Easter Cruise Report

By Ray Perry (Cruise Captain Ray)

On Easter Friday Steppin’ Along, Tropical Cat & Purr-fik rendezvoused at Lucinda Bay after watching the racers in the Brisbane to Gladstone. On Saturday an easterly breeze had us sailing north towards  Yellow Patch, an idea we abandoned as conditions became unfavourable with the wind swinging more to the north.

Steppin’ Along was enjoying the breeze while Tropical Cat began clearing up crab pots. We then headed south, Tropical Cat airing her spinnaker in the light conditions. At the Sandhills Tropical Cat needed assistance to clear yet another crab pot from around the prop.

On Sunday all three boats followed Colandi (who had been catching fish and crabs at the Blue Hole) through Dave’s gutter to anchor near  Kooringal. Although this anchorage was very popular due to another boat club event we managed to meet up and enjoy sunset beverages.

More details about our relaxing weekend on the water can be found in the write up by Jenny Maruff below.


Easter in Crab Pot Kingdom

By Jenny Maruff

It began on Good Friday after the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone race. We had a lumpy trip to Lucinda Bay on Moreton Is. We dodged crab pots as we anchored.

Score: TROPICAL CAT-1     Crab pots-0

That afternoon we were joined by Purr-fik and Steppin’ Along. Ray and Sue Perry and Peter and Alison Sutherland came over for sundowners. It was a pleasant start to our Easter cruise.

Saturday morning was delightful with light breezes and sunshine. The skippers decided they would sail to Yellow Patch. Off we went. Tropical Cat was motor sailing smoothly past Tangalooma and into a large bay fringed with huts and littered with motor boats and crab pots. The phone rang. Dudley was chatting away when it happened. We caught a crab pot on the port prop. He turned off that motor. We sailed close to the beach and anchored. He used the boat hook to pull up the rope. With difficulty he unwound it from the prop. We were free.

Score: Crab pots-1    TROPICAL CAT-1

It had all been rather annoying and he was worn out. I served lunch. Purr-fik came along side. Ray and Sue decided to have lunch. Peter and Alison were on a roll and decided to keep sailing to Yellow Patch. We had a siesta before sailing to the rendezvous at the Sand hills. Dudley hoisted the spinnaker. We were doing 4 kts in the light northerly wind. As we approached Lucinda, the spinnaker gave trouble so we retrieved it and rolled out the jib. We were motoring in to the Sand Hills on dusk when we caught another crab pot on the port prop. Dudley turned that motor off and anchored. He got most of the rope untangled but needed help. Ray Perry came to the rescue in flippers and snorkel. In no time at all he had freed the rope.  He and Dudley got in the dinghy and took the crab pot back to where it had been picked up. This was a gentlemanly act that most fair minded people would have found unnecessary.

Score: Crab pots-2     TROPICAL CAT-1

That evening we had drinks on Steppin’ Along. It was a lovely night and the moon was huge. There was some talk about crab pots and a possible storm and putting out more chain. That night we slept like logs. I was awakened by the noise of something smacking on the hull. I got up. The boat had swung around. I knew it was a crab pot. Dudley was fast asleep so I went below, thinking” I must ignore it and try to sleep”. Eventually I did. Next morning Dudley asked if I had heard him moving the boat in the night. He had shortened the chain to get it away from a crab pot.

Score: Crab pots-3     TROPICAL CAT-1

At about 8 a.m. on Easter Sunday, we left for Days Gutter. There were boats everywhere. It was Cat Heaven. Saw Ramjet and Rantan. We saw Colandi. It was anchored over a sandbank because they wanted to dry out. Col and Di directed us to deeper water. Steppin’ Along kept going.  Peter and Alison were sailing home.

By 10 a.m. we were seated at the Gutter Bar. The crew of Hoot joined us. Andrew and Jade have just joined the club. We had a merry time and some cold beer. Dudley and I returned to the boat while Sue and Ray went for a swim. We met up at lunch time. Ray and Sue joined us for a BBQ on our back deck. We had salads, sausages, fruit, beer, bread and wine. After that it was siesta time.

By 4 p.m. the sand banks looked like large mounds. Colandi was high and dry. There were two other cats sharing their mound. Chairs had been set out in the shade of Seaway Star. Tables held gourmet nibbles. People sat on buckets and eskies. Some of the men gathered under the bridge deck for secret men’s business. The Hoot crew joined us. There was much chat. When the tide came in under the furniture, it was time to leave. Dinghies were afloat.

On our way back to our boat we stopped to look over Hoot, a Fusion 40, beautifully built by Andrew and Jade. They are going to live aboard.

Easter Monday was a gorgeous day. Sue came on board about 9 a.m. We left for Peel Is. Ray took Purr-fik back to his mooring at Steiglitz. Peel was full of boats. We had an early lunch. Dudley cleaned the bottom while Sue and I rested. We left at 2 p.m. and had a quick motor sail to Manly. We drove Sue home so she could pick up her car and drive down to Ray at Steiglitz. We went home to Toowong. What a great Easter cruise it had been!

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