Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The same could be said of historical events.
In writing this chronicle I have, perforce, left out as much as I have put in, selecting those events which, I felt, best illustrated some aspect of the Club's activities. This does not mean that other persons or events are any less important. Their contributions are just as essential and without them the Club would cease to exist.
Cruising is as old as time itself. Early explorers such as Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, Tobias Furneaux and Matthew Flinders found Tasmania's shores a haven after many months at sea. On 18 May 1792, D'Entrecasteaux wrote "Each ray of light displayed fresh beauties; on all sides, bays of great depth were to be seen, all equally sheltered from the winds ... None of our navigators had ever seen so vast and safe an anchorage."1 He was describing the channel which now bears his name.
Cruising was more a necessity than a pleasure in the early days of the colony. Before the advent of roads, vessels of all shapes and sizes plied the waterways carrying produce to and from Hobart Town. Leisure-time pursuits were few but Alfred and Lewis May2 of Sandford "got the cruising bug"3. In 1895 they purchased the INEZ from Mark Creese4 for £28. Alfred, Lewis and their friend William Clemes sailed her home to Maydena Bay where she was anchored below the house. In the Inez they cruised extensively, building up a collection of shells now in the possession of the South Australian Museum.
As the colony matured, sailing for pleasure became more popular. The men left their wives and children at home while they spent Saturday afternoon racing round the buoys or they sailed down the Channel for a weekend of fishing. However, by the late 1960s a growing number of people cruised as a family. Anchorages in D'Entrecasteaux Channel rang to the laughter of children at play while round the barbecue fire Mums and Dads relaxed and talked of their cruising dreams. From these gatherings the idea of a cruising club was formed.
1975 - 1985
An article in The Mercury on 26 September 1974 foreshadowed the formation of the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania. It was another eight months, however, before an advertisement in The Mercury drew about 50 people to a meeting at the Kingston home of Donald and Anne Sutherland on Friday 9 May 1975. David Coatman took the chair and outlined the aims of the proposed club.
Through the formation of the club it was hoped to
A levy of one dollar per person was paid by those present to tide the infant club over till its first Annual General Meeting.
Much of the early 'spade work' was done by Carl & Renee Mann who were members of the Coastal Cruising Club, a similar organisation in New South Wales; and by Mary Makepeace, then the Secretary of the Derwent Sailing Squadron. She fulfilled the duel roles of Secretary and Treasurer until the first Annual General Meeting.
At the first Annual General Meeting, held at the Kingston Hotel in November 1975, Donald Sutherland took the chair and outlined to the 25 people present the aims and aspirations of the club. Election of Office Bearers was spirited and Donald became the Club's first Commodore, with Vice Commodore (Cruising) Kevin Ackroyd, Vice Commodore (Racing) Ian McKay, Max Redmond as Rear Commodore and Treasurer, Carl Mann. As Secretary, the indefatigable Mary Makepeace. Members were saddened at her untimely death in 1977.
In accordance with the Club's constitution, meetings were held on the first Tuesday of each month, except January when most members are away on their summer cruise. Meetings were informal affairs with a short business session followed by a guest speaker or some other form of entertainment. Some rather long-winded business sessions resulted in members voting to have the business segment completed by 9 pm. However it was later decided to have the entertainment first, relegating the business session to the latter part of the evening.
For the first six months meetings were held at the Kingston High School before moving to the more nautical atmosphere of the Kingston Beach Sailing Club. However, by popular opinion, meetings were resumed in the Music Room of the Kingston High School where they continued until April 1977. The club-rooms of the Derwent Sailing Squadron then became the Club's headquarters and the relationship with them was of mutual benefit - dry business meetings engendered spirited service over the bar! Later, as a cost-cutting measure, the Squadron decided to close during the evening. However, they were more than happy for the C.Y.C.T. to continue to meet in their clubrooms as many of the Club's members were also members of the D.S.S. Mark and Christopher Creese were also given permission to act as honorary barmen.
By this time there were fifty financial members in the Club and a place to call 'home' was a prime objective.
During 1975/76, six acres at Dru Point, Margate came under review. Negotiations were carried out with the Kingborough Council, on behalf of the Club and in conjunction with the Kingborough Aquatic Club. But to no avail. Other possibilities that drew passing interest were the Powder Jetty at Howden and a proposal to fill Stinkpot Bay. However, neither of these schemes came to fruition.
The next area to take the Club's eye was a small triangle of bushland adjacent to the Safcol factory at Margate. This seemed an ideal location with the jetty and refuelling facilities nearby. George Jenkins spent much time in discussions with the Lands Department and Carl Mann drew up some grandiose plans for a club house and slipway. Negotiations dragged on for about two years - complicated by the fact that steelworker, Gary Bell was granted leasehold of half the area, leaving the other half too small for the Club's purposes.
Meanwhile, John Wells was steadily going ahead building marina facilities at North West Bay. At a meeting in 1980, John intimated to members that he would be prepared to relinquish part of his lease to the Club for use as its headquarters. The Commodore, Harry Hale, took over negotiations with John and the Lands Department and spent much time taking soundings, installing a water main and planning the Club's future use of the area. However, the high cost of the rental and rates finally put the death-knell on the proposal and members agreed to return the lease to John Wells in 1982.
A chance remark late in 1982 by Vice Commodore Barry Hibbard put the Club in pursuit of club rooms once more. The Mariners Cottages at Battery Point were derelict and about to be demolished. In June 1984 the Club signed a lease agreement with the National Trust, the rental to be 50 man-hours of work each year. Each edition of Albatross outlined working bees and members spent many long hours restoring the cottages to something like their former grandeur.
The Executive Committee also needed a home. Each succeeding Committee made its own decision as to where to hold their business sessions. In the early days meetings were held over a casual lunch at the Derwent Sailing Squadron. However, as the work load increased, more organised meetings were held in members' homes and often followed by sumptuous suppers! In order to relieve the Executive's expanding waistlines and to have a more central location for meetings, the Committee then decided to have evening meetings at the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
The original constitution was formulated by the Club's first Public Officers, David Coatman, Kevin Ackroyd and Donald Sutherland. It was then registered with the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs before presenting to the first meeting in May 1975. However, as with all constitutions, time showed up many anomalies.
During the 1977/78 year with the help of two of the Club's legal members, Graham Blackwood and Peter Griffits, the constitution was completely rewritten. They made many changes. Amongst these were a change in the date of the Annual General Meeting from November to September each year and the addition of two more positions on the Committee. The completed document was presented to the Annual General Meeting on 7 November 1978 for ratification and Frog Balmer, on behalf of members present, commended the Committee for their hard work and the new constitution, as tabled, was accepted.
A further alteration to the constitution was foreshadowed in the Albatross of October 1981. A notice of motion proposed that the three more time-consuming positions on the Committee, Secretary, Treasurer and Albatross Editor, be exempt from the maximum three-year ruling. However, after much heated discussion this motion was lost.
During the first few months a competition to select a Club emblem was held. A design of a white albatross on a blue background submitted by Renee Mann was chosen and this symbol of the Club is seen fluttering from mastheads in many anchorages both in Tasmania and overseas. Denis Alexander6, however, viewed the Albatross from a different angle!
"SHOW THE FLAG
The Albatross is seen to fly
The Club found burgees, made commercially, were prohibitively expensive. However member Helen Warner, herself a seamstress, offered to make the burgees and has done so since the Club's inception. In order to cope with the influx of Club insignia of various types Wendy Lees took on the job of Quartermaster in November 1978. Sales continued apace and later Helen Warner became Quartermaster until she retired in 1989.
The first items on sale were Albatross cast brass plaques and later, a design submitted by Erika Creese7, graced the front of t-shirts and windcheaters. Also popular was an embroidered cloth badge, produced at the instigation of Treasurer, Ron Warner in March 1982 and as a special 10th anniversary offer, Mac Hoban introduced metal Club lapel badges.
There is no doubt that the life-line of the Club is the monthly magazine, Albatross. Each edition is eagerly awaited, presenting members with information on coming events, articles on cruising, practical hints, notices to mariners and other items of interest. The magazine was first published in December 1975 and was part of Rear Commodore, Max Redmond's many duties. Max was assisted by his wife Jean, Carl and Renee Mann and Paddy and Judy Burgess Watson. Together they initiated the basic Albatross style which has persisted until the present day.
Their good work was carried on from December 1977 by Vanessa Aitkens and it was during her editorship that changes to the constitution resulted in the Editor becoming part of the Executive Committee. For three years from late 1978, Anne Sutherland was Albatross Editor. The Club lost one of its hardest workers when Anne died suddenly while cruising on the Eye of the Wind at Port Davey on 17 February 1983.
The job of Editor was made less onerous by the contributions from Club members. Erika Creese burnt the midnight oil to get Albatross to the press from 1981 to 1984. She had the support of ancillary workers who saved her from having too many grey hairs! Ken and Doris Newham, Wendy Lees and Suzie Booth ran the gauntlet with the postman, collating, wrapping and posting each edition.
Cruising is of course the Club's raison d'etre and each succeeding Vice Commodore has been hard-pressed to find interesting destinations for Club members. The regular monthly programme usually incorporated a day cruise/barbecue as well as an overnight cruise.
Early cruises in company centred on the northern end of D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The first recorded Club cruise was in November 1975 to the anchorage at Rosebanks in Barnes Bay. Here members gathered for a lunch-time barbecue and were entertained by a water diviner. Some members found they had a talent for divining but all most members found was their glass of wine!
Racing also played an important part in the Club's early get-togethers. In conjunction with the Channel Sailing Club based at Snug, the C.Y.C.T. conducted a comprehensive sailing programme incorporating pennant races round North West Bay as well as long-distance races to Betsy and Green Islands. Boats competing were evenly matched, sailing under a 'gentleman's agreement' without spinnakers. However, interest in racing decreased dramatically after Neptune, belatedly calling for 'starboard' just short of the finishing line, was hit square amidships by the Commodore's yacht CalavoN.
Despite bad weather Coonerang, Venus and Gay Rebel turned up for the March long-weekend cruise in 1976, only to find that everyone else had stayed at home! However, ten boats made it to Rabbit Island for a very successful Easter cruise despite several vessels taking to the bottom at low tide.
1978 was a busy year for cruises. During the March long-weekend 11 Club boats anchored at Mickeys Bay. On the way home the Albatross records "Top marks for seamanship to Stephen Newham in Kilkie (all 8'6" of her) which he gallantly sailed from North Tinpot to The Quarries."8 On the way he sailed through a large school of dolphins, some bigger than his boat!
Rabbit Island was again the venue during Easter. Five dinghies, loaded to the gunwhales with children and parents, explored the Esperance River. Upstream the motive power varied, some like the Commodore resorting to four oars instead of the usual two. For the return journey all five dinghies were lashed side by side, those with outboards arranged strategically at either side and in the middle. The ungainly craft was dubbed the triple-screwed quinmaran!
Later that year the Club organised a Safety Day at Snug Beach. Members brought along their out-of-date flares and together with some donated by Peter Johnston and R.R. Rex & Sons, learned how to set them off. The dangers of being in distress were soon apparent. George Jenkins was seen peering down the end of a flare that hadn't yet gone off and a double star rocket ended up in a box with the unused flares and had to be hurriedly removed before they all went off. Soon the smoke from the many incendiaries forced the postponement of the cricket match on the adjacent sports ground! The most popular event of the day for the children was the launching of a liferaft. Despite the fact that it had been condemned at its last service it unfolded perfectly when the string was pulled and soon the children claimed it as their floating cubby house. After the demonstration was over boats retreated to Killora for the night.
Visits to our members in far-flung anchorages were high on the cruising agenda. Easter 1981 was programmed as a visit to Cascades Bay, the home of Don and Sue Clark. However, as the Albatross reports "there were a quite a few long faces on Good Friday as the gales rattled windows and the wind gusted to over 100 kilometres an hour ..." "But all was not lost - at home by the fireside a PLAN was formed - and on Saturday morning about 20 members navigated the winding road to the Tasman Peninsula behind the wheel of their cars!"9 Following a visit to the Koonya Market members gathered for a barbecue in the shelter of the courtyard where once convicts were exercised. The following year the cruise was reprogrammed and, with perfect autumn weather, six club boats once more enjoyed Don and Sue's hospitality at Cascades.
In March 1983, Vice Commodore Alan Johnson organised a cruise during which he hoped the Club would make the first landing from a keel-boat on the Sorell Causeway. After sailing across Storm Bay Neptune, Voyager, Alkira, Wincanton and Temeraire anchored in Pittwater under the sandhills at Five Mile Beach. The next day, proceeding on a rising tide and following a map provided by Jeff Boyes of Tascoast Radio at Midway Point, Neptune and Voyager finally found a route through the shallows to the north of Woody Island. Passing motorists gaped in surprise at the sight as Erika Creese effected a landing on the Causeway to chat to Jeff Boyes who had arrived to welcome Club boats.
During Easter 1983 the Club headed for the home port of Inez and Wynne Hay at Southport. Neptune, Sagitta, Temeraire, Voyager, K Lyn M, Incognito, Elenita, Melody, Kalina, Sundowner and Leonora II were joined by Wynne and Inez in Riki. The five day break was filled with activities. Wynne provided transport for a visit to the thermal pool and caves, which was followed by a trip back to the Deep Hole anchorage on the Lune River Railway. The following day members walked to the George III Monument. An ominous forecast broke up the fleet, some boats seeking shelter behind Rabbit Island in Port Esperance while others felt it more prudent to go further up the Channel. However, despite the storm warnings the weather stayed fine and warm and those with Tuesday off managed a lunchtime barbecue in Apollo Bay before returning home.
Other programmed cruises included a 'garbos' cruise at Mickeys Bay, bird-watching on Betsy Island, a camping weekend in conjunction with the Hobart Walking Club and several river forays to Huonville and New Norfolk.
As well as local cruises, many members sailed to distant parts of Tasmania such as Port Davey and the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait. These cruises were good training for cruises even further afield and the Albatross has been seen flying in remote anchorages in many far-flung countries.
Following a cruise to the Whitsundays during 1977, Ken Newham decided to present the Club with a cup manufactured from an aluminium mast section as a trophy for the 'Cruise of the Year'. The first winner was George Jenkins in Wincanton for a cruise to Sydney. The smallest boat to win the award was the 20 foot Voyager. Frog and Maisie Balmer valiantly followed the carrot dangled from the stern of another Club boat, Alkira, to cruise to Port Davey. In 1981 Adrienne and Frank Franken won the award for their voyage to Alaska in their 43 foot Aratika and in 1985 the Vice Commodore of the Club, Alan Johnson was the winner after a four-month cruise in the 26 foot Kalina to the Whitsundays.
Constant vigilance is needed to keep pace with Tasmania's unforgiving weather. Gear failures or an unforecast change in the weather can be the cause a major disaster.
On Regatta Day 1979, Kampari, a stout 28 foot motor sailer owned by Club members Robert and Margaret Loring, was out for a day's fishing. In light north-easterly winds they anchored in Pot Bay in seven metres of water. After laying out 20 metres of chain and a further ten metres of polypropylene rope they took their two children, Belinda and Marcus, ashore to the beach.
However, the wind swung round to the west-south west and the anchor warp parted. Before they could get back on board Kampari was on the rocks. Robert and Margaret learned to their cost to "not run aground on a Public Holiday; check synthetic lines for damage due to exposure to ultra-violet rays; (and) the cost to hire a tug, approx. $120 per hour."10
With the vicious weather over the next week Kampari soon broke up and the following weekend the Club helped Robert and Margaret salvage what was left. Soon there was a growing pile of boat fittings on the beach.
However, salvaging the engine was more time-consuming. Using a section of the deck the engine was winched from the depths and along a rocky outcrop. On the beach below Fort Direction the 40 foot cliffs looked insurmountable. With the help of some soldiers and an Army four-wheel-drive, the engine was slowly lifted skywards. The weight of the engine and angle of pull proved too much for the rope and it parted with a sharp whipping sound. Not deterred, though, a second rope was attached to Mark Creese's truck and, using it as an anchor and reserve, the engine was soon over the top and onto safer ground.
"All in all", said Robert and Margaret, "although a sad day for the owners to see the Kampari wreck stripped, it was rewarding and we are most grateful for the kind help given by the efficient C.Y.C.T. Salvage Team."11Full size photos
Members moorings were scattered far and wide, some in the Derwent River while others were in the Channel, Southport, Taranna or even in the north of the State at Launceston. An early proposal to build a raft for servicing moorings fell by the wayside because of the distance it would have to travel.
In 1979 the Club became custodian of a mooring owned by Harry Bailey-Stark in the heart of Sandy Bay. This proved popular with Club boats coming to town for their annual slipping and during the construction of the RYCT marina the mooring was permanently leased to earn the Club some valuable dollars.
Before radios became popular, arrival at a rendezvous tended to be somewhat haphazard. With the advent of 27 mHz radio communications improved and Margate Base, run by Len Bonnitcha, played an important role in co-ordinating Club cruises.
Hobart Radio's friendly service was also popular. The Club had a good relationship with station operators Barry Mottram, Phil Jones and John Brooksbank and they were invited to speak to members at Club meetings on several occasions.
'Albatross Base', the Club's own base station, operated from the home of George Bilson at Howden from 1980. Following George's death the station was moved to Ken and Doris Newham's home at Oyster Cove until it was finally disbanded in 1985.
As an adjunct to the main aim of cruising, classes in related subjects have been at the forefront of the Club's activities.
During the first year classes in coastal navigation were held at the Kingston High School. The instructor, Jamie Robb, also commenced a relationship with the Club which was to last till his death in 1981. Jamie's relaxed style of instruction was enjoyed by all who attended and this first series of classes was followed up at regular intervals with further classes in both coastal and celestial navigation.
During 1979 sailmaker, Ed Trowbridge conducted classes for Club members. Using floor space at the old clubrooms of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, members made sails of all shapes and sizes and the results could be seen at cruises during the following months.
Classes in diesel maintenance were conducted by John Briginshaw in 1982. Following the theoretical segments, practical sessions were held at the Hobart Technical College and the Mt Nelson workshop of Mark Creese and followed by a field day at Kettering on members own boats.
During 1982 the Hobart Technical College conducted theory classes for the Australian Yachting Federation's Inshore Certificate. More than half the class were Club members and they all passed with flying colours. After several years the College decided to disband its classes and as a result the Club decided apply for accreditation to conduct its own courses.
A varied programme of activities kept members in touch between cruises.
The Club's first Annual Dinner was held on July 16 1976 when members packed the Lady Hamilton Room at the Mt Nelson Motor Inn. In 1977 members dined at the Fern Tree Tavern. Here the dining room was decorated with signal flags, and there was heated competition to find out what the various signals revealed! Subsequent annual dinners were held at many popular venues. However, perhaps the one most in keeping with the Club's aims was a cruise on the Derwent Explorer in 1982, accompanied by a Jazz Band and followed by dinner at the Oyster Cove Inn.
During winter 1977 a 'Pig Swill' was held at the bayside cottage of Donald and Anne Sutherland at Howden. The 'male chauvinist pigs' decided to wait on the 'sows' (ladies please!). Vice Commodore (Racing), Ian McKay, was found to have hidden talent as a chef. But, reported the Albatross, "Perhaps the pig tasted all the better because of the gentleman, who turned up complete with official documents clip-board and all, and terrified all present with the threat of health permits, pig permits, customs clearance - all to be lodged in quadruplicate."12 However the prank was soon sorted out and, last seen, the 'agricultural inspector' was getting his fair share of roast pork and mulled wine!
Films were popular as entertainment. On 8 November 1977 the Club showed the film 'The Dove' to members and friends at the Derwent Sailing Squadron. In May 1983 members saw wildlife of the Antarctic in the film 'Edge of the Cold' and the following year followed David Lewis' SOLO on his voyage round Antarctica. On another occasion early footage of Shackleton's voyage was shown and members enjoyed Irving Johnson's film of sailing around the Horn so much that it was shown on more than one occasion!
During the winter months, lunch time barbecues kept members together. One of the most popular venues in the early years was 'Maydena', the home at Sandford of Robert and Pauline May and their two children Karen and Paul. On these occasions many members (both young and old) would bring model yachts and there was spirited competition out on the bay. Ken and Doris Newham's home 'The Moorings' at Kettering and the home of Martin and Meg Seymour at Oyster Cove were also popular for Club gatherings. There were even mutterings among members that the Club should change its name to 'The Barbecue Club of Tasmania'!
During the early 80s Club members were treated by Rear Commodore, Alan Johnson, to a flurry of musical shows. In 1981 members sang along with the Old Time Music Hall production, 'Piccillili', at the Pacific Explorer. The next year the Theatre Royal Light Opera Company put on 'The Black and White Minstrels' at the Theatre Royal and a group went to see the Channel Theatre Company production of 'Oklahoma'. In 1983 the Club saw two productions, 'Caroline' and 'The Pyjama Game' at the Playhouse. Singing became so popular that Alan produced a Club Song Book complete with shanties and other ditties.
Ausmas also became a fixture on the Club calendar. On 25 June 1983, members gathered at the home of Commodore, Harry Hale where Father Ausmas, in addition to handing out presents, thumped out a tune on a pianola. Outside, the fields were covered in a light sprinkling of snow. The following year the winter gathering took the form of a musical evening at Ken and Doris Newham's to farewell Frog and Maisie Balmer on their nostalgic journey back to Ireland. Ausmas was once more celebrated in 1985 at the home of Len and Ruth Johnson.
Eating and drinking were always popular pastimes. In September 1982 members gathered at Wendy and Dennis Lees home for wine tasting and the following year a Progressive Dinner heralded in the Christmas season. In 1984 the Club organised an evening with the Fisheries Development Authority's cooking expert, Pat Bolin. After learning some of the secrets of fish cookery, members tucked into a sumptuous crayfish supper. The heavy rain did not dampen appetites at the 1985 end-of-year spit roast. Seventy members huddled round a cheery blaze in the boatshed at the Oyster Cove home of Meg and Martin Seymour.
The Club affiliated with the Tasmanian Yachting Association during its first year. The Club's two representatives attended meetings regularly to voice the Club's opinion on subjects such as manning of lighthouses, navigation aids and marine aquaculture leases. However, C.Y.C.T. members expressed concern over the levy imposed by the T.Y.A. which inflated our annual subscription and debate continued for many years.
The first recorded financial member of the Club was Max Redmond, who with his wife Jean, sailed the 35 foot steel ketch Venus. By the first Annual General Meeting in November 1975 there were nineteen financial members paying a subscription of $5 each. The Club's early finances were meagre, the Treasurer recording a bank balance of $29 in August 1975. However, by February 1976 this had risen to $87. Membership continued to rise, followed closely by subscriptions and by the second Annual General Meeting there were more than twice the number of members and the subscription had doubled to $10 per annum.
As a reminder to members to pay their subscription the Treasurer wrote:
The Albatross ain't like a Pelican
Numbers continued to rise till in the 1980/81 year there were 87 members and the Club had accumulated assets worth $2,533.39. However, a constitutional crisis put the Club on an unsteady keel and membership dropped back to 69 over the next 18 months. By 1985 the Club's assets had doubled to $5046.25 and subscriptions rose to $20. Membership was increasing once more and the Club celebrated its tenth year with more than one hundred family members.
1986 - 1994
After two years of working bees and many hours of hard work the Club finally had its first meeting in the Mariners Cottage on 6 May 1986. At each monthly meeting up to 50 members crowded into the Cottage's tiny rooms.
One of Rear Commodore, Colin Wood's duties was to provide liquid refreshments. However, his preference for mainland brews caused some comment and Christopher Creese, a employee of the local Cascade Brewery, found himself with a job. From April 1987 Chris has provided an assortment of different beverages to make sure that meetings are not too dry.
The Cottage proved popular, so popular that the Club soon outgrew its tiny rooms. Unfortunately the National Trust refused the Club permission to make alterations to the building and by the early 1990s it was reluctantly decided to look for an alternative venue for Club meetings.
In the meantime the Club organised a series of meetings held at different locations. In October 1987 a record 85 members attended a meeting on board the MV Icebird arranged by Vice Commodore Karen May and member Hans van der Doe. In 1989 a visit was made to the Marine Board Tower and in April 1990 the venue was the workshops of International Catamarans where the meeting was held on board the Hoverspeed Great Britain. The following month members congregated on board the ferry North Head. Several meetings were also held at the Hobart Technical College where, after the business session, members learned about marine electrics from member Barry Males. The nautical atmosphere of the Maritime Museum was also popular. On several occasions Club member Phillip Fowler guided members through the museum's exhibits and showed videos of nautical interest.
A plea in the March 1992 edition of Albatross called for members to help "Albert the Albatross find a new home".14 Meetings were moved to the Sandy Bay Sailing Club in June 1992 but members found the premises very cold in winter.
The Committee investigated alternative venues at H.M.A.S. Huon, the Derwent Sailing Squadron, Royal Yacht Club and the Hobart Regatta Pavillion and brought their recommendations to the general meeting in April 1993. After considerable discussion it was decided, on a show of hands, that the Club should try out the facilities at the Regatta Pavillion for the next meeting. There was further heated discussion about accommodation for the Club's meetings at the May meeting until a motion moved by Graeme von Bibra suggested "that the C.Y.C.T. take up residence at the Regatta Pavillion..."15 where the Club was able to hang its memorabillia to make it feel more like 'home'. This motion was seconded by Michael Rosevear and passed with one dissention.
However, the Mariners Cottage was not forgotten. February meetings were still held there each year, commencing with a barbecue outside in the garden. The Cottage also continued to be used for other activities such as committee meetings, theory classes for the A.Y.F. Certificate and chart correction evenings.
Constitution updates continued at regular intervals. A review in 1987 clarified some membership issues and formalised the position of Club Warden on the Committee. Further amendments were tabled at the Annual General Meeting in 1990. A major review of the constitution was conducted during the 1993/94 year by Treasurer, Brian Cullen and Immediate Past Commodore Graeme von Bibra. Their findings, expressed as six separate motions, were submitted to the Committee in April 1994 and passed at the Annual General Meeting that year.
Sales of burgees, t-shirts and badges continued unabated and in September 1988 Vice Commodore Karen May introduced a new design of shirt, either in blue or white, featuring the Club's emblem.
Following Helen Warner's retirement in 1989, Doris Newham took over the Quartermaster's Stores. Later Margaret Lock did a one year stint before Doris took on the sales role once more. Always keen to make a sale, Leonie Brooks has taken orders for the Club's stores since 1994.
In 1985 the Club commenced work on a guide to anchorages in D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The book, compiled by Martin Seymour with the help of a small band of Club members, took over two years to complete. 'D'Entrecasteaux Waterways' was published in collaboration with the Tasmanian Department of Sea Fisheries and the Department of Lands, Parks & Wildlife and was printed by the Government Printer. It was a real achievement for the Club when it appeared for sale in city shops in 1988.
Work then began on another publication describing anchorages Tasmania-wide. However, it was disappointing that, after having accumulated more than 90% of the information needed for the book, work was curtailed following the appearance on the market of Brettingham-Moore's Martitime Tasmania.
Cruising friendships often provide unexpected bonuses. Ken and Doris Newham had, on a cruise to the Mainland in 1976, met fellow-Tasmanian Bill Stafford sailing the yacht Billycan. Some years later the Club was pleased to receive from Bill a donation of books to form the basis of a cruising library. Stephen Newham was library custodian for some years until the library was housed in the Mariners Cottage. The collection has been swelled by other donations and is now available at Club meetings at the Regatta Pavillion.
The Club's magazine 'Albatross' continued to be the mainstay of the Club. Regular contributors like Denis Alexander, Pauline May and Erika Johnson made the Editor's job much easier.
In April 1989, Editor Pauline May announced a story competition for junior members of the Club. Winner was Andrea Ingram aged 6. Her article about Seaquel's cruise to Southport was ably illustrated by her brother Michael, aged 5.
It was often difficult to find a volunteer to fill the time-consuming position of Editor. In 1990 after a gap of several months without a permanent Editor, Erika Johnson was persuaded to take on the role for her second term. Her task was made easier when the Club purchased a computer in 1991. The basic style had remained unchanged but during 1993 Editor, Jean Taylor reduced the page size of the magazine to the more conventional A5 sheet.
The weather was not always cooperative with the Club's programmed cruises. Strong winds over the January long weekend in 1986 had the fleet scattered far and wide and Voyager was the only boat to make the rendezvous at Nubeena. Neptune got as far as Bull Bay before retreating to the Channel; Riki and K Lyn M sheltered behind Partridge Island; Temeraire, Alkira and Tudor Rose reached the Quarries while Dunda D, On Q, Wirraway and Wombat all anchored in the Duckpond.
During 1986, Denis Alexander introduced mid-week cruises. Meeting once every second month, a small group of members were able to enjoy the fine weather in the Channel which always seemed to co-incide with the beginning of the working week!
'Pub nights' were also a new feature, introduced by Vice Commodore Karen May. Members congregated at the Shipwrights Arms where plans were hatched for the following weekend's cruising.
During 1987 the Club visited many anchorages. Over the June long-weekend ten Club boats made the rendezvous at The Quarries. Here they inspected the rock face from which the sandstone for many of Melbourne's public buildings was cut. After lunch at Tinpot Bay the fleet moved to Mickeys Bay where they were joined by Port Davey members Peter and Barbara Willson in their square-rigger Rallinga.
Later that month, after negotiating mid-winter fog, Camira, with ten Club members on board, anchored at The Sheppards for a lunch-time barbecue. "The tide was rising," reported the Albatross, "and our barbecue fire was perilously near the water. The Channel was unusually busy for a Sunday and the Derwent Explorer and a 'gin palace' created a considerable wash. However it was the wash of the navy's Ardent and a fishing boat which combined to completely wash the fire away!16
1988 was a year to remember commencing with the spectacle of the Tall Ships setting sail from Storm Bay. During the March long-weekend the Club cruised to New Norfolk and dined at Friendship Lodge, owned by former Secretary and Rear Commodore, Rosalie and Colin Wood.
Gale-force winds almost cancelled a programmed cruise for children from Camp Quality in November 1990. However the children were keen to go. Alkira, Iolanthe, Sea Echo II, Janzoon, Jessamy, Incognito and Katy Rose picked up their passengers from the Oyster Cove Marina and made their way across the wave-tossed Channel to Alexanders. "A most enjoyable day was spent with the children." said Vice Commodore, Brian Woolveridge, "The children had a new experience and so did we!"17
Dubbed 'Duckpond Digestion', the 1991 June long-weekend cruise featured a very successful progressive dinner. The soup kitchen on board Janzoon was well patronised and after adjourning to their own boats for the main course the crews of all 13 craft reconvened aboard Wrestashore for coffee and cakes.
1992 was the bi-centenary of the visit to Tasmania of Bruni D'Entrecasteaux. To honour the occasion the Cruising Yacht Club, together with other yacht clubs, organised the D'Entrecasteaux Bicentennial Cruising Regatta. At Snug on May 2, the programmed events on the water included a sail-past with the French naval vessel Commandant Birot taking the salute.
The forecast for the June long-weekend predicted cold fronts, wind, sleet and snow. This did not deter Camira, Safari, Just Jude, Talisman II, Solong, Ailsa and Ara from venturing down to Port Cygnet. Thick frost covered Camira's deck early on Sunday morning and the ship's dog, Floss, was somewhat nonplussed to find her water bowl frozen solid! In weak winter sunshine members walked into the town to meet for lunch at The Schoolhouse. Later, after a pleasant walk, Larry and Jean on board Ailsa welcomed aboard 18 guests for a warming tot of rum and coffee.
August's cruise to Legacy Beach at Coningham brought fine weather and a semblance of warmth. Sheltered from the 15-20 knot south westerlies Camira, South Cape II, Eriskay III, Bird of Dawning, Just Jude, Climax and Pajan anchored off the beach. On shore they were joined by five other Club members who had come by road. After a barbecue some members went up to investigate the Legacy Camp (one member was reputedly looking for puddings!), while others walked along the bush track to Snug Point. Basking in the late winter sunshine John Hamilton, an ex Sydney-sider, was heard to remark, "They'd never believe us if we told them what winter was like down here!"18
Early in 1993 the Club played host to the crew of Commercial Union, an entrant in the round the world British Steel Challenge. The crew joined in Club activities and met for a barbecue at the Mariners Cottage in February. Club boats were out in force to farewell the participants as they left the Derwent on February 13, bound for Cape Town.
The following year a cruise up the Derwent River to New Norfolk was plagued by 30 knot north westerlies. However, Hans van Tuil in the trailer-sailer Alida, handled the conditions well with reefed main and storm jib. Getting through the Bridgewater Bridge also posed some problems. Talisman II ran aground and the bridge got stuck part way and had to be lowered for a quick repair job. Finally Caverneer, Poitrel II, Austral Ark, Bird of Dawning, Just Jude, Talisman II and Alida successfully negotiated the lift span and rafted up alongside the wharf at New Norfolk. They were joined for dinner at the Oast House by the crews from Seventh Heaven and Adagio and all voted it a terrific evening. Returning down the river the next morning the boats anchored off the Austins Ferry Yacht Club where Denis Alexander was waiting on board Carinda. After lunch Denis led a walk to a nearby lookout where there were panoramic views of the Derwent River and surrounding hills. Continuing down river "Albert Ross witnessed one skipper hanging on to the top of his mast wearing a harness trying to judge the height before going through the span of the Bowen Bridge in thirty knot winds!"19
Members continued to cruise beyond Tasmania's shores. The 1987 'Cruise of the Year' award went to Peter and Chris McHugh who sailed Aerendir via New Zealand into the central Pacific where they visited Pitcairn Island for the second time.
The Albatross featured regular entries from the log of Ara on a circumnavigation of Australia. Ara and her owner, Mike Minchin, won the award in 1988.
The Commodore of the Club, Derek Farrar won 'Cruise of the Year' in 1989 for one of his many single-handed voyages up the east coast of Australia in Tudor Rose II.
Three circumnavigations of Tasmania were among 'Cruise of the Year' winners. In 1987 co-winners Alan Hope and Jocelyn Fogagnolo (Pegasus) cruised round Tasmania anticlockwise. In 1992 Don Morgan (White Wave) completed the circumnavigation in company with other boats in the Abel Tasman Bicentenary Cruise conducted by the Royal Yacht Club; and in 1993 Ken and Doris Newham in Alkira were awarded the cup after completing a clockwise circumnavigation of the island in company with Klaas and Colleen Koning in Solong.
That stretch of water between Marion Bay and Blackman Bay known as the Marion Narrows has a fearsome reputation.
On the January long-weekend in 1990, returning from a cruise on the east coast, Neptune sailed by Mark Creese and Melody (Bill and Anne Hodgson) lined up the leads. An on-shore breeze and a moderate swell made conditions uncomfortable but Melody passed through the Narrows without any problems.
However, Bill was horrified to see Neptune broach heavily on an unusually steep breaking wave, burying her bow under the water before turning over. Mark was washed overboard and resurfaced to see Neptune gradually righting herself. She was now much lower in the water and although she was still motoring along he was able to clamber back on board.
Coming to Neptune's aid Melody was caught, bow-on, to the same breaking wave. She slid backwards down its face and thankfully, sustained little damage other than losing her dinghy.
Both Neptune and Melody headed out to sea. Neptune was a sorry sight. Both masts were broken and the rigging hung in festoons over the deck. She was awash, with water to within one inch of the engine's air intake and Mark needed a secure anchorage to clean up and take stock.
Neptune was towed back to Maria Island. Here she was pumped out and an assortment of gear recovered from the bilge. An assessment found that in addition to being dismasted, the coach-house windows had been stove-in on one side and pushed out on the other, the cockpit windscreen had been carried away and her cabin timbers were cracked. Sand was even found in the folds of the roller furling headsail!
The following day Mark was able to get under way again and successfully negotiated the Marion Narrows. After a night at Dunalley Neptune continued under her own steam to Hobart where she was slipped at the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
Mark was thankful that Neptune's fifty-five year old timbers were stoutly fastened and that he had had the help of so many friends and fellow Club members. Neptune had proved her worth and by March 1990 was once more on the water and repairs continued as she cruised to Port Davey.
With the closure of our own base station members relied more on Hobart Radio, Margate Base and later Tasmar Radio for communications.
However, in 1990 there was a proposal to rationalise O.T.C. coast radio stations and close both the Hobart and Melbourne networks. Concern was expressed that these stations were being closed without any consultation with radio users. The Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania, represented by Graeme von Bibra, joined with other yacht clubs and user groups, the Hobart Marine Board and State Government to fund communications and electronics consultant, Andrew Boon, to conduct a survey of Tasmania's radio requirements. His report verified the committee's worst fears. Vessels in distress in Tasmanian waters had about a 92.2% chance of reaching help through Hobart Radio; this figure fell to only 70.4% should this station be closed. Committee Chairman, Jeff Boyes' submissions to Federal and State Governments fell on barren ground; the death-knell sounded and Hobart Radio was closed. However, perhaps it was some compensation that Melbourne Radio was retained.
At the August 1993 meeting Elaine Stokman and Bill Lush, operators of Tasmar Radio, spoke of their difficulties in raising money for a major upgrade of the station's network. Theirs was a voluntary organisation and despite persistent fundraising there was still a short-fall. In March 1994 Vice Commodore, Ian Turnbull was Master of Ceremonies at a special Tasmar Fundraiser gambling night held at the Regatta Pavillion. Following a barbecue outside on the lawn Club members entered into the spirit of things, spending up big for such a good cause. As a result $500 was raised to help Tasmar cover the cost of their new equipment.
The Club became accredited to conduct classes for the A.Y.F. Introductory and Inshore Certificates. In 1987 Ken Newham conducted the first classes for the Inshore Certificate, assisted by Martin Seymour and these were followed by practical sessions in 1988 held on Alkira. At the General Meeting held on 4 October 1988, "Doris Newham advised members that John Gericke had now completed the whole course...".20 This was greeted with acclamation.
In 1989 junior members, students at the Hutchins School, had a training programme at Introductory level. Another Inshore course was held in 1994 at which instruction was shared between Ken Newham, Derek Farrar and Stephen Newham.
In 1986 another successful evening was held at the Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Barbra Blomberg gave the sixty members present tips for perfect pastry and how to bone fish and stuff trout. Champagne corks popped as the demonstration finished and after tasting the dishes, members tucked into a crayfish supper. The evening was rounded off with a guided tour of the old Jones & Co building. The Annual Dinner, held on 26 September 1986 at the Bavarian Tavern, was hard pressed to keep up the standard!
Winter activities during 1987 included the ever popular barbecue at 'Maydena'. During June Ausmas was celebrated at the home of Zen and Vera Houdek and in August the Annual Dinner was held at Hadleys Hotel.
To herald in the Christmas season, members had a special Christmas Dinner at the House Sofia on Bruny Island. 'Special' was the operative word. The table groaned under the weight of platters of scrumptious festive fare for which the House Sofia is justifiably famous. Entertainment was provided by a troupe of visiting Morris Dancers. Transport back to the anchorage at north Symmonds Bay had to be reorganised when the bus driver, who perhaps had had one too many, was discovered fast asleep! The evening was such a success that the Club booked the House Sofia for Christmas the following year.
The Christmas function in December 1989 returned to Oyster Cove. Rear Commodore, Brian Woolveridge reported that "about fifty members enjoyed a perfect summer evening at Martin and Meg Seymour's property. Spit-roasted beef, lamb and turkey accompanied by mouth-watering salads, followed by delicious desserts"21 - were all washed down with generous glasses of wine and ensured that Christmas was celebrated in style.
The bleak weather during winter merged into a brisk, clear pre-spring day on 10 August 1991. MINDER, Just Jude, Alkira, Harmony, Talisman II, Camira of Hobart, Idlewald, Iolanthe, South Cape II, Nellie III and Sea Echo II plus one campervan converged on Barnes Bay for the Club's Annual Dinner at Lyndenne. While Ted Mann and his staff looked after the gastronomic delights, music was provided by Ian Parkinson on the piano. Sing-a-longs were enthusiastic, if not exactly in tune and the antics of some inspired the Newham family to write an ode entitled 'The Marinated Mariners'!
Fifty-five Club members had "a rollicking good time"22 at the Christmas party at the Woodbridge Hotel in December 1992. The lunch was enlivened by certain undemocratically determined prizes for outstanding (?) achievements. The Cottees Award for 'sticky moments' went to Club Warden, Derek Farrar who, it seems, encountered some problems on a recent voyage. He was presented with a bottle of Cottees syrup. The Columbus Award for navigational excellence was won by John Hamilton who turned up for a Club cruise at the right time and at the right place, but a week late. He got a toy compass! The High School of Fishing Award went to Vice Commodore, Ian Turnbull, for his prowess (or lack of it!) at fishing and the Berlei Award, evidently for contributing to marine nutrition, went to the once chunderous Ian Johnson. Ian got a Berlei bra!
The dinner's organiser, Rear Commodore Mike Tatlow, rounded off the occasion by presenting wine and chocolates to those in seats marked by red dots.
To celebrate their 18th birthday the Club took up a suggestion by Peter Hooks for members to rendezvous in Constitution Dock prior to the Annual Dinner in August 1993. Bird of Dawning, Solong, Robbie B, Thuin Bay, Just Jude, Libelle, Austral Ark, Eriskay III, Pandora, Marie Francis, Tudor Rose II, Keepsake, Altar and Prelude took up the Marine Board's invitation of free docking and soon mulled wine was being handed out. The growing crowd spilled out onto the dock side and later over 70 members made their way to the Riveriera Ristorante for dinner. Just Jude won a prize for the most potent mulled wine; Thuin Bay for experiencing a sudden 35 knot gust off Kingston while under full sail; Pandora for being the last boat into Constitution Dock and Prelude won the Lucky Seat prize. Boats made a rendezvous for lunch at Taroona Beach the next day and later a big-end-first southerly blast was recorded at 50 knots bringing squally conditions, rain and poor visibility. Fortunately it was short lived and members were able to reach their respective moorings safely.
The Club's 'teen years' were rounded off with a barbecue lunch to celebrate the Christmas season, 1994. A convoy of yachts made their way to the anchorage at Perch Bay while others came by road. Sheltered from the wind in the courtyard at Vice Commodore David Heseltine's home, members tucked into Christmas fare. Most appreciated were the oysters, followed by meats of all types, salads, cheese and desserts. A veritable gastronomic delight. After the barbecue boats moved over to Alexanders and rounded off the weekend with a Sunday barbecue.
The Tasmanian Yachting Association fulfilled a role for the Club in earlier years but its levying of members regardless of how many clubs they belonged to continued to be a thorn-in-the-side. The Club's affiliation was constantly queried and at the September 1989 Annual General Meeting it was decided that the matter should be left in abeyance and brought forward at the following Annual General Meeting. The subject was again discussed at the A.G.M. in 1990 but again deferred while the T.Y.A. carried out a survey. Finally in 1991 at the meeting on 7 May a motion moved by Stephen Newham and seconded by John Gericke recommended "that the Committee recommendation that we disassociate with T.Y.A. be agreed to."23
As an alternative the Club had, in August 1990, affiliated with the Tasmanian Amateur Sea Fishermens' Association which, it was felt, would better serve the Club's needs. John Hall who had been the Club's representative on the T.Y.A., transferred his attention to the T.A.S.F.A. Later, the Club's interests were ably represented by Ian Turnbull and the President of the T.A.S.F.A., Don Paton, who was also a member of the Cruising Yacht Club.
The reasons behind the names of coastal features are often lost in the mists of time. However the name 'Frogs Hollow' is of more recent origin. A. (Frog) Balmer and his wife Maisie, won the 'Cruise of the Year' award in 1979 for a cruise to Port Davey in their 20 foot half-cabin boat Voyager. Due to Frog's indifferent health and the strains of the sometimes difficult weather conditions in the Port Davey area, Frog sometimes had to rest up for 24 hours or so. At these times his favourite anchorage was the bay south of Eve Point. Sheltered from the southerlies and south westerlies by steep hills and protected from the north west by the ramparts of Mt Rugby, Frog found here the peace and quiet needed to restore himself. As a result the bay acquired the name 'Frogs Hollow'. Following Frog's death in February 1991 this name was submitted by Ken Newham to the Nomenclature Board for official recognition. Members were pleased when the Board accepted Ken's submission and the bay in which Frog spent so many peaceful hours now officially bears his name.
Membership rose gradually and by March 1986 there were 101 family members and 88 boats in the Club. The $25 subscription kept pace with inflation for some years.
In July 1989 a list of prospective members of the Club included the name of Leo Foley and his yacht Talisman II. By September he had been formally admitted to membership and thrown in at the deep end. At the Annual General Meeting that year Leo was also elected Rear Commodore of the Club! Two years later he became Vice Commodore and from 1992 Leo served a three-year term as the Club's Commodore.
The Club's assets were increasing steadily. In 1987 auditor, Phillip Fowler, reported an accumulated balance of $8018.37. By 1990 this had increased to $17,466.36 but by the 1991 year had dropped to $15,840.23, due to the purchase of a computer for the Club.
Treasurer, Brian Cullen, explained to members at the Annual General Meeting in 1992 that $22 of each member's $25 subscription was now going towards the production of the Club's monthly magazine 'Albatross'. It was therefore necessary to increase the fee for family membership to $35; $33 for a single person and to introduce a joining fee of $20 for new members.
Now approaching maturity, it was appropriate that at the Annual General Meeting in September 1991 the Club elected its first Honorary Life Members. Ken and Doris Newham joined the Club in 1977 and, said the 'Albatross', "since that time not a year has gone by without having either Ken or Doris on the Committee. Even if their name did not appear in the 'rogues gallery' inside the front cover of 'Albatross' they were lurking somewhere in the background. Ken has served in every position on the Committee except Secretary. However, Doris filled in this gap when she was Secretary from 1982 - 1986. She is currently Quartermaster. Their cruises in Alkira have taken them to Lakes Entrance and the Whitsunday Islands (three times I think!) plus numerous cruises in Tasmanian waters."24
Erika Johnson became the Club's second Honorary Life Member in 1993. Erika had been a member of the Club since its inception and took over the role of Secretary following the death of Mary Makepeace in 1977. She held a position on the committee for nine consecutive years till 1985 and later did a second stint as Editor, a total of 13 years. After her retirement she became the Club's representative on the Melaleuca Advisory Committee. "Erika's skills and confidence as a yachtsperson with many sea miles to her credit," the Albatross reports, "is a fine example of her dedication to cruising, which is the aim of this Club."25
Derek Farrar was elected to Honorary Life Membership in September 1994. Derek cruises in Tudor Rose II and has made a number of single-handed voyages up the East Coast of Australia. Since he joined the Club in 1980 he has been Commodore, Vice Commodore and worked selflessly as Warden in charge of the Mariners Cottage. He has also conducted classes for Club members for the A.Y.F.'s Inshore Certificate and helped members with chart corrections. His wit and practical hints are much appreciated in Albatross.
The Club really felt its age when Stephen Newham, Karen May and Christopher and Nicholas Creese, the children of early members of the Club, joined the Club as adult members in their own right. Like a gangling teenager, the Club was bursting at the seams. In 1988 there were 113 financial family members and by 1989 numbers had increased to 140 - 119 family and 21 single members.
As a result of an insurance deal offered by the Oyster Cove Marina, membership rose even more and by December 1991 there were 147 family members and 125 boats in the Club. Numbers skyrocketted to an all-time high of 161 in the 1992/93 year but by December 1994 membership had dropped back to 132. Of these, 119 were family members and there were 121 boats on the Club register. The Club ended its teenage years with a healthy balance sheet showing assets totalling $22,004.93.Full size photos
1995 - 1996
At the first meeting in 1995, more than 80 members enjoyed a barbecue and inspection of the brigantine WINDEWARD BOUND, under construction at the A.N.M. Wharf. The ship had been built almost entirely by voluntary labour and from recycled materials and was an example of what could be done with limited resources.
General Meetings continued to be held at the Regatta Pavillion, now housing the Club's collection of pennants and honour boards. To remind it of its real 'home', the Club purchased a watercolour painting of the Mariners Cottage at Battery Point by artist S. Fricher.
Talks and slides of members voyages were aways popular. At the meeting in June, 1995 John Hamilton and Jean Taylor recalled their visit to Alaska and British Columbia in 1980 - 1982 and the next month Charlie Boulter showed a video of his cruise which gained him the 'Cruise of the Year' award in 1994. Later in 1995 John Davis entertained members with his vast experience of crossing barways in Tasmania and Queensland.
Early in 1996 Erika and Alan Johnson gave two illustrated talks on their eighteen months cruise of the east Australian coast to the Louisiade Archipeligo in Papua New Guinea.
At the May meeting staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service showed slides of underwater life at Port Davey. It became apparent from this presentation that preservation of this habitat is imperative and there will perhaps be a need for restrictions on anchorages in this area.
After discussion with the National Trust the lease of the Mariners Cottage was extended for three years. However, other organisations such as the Childrens' Bookroom would also hold meetings at the Cottage when it was not in use by the Club.
The Club was expanding with the years. In November 1994 the ever-increasing number of members caused the Commodore, Leo Foley, to call for a volunteer to fill the position of Membership Officer. At the Annual General Meeting in 1995 the position, held by Brian Links since December 1994, was ratified and formally included on the Committee.
In November 1994 the Club decided to set up a video library as an adjunct to the Club's existing book library. The following year 'Albatross' advertised a selection of nine videos on nautical subjects for hire at $5 per month. These, along with the Club's collection of books were now housed at the Regatta Pavillion and available at Club meetings.
'Albatross' continued to find its way into members' letter boxes each month. However, the Club was experiencing difficulty in replacing Editor, Jean Taylor, who retired at the end of 1995 due to other commitments. John Hamilton filled the bill for several months until Brian Cullen took up the reigns. He was assisted by a purchase of a new computer, software and scanner, making magazine production much more professional. However, technical difficulties in managing such high-tech equipment soon became apparent and future editors may require some sort of training in order to get 'Albatross' to press on time.
Regular contributor, Denis Alexander, won the Editor's Prize for the best local cruising article published in Albatross during 1994/95. His article 'Cloudy' appeared in the May 1995 edition and Denis was presented with a bottle of tawny port at the Club's Christmas function.
There was a gloomy forecast for the June long-weekend in 1995. However, Saturday was a beautiful, blue, windless day, a day for socialising while boats dropped anchor off the yacht club at Port Cygnet. An impromptu gathering set the pace "for a yarn over coffee and the odd dollop of grog."26
By evening eleven boats (Fritha, Just Jude, Natuna, Aurielle, Pajan, Talisman II, Bird of Dawning, Thuin Bay, Alida, Wayaree and Safari) had assembled in the anchorage and everyone made their way to the 'middle' pub in Cygnet for dinner.
Sunday was another bright, sunny day and some of the boats converged on Randalls Bay for a barbecue. However, a south westerly change in the afternoon soon had boats under sail and returning to their moorings. But, said John Hamilton (Safari) "It had been a good weekend and we were pleased we had disregarded the Bureau's foreboding forecast."27
The Club had, on many occasions, done its bit to 'Keep Australia Beautiful' with programmed 'Garbos' cruises. In September 1995, boats collected shoreside refuse at Lennonville Point, Apollo Bay and Snake Island. However bad weather forced the boats to shelter in Barnes Bay where the clean-up continued at Sykes Cove.
Sometimes Club members were able to join cruises organised by other club's. In January 1995 Camira of Hobart and Gumlypta sailed with the Spring Bay Sailing Club on their Spring Bay Classic to the Schouten Passage. Here a programme of barbecues and friendly yacht races took place. Camira, entered in the Round Schouten Island Race, withdrew after lack of wind and a change of tide caused her to be overtaken by her trailing dinghy. As compensation Erika was given the Club's 'secret' recipe for battered fish!
Early in 1996 eight Club boats participated in the Motor Yacht Club's 'Round Bruny Pioneer Salute 1996'. A number of Club boats also participated in the 1996 Round Tasmania Cruise conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
During Easter 1996 boats converged on the Denison Canal for a rendezvous at Maria Island. Ten boats came and went during the course of the cruise and there were walks in company to explore Riedle Bay and the cell block ruins at Point Leseur. On Easter Sunday the Easter Bunny and its Mainland counterpart, the Easter Bilby, put in an appearance and members celebrated Easter Day with a combined lunch on board Bird of Dawning.
The Marion Narrows was still living up to its reputation and a number of boats ran aground over Easter.
Marie Francis (Peter and Leonie Brooks) sustained considerable damage to her quarter inch steel hull when she hit the rocks outside the entrance. However, she was soon pulled clear by a fishing boat and assisted into Blackman Bay by John and Audrey Wells on Wrestashore. After a quick inspection, Marie Francis was able to continue under her own steam to Kettering. However, damage was found to be considerable and she was slipped immediately for repairs. Another Club boat, B Still, touched with more finesse and was lucky enough to escape relatively unscathed.
As a memorial to our Founder Commodore, Donald Sutherland, the Club programmed the Donald Sutherland Memorial Cruise and Ausmas dinner at the House Sofia in June 1996.
A navigational puzzle had boats in considerable disarray en route to the anchorage which was crowded with 24 boats by dark. Transport was by bus and as there were no seats, the vehicle was crammed in an undignified fashion with members sprawled on the floor on mattresses. As usual, the House Sofia provided a sumptuous repast and during the evening, while members danced to a jazz band, Santa arrived to distribute sweets.
The Club was pleased to have members of the Sutherland family as guests and Julie Sutherland, widow of Donald, presented the navigation prize to Bird of Dawning.
During 1995 two of the Club's Life Members were away cruising. Camira of Hobart and Tudor Rose II both sailed to the tropics. However, their paths didn't cross until they were heading south again. Erika and Alan Johnson and Derek Farrar spent some time sheltering together in Coffs Harbour and later at Eden before Tudor Rose turned west to spend Christmas in Melbourne and Camira returned to Hobart for the festive season.
An event of interest in March 1995 was a visit to the University's radio telescope at Mt Pleasant arranged by Gordon Gowland. After a barbecue in the gardens members spent some time gazing into the heavens. The larger of the two telescopes was trained on the star Vela and its pattern, pulsating at 11 times a second, was visible on a screen.
Constitution Dock was the meeting place once more for the 1995 Anniversary Dinner. On 5 August the gate to the Dock opened at 3pm to welcome Bird of Dawning, Windsong, B Still, Fritha, Wayaree II and Boots 'n' All. Gluewein was served on the 'Bird' and the crowd soon overflowed the wheel-house, main saloon, aft cabin and onto the dockside. Forty-six members later adjourned to the Pier Restaurant for dinner.
Fifty-seven members and friends made their way to the Woodbridge Hotel for a Christmas Barbecue in December 1995. The 'Albatross' Roving Reporter saw Father Christmas arrive "drawn by by six very well behaved reindeers and assisted by one very dubious 'fairy' much to the enjoyment of the gathering (great legs Leo, but fairies don't wear 'Blunnies'!)"28 After gifts were distributed everyone made short work of the barbecue - especially the king prawns. Late afternoon saw Bird of Dawning, Talisman II, Windsong, B Still, Boots 'n' All and Wayaree II cross the Channel to Barnes Bay where the party continued well into the night.
In order to make more use of the Club's home at the Mariners Cottage the Rear Commodore, Gail Links, introduced Cottage Afternoons. On the first Friday of each month members and their friends were invited to bring their own lunch and wile away the time discussing cruising, correcting charts or just enjoying each others company.
On October 13 1995 an 'At Home' was held at the Mariners Cottage. This turned into a farewell for Commodore Roger Locke and his wife Patricia before they set off on a 'land-cruise' to the Mainland. There was a considerable amount of merriment as the wine flowed freely and, as a result, one member was reported to have got lost when he decided to walk home.
The following year the Mariners Cottage was the venue for a Cocktail Party. On 22 March, 60 Members enjoyed the ambience of the Clubrooms and gardens with champagne and nibbles.
Three hundred and sixty four members have come and gone in the 21 years since the Club was formed. However, only four of the Club's original members are still with the Club. Ian McKay, John Peate, John Mitchell and Erika Johnson (Creese) have had continuous membership since the Club's inception.
While the Club grew older, so did its members. Early members were young families with pre-school age children. By the 1980s families were still predominant, but the children were growing older and attendance at cruises was dependent on their school sports activities.
With the move to the Club's own headquarters at the Mariners Cottage in 1986, the Club was soon bursting at the seams. However, by now most members were adults and few children were seen on Club cruises. By 1995 membership had dropped to 127, most of whom are couples of the older age group but the Club was in a healthy position with accumulated assets worth over $23,000.
Boats have also come and gone. Some members have changed boats almost as often as their shirts but one boat, Neptune, has remained with the one owner since the Club's inception. Described as the "Boat of Many Faces"29 Neptune was built by Bert Morris in 1935 as a canoe-sterned gaff cutter. Later she was converted to a gaff ketch and was one of the few boats of her day with a centre cockpit and wheel steering. After the war Bert took up scallop fishing and Neptune underwent alterations which gave her a wet well and counter stern, lengthening her by two feet. Her lofty gaff rig was shortened, the mizzen mast removed and she was converted to tiller steering from a 'dog box' on the stern.
Considering that it was easier to build a new boat than do further alterations, Bert sold Neptune to Mark and Erika Creese and their family in 1970 and they continued with the tradition of alterations.
During the first year the wet well was reduced to one quarter of its original size and the hefty Lister engine was replaced by a Perkins with an electric start. The following year the well was removed completely, installing in its place a centre cockpit, wheel steering and aft cabin, with a coach-house amidships. The main mast was also lengthened by ten feet and she was rigged as a Marconi cutter. Later a mizzen mast was stepped on the aft deck and the dinghy hung on davits on the stern.
Neptune's alterations and maintenance were often carried on while she continued her regular attendance at Club cruises. At another major refit in 1978 onlookers at the Derwent Sailing Squadron cringed as a chainsaw was used to remove the cabin and reduce the size of the deck. Such drastic treatment made way for a new cabin, planked in celery top pine, much longer and wider than the original structure, greatly improving the accommodation.
Neptune sustained damage to her hull, cabins and rigging when she rolled on a freak wave at the Marion Narrows in 1990. Repairs were still being carried out as she made the traditional trip to Port Davey in March of that year.
Following Mark's death in 1995 the tradition was continued by sons Christopher and Nicholas Creese when they cruised to Port Davey during February and March 1996.
One definition of the word 'sailing', is "the fine art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going nowhere at great expense."30 Despite these inconveniences, the Club has gone from strength to strength and cruising seems to be gaining in popularity.
"The successful functioning of the Club", said Commodore Leo Foley, "depends on many factors, including the unselfish work of committee members, suggestions and feedback from members and a willingness from everyone to foster the marvellous 'esprit de corps' that has developed within the Club."31 Leo handed over to new Commodore Roger Locke in September 1995 "with a feeling of quiet satisfaction",32 having guided the Club towards its twenty first year.Full size photos
Hans van der Doe
1 French Exploration of Australia, L.A. Triebel & J.C. Batt (Government Printer, Tasmania)
2 Grandfather and Great Uncle of Robert May (KALIMNA)
3 See Albatross Vol 6 Nos 11 & 12; Vol 8 Nos 3 & 4
4 Great Grandfather of Chris & Nick Creese (Neptune)
5 Constitution of the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania Inc 1975
6 Albatross Vol 7 No. 4, April 1982
7 Albatross Vol 3 No. 8, August 1978
8 Albatross Vol 3 No. 4, April 1978
9 Albatross Vol 6 No. 5, May 1981
10 Albatross Vol 4 No. 4, April 1979
11 Albatross Vol 4 No. 4, April 1979
12 Albatross Vol 7 No. 2, August 1977
13 Albatross Vol 1 No. 11, December 1976
14 Albatross Vol 17 No. 3, March 1992
15 Minutes, General Meeting, C.Y.C.T., May 4 1993
16 Albatross Vol 12 No. 8, August 1987
17 Albatross Vol 15 No. 12, December 1990
18 Albatross Vol 17 No. 9, September 1992
19 Albatross Vol 19 No. 4, April 1994
20 Minutes, General Meeting, C.Y.C.T., 4 October 1988
21 Albatross, Vol 15 No. 2, February 1990
22 Albatross Vol 18 No. 2, February 1993
23 Minutes, General Meeting, C.Y.C.T., 7 May 1991
24 Albatross Vol 16 No. 11, November 1991
25 Albatross Vol 19 No. 10, October 1993
26 Albatross Vol 20 No. 8, August 1995
27 Albatross Vol 20 No. 8, August 1995
28 Albatross Vol 22 No. 1, February 1996
29 Albatross Vol 4 No. 2, February 1979
30 A Dictionary for Landlubbers Old Salts & Armchair Drifters, Henry Beard & Roy McKie (Sun Bools, 1982)
31 Commodore's Report, September 1995
32 Commodore's Report, September 1995