Akuna Bay Cruising Club


Sunday 28 August, 2005

We again finish the Club year with a healthy number of boats on the register. With 65 boats (about 130 members) the Club remains very active and we can look back over the previous twelve months with some pride. Whilst we've had a few less activities than the previous year, those that we have had have been well supported and it is great to see the many friendships that have been forged through Club Membership.

Looking back over the year, we started with our Trivia Night on October 29th, brilliantly organised and run by Frank & Janet Gardner. What a fun-filled, entertaining and educational night that was, with a room full of 'intelligent' Club members being 'tested' on a variety of trivial topics, whilst enjoying chicken and champagne. This was followed in November by the "Riviera" night, organised by Mike & Sue Gaffikin, with sensational live entertainment by Glenn Shorrock (ex LRB).

The Club Christmas lunch in December saw a change of venue where we enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere and location of "Pasadena on Pittwater", where we had the option of arriving by car or by boat. Following that was the Annual Beach Ball on Hallett's Beach on March 5th, despite initially threatening weather, we had a perfect evening in that most unique and private location. A huge thanks to all who helped make it happen, as the logistics are always complex.

Once again Peat's Bite provided a great lunch and a great venue for our annual pilgrimage, with several boats choosing to spend the night on the Peat's Bite "Marina", which seems to be a little worse each visit. It actually broke away from the shore during our brief visit, so it will be interesting to see if it even exists for next year's visit.

The Sanctuary Cove Boat Show was another magnet for Club Members, thanks again to ex Club members Bill & Kerrie Croucher, who organised a 'Club' dinner at Surfers Paradise during the Boat Show. This gave about 30 of us the opportunity to discuss the merits of the various boats we dreamed about buying.

More recently we've had an evening with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard explaining their role on our waterways, we were privileged to have Chris Gillett, who is the national Commodore, give us a wonderful presentation on how the AVCG and similar bodies operate throughout Australia. A network of volunteers who make our recreational boating a lot safer.

As a result of this presentation the AVCG have since held a Marine Radio Operator's Course for Club Members at Akuna Bay and it was heartening to see 17 members attend the course to sit for their licence. Very few boaties realise that it is illegal to operate a marine radio (27 meg excluded) without a licence, in fact fines exceeding $100,000 can be issued for illegal use of marine radio. Whilst the radios themselves are fairly simple, it is the various procedures and protocols that make the system work in emergency situations. It was certainly a worthwhile and educational exercise for all those who attended the course.

After considerable and prolonged effort, The Club Constitution and Rules have been updated and are now on the WebSite. Whilst this may not qualify as rivetting reading, it is a legal requirement that Club Members are aware of its content and implications. In signing a "membership application" or "membership renewal" form, you are in fact acknowledging and accepting the Constitution and Rules of the Akuna Bay Cruising Club Inc.

On a lighter note, it is wonderful to see the Club moorings getting so much use and particularly good to see multiple boats, with Club Members and families enjoying themselves. A reminder however that good seamanship MUST be observed when multiple rafting, with an absolute maximum of three boats in anything less than good conditions. There is a very clear Club Rule regarding use of Club moorings and we ask that all members be aware of and respect this rule. The costs associated with holding and maintaining of our moorings is a most significant cost to the Club.

Communication within the Club remains an issue and whilst acknowledging that the internet is not the most personal means of Club communication, it is certainly the easiest, quickest and most direct. But, it only works if you look at the WebSite occasionally. Unfortunately very few members have chosen to make contributions to the WebSite and as such it is not serving the purpose for which it was intended, that is, an open communication medium for ALL Club members. It would be nice to have a little more feedback, articles or stories (funny or serious) to help make the WebSite a little more interesting and the Club a little more personal.

After 3 years as Commodore of the Akuna Bay Cruising Club Inc, I am stepping aside to allow some new blood and new ideas further improve the Club, though Jenny and I can look back at some great times and great friendships that have only been made possible by our involvement in the Club. For this we thank all of you who have in some way contributed to the Club and our lives, hopefully we've helped enhance your boating lives also. A huge thanks to the Committee for their continued support, as always, it's the willing few who make the Club and its activities possible. So a big thank you to Harry and Jill, Frank and Janet, Marcia, Jackie, James and a very special thanks to Jenny for her ongoing support over the 3 years, without her I couldn't have been there.