Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Commodore's Annual Report 2011/12

Thursday 19 July, 2012

Dear Members

I'm pleased to report on another successful year for the Club over the 2011/12 season despite what has generally been a most challenging year. For the Akuna Bay Cruising Club, our Calendar of events was adversely affected by the coldest and wettest summer in many years, with the La Nina effect for the second year resulting in many weekends affected by heavy rain. According to the Weather Channel we have experienced the wettest 24 month period on record!

Other negative factors which held back the economy were also in play - domestic issues such as increases in energy costs and international events including the European debt crisis which has slowed economic growth around the world. These factors have reduced discretionary spending and limited people's appetite to spend up on leisure activities such as boating. The contraction in new boat sales during the year is a case in point.

As a Committee, we tried a few different things this year. As we put our Calendar together of social and educational events for Members we targeted more on water (including offshore) activities. Some events did not proceed due to lack of critical numbers but we felt they were well worth a try to increase the cruising focus of our Cruising Club activities, for which we had received positive feedback.

Also attendances at our more social events have been down slightly during the year. Here we focussed on our "tried and true" activities which you, our Members, continue to enjoy. I would like to thank you all for your support and participation in these events which have again provided many social gatherings for our broader membership and friends. I know it has been great to get together and catch up on a regular basis with each other during the year. In looking back over the Calendar we arranged 14 events, at least one every month, but not all took place. In reviewing the Calendar I recognise that some of the cruising activities may be better suited to more impromptu planning among smaller groups of boat-owners.

On our website www.akunabay.org we have a record of the social events in the photos and comments arranged by Keith Turner. Thanks again Keith for putting such an entertaining compilation together! At Akuna Bay a lot of social networking has continued through other more informal social occasions, such as marina arm parties, Mafia lunches and other get-togethers between Members during the year. This marina is a true community of boat-owners who enjoy their toys!

We have been fortunate to have a great Committee in place during the year and I would like to thank them for their ideas, energy and expertise in managing the Club's affairs. We conducted eight Committee meetings during the year where we had a healthy exchange of ideas and much discussion. At the AGM we will have some of our longer standing Committee members standing down for a well-earned break so I would particularly like to thank them for their substantial contributions to the Club's success over the years and their ideas and energy will be missed - Vice-Commodore Kim Murray and Warren and Wendy Armour. In particular Kim has served continuously for 11 years most recently as Vice-Commodore.

We kicked off the new boating season with an enjoyable Season Opening Dinner Dance, a spectacular cocktail evening held in the new Driftwood Cafe where Brian and team provided delicious food and great service. This was a christening of the Cafe under new management and was judged to be a great success by Members. Many of us danced till late to music played on the Jukebox. Unfortunately the inclement weather over the weekend meant that on-water events were largely cancelled.

We repeated the more casual Cocktail format at the Driftwood Cafe for the ABCC Christmas Party. It was held on Friday December 9th and was a great evening with delicious food complemented by great company. Not having a sit-down event but with standing food delivery enhances the social nature of the event, I believe, as we can circulate much more freely. The catering by the team at Driftwood provided a delicious Christmas feast for the 40 plus Members and friends in attendance. The party kicked on as we danced till late to the live music provided by Just Jammin'.
In January the Australia Day events again became complicated because the holiday on the 26th fell on a Thursday. As we did last year a BBQ on the Marina on the 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 and Bob Taylor. Best dressed boat on Saturday afternoon at the Refuge Bay drinks on the beach went to Stephen, Catherine and Alexander Frendo on Aliquis.

This year we brought the Beach Ball forward a month to try to benefit from warmer weather and (hopefully!) less rain. On February 11 we held the Yellow Beach Ball on Hallett's Beach for the first time in three years - after washouts in the last 2 years! This year the sun shone leading into Saturday but we were wary of the forecast which said "chance of storms". On Saturday morning we moved all the gear to the beach, put up the marquees and the tables and happily began putting Marcia's beautiful decorations together. Come mid-afternoon the storms arrived and a torrential downpour for 90 minutes almost washed our party venue off the beach! A raging waterfall had emerged right above our venue. But the clouds rolled away and we enjoyed a great evening on the sand under the stars. Thanks for everybody's efforts particularly Marcia Southern again for her decorations and Brian Budden for supplying the yellow tuxedo shirts which carried the theme of raising donations for the Cancer Council.

On Friday March 16 we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a Pizza night (???) at the Driftwood Cafe which was well attended, with some Members' boats visiting from other marinas. With everybody enjoying each others' company it was another great night!
The Trivia Night hosted by Frank and Janet Gardner was this year themed as a Countries of the World night and again we had a very competitive evening of fun. Thanks again Frank and Janet for your hard work in bringing together an excellent night! It was great to see so many Members dressed in theme. The next day Saturday was a lovely day for our annual cruise up to Peats' Bite where boats either berthed at the marina or anchored offshore. This is a magical part of the Hawkesbury and the hospitality and fine dining offered by Tammy and her team again made for a wonderful day.
The ABCC Golf Day was postponed until May 27 but unfortunately the golfing numbers were not enough to get us onto the course. Nontheless the BBQ at the Southern's home was a great success with a strong attendance. Thanks again Barry and Marcia for hosting us all for a great time.

Christmas in July was held at Kaiser Stubn up near Mona Vale Rd. Their heated glass function room provided a cosy venue for a hearty winter afternoon lunch. Robert and his friendly staff again provided good food and service to the 34 members in attendance. An enjoyable social afternoon get-together was followed up with many of us returning to the warmth of our boats down at Akuna Bay.

Each year the Committee selects a charitable cause for which we raise funds. At the Committee meeting on June 1, the Committee resolved to make a donation on behalf of the Club to the Cancer Council of $1,300. This contribution from Club funds includes donations from Members received at events such as the Beach Ball, at which we raised awareness of the charity through the yellow tuxedoes. The charitable donation reinforces the Club's willingness to contribute financial help to medical research and other support services for people suffering from illnesses relevant to our Members.

A new initiative by Treasurer Margaret Taylor has been the opening of a Cash Manager account in addition to our Community Fee Saver account at NAB. This enabled us to transfer $11,000 into a higher interest account and to provide an interest income to the Club.

We have scheduled a Game Fishing Information Night on Friday, August 10 to be presented by the Broken Bay Game Fishing Club for the interest of Members. Also we have had on the Committee Agenda through the year and have discussed regularly the issues of CPR update, First Aid Proficiency and Marine Radio Operators' License course. Again we need the participation by Members to progress these courses.
These educational activities are targeted to support better and safer boating through improved skills and knowledge.


The Club currently has 59 boats and around 118 people as Members. Amongst our Members there are some who have not been enjoying the best of health and I wish all of you a speedy recovery. Some long-time Members have been unable to attend events recently due to ill-health and I wish them well.

For the coming year I invite you all to participate more fully in the social activities of the Club which I believe sets the ABCC apart. However some of you might just enjoy Club benefits such as the Fuel discount and Club Moorings. We continue to strive to be a Club focussed on maximising the safety and enjoyment of our boating activities and enjoying each other's company through an active social agenda. As always I am seeking more feedback about what your Club can do for you so please contact myself or other Committee members.

I trust that you've enjoyed your Membership in 2011/12 and look forward to seeing you in 2002/13.

Happy and Safe Boating

Jeff Sheehan


Mobile: 0412 251 194
Email: sheehanjeff@bigpond.com