We are the People that are FREE!

 Passage people are those that have been met at anchorages or marinas or beaches or whatever along the way. They are featured perhaps because they are unique and special or because they are not, rather because they are just typical examples but of an extraordinary group. By being cruising boaties, all of these people have stepped off the well trod path and done something exceptional with their lives.


 Passage People by edition

 Passage People by boat names

 From The Coastal Passage, issue # 3











 The “Harum Scarum”

While strolling through Hamilton Island Marina a while ago, the most curious craft grabbed my attention. I place our boat at the tidier end of the grotty yachty scale, which means we are semi-tolerated by the champagne set at “Hammo”, in their new Riviera's and Benateau's. But this thing I saw must totally freak out the “hors d’ouevre” crowd. Not that it's untidy, it's just so individual weird! Chris was 5 years old when his family immigrated from Holland to Sydney. His father attempted several boat projects, but all came to naught, what with six kids to cramp the action. So…when year's later 18 year old son Chris started to build his dream boat in Brisbane, Dad had little faith. Chris carried on though, and moved on board at 21, and has been there since.
Over the years the boat has grown and been modified into a comfortable home and complete workshop, and do I mean complete! The Ford Lees 120hp engine no longer planes the deep V hull, but that's a small price to pay in exchange for absolute self efficiency. Chris grows his vegetables and makes his water. The solar panels shading his veranda churn out 60-70 amps, so he doesn't have to use his huge gen-set very much. What with his welding gear and complete sound studio, Chris goes through some juice. In the 25 years or so that Chris has lived aboard, he has investigated every creek on the coast from Gove to Port Douglas, with visits to PNG, Thursday Island and more. Chris works his way through ports with many skills and qualifications, though stainless steel fabrication seems to be a favourite.
So…., if you see the Harum Scarum out there sometime, give a wave after you recover from the shock. Chris has done what many talk or dream about. He has taken complete control of his life and is living it on the water.



Arthur & Colette of “Windwalker”

Arthur & Colette are working their way north in their new Prescott designed “Windwalker”.
Still adjusting fit out and adding gear to their recent purchase, they none the less performed well at the EMIC Regatta, and seem very happy with their new floating home.
Arthur was a partner in the family business in the West Indies. When the business was sold, they came looking for the right boat to cruise. “Windwalker” is a very sporty boat for cruising, but Arthur and Colette are up for the job. Give them a wave if you see them…Better be quick though!


 Ed & Genie of “Wandering Dream”

Ed & Genie of “Wandering Dream”, a Rival 38 from Southhampton, England, are doing a quick little cruise around the world. Apparently this is just a sighting lap so they can do it again later in a more leisurely and thorough manner. I've never heard of such a thing, but what do you expect from two engineers?
They found South Percy Island much to their liking, and were pleased with the “can do” spirit of Airlie when it came to sourcing parts for repair.
I hope they stop in on their next lap. Maybe they will have time for a yarn. I'm sure it will be a good one!


 Raymond of “Sounion”

Raymond from Fremantle is cruising through the Whitsunday's on his steel yacht “Sounion”.
It seems Ray wasn't taking to retirement with the same enthusiasm as his family, so up came the anchor and he took off. He flies home for visits, but seems happiest hanging around the sailing club having a yarn and a beer.
When I asked “why the boat?”, I got a thoughtful and brilliant answer: “Bob, when you've done everything you wanted to in life, what do you do, rot in the suburbs or go cruising?”







 The "Hope III"

Many of you have heard in the news of the Mackay fishing boat, the “HOPE III”, that burned offshore last May. According to Gail and “Matt” Mathias, the owners, none of the media had the facts right.
But that doesn't matter anyway. It's the people left with the smoking, stinking ruin that matter, and are the story.
The couple bought a semi-finished 40ft. steel pleasure craft in 1998. After over a year on the hard, the boat was finished to the highest standard. Equipped with snap freezer, fridge, live tanks, and brine, she was DPI approved, so could sell to export market.
She operated with 4 aboard; skipper and 3 dory's, with a licence purchased from the vessel “Legend”, which oddly, was destroyed by fire.
Though their insurance with National Marine from Far North Brokers appears to be looking after them, they aren't sure they've got the heart to do it all again. There was a lot more than money invested in the family business. Matt feels the boat was his identity.
We all hope the pain subsides soon, and maybe after a while, they can put heart and pride into one more.