale and I don't me a gentle roll either. Guaranteed the boat will lay beam on to the swell being dragged around the point. Looks ok an a chart but not in these big SE conditions. anyway, that was that and went back into my day. By this time we had 30Kts and a bit more at times blasting through the anchorage. So glad we moved and got a great set on the pick, not once did we look like moving anywhere. the only issue we were having was wind against tide had the chain rubbing past Bow below SS rub plate. Tried everything with no great success to stop it and made a temp snubber and that helped a bit at least chain was not tight when it touched now. later at around 20:30, sitting down watching a DVD but had left VHF on. It crackled and it was the same boat as earlier in day, looking for help, the woman had a bit of panic in her voice. They were hitting bottom at Pancake and I thought what!!! - No way.
It turned out as could see their lights outside the entrance,they had completely missed the way in and were bumping on the first sandbar, if they came over that and did not get control, next stop was Jensen Rock on the next bar. I started to talk them through by getting them to keep pointing Nth and allow it to bump over as it sounded like it was doing. They did not have much choice really and lucky it was just sand. They did bump over and then motored back out, by this time a trawler that was anchored in the mouth of Pancake was online and I handed it to him as he had better visual and had them on radar as well. Finally they got in and that was the excitement for the night. Settled down watched end of DVD and into bed.

16th June Wednesday
Forecast SW 15-20Kts tending SE 20-25Kts.
We decided Ok lets give it a shot and hopefully they are close with the forecast. Brekky, get organised and pulled the pick around 06:40 and motored out, passing the heads at around 07:00.
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The boat from night before was gone and could see their sails, estimated about an hour or so in front. Popped the sails and enjoyed a bit of a leisurely sail on the SW wind around 12Kts. It slowly dropped out and we ended up motor sailing for a while, talk about opposites, blowing dogs off chains yesterday now this? Motor sailed for about an hour and the wind piped up from the SE at around 20Kts.
This is nice as we cruised past anchored ships offshore of Gladstone. Goal today was Great Keppel Island. Bit of a haul but we thought hey well rested lets do it!! As the day wore on the wind slowly increase - AGAIN and topped out around the 30Kts and a bit at times, Seas as lumpy as could be, at times sea was very confused. We were dead running again, man I'm over this rock and roll ride, just a bit better angle would be great with a bit of heel, but that would dd heaps to the distance and a long reach back in. As it was we got a beam of Great Keppel about 10Nm out and Gybed onto a reach with main and heady reffed down well, boat handled ok for a stubby, still a bit of a handful now with seas on the beam. We arrived Great Keppel Bay after dark, spent some anxious time looking for the white flashing light on the rocks in the middle there somewhere, with no luck in locating them. So hugged the point as we moved in and then came along the beach towards our decided spot. There were 2 others already there so that made it even easier to find with no moon at all, it was dark. Dropped the pick around 18:30 and settled down for some dinner and rest, Big day with the conditions. Was lucky could get one TV channel reasonably well and even Digital so got to watch the maroons smash the Blues. 95Nm covered. Averaged 8.2Kts.

17th June Thursday
After a rather rolly night we surfaced early. We discussed our options as we had encountered some issues yesterday with a not so nice sound coming from the steering, sounded like a gun going off and felt on the wheel. Along with this the rudder had developed a bit of a clunk and that was a bit of a worry. The crack sound happened when the rudder really loaded up at times, only occasionally but enough to be asking questions. We decide as my offsider Derek needed to do a bit of business if we could get him somewhere as no success obtaining his email via phone internet hookup for some reason? So we decided we would head into Rosslyn Bay Marina, he could do a bit of Business, I would checkout the steering (felt much better doing this there than out here, just in case and not being a system I knew) We could top up with Diesel not that we really had to there and then but as we had not had much sun so far on the trip and there was a freezer issue (would not freeze and was running lots) power draw was a bit high. Probably used more diesel charging batteries than anything else, motor sailing when we did no point wasting the fuel is there. Pulled the pick at about 05:30 and headed out the West of the Bay out and around the North of Miall Island. There was a passage through between this and Middle but best to be sure and it was a nice morning.
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We had about a lightish breeze from the SE at this stage and we enjoyed a nice ghosting sail across to Rosslyn Bay at around 3-5Kts at times to 6Kts and we were more than happy to enjoy the low speed, low seas while we could after the last few days. It was about 10Nm across to the Breakwater. Arrived at entrance around 07:30 dropped sails motored in and went to Fuel dock first.
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Refuelled with about 115-120 litres diesel. Man these places don't miss you do they, $173 lighter for that exercise.
Called the Marina on VHF and gained a berth on the new finger not that long ago built I suspect as i do not recall it being there last visit about 18Mths - 2 yr ago. As we left the fuel dock and idled around another boat was coming in and it was the one from Pancake Creek that had the drama. Let them pass by in front and they went down same lane and moored up, as we went past we said hello and let them know we were 'Rocket' the woman was very happy to meet up with us and we arranged to catch up later.
Moored up on finger and went up and sorted the fees out (very Reasonable @ only $40/night 12M berth) I went back to boat, Derek did what he wanted to do on the PC in office. Opened up hatch dropped in to have a look at this steering. Found one problem straight away, cables like sloppy spaghetti. Before doing anything though better see what I can find on how this system works, into back berth area and removed panel cover where cables come through. Expecting perhaps cable to chain and found cable right through and around 90 deg pulleys and disappear up the steering pedestal. Ok all good back and tightened the cables reasonably tight as not knowing specs did not want to over do it now did I.
Ok that one solved but did not explain rudder clunk.
Once Derek got back I asked him to play with helm and see what I could find. The rudder tube in fibreglass stem of hull was moving. Right fix that lets try tightening these SS locating bolts. Seems all good now. It was now about 09:00 and Derek said come on I'll takes us to Brekky at the cafe up there. Ok fair deal off we went.
This was were Paula from the other boat found us and had a good chat with us and thanked me so many times for having the radio on and doing what I did, I didn't do that much the trawler did more but all the same she was a happy camper. She told us they had the Marina loan car in the arvo and did we want to go into town, Ok cool we can do that.
Just kicked around and headed into Yeppoon around 12:30 did a bit of shopping and we all ended up at the Sailing club for a few drinks, Paula and hubby, Derek and myself. Headed back to marina around 14:30 as car was had for 2 hrs only. Hung out, met a few others and dinner onboard, early night into the sack.

18th June Friday
Up early, before sunrise and the Marina was blanketed in fog. Checked forecast but with this fog around I expected not much and that was what I got.
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Forecast for light and variable to 10Kts, No real seas to talk about. Left marina at 06:30 and motored North heading for Island Head Creek. The fog got thicker so switched on all available lights (Nav, Steaming) as one just never knows out here. No breeze at all, smooth seas and I mean smooth not something we were use to.
At about 08:30 we started to feel a bit of a breeze but nothing to write about.
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Fog lifted about 10:00 and the breeze did not do much 5-8Kts tops. Was to be a full day motoring and not even a sail brought out. Did not even need one to help steady any roll - there was not any. Derek sourced some brekky a full course of cooked brekky. Locked the helm and sat down to it, just keeping an eye on the compass with small corrections to keep us going the right way.
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Early arvo, Derek wanted a swim as we actually had sun today and it was very nice and warm. So offshore of Pearl Bay in he went. I just idled around for about 5-10 minutes while he enjoyed his dip and he climbed back onboard and off we went again.
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Lunch sorted and we just stopped the motor for a while and drifted while enjoying lunch. All a bit different to other days of Rock and Roll well enjoyed.
As we approached island Head Creek, we saw this big monstrous power cat coming out. As it came past the heads it was realised it was the large Police boat seen at Rosslyn Bay. All good should not be a problem. As they came out I watched them and said to Derek, they are interested in us, could just tell by the way they were heading. Sure enough they came over so said to Derek just throttle back to trolling mate, they will be wanting to speak with us I think. As they moved past our starboard side, they called up over the their PA system and advised they were coming past our stern to get reg number, no problem I thought just doing what they are there for. One of them onboard came out and moved down the steps to their bow within talking distance. Asked is that NSW rego. Yes was the reply it is actually a NSW Dealer Trade plate. All good no problem just asked a few more questions, as to who I was as in charge of boat, where from, where to and so on.
Derek called out and asked do you mind if he took some pics. No worries go for it. Then the PA crackled again and was told - "If you had any chicks onboard we be taking pics of you" at least they had a sense of humour. Bit more of a general chat and found out they go to sea a week at a time. I asked anything I need to know about going into Island Creek and they explained best way to go in but should not have any trouble at all. Then they were gone.
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So we proceeded past the heads and into Island Creek.
It is a huge expanse of water and it reminded me a bit of Broken Bay but more open. Headed up to the 2nd branch and dropped the pick. It was now about 15:30 and was a short day, but we happy to have called it quits after motoring all day. Cracked some coldies in the cockpit and watched the sun go down.
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19th June Saturday
Up and about earlyish, not as early as had been. Forecast for the day, it was all back again and I thought this is NUTS for this time of year. S-SE 25-30Kts Seas rising to 3 metres in open waters. We were determined that today we would make Percy Isles. Had some Brekky and pulled the pick about 07:30 and headed out of Island Creek, once clear of the Heads set a course direct for Percys as we had a slight S-Sw breeze at around 15-20Kts we had a good angle.
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As the morning wore on the wind clocked around towards the S-SSE and increased to 25Kts+, here we go again, reef it all down, wing to wing. Making good time and a fair ride but seas were building and rather quickly. We started surfing on the swells, but could not really hold them, but we were getting up around 11Kts boat speed. Derek managed at one stage to hit 11.8 so he was pretty happy about that and the control had with so much speed he liked, 'Rocket' became very responsive to the helm.
We arrived at Middle Percy around 15:45 and were anchored by 16:00 in as close as we could get to the beach and the Southern spit to try get out of as much swell dragging around the point as we could.
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Derek was off the boat in no time swimming to the beach for a quick look. I made sure everything was secure as could be as 'Rocket' was rolling beam on to swell. Typical never fails, get behind a point where there is swell dragging around and boats seem to always lay beam on. Derek swam back.
We decided to give it a go in getting tender off, no real wind this time but major roll so was not going to be easy. We used spare halyard and all went rather well but we had to do it quickly. All good no marks, damage and we had all our fingers, so that was a win. Dropped motor on to tender and grabbed cameras etc, and headed in for a look just before sunset. Sat in the A-Frame and Derek was spellbound with it all and the amount of memorabilia all over the place. sat at the table and discussed a few things including what we would do for the night as the boat was rolling heavy, this over a drink of course.
We were the only ones mad enough to be there by the way.
I suspected it would be not so good as the day wore on with the wind and swell we had encountered, but it was the one destination I wanted to get to and Derek was very keen after what he had heard of the A-frame etc.
We decided to go back to 'Rocket' double and triple check anchor set. Let out as much chain as we wanted, no others to worry about and unlikely there would be. Into tender and did it all, let out about 40 Metres chain (boat was only in 3 metres of water at low tide, this would be about 5 - 6 metres at high). That gave 6-7:1 scope at high and 13:1 at low. Checked set again with full reverse and 'Rocket' pulled up that hard I nearly ended up on my back. I'm happy she not going anywhere.
Flicked on the anchor light and the small LED light over table in Cockpit and Loaded dinner, and stuff into tender and headed for the beach. Pulled tender up high and into the A-Frame we went. Then on a bit of a scavenge for wood, stoked up a nice fire in the fire pit area at back of A-frame. Dropped the BBQ plate over and cooked up Steak, Mushrooms, Onions,Potato and so on. It was great to have a BBQ (Rocket was to have one fitted once in Airlie Beach) had a few good Bourbons and coke, great time had.
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We had decided we were sleeping in the A-Frame and Derek went upstairs to the 'Penthouse' overlooking the Bay and 'Rocket", I had the HUGE hammock downstairs and it is huge, I would call it a community hammock, reckon you would get a good 6 or more in that one.
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So we set everything up and then sat around the fire for hours enjoying the moment. Hit the sack (hmmmm not 100% sure but think around Midnight). Checked on 'Rocket' which was easy with anchor light and the small LED on and she had not moved an inch and high tide was just about on the turn so no problem with scope now. Woke up a few times through the night just to check and could see her from the hammock and Derek did same from up top and all was well.
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20th June Sunday
I was up just before sunrise and went for a walk to the lagoon entrance, took a few pics and grabbed some more dead wood and drift wood to take back to fireplace.
Rocket
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Lagoon entrance
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West bay beach
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Lovely morning and halfway back had to get the jacket off, it was much warmer than down south and not exposed to the wind that was going over the top. We had decided last night we would stay a day here and have a good look around.
We also thought well we here lets do a walk and see where we end up. Lovely cooked brekky on fire and BBQ plate after we went out to boat and got the food and checked 'Rocket' over. All was well. Rechecked location with anchor alarm on iPhone as well, nup had not moved at all. I didn't really think it would as we had plenty chain out, more than you would even onboard. She was rather protected with no great amount of wind hitting and the dragged around swell was beam on and not sharp, but enough to roll lots.
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Pulled the walking shoes on and off we went. Followed the trail we found that headed to the South and then East, we could not see the water but knew it was not far away. The growth is thick and rich with lots of rain forest areas. We saw many goats along the way and huge numbers of butterflies, it was like walking into a butterfly house but this was in the wild, they were everywhere. They were Black with the most iridescent Blue on their wings. We did see some of these at sea between Yeppoon and Island Creek on the no wind day and they just hung around the boat.
The walking track has numerous signs on it with quotes and the like. Placed there by Andy the Lease holder in 1964 and the one that built the A-Frame for the yachties. We came to Andys lookout on the Southside of the island with a magic view.
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We just kept going and entered another rainforest section. This is where we heard what sounded like a quad bike and sure enough it was. It was John and Kate heading back to the homestead for lunch and as they past they said see you at the top. We did get there it is a fair walk and challenging at times. We arrived about 12:30 at a guess.
They invited us in and we chatted over coffee and tea etc, for quite a while.
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Found out the Gov is trying to make a lot of the island a National park and want all the goats gone, and the rest of the island to be a conservation zone. All sorts of stuff happening. They even want the hammock removed from the A-Frame for safety reasons. What a joke, it has been there for ever and never been an issue. Bloody typical eh!!
This island is history and there are names in the old telegraph shed back into the 50s. Why O why can they just not leave some things alone!! They had since getting the island back after the lease legal wrangle re-roofed the A-Frame with help from Cruisers and people from Mackay. The materials were supplied and brought over on a barge for free. It will last another 50 years now.
We headed back to West Bay around 15:00 taking what is called the short track, best to take this one back as it is steep and challenging enough going down, coming up would be a real challenge. It is shorter and we got back rather quickly but it was as said mostly down hill until reaching the back of the Lagoon area.
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Met up with a couple who have been helping around the island, newly married and he has his keeler in the Lagoon on the pier which dries the boat out and it sits on it's keel. they are living in what is called the tree house while they are there. They will be doing the 'honeymoon' in a while by going cruising. How good is that!!
On returning to the A-Frame we grabbed the tender and went out to the boat.
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Things had really settled down and no bad roll. We grabbed some food and took back to the Firepit to cook up dinner over the fire again after collecting some more fire wood from over the hill. As you can imagine not a lot within easy distance of the A-frame, wonder why that would be!!
While there put our marks in place along with the many others.
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We decide as it had settled so much we would pack up and go back to 'Rocket' for the night and leave early morning for Scawfell Island. Left the A-Frame about 20:00 and settled down for the night on the boat. Wish we hadn't!! About 02:00 she started the rock and roll again.

21st June Monday
I lasted to about 04:00 and had enough of being tossed in the berth so got up and made a coffee or 2 and tidied up for departure. Left Derek as he was sleeping (sort of) at one stage he called out what time is it, it was about 04:30 and said shall we get out of here. I said yep lets go, but did not see him.
Left it till about 05:45 and woke him again and said lets go. Pulled the pick after more coffee and something to eat about 07:00. Could see it was not great out there as the sun rose, had no forecast at this stage but we decided it was what it is and we going.
Got away from the island and raised the main only as a start with at least a 1.5 reef (in mast furling so can set anywhere) there was one other boat in there that came in around 22:00 last night looked like a Crowther cat. We motored a bit more to charge batteries and then shut it down. With reefed main we were already doing 6Kts and we had 25Kts+ SE wind. We popped the heady to about 75% and now doing 8Kts. Then seas were building up to a good 4 metres and as the morning moved on so did the wind.
Photos do not do it justice
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We were dead running again wing to wing with preventer on main. The wind was now up to a good constant 30Kts we holding nearly 9Kts with surfing 4 metres into the high 11s. The record for the day was set with me at the helm at 12.8Kts surfing and held that wave for quite a bit. The wind was puffing into the low 30s, but I did see more than once it touching 38Kts(True) man it was getting rugged out here.
The currents and swell in some places was causing a very confused sea state. Every now and then we got a rouge wave come into us on the beam and kick the boat way across to the West, Heady would collapse quite a bit, then it was a task to slowly ease back and fill it again without snapping it out hard with a crack, don't want to flog the new sails now do we. This went on all day, we were doing 30 minute shifts at the helm to relieve fatigue. The wind shifted to the South and we had to bear up further to the North than we wanted, but could not really do much else, to crack on to go West a bit would have added many, many miles to our day. We got slightly North East of Scawfell and then gybe onto a reach, now the fun begins. We had to reef the heady down further as it was constantly rounding us up, the steering started it's cracking sound again, Hmmm not good but was sure after seeing it all that it would not stop working. Now we had beam on swell and that was sort of better with the boat on a heel, but still a wild ride. We were now towing the Tender with the motor off on double ropes one to each side of the stern. Boy was that having some fun back there but it did tow well. Now considering it was out there and the speeds we were doing, wonder what could have been not loosing speed with it being towed - maybe could have made 13s.
Scawfell was growing and we were working hard putting up a good fight. Out of nowhere we got buzzed by an aircraft, had a quick look and guess who I saw - Coastwatch!! had a feeling they would be calling us on the VHF but decided just too bloody busy to worry about that now. We finally arrived at Scawfell Island around 15:00 and very glad to be there. Mind you the Bullets coming down over the island into the bay anchorage were very big, 30-35Kts at times and 'Rocket' would heel at times if beam on to them. Felt secure anchor well set we all good.
At around 16:45 saw a cat coming in and it was same that was at Percys. Once anchored he dropped over in his Tender, Warren was his name and he had come up from Sydney heading for Cairns. He told us he had been getting smashed all the way and spent 4 days in Pt Stephens due to weather. Blew out his good screacher sail and lost his $4K headsail overboard one night of foredeck with a silly mistake and it was gone in an instant. He was on his own.
He came over as he wanted to check if we were the same that left that morning and of course we were. He said man this must be a quick boat as he had left about 3 hours after us and his goal for the day was to catch us. He said he did not even see us. He stayed had a beer with us (and was happy about that as he was out of them) and he said did you not hear Coastwatch calling you. Nup didn't was the reply bit of bad luck about that. We do not have external speaker and there was plenty noise out there today. Dinner and called it quits about 20:30. Hard day 75Nm, averaged 9.3Kts

22nd June Tuesday
Heavy Night, bullets all night 20-30Kts with rain. Smooth enough just lots of noise and boat shutter at times. Got up about 06:30. Brekky and we discussed the day, we decided we sort of over pushing it in this stuff, so decided a short hop today and probably from now on unless the weather greatly improved. Goldsmith Island was set as the destination, approx 35 odd Nm to the Nth West. Pulled the pick around 09:00 with light rain. Heavy reefed with 20-30Kts SE and very sloppy seas, on a 2 metre swell, we are now behind the reef so what it was outside is anyones guess, but reckon it would have been rather big.
Leaving Scawfell
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About 30 minutes after leaving we were overflown again by Coast watch. I went below as was sure the call would come and it did. Chatted with them and gave details requested on VHF73. Notified them sorry for not answering the day before but did not hear them and sort of had our hands full at the time. No problem I was told, they could see we rather busy having a hard time of it. All good and they went on there way.
We arrived Goldsmith approx 14:30 and anchored Western end of Island opposite Farrier island, nice spot to have your house and there is a private house on farrier Island.
Nice place to call home
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Anchored up in about 6 metres of water as knew there was Fringing reef around, even though it was bit overcast and reef can be hard to see in this light, the charts said so and I believed them.
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Water very flat but still getting Bullets, not uncommon by the way for this area.
Nothing special done, just chilled out with Bourbon and watched sun set and then a movie.
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Nice to have done a short hop, other than the short one from Keppel to Rosslyn Bay this was the shortest one we had done and considering the conditions I was quite happy to have only covered 35Nm. We had been pretty well tested all the way up so far. Averaged around 6.5-7Kts heavy reefed.

23rd June Wednesday
Another wild night with bullets, not as bad as it was at Scawfell. 20-25Kt bullets only here. Still lots of noise, shutters and the occasional heel when they came from beam on. Once again brekky, coffee and the like. Discussed where to today. Do we just go for Airlie?
Decide no not yet that was still a bit of a haul and would be nice to just chill a little bit as we both a bit worn. So Sid Harbour it was, with a short stop at Hamilton Island for a few bits and pieces and so Derek could check emails, phone messages again. Pulled the pick around 09:00 Reefed main sail only wind SE 25-33Kts and the Whitsunday passage was not exactly smooth, it was rather big and it didn't seem to matter that we were tide with wind it was still big and sloppy. Did not pop the heady at all and were averaging 6-6.5Kts with reefed main so we happy with that.
Arrived Hammo about 12:30, called marina and took visitor finger for $16 for an hour. Derek checked via my Eeepc and marinanet his mails, nothing to be concerned with for now.
New Yacht Club
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Left hammo about 13:40 and headed to Sid Harbour. The reason we decided to go there is we thought it would be good to checkout the Whitsunday boat show. We did not see another boat until we got to Hammo and only one on the way to Sid and that was a powerboat bashing back towards Hammo.
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This was where we did our MOB drill - not by choice. The life ring parted company off back of the boat and Derek was at the helm and was lucky to see it go, so we gybed and worked around behind it, I grabbed the boat hook and managed to hook it first grab, so all is well carry on. The shock cord had frayed that held it on the mount. I'm not surprised it would have been copping a hammering on this trip. We headed in between Sid island and Whitsunday Island into total calm, except for the bullets we watched coming across the water at times and the swirling current eddies. We slowly made our way into Cid Harbour and as we thought half the charter fleet and many private boats were in there, reckon the other half would have been in Nara Inlet at a guess it had been blowing dogs off chains for days.
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We cruised past them all under sail, we then turned back and furled main and slowly motored back towards our chosen spot to drop the pick.
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As we were heading to our chosen spot a power cat came up behind us and this bloke was calling out, it turned out to be John from Charter Yachts Australia being where 'Rocket' was heading. We chatted and I told him we be in by Friday morning latest and he was all good knowing that.
They had been over having a Beach BBQ good on em. Moved to the spot and dropped the pick. Derek went for a dip and I chilled out in cockpit with my friends Jack Daniels and coke. Covered approx 35Nm.
Nice
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24th June Thursday
Woke early and decided to stay in bed a bit for a change, could hear the rain on the deck and it was a dead smooth anchorage and I was enjoying it for a change. Got up about 07:30 and we decided to stay put for the day. Eggs for Brekky. Forecast same again 25-30Kts and it looked like not many were moving out today either.
There was what appeared to be a Seawind rally of boats and they did leave in their cats all heavy reefed down and the 2 big boats that came in overnight also ventured on, but most stayed. Don't blame them for that.
We did consider a quick trip to Nara Inlet but decided that was probably packed with boats. Derek went for a Tender run to the beach to have a look around.
From Rocket port window
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I did a bit of a tidy up on the boat. It needed a bit after so many heavy days. Opened all ports and windows for an airing. Had not had a great chance to air it much on this trip. Derek came back and at about 13:00 he got a call from his partner. She was coming to Airlie and would be in around 19:30 that night. O bugger, this was sort of on the cards but was hoping for a bit more notice. O well. Get sorted and packed, called John to see if he had a berth for us, he did. Left Sid around 14:45 heading for Airlie (about 20Nm). All was fair and ok sailing, till we hit the passage!!! big wind and sloppy washing machine stuff. Getting use to this.
Little boats fit up here too.
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Arrived at Able Point marina leads about 16:40 and made way in, not been here before so no real idea where we were going, figured it out as to where finger was. headed in and came into the tightest area I have ever seen in a marina between A and B berths. This will be interesting! Found the berth and it was to be an aft berthing, so went past to allow for room to overcome prop walk to Port, gave it a shot - nup not enough. Out try again and give a bit more room and a good hard full reverse hit and back off, that worked in getting 'Rocket' Moving and water flow past rudder, now ease throttle steady as she goes - in great - Derek jumps and wraps aft mooring line, gun it forward great done. Now that was a bit of a challenge especially with that 45 foot Cat on the otherside, close but just enough and all you need if things go right, big problem if they don't.
Alongside was another Catalina a 350, we had a metre tops between the 2 boats to spare, tight all round. Dereks partner Sheree arrived about 19:30 and we went into town to Hogs Breath for dinner, was easier. Walked back along boardwalk and all into bed around 22:00.

25th June Friday
Up around 07:30 Paddy came onboard from YCA to go through boat and do what they could today and know what they needed to get sourced etc, to get into survey and ready for charter. I arranged with Simon and John to take 'Rocket' out again till Sunday for hopefully a couple nice days sailing, certainly did not get much of that all the way up.
They took pics of equipment, pumps etc. Derek and Sheree went into town while I helped out on boat, after all I did know where it all was by now after 620+Nm. All good and done what they could by 12:00. Derek and Sheree came back with a few provisions as we did not have much left and now we were 3. Provisioned rather well originally and most of original was spoken for, another day or 2 with 2 of us and would have been just about right. gas bottle filled just in case as had no idea when last done and flame was getting a bit smaller than when we started out.
Left marina around 13:00 and headed for Double Bay NW of Airlie. This would save crossing the passage which would have been rather sloppy and Sheree can suffer so did not want to throw her into that.
We had 18-22Kts from the SE but were protected a bit the way we were going, a good sail and put Sheree on the helm to help keep her mind active and help in case she did not feel great. Very good on the helm, soft hands and great feel for the boat quickly.
Arrived Double bay and anchored off the Hut beach by about 15:45.
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Derek and Sheree went ashore for a look and I just hungout on the boat with my friends again listening to music in the ipod that could be plugged into boat stereo system, great. Dinner was stirfry into bed around 21:30.

26th June Saturday
Up around 06:45 to a beautiful morning, looked to be a wonderful day coming. Sat out in cockpit with a coffee watching dolphins playing and feeding around the boat. Water was like a mill pond and not a cloud in the sky with a light breeze and low fog areas over the land.
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We left Double Bay around 09:30 to head towards Butterfly Bay area on the Northern side of Hook island. Sheree ended up on the helm as we approached the passage as I could see she was looking a bit green, she took some assistance and by being at the helm it worked and she was better. We had 15-18Kts SE and as we had not done much reaching I played with sails to see what balance I could get. Found this boat liked a heavy reef in Genoa at 18Kts apparent as it is a big powerful sail and it liked trying to round up, small draw keel would not help with that. Got down to about 50% with boat holding a good 7.5Kts and very comfortable. The passage was still very sloppy and once across it and nearing Hayman island things settled right down and Sheree was now fine. Rounded North point of Hayman about 12:00hrs and headed for Butterfly Bay. We had to hold the rounding Hayman island bearing for sometime before tacking back. As we approached the area we decided to checkout Maureen Bay first. This area is reef sensitive and there are mooring buoys and reef protection buoys everywhere. We grabbed a mooring at Maureen Bay for lunch. Derek and Sheree decided to try a snorkel and left the back of the boat and floated in and around the fringing Coral for a while. I went for a tender run towards the beach, but you would need a high tide (it was low) to get into it with a tender. Coral and bommies too close to surface at low. We decide to stay here rather than move into Butterfly Bay, it was smooth, not much refracted swell and we were on the mooring. There are 2 hrs time limits on these between 09:00 and 17:00 but no other boats around anyway. Once 17:00 can stay overnight so we did. We all sat around cockpit with drinks and nibbles and watch the sun go down. Not long after sun down we heard an anchor going down, another boat had pulled up a bit further out than us and not on a mooring. It was Apollo which i think is now a charter type of business up here.
We retired around 21:00
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27th June Sunday
Up around 06:30 had brekky and watched the start of another beautiful day. left mooring 07:45 and headed towards Stonehaven motoring as not much wind at this stage and not knowing the passage between hook and Hayman decided safe bet.
Motored down through Stonehaven area until had good angle on wind to cross the passage towards Airlie Beach. Beautiful sail across with 15Kts SE smooth sail as the passage had settled lots and wind with tide. We had at one time several boats behind us 2 of them being Maxis, I did manage a pic before camera batteries gave up and I had no more to use.
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Arrived Able Point Marina around 11:00 to Fuel dock. Then backed boat across marina and into berth next to last one we had. Much easier backing it in and around to aft berth it in that tight area.
Derek and Sheree left boat and marina around 12:30 to catch shuttle bus to airport to flyout at 13:55. That was that. I just hung around the marina. Leftovers for dinner sent some txt messages, email and the like for business and watch some TV, generally just chilling out.
Able Point with the start of a Sunday race
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28th June Monday
Up and about 06:30. Some of YCA crew arrived about 08:30 to work on the boat. Hung around for a while and then took a walk into the main street of Airlie for a look around. Checked out the Airlie Beach lagoon and associated wildlife around the lagoon. Found myself a nice Palm tree and laid under it on the grass for an hour or so, listening to the sounds, boats and wave movement. back to marina around 13:00 hung out, dinner and watched some telly with my friends again and into bed about 22:30.

29th June Tuesday.
Well that is the end of that. I have to fly home today, would rather not weather is perfect and had been last 4 days. 24-25C day temps, cool at night.
But as I have serious legal crap to deal with for business I have no choice and must leave. If not for the BS I would stay a bit longer and tried to catch up with a few, like Ross and Lea for a start.
But as they say all good things must come to an end. packed up and loaded up my boat bag. Booked onto shuttle bus for 12:30. Not much more to say about this day, I did go for another quick wonder into town. Grabbed gear, dropped off the Marina key, onto bus to airport. Flew out at 14:00.

Well folks that is it, I have condensed as best I could and hopefully still made it interesting

Another successful delivery, although the most challenging day after day I have ever done over such an extended time. It was nice to have a few nice gentle sail days in and around the Whitsundays that finished it all of nicely.
Been through lots of heavy weather and it has it good side as it has been a while since sailed heavy stuff like that so was good to brush up on the heavy sailing skills.
Thank you to you Simon for asking and offering me the opportunity to deliver 'Rocket' with a win, win for us both I hope and hopefully you are as happy with me and the delivery as I am to have done it. Even if my list was rather long by the time it was all over and I had ironed out some and found some bugs for you.

Now I am looking for the next delivery to skipper preferably but always open to any possibilities. ALWAYS!!!!

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Jay
Life is a game, take up the challenges - Go hard or Go home :twisted:

http://www.seagypsyonline.com.au
http://oceancrusaders.org/

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30' Steel Bollard ......Investigator 563 .....1974 Gilflite Javelin - Destroyed in Shack fire R.I.P ..... 1986 Sanger Super Jet - 468ci Chevrolet Big Block, Berkley Jet


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PostPosted: Jul 10th, '10, 22:07 
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Great write up Jay. And thank you for taking such good care of our girl.

We have just returned from Airlie - after a week sailing and motoring around the Whitsundays.

Verdict
1. We are really looking forward to getting our own boat - for us to use on down here (due in Australia in mid August).
2. Our next holiday on the Whitsundays will be for a little longer.

Of course, Rocket is available for anybody to charter - check it out at
http://www.charteryachtsaustralia.com.au/Specification_catalina375.htm

:D :D :D :D This is not an ad - just some info :D :D :D :D

Of course - I declare that I have a financial interest in this boat !

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Catalina 375 #54 - Rock The Boat

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No charge for TSPers BTW...... :lol:

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Hey Drikko,

I will refund the profit that I make on the charter (profit - on a boat !!! :D :D :D )


After listening to the radio calls each day, I think that charter operators must be the most patiant people. You can just imagine the calls....

"The batteries are flat"
"Did you charge them enough yesturday?"
"Yes, 30 minutes in the morning, but we sat on the mooring all day, and did not want to make any noise in the afternoon, and the guage said they were 50% at the end of the day"
"Did you use them last night"
"Yes, but only for the TV, the lights, the mobile and laptop charger and the radio"

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Singleton - Hunter Valley NSW
Catalina 375 #54 - Rock The Boat

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http://www.charteryachtsaustralia.com.au/cya/whitsunday-sailing-yachts/rocket-catalina-375


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RockMan wrote:
I will refund the profit that I make on the charter (profit - on a boat !!! :D :D :D )


After listening to the radio calls each day, I think that charter operators must be the most patiant people. You can just imagine the calls....


First point - Profit - Boat same sentence not possible :roll:

Second - Imagine, nope don't have too can imagine what I heard with so many in one place for so long due to weather. :wink:
Turned those VHF channels off in the end drove me nuts - well more Nuts than I already was :P :twisted:

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Jay
Life is a game, take up the challenges - Go hard or Go home :twisted:

http://www.seagypsyonline.com.au
http://oceancrusaders.org/

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30' Steel Bollard ......Investigator 563 .....1974 Gilflite Javelin - Destroyed in Shack fire R.I.P ..... 1986 Sanger Super Jet - 468ci Chevrolet Big Block, Berkley Jet


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