Monday, 26 August 2013

Almost two weeks since our last update. So sorry; but we have been a tad busy!

Hamilton Island Race Week 2013 was the 30th anniversary of the event and Allusive was lucky to have some very good friends as crew who all competed with enthusiasm and a high level of skill. By the end of the event we all were getting a feel for the boat (and the big kite). The event was the calmest in history with winds mostly below 10 knots and getting to know where the currents were and how the breezes were affected by the islands played a big part in where you finished in the fleet, with our finish positions(and handicap) improving dramatically towards the end. Out of a fleet of 34 in cruising Division 2 we finished as low as 32nd and as high as 5th, with a final position in the top half. We were happy with this.

Di and I were joined by Tim and Sue Gourlay, Alan and Carol Hardman, Annette and Andrew Fullard for all six races and Tim Freeman for three.

There were 6 Tassie boats entered this year and we all enjoyed a Tassie night out together.

Piers and Sarah Findlay purchased an Elliot 7 sight unseen and sailed it to within half a point of winning their division.

Rodney and Chris Smart won the non spinnaker Cruising Division 1 in Smart Choice

An incredible effort by the Tasmanian crews.

 on our way to the first start
After the finish of race 6 
 all the crew together

 Andy the tactician
 Stay clear of the end of the runway please!
 It did get busy sometimes
 A whale lazing on the surface

"Smart Choice" the Hunter 50 of Rodney and Christine Smart

Our equivalent of sitting on the windward rail
 rocks make good rounding marks

 Susie Gourlay first time racer
going home to give the kids some tips
 There goes Bob
 H I Yacht Club
 Annette on brace ( note the boats behind!!!)
 Big Tim on kite sheet
 Little Tim on main sheet and foredeck (young mans job)

OOPS! someone missed the corner! (no damage on recovery)
 Hammo marina

 350 feet of private yacht -owner leased Wild Oates X for the regatta
 Alan and Carol

 View from the crews shore side accommodation

 The Keg ran out before we made it to Whitehaven (day before race day 1)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hot days in the islands

Alan  and Carol Hardman joined us for two nights on-board and we took the opportunity to sail up to Bowen to catch up with Johns sister Bev and partner David who are spending 6 weeks at their favourite resort  on the beach. The run up was the only windy day we have had since we arrived in the Whitsundays. A social BBQ on board and a quiet night in Queens Bay then a leisurely sail to Butterfly Bay at the northern side of Hook Island for the second night.
The third day was very warm and we all enjoyed a swim at the lunch stop in Nara Inlet.

                                                 Four dogs on a boat? is it possible?

Alan , Carol Geordie and Kaila
 We cant believe the string of great weather we are enjoying, especially when we compare it to the constant rain being experienced in the Southern states. We have watched a few of the Airlie Race Week fleets drifting slowly around their courses and hope we get a bit more breeze next week during Hammo. Allusive has a lot of stores on board for the Louisiades leg and it wont be practical to take them off for race week..... She doesn't like light airs either..
Still the bottom is clean. I gave it a rub over this morning and was given lots of advice by a large  (half metre) angel fish that has taken up residence in the shadow of the keel. I was probably down there for over an hour scrubbing away and he was never more than a metre or two away from me. Very tame and inquisitive.

"Archie" the angel fish keeping me company as I scrubbed


We have placed our food order for Hammo week through the Coles on line shopping system.
Everything will be delivered to the door of the apartment on Friday for a small delivery fee. This will save us lots of carting as food for 9 people for nine days is not a small basket!

 Allusive resting up in Nara Inlet

                                                    "Archie" enjoys some bread

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


After leaving Middle Percy on Friday 2nd August we did a daylight run to Scawfell Island.
On Saturday lunch was at the lovely anchorage at Goldsmith Island then by nightfall we had tucked into the lee of Shaw island after a slow sail in a dying breeze.
It is now Wednesday the 7th of August and we are in Abel Point Marina catching up on the washing, food supplies and -well overdue-, this blog!
Our first engineering problem has shown up with the voltage regulator on the engine alternator tossing it in a couple of days ago. The diagnosis was made with the help of a local auto electrician. Of course the part (Mastervolt Alpha Pro 24 volt regulator) has to come in from overseas so we will be relying on the generator for the next week or so to keep the batteries charged and the beers cold.

Last night we had a great night on board with our Tassie friends Cheryl and Roger Hart who are touring in their van.

Wednesday 31st July

An early run ashore on South Percy where we met up with Alan and Michele Larkin off the eye catching Schionning 15 Catamaran named ”Attitude” which had arrived just on dusk the night before. This triple spreader rigged  cat with reverse rake bows did the Louisiades Rally two years ago. A number of these cats with lightweight fit out (6 tonne) are doing well in overseas regattas. Attitude has a full cruising fit out (9 tonne) but is still a very quick cat.

After our walk we had a leisurely sail under headsail to West Bay on Middle Percy, 10 miles to the North West. This famous anchorage is a “must stop” for most cruising yachts with most leaving some memento of their visit in the large A frame shed. There would be literally thousands of boat plaques here; anything from a signed thong to ornately carved timber boards 
                Our previous boat "Malew of Man" put there by the previous owners in the late 1980's
                                                                                                 New board for Allusive
                                                                                                 BBQ at the back of the famous A frame
A bit hard to read but this typed linen plaque was done by past members John and Audrey Garwood in 1984 Some senior members will remember them well.

                                                                                                              West Percy sunset
Apart from a walk over to the lagoon at low tide we spent a quiet day on board reading and fishing with a run ashore at 4.30 for the mandatory sundowners and BBQ with the other cruisers from the 4 cats anchored in the bay.
We ended up staying two nights and after a half day walk to the homestead enjoyed the company of Ernest "The goat man" at the BBQ  on the second night . He spent some time telling us about the islands history. He lives full time on the island and is famous for his wild goat currys.
Tuesday 30th July
South Percy Island is not on most cruisers radar as an anchorage, most preferring to head straight to Middle Percy and we therefore had the island anchorage to ourselves and “Entice”. There are many rocky bays and coral shelves around the Island which don’t encourage anchoring. However there is a small deep anchorage on a sandy beach on the N East corner where we spent two nights.

A very interesting walk on the island to the Southern side revealed steep cliffs and when scrambling down one  cleft we found a small entrance which opened up into a very large cave about 100 metres long but only a couple of metres wide which we spent some time exploring.

                                                     the intrepid explorers Greg and John
                                                            Karen in the cave

                                                       looking into the teeth of the trade winds
Further along the shore were a number of rocky inlets with much debris washed up. We were intrigued by the number of thongs….. Boat people??  and old fishing ropes and nets.

Monday 29th July

An early morning dog run then it was time to move on from Great Keppel Island, once again in loose company with the cat Entice.

The original plan was to head for Cheviot Island but the anchorage was not useable in the boisterous conditions. For the first part of the day we had a pleasant 15 knot wind from astern which slowly built to the forecast 25 to 30 knots and a steep short sea once the tide turned. The war games were interesting with a big USA hovercraft coming out from the shore and sliding into the back door of an aircraft carrier. (as there was an exclusion zone of 3 miles we called the carrier for his course and speed and he responded! , 3 knots  155 degrees).
We ended up sailing to South Percy arriving at 1900. Greg arrived about an hour before us and his lights guided us into the anchorage. A wet, windy night followed

USA Carrier 6







Great Keppel Island to the Percys

We spent another three nights at Great Keppel along with about 20 other cruisers after a great night at Keppel Bay Marina catching up with Di's niece Kellie and family.
The weather had been blowing 25 to 30 offshore while we waited at GKI but we were in no hurry to move on as there was lots of good company and every night was BBQ night on the beach thanks to Pete who lives on his boat in the anchorage. He had furnished the site with scrounged furniture and provided the firewood in return for a bit of tucker around the BBQ. We did a couple of walks and one night lindy Svensen from the island brought along a guitar and a cruiser brought along a banjo to everyone's great enjoyment.
Lindy and her husband do a lot to keep the tracks open on the island and she hand paints a lot of directions and little poems on the granite stones around the tracks. As a thank you about 10 of us gave them a hand the next morning clearing up some fire hazards around their property. I couldn't help myself...another working bee!
finally on the 29th we left GKI for the Percys in loose company with Greg and Karen on Entice.
We did the 100 miles in 12 hours and Entice (Grainger 43 cat) managed to do it in 11 hours.
 One of Lindy's 50 or so hand painted stones
 Pete' s BBQ campsite (all welcome)
Part of the working Bee at Svensens