Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Commodore's Message - March 2011

Friday 11 March, 2011

Hello ABCC Members,
Well, we initially had a mild and wet summer around Sydney until we endured that record stretch of horrendous hot weather in February. Yet we have all been overwhelmed by the natural disasters of either floods or Cyclone Yasi inflicted on our neighbours in Queensland, Northern NSW and Victoria and our friends over in New Zealand with the earthquakes. As mariners we are more aware than most of nature's power and destructiveness but the loss of life and destruction of property in these circumstances blows me away. All those affected are in our thoughts and we all wish that their lives return to some kind of normality as soon as possible.

An event which provided an opportunity for us boaties to help those less fortunate was the "Cruise for a Cure" on Sunday February 27. Organised by the Cure Our Kids Foundation and SBM Maritimo Sydney this event was designed to encourage boat-owners to use their boats to assist kids fighting cancer and their families to enjoy a fun day on the water. There were approximately 20 boats participated on each of Pittwater and Sydney Harbour (basically Maritimos and Rivieras of course!). Around 350-400 people got on the water on the day.

Each boat hosted 1 or 2 families whose children have been receiving treatment for various types of cancer. Of course this treatment (often radical) has an impact on the entire family unit who may need to come from wherever they live across NSW to the only two treatment options, either Prince of Wales or Westmead Children's Hospitals. Parents often have to give up employment and experience hardship to stay with their children during treatment, at places like Ronald McDonald House. Cure our Kids helps support these families.

This was a great opportunity to help these parents and their kids in very difficult circumstances through our favourite pastime - boating. From the ABCC we had Galene, Sezam and Cool Change participate and put some smiles on some young faces and their parents as well. I know on Cool Change we had a very bubbly three year old boy (in remission) and his five year old sister bouncing around and their grateful parents who enjoyed a relaxing day on the water. All of our boat crews felt a sense of accomplishment at helping out such deserving people. I expect this will become an annual event which we look forward to anticipating in.

Of course the main focus of the Club is on having a good time and I think the Social Calendar so far this year has achieved that admirably. In January the Australia Day events became complicated because the holiday on the 26th fell on a Wednesday. As we did last year a BBQ on the Marina on the prior Friday night was our main celebration and a lot of Orstralyana was on show. Prizes for renditions of Ozzie poetry went to Kim Murray, Brian Budden, Terry Arnold and Bob Taylor. Best dressed boat on Saturday afternoon at the Refuge Bay drinks on the beach went to Stephen, Catherine and Alexander Frendo.

An initiative from the Membership and Committee was to host the staff and tenants from the Marina to dinner in appreciation for their efforts in supporting our boating activities over a long (and sometimes hot) summer. A great job done by all but particular mention to the Dockies! Also this was the first of many farewells to Dave and Maria whose charter boat business had been an integral part of marina life for many years - I remember chartering "Cavok" for my family and friends in 1998!!
A bunch of us Skippers were pleased to volunteer last week to relocate clippers and houseboats to their new base at Berowra (quite a way up river!). However we were underwhelmed by their speed (5-7 knots max) and the fact that a massive storm hit when we arrived! Dave and Maria look forward to welcoming Members and to arrange moorings whenever you wish to visit Berowra (phone: 9450 0000).

Secretary Stephen Smith has today distributed an updated Social Diary by email, which is also set out on the website and on marina notice boards. We are excited about our signature event, the ABCC Beach Ball to be held at Hallett's Beach on Saturday evening March 19th. This year we have adopted a charitable theme for men's health so please wear some BLUE and we will be raising money for Prostate Cancer research. Again we want to financially support causes which help improve the longevity of those around us! Please dig deep!

On marina news, Manager Garry Crowhurst advises me that design and planning is well underway on Marina expansion and development concepts. He has undertaken to consult with marina customers and we will seek to arrange information nights in the Clubroom over coming months. ABCC will be arranging Marine Radio Operator Proficiency and First Aid Courses during the winter months. We are also monitoring closely the restructure of the marine rescue organisations and will be engaging with the relevant bodies.

I trust that you have enjoyed your summer boating and social activities at Akuna Bay.

Happy and Safe Boating
Jeff Sheehan (Cool Change)
Mobile: 0412 251 194