We only have four more weeks!
Time for some reflection …
One thing stands out with this year’s northern journey … it’s the people we’ve met and the friendships we’ve formed.
We do occasionally travel in company and this year it has been with Gary and Annie on Chances (who we met briefly right at the end of our 2015 trip), with Gerry on Aqualibrium (a Paynesville cat) and just recently, with Last Resort (Barb and Terry from home who are delivering a Seawind to the Gold Coast). We have missed our friends on Easy Tiger, but we know they will return next year. We have also met so many new yachties … in anchorages, on shore, in marinas, in bars and in sailing clubs. It’s easy to strike up a conversation because we all have the cruising life in common and it’s amazing the connections you discover after a few exchanges.
Here’s a few memories …
So this got me thinking. Just how many boats have we met? I have pinched an idea from our cruising mate Steve from Easy Tiger. I’ve listed the boats alphabetically.
But, every boat has had to ‘qualify’ to get on my list.
The absolute minimum requirement is either one long conversation or two short ones where an exchange of names or even better, an exchange of boat cards takes place. (What is this you may ask? Those poor boats that are new to cruising life have been somewhat embarrassed when out comes the boat card and darn, they haven’t got one. Names, phone numbers, emails and usually a photograph are all on a boat card. These cards then join others in a boat card folder. Handwriting their details just isn’t the same.)
Back to qualifying … Sundowners you’re on! Sharing a meal? You romp it in!
Most (nearly all) have romped it in on our list. But as we near the completion of this year’s northern adventure, our aim is to fill those gaps. So we are on the look out for certain new friends!!
… the J, Q and X ones!
So here we go … and I did have a bit of fun doing this!
A Aqualibrium – Our Paynesville fellow boat-builder friend Gerry. He’s made it to Port Douglas.
Africat – Allan and Sue are from Port Stephens and live aboard … friends of Chances, Take Two, Arkaydes and Bella.
Arkaydes – Rick and Val live aboard too … friends of Chances, Africat and Rene.
B Bossa Nova – Moi!
Bella – We met Brian and Petra at Otter Reef when we eventually caught up with Chances. Another Port Stephens boat and friends of Chances, Take Two and Africat.
C Chances – Our cruising buddies on a Lightwave cat. Great people! Lots of fun and they have a contagious adventurous spirit. Gary is my fishing ‘guru’ and our outer reef guide.
Casablanca – Hadn’t met them before we were invited on board for Friday fish’n’chips with other yachties. A big big Lagoon.
China Grove – Friends of our friends from Melbourne. Now our cruising buddies too. Chris and Ian’s boat ‘lives’ at Magnetic Island. We will see them in Melbourne soon.
D Double Magic – Well, unfortunately we stuffed this one up. Missed them by 90 minutes! John and Tess are Somers friends who sailed from Brisbane to the Whitsundays on a friend’s cat. Our planned catchups did not eventuate due to weather constraints. Have we cheated? We need to meet another D boat quick!
E Easy Tiger – I know, they shouldn’t count, but they are here in spirit.
F Free Spirit – Phil and Robyn, China Grove’s brother. We had eight for dinner on The Bossa.
G GmaxX – Alex and Maxine from Paynesville. Trailer sailor buddies from way back. We met them at Airlie Beach. They towed their tiny MacGregor 26 from Vic (we too did the same way back when).
H Happy Cat – Sheltering from strong winds with three Lagoons, we ate and drank with them all. Dave and Frances.
Hurtle Turtle – A Waller 1160 all the way from Tassie. GKI undowners ashore with a fire (and sandflies) followed by the Keppel Bay Marina and sailing club sitting out a blow and rain.
I Imagine – A mono. GKI sundowners … and Keppel Bay Marina as above.
Infusion of the Whitsundays – A fellow Fusion which used to be in charter. Curlew Island … three cats, all Fusions!
K Katmandu – One many cruisers we met at Dunk Island at the spit kiosk and shore BBQ. No tender, just a kayak! Brave people.
L Lavinda – David and Chris from Port Stephens. They knew my brother Brad. Small world.
Lillian – Named the “Young’ns” by Zofia. Much much younger cruisers on a Bavaria 34 from Brighton. Made it to Dunk Island we think.
Last Resort – Terry and Barb’s temporary Seawind – a delivery trip from Townsville to Runaway Bay, Gold Coast. We said goodbye at Keppel Bay Marina as they headed further south.
M Moor R & R – Paul and Kathy live aboard on the biggest cat, a Lagoon 450. Paul even calls it a “condomaran”. Very generous people, inviting us to dinner with all the Lagoons one night. Neville has a bottle of rum riding on Trump’s demise. Surely a winner for Neville?!
N Norman – A Fountaine Pajot owned by … Peter (but we call him Norman)!
O Ozzie Mozzie – A trimaran. We shared an on-shore BBQ with the crocs (we didn’t see any) on Garden Island – back to the boat before feeding time!
P Phluid – A fellow Fusion 40 and an owner-builder too! We met Louise and Ross in the Whitsundays and then again at Hardy Reef. Sadly, Phluid is for sale. Fortunately they do not know how to spell or we’d still be looking for a P!
(I started writing this post yesterday … another P has arrived! We just shared sundowners last evening followed by morning tea scones on The Bossa with Jim and Jan on Pas De Chat. Retired teachers on their owner built cat.)
R Reeflection – 16 years cruising the East coast! Jeanette and Doug are a wealth of information especially about the outer reef.
Roobinesque – We met on the beach at GKI, they have made it to Lizard Island on their Lagoon. A long conversation, so they qualify! Just now looked at Helene’s blog, didn’t realise, she’s an author and enjoys photography. Will read more of her blog later.
Rene – A mono cruising with Arkaydes. Lots of shared sundowners and anchorages. Peter and Liz pull their anchor up by hand!!
S San Souci – We met and shared many ropes sitting out a big few days of wind and rain in the Keppel Bay Marina. Many sundowners shared as well with Julie and Hugh along the coast, inc Magnetic Island. And that small world we live in … our good friend Steve (from home) knows them!
Starship – The hunter and gatherers. GKI sundowners on the beach.
Skellum – Paul and Sjany are from Paynesville but are now living aboard up north. Met up with them at Orpheus Island.
Sunshine – Another Lagoon we met. Friends of Chances, Moor R&R and Africat too.
Sagittae – Dunk Island drinks and walks. A long long mono, built by Rob and Sylvia.
T Take Two – We met in the laundromat at Boatworks right at the beginning, then again at GKI. There’s lots of info to be had in an laundromat! Another Port Stephens boat.
U Ultimate – We’ve had our one conversation and Neville says towing their dinghy while they snorkelled at Bait Reef counts. We might visit them shortly on the way to our dinner on Chances tonight. Then they will qualify!
V Vamonos – Two conversations with David and Sue on their Lagoon. Gee, we’ve met a lot of Lagoons this trip! (There’s not many ‘V’ boats around).
W Waterfront – A Fusion 40. We met Brenda and Marty at Curlew Island. We left Middle Percy Island, motoring through very thick sea fog. Welcomed by whales and dolphins, then turtles and a pair of brahminy kites as we came around the corner in to the Curlew anchorage, we were then greeted by two cats … both Fusions! Three Fusions in an anchorage.
Waving – GKI sundowners and a Middle Percy BBQ at the A Frame hut. A very smokey bbq!
Y YNot – A Seawind … only two short conversations but we knew the previous owners. Does this count?
Z Zofia – Good friends of WA’s Easy Tiger who sailed across the Bight together. Brian and Eva are living aboard on a Jeanneau 43 sailing (and socialising) up and down the East coast. We have met up with them in numerous places but haven’t sighted them since sailing north from GKI.