Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Commodore's Message - August 2008

Thursday 28 August, 2008

Another very good year for the Akuna Bay Cruising Club, with an activity held every month during the year except for June. All Club events were very well attended and there were also many impromptu gatherings of Club members both on and off the water.

In October 2007 we had a weekend trip to the Sydney Harbour which was pretty windy for most, but great for us sailboats. Our new member's weekend in November was very well attended with a dinner dance on Friday night with the "Pop Rivets" singing for us, along with our special guest Elvis. The Saturday afternoon on Refuge Beach was one of those early summer afternoons that will stay with us for ever. Crews from many of the boats in the bay joining us on the beach to listen to Elvis, share a few yarns, a few ales and great company.

In December, our well attended Club Christmas Lunch was held at Il Piemonte, with an excellent selection of food and wine, with entertainment provided by the members at their tables. Sadly this restaurant has now closed. It was also good to see Elizabeth Cashman present so soon after the sad passing of her husband Terry ("Sea Sniffer" on D arm). Many of the group then returned to the marina and assembled on "H" arm adjacent to "Eagle" and "Wilparina". This was a good test for the strength of the marina arm which was loaded with tables, chairs and revellers. Much fun was had by all until late into the night (and early morning for some). No one fell in and no complaints from other boats.

The Christmas break saw many boats and members out and taking part in that great recreational activity we all enjoy - boating. We met with and rafted up with many Club members over the break and all seemed in good spirits. We also held many impromptu outings on various boats, including a few visits to the new Pub at Patonga.

January saw us meet at the Café on the Friday night 25th for a Pre-Australia Day dinner dance. This was a resounding success with over 50 members being serenaded by the lovely Wendi Jackson, and dancing until we dropped. The next day we invaded at Hungry beach for our Australia Day fun and activities, with 20 Club boats moored off the beach in pretty windy conditions. Many boats dragged anchors in the wind, but no dramas. Some members also had their first trip on a yacht in very good sailing conditions. Another wonderful day.

In February, the new Queen Victoria visited the Sydney Harbour and some of the Club boats traveled down to welcome her. Apart from a very windy Friday night off Store Beach, it was a good weekend, especially the Saturday bacon and egg breakfast anchored in Farm Cove next to the opera House. Then the sail back up the coast on Sunday morning at about 7.00am. Sensational.
The Beach Ball in March, or in this case Beachless Ball, as the tide took the beach from us during the night and again in the morning. There were, I admit, some early anxious moments due to the weather on the Friday and the disappearance of the beach on the Saturday morning. All was well on the day however, except that my Honda Genset went for a swim and is still in a hundred pieces. The general consensus was that the Ball was one of the best in recent memory, and no rain.
April was the popular Peat's bite weekend. A very long Saturday lunch and an even longer Saturday night was enjoyed by the members who attended.

The May event was the Trivia night hosted by Frank and Janet. This is a favorite event of mine and obviously a favorite of many other members as well. This was a very boisterous affair and a lot of fun. Some of the new members and guests that attended could not believe the fun that was to be had. Some even got serious. Many thanks again go to Frank and Janet for organizing and hosting this wonderful evening, and to their friends who supplied the music competition.

The Christmas in July was held at the RMYC who really did look after us, apart from the late breakfast where the cook did not show up. This is a great venue and facility to visit by boat, though a westerly wind is bad news, particularly if you are tied on the outside wharf. Twelve boats ventured around and many other members joined us all there in their cars, 43 members in all.

Our AGM is to be held in August which will be last event for the year other than the Navigation course which will start on the 8th of August and will continue over four nights (see Web Site for more details).

Some other highlights included members using their First Aid skills on some poor hapless person who fell in the water at the travel lift smashing his shoulder on the way down. This event illustrated to us the importance of doing these courses. Another was our vice Commodore's modifications to the marina after Peat's bite the crash this made will stay with us as club folklore along with Bob Taylor's comment " Geeze that didn't sound to good". I particularly enjoyed the days over last Christmas when many members joined up and sailed, motored, partied together and the visits to the Patonga Pub. Milan's haircut at the hands of Kim (Smith) and Barry, both the actual cutting and the end result, had to be seen to be believed

The sadder moments were the loss of club members and friends Terry Cashman and Keith Cadel. Two members who enjoyed their boats and the club.

The club ended the year with 71 member boats. Most Club events had between 30 and 50 members attending. Our moorings were all serviced during the year including some damage repairs. Our financial position is very strong and is on a sound footing with contingencies that will enable us to maintain our assets. The board has remained very enthusiastic, which has contributed to the success of the club. My heartfelt thanks must go to the board and their spouses for their help and assistance, particularly their support of me through my recent health issues. This has been very much appreciated and reinforces my view that the Club is made up of some very special people, and I consider it a privilege to be a member of this wonderful Club.

Stephen Smith
Commodore 2007/8
"Wilparina"