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 From The Coastal Passage, issue #27

Fun Family Fleet? or Fun Fleet Family?

(try to say that fast!)

I caught Carl at work on his BIG 54’ ketch in the marina. As I thought he could use a break I began to ask questions. I guessed TIC TAC to be steel but he corrected me, she is alloy. He and Bev had spent 2 years re-fitting her down south before the voyage north and had several disasters along the way. Bent shaft and prop... the usual. One of the dumb questions I asked is how they got into cruising? “Cause of Brian on PANDORA, my daughters partner. He’s right there.” HUH? Carl went on to explain that it was cruising with their daughters family a few years ago that did it and now they were cruising as a fleet. PANDORA was just one berth away, all 57 steel feet of her. Amazing! So I stirred up the whole family and got lucky with a fleet photo. Below are, from left, Brian (AKA the instigator) Belinda (AKA partner in crime) and daughter Jemma with Bev and Brian (AKA victims!) So if you see them sailing into your anchorage, give a friendly wave and leave them lots and lots of room......

What about the opposite approach of the family fleet? How about one boat and share it around.. Sometimes sailing together and not to worry about those long watches or switch off between crews as holidays are available. And a cat is perfect for this. Imagine, you only have to anti-foul one of the hulls? Seriously, for couples who get along that well this arrangement makes perfect sense. Caught in the act of changeover, from front in yellow and going clock wise; That's Lena (part owner), Gail and Ken (guests), Mike (part owner with Lena), and Steve and Lin (the other owners). Half the cost and half the work and boats don’t mind being used as much as being neglected. Well done!

When Heath got tired of bouncing off the tarmac whilst racing motorbikes in North America, he went to sea and has covered a lot of ocean since. He has been a skipper of large fishing and cargo vessels and an officer with P&O. About ten years ago he migrated from his native Canada and lately has found a vessel to suit him. The very unusual little ship is tough as, being built to withstand the roughest weather the north sea can dish out. Though there have been boats built to the Ole Fiskar design in Australia, this one is from Denmark, brought to New Zealand by a cargo ship skipper on deck. The little boat was later sailed across the Tasman to Manly where Heath acquired her. This very sturdy craft has seen many miles since and some blue water as well. Fishing and touring, just brilliant!

Beate (Norway) and Jan (Denmark) went through a storm and the risk of Australian “hospitality”to get here. Wonder which is more dangerous!

It is very good to have the foreign boats cruising along with the fleet and getting rarer lately. So they are all the more welcome.

Bon Voyage SY FRIGG!