Monday, 28 October 2013

Manly Where?

Manly Boat Harbour, Moreton Bay, Queensland
Mention Manly in Australia and most people think of Manly Beach in Sydney.  With the added attraction of the "must do" ferry ride to the beach from the heart of the city, Manly attracts loads of tourists and Sydney-siders daily. 

When we lived close to the Harbour in Sydney I was able to walk a short distance to the wharf each morning for a spectacular ferry ride to Circular Quay and my work in the city.  What a great way to start the day!  I knew well how very lucky I was living in such a beautiful location.

For three years Manly, Brisbane has been home for Bristol Rose where she is tied to the slip at the RQYS.  Manly Boat Harbour on Moreton Bay in Queensland is another great place to spend some time.  It's said to be the largest man-made marina on Australia's east coast with 1,800 water craft of various shapes, sizes and type.  Waking up on the water, what a great way to start the day!

Manly, a bayside suburb on the southeast side of Brisbane, has a village atmosphere, train station to take you to the city, markets on the weekends, restaurants, supermarket, pub, a boardwalk around the water's edge that goes for miles, and so much more.  I love that saying, "you make your own luck".  It's mostly about choices because that's all we really have any control over.

Cruisers thinking of stopping in at Manly Boat Harbour in Queensland should check   for all the info and links you'll need.

RQYS hosts WAGS (Wednesday Afternoons Go Sailing) from the clubhouse, Manly, Moreton Bay, Queensland

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Keeping Hope Alive for Nina's Crew

It’s been a tough year in cruising circles with the loss of three truly amazing and talented cruisers that we know, Alex Rust s/v Bubbles, Steve Southwood s/v Dignity, and Evi Nemeth who left her boat s/v Wonderland to crew aboard the missing s/v Nina.

Evi (aged 73) with a PhD in Mathematics 1971, is described as the Godmother of Unix Administration.  A wiki  search gives you a wealth of information about Evi Nemeth.  We simply knew Evi as the skilled sailor of her beloved Wonderland.  In the Marquesas we spent a day with Evi exploring historical sites.  Her adventurous spirit and broad knowledge were very evident.

She was part of the seven-person crew aboard the 21-metre 1928 vintage wooden schooner, Nina, for the crossing from New Zealand to Newcastle on the NSW coast.  They were last heard from on June 4, 2013 when Evi sent a message that they were experiencing severe weather conditions and overnight their sails were shredded.  

Evi along with the owners David and Rosemary Dyche and their 17 year old son David, and 3 others are missing, presumed lost at sea.  The families and friends have not given up hope and continue to scan satellite images for any signs.  I've just read an article in Mail Online about an image taken September 15 that has given them some new hope.  Reflecting upon incredible survival stories we've all heard of, let's keep hope alive.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Dignified Life

Once again we have sad news to share about fellow cruisers.  Our dear friend Steve has lost his brave battle with a very rare form of lymphoma.

We were introduced to Steve and Helen by Matt and Karen aboard S/V Where II in Bequia in the Caribbean.  We crossed paths many times.  An amazing team, we described them as the most adventurous couple we know.  Steve blogged their adventures every day.  S/V Dignity

The past year has no doubt been the most difficult challenge.  Steve and Helen both showed great dignity and courage throughout.  Steve will be greatly missed.  Our deepest sympathies are with Helen and their boys.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Cherished Memories of Alex Rust, S/V Bubbles. R.I.P.

Happy memories, Alex (26) and Elliot (21) celebrate their birthdays with a dock party in Tahiti, June 2010
The World Cruising community has lost one of it's most colourful, magnetic personalities.

This morning we heard terribly sad news from Alex Rust's mother Sylvia.  Alex, S/V Bubbles, was found dead in his sleep May 28th in a guesthouse in the Hindu Varanasi region of Northern India.

Alex was more than a cruiser and world adventurer.  It will be up to those closest to him to tell his life story as Alex was never one to talk about himself and his good deeds.  I'm sure we will hear more of his giving nature following his untimely death.

The Rust family has announced memorial services on what would have been Alex's 29th birthday, June 14 2013 in his hometown of Seymour, Indiana.  June 15 marks the one year anniversary of Alex's homecoming following his circumnavigation of the globe.

Robert, Owen, Elliot and I are just some of the many, many people who shared amazing adventures with Captain Alex and his brother Joe.   Our sympathies go to Alex's family and his close friends.  May he rest in peace.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Practised but not Perfect

Gary, Jackie and Robert
Who said practice makes perfect?  Cruisers get loads of practice at saying goodbye because cruising means moving when the weather says it's time to go.  Gary and Jackie, S/V Inspiration Lady, have spent the past 9 months in Australia during our cyclone season.  Now boats are heading north and across the top of Australia to Darwin for the Sail Indonesia Rally.  Inspiration Lady is yacht # 18 in the list of entries.

We've really enjoyed seeing our cruising mates here in Australia.  Jack and Jan, S/V Anthem, sold the Cabo Rico Anthem, returned to Florida and purchased Anthem II and are now cruising the beautiful Bahamas.  Steve and Helen, S/V Dignity, are now back in the UK and beginning their new challenges of life onshore, while their catamaran Dignity is now based in Australia with her new owners.  Ed and Cornelia, S/V A Cappella are back in the U.S.A. while their boat is up for sale on the Gold Coast.

No matter how many times we cross paths, the saying goodbye part never gets any easier.  Fair winds, calm seas, dear friends, wherever they may take you!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

What does it mean to be Australian?

Mt Warning,  New South Wales
Happy Australia Day to all our Aussie mates, far and wide.

For me this song says it all.
"Shelter" sung by John Williamson, written by Eric Bogle.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Meet Some Amazing Circumnavigators

Those rare individuals who have circumnavigated the globe in a sailboat have plenty of tales to tell.  They are usually extremely modest about their skills and experience under often dangerous but always thrilling circumstances.  You can meet them anchoring out in some idyllic spot, wandering around a marina, searching for solutions to boat problems in a chandlery, enjoying happy hour at a waterside bar, and thanks to technology, by reading their blogs or sailing logs.  The roll call of some of our favourites goes like this...

We met S/V Whiskers with Gerald, Diana and Beatrice in January 2009 in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas as we dingied ashore in the rain.  It was Miss Daisie and Miss B who did the initial introductions, as most doggies do.  For the next two years Whiskers and Bristol Rose would share many good times in the most amazing and exotic anchorages.  In 2011 Whiskers and crew sailed into Durban, South Africa, completing their second circumnavigation!  We are in awe!

Di and Gerald don't write a blog but they get mentioned in others including the blog of Bubbles.   
Captain Alex is our favourite character out on the high seas - sure to become a living legend, if not one already!  We met Alex in Puerto Rico having already heard of some of his interesting antics for which he would later have to pay.  Owen and Elliot had some fun times with Alex and crew during our Pacific crossing.  Good to see that Pacific crewmember Diego from the Galapagos came back aboard Bubbles.  It's well worth checking the Bubbles photo gallery for images that very few people will ever have a chance to snap!  Congratulations Capt. Alex and all the crew.  With circumnavigation completed in September 2012, Bubbles has been sold but we know for sure this won't be last of the adventures of Capt. Alex.

In March 2009 we met Ed and Annette on the beach at Conception Island in the Bahamas when they were only a few hundred miles from completing their 6 year circumnavigation aboard Doodlebug.  For those contemplating getting started, their How we started page is a charming read.  They generously gave us some of their cruising manuals including one half of a guide.  Some time later we found out who were the recipients of the other half of the guide, S/Y Whiskers!

On Jan 4th 2012, Danielle and Roger completed their circumnavigation aboard Chocobo.  We met in the Caribbean and last saw Chocobo at Shelter Bay the day we began our transit of the Panama Canal.

One of our buddy yachts for the early stages of World ARC 2010-2011 was Eowyn.  Captain Graham and crew, Mike and John, helped us out when we were in trouble and had to return to Panama.

Eowyn went on to complete her circumnavigation with the World ARC but not before helping out a few other boats along the way.  Graham and crew received a special award, the Spirit of World ARC Award at the completion of World ARC 2010-2011 in St. Lucia.

We met the crews of Crazy Horse and Ocean Jasper,  both Sundeers from Maryland, at the first informational breakfast we attended in Annapolis for World ARC 2010-11.  They completed their circumnavigations with World ARC and are back in the Chesapeake Bay.

About 30 yachts left St. Lucia on January 8, 2012 to begin their circumnavigations with World ARC 2012-2013 and Eowyn was there to see them off.  Captain Graham's log makes for some interesting reading, especially if you are thinking of cruising the world.

During our months in Trinidad, we had a great time socializing between boat maintenance jobs.  We met Pam and Jim, two Australians making their circumnavigation on Delicado.  We crossed paths a few times and said farewell in Port Villa, Vanuatu as they headed for New Caledonia and then to Queensland to close the loop.

Once we crossed to the Pacific from the Caribbean, we met more Australian cruisers in one day than we had met in the previous year cruising the Bahamas and Caribbean.  Another Aussie couple Pete and Penny, Innforapenny   sailed into Moreton Bay in October 2010, completing their four year circumnavigation.

We're proud of our own achievements, making it half way around in the experience of a lifetime, from Baltimore USA to Brisbane Australia.

Some of the boats who entered World ARC 2010-2011 had dropped out along the way and have re-joined the ARC to complete their circumnavigations with the 2012-2013 crews.  We caught up with them on their arrival in Australia at the end of July in Mackay.  We last saw John of J'Sea in the Galapagos and Marie and Charles of Dreamcatcher in Musket Cove, Fiji.

It was an emotional reunion for us with Nick and Suzanne of the World ARC.  Readers of this blog might remember it was Nick who was the mover and shaker, working between us, the Panamanians and the US Coast Guard to get us rescued before we drifted into Columbian waters.  In a way seeing them and our fellow cruisers again closed a loop for us.

Congratulations to all our mates in World ARC 2010-2011 and the wider cruising community who've completed their circumnavigations!  And to participants in the World ARC 2012-2013 who are expected to arrive in St. Lucia in April 2013 we wish calm seas and fair winds!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

A house full of cruising buddies.  What a fantastic way to spend Thanksgiving 2012.
Heads down in the kitchen
Everyone pitched in to help prepare the meal and clean up, and the early comers even had to make their own beds!  We all had a great weekend catching up, comparing notes and plans, playing cards, etc. etc.  

Twelve for Thanksgiving
On Sunday afternoon most of our guests returned to their boats in Brisbane.  Helen and Steve from Dignity stayed on and we had a lovely time eating fish and chips and walking around the headland at Fingal, a special place where Robert surfed during his youth.