Guest Cruise Cleveland to Mooloolaba

By Siegfried Eisinger

Siegfried on The Lady Claire

“Fasten your seat belt, we are about to land in Brisbane Domestic Airport” - it is about 5:30 and the night was short (somebody ‘stole’ two hours on our way from Perth) and uncomfortable. But I am looking forward to joining the cruise to Mooloolaba and do not feel tired.

It is more than a year ago that my family and I left Brisbane where we stayed for about a year. On a business trip to Perth and Brisbane and being still a member of MYQC I had a look on the internet and found that the cruise/race to Mooloolaba was planned for the very weekend I would arrive in Brisbane. I contacted the club and ‘yes, you can sail with Chris’. Perfect.

A short ride with the taxi and I meet Chris and his family at Raby Bay where their ‘The Lady Claire’ is moored. We get the boat ready, motor out of the bay and get the sails up heading towards Morton Island and trying to get somewhat ahead of the racers. Sailing in the early morning hours is just perfect. Staying in Brisbane we have visited all the places like Stradie, Moreton, Redcliffe, Bribie, Caloundra and Mooloolaba – quite interesting to see these places from the sea. The weather is a bit grey but rather warm – luckily I remembered to bring shorts. For me this is a very late greeting from a passing summer (in Norway I put my boat in the winter shelter just before leaving to Australia).

Towards the north of Moreton Island we are passed by the racers. We get a few very nice shots of the passing boats under full sails.

The winds are not perfect, but good enough to carry us along Bribie and Caloundra towards the lighthouse of Mooloolaba. A bit of motoring and asking of directions to the quay and we are moored right in front of the Yacht Club where we meet the other cruisers and the racers for a good dinner, some good drinks and even better chats and catch-up with friends.

I spent the night in Mike’s boat (his Schionning is a bit bigger than Chris’s while the family joining the race is smaller) – thank you for the hospitality, Mike – I slept like a log.

Early morning the day after – no wind whatsoever – we motor out of the bay and towards Caloundra. Sailing boats are really not made for motoring. Luckily the wind picks up after some time and gets gradually strong enough for us to break the 12 knot mark. We have a marvelous view towards the Glass House Mountains and then again  the racers which pass us one after the other.

Crossing Moreton Bay and the inlet of the Port of Brisbane we arrive back in Cleveland and get the boat moored in the dusk.

Thank you again, Chris, with your whole family, for your hospitality – see you in Norway to take you out on the fjord – make sure to come in summer - Northern Summer!

I have said before that Australia is ‘Multihull Paradise’, but it is still fair to say that we have some activity also in the Nordic Countries. This summer our club (NFS, see arranged the International Multihull Meeting (IMM 2015) in Halden. With more than 50 boats from Norway, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. We met a lot of nice people had a look on their boats and took part in a race (there was little wind – which favored the Tris).

Manly 78 Mooloolaba Race/Cruise

By Chris Dewar from The Lady Claire

Chillpill with Renaissance just in front. Hasta La Vista is way out in front on the Horizon. (Photo Chris Dewar)

After experiencing battery problems (house batteries only) on an overnight cruise a couple of weeks earlier the problem seemed to get worst. A test of the batteries a few days before the Manly to Mooloolaba Cruise showed that the batteries now could not hold a charge for more than a day.

After some discussion it was decided that we would still continue with the cruise as the batteries should hold a charge for long enough to complete the cruise up and an overnight charge should provide them with enough juice to get back home.

All on-board were in agreement which included my wife, Sonya; daughter Claire; eldest son Scott and his girlfriend Alix and an MYCQ member from Norway, Siegfried. We were leaving from Raby Bay so left a couple of hours before the start of the race.

We were reasonably happy with our speed. We  were doing around 7 knots in less than 10 knots breeze. The Lady Claire is a Schionning Wilderness 1030 which I put on the water in 2007 and I have nearly finished building it J.

We were just past St Helena at around the time the race started and by the time we got to Tangalooma the leading yachts (Hasta La Vista and Free Spirit) had caught us. A short time later Rushour, Renaissance and Chillpill passed us. During the gusts The Lady Claire was getting up to 9 knots and our top speed for the trip up was 9.5 knots. However speed is all relative with the racing boats passing us like we were standing still. Our short rig and small MPS was no match for their large spinnakers.

Spook and a couple of other yachts passed us on the outside but Spook seemed to be struggling with their spinnaker collapsing and we were able to catch up a little.

After numerous gybes we reached the Spitfire Channel and it looked like the leaders were nearly at Coloundra, however there were two yachts that looked like Hasta La Vista and Free Spirit that were only a few hundred meters in front of us. A missed mark had cost them the lead and possibly the race.

We had a couple of wind shifts that advantaged us so we stayed in touch with the trailing yachts.

The water over the banks was a bright aqua and with the contrasting dark grey clouds looked quite spectacular.

We were managing to stay just in front of The Cat’s Whiskers up to Caloundra. Just before the Fairway Mark we both had to bear away to give way to a container ship. We received a thankyou from the pilot and once it had passed The Cat’s Whiskers managed pull away from us. Alix called Bruce who said he had an appointment he had to keep so had turned on his motors. We arrived at 4:30pm a couple of hours behind the leading yachts.

The first 4 yachts had finished within 2 minutes of each other with Chillpill being the first over the line.

A check of the batteries showed we were down to 10.9 volts. We had the radio and depth sounder on most of the trip so  out with the battery charger before the trip home.

That night the fleet gathered in the Wharf Tavern for dinner. A good turnout of around 50 people were having a good time and exchanging stories.

The next day The Lady Claire headed off a couple of hours before the start again.  At 9am the race boats gathered in light winds. The start was a great spectacle from the beach where many people had gathered to watch.

The first yacht, Chillpill, passed us half way down Bribie Island closely followed by Free Spirit. As we rounded the bottom of Bribie the swimmers had stopped what they were doing to watch the many multihulls go past. This is where we passed our first yacht, a Beneteau First. After a few short gybes we headed for Manly. This is where we reached our top speed of 12.5 knots. We finished around 5pm again and the batteries were still at 11.4 volts.

It was a great cruise and apart from the batteries there were no problems.


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