Welcome to this edition of Southern Cross Yachting ENews.

I am writing this newsletter from the picturesque fishing hamlet of Tin Can Bay, where myself (and several other returning Brisbane to Gladstone competitors) are waiting to cross the Wide Bay Bar. The problem being that the South East Coast resembles the North Shore of Hawaii at the moment. Despite oily calm wind conditions this swell is a whopper and whilst these waves may be fantastic to play in on a 6 foot surfboard – not so much on a 40 foot yacht. Sunday morning 3 of us ventured out for a look and after seeing a 60’ ketch a few hundred yards in front of us become completely vertical up a wave face, we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned around! It was one of those moments that I wish I took a photograph of. We all have a camera in our phones these days so we are all ready to become rich and famous should a UFO suddenly appear in the sky above our house or a B grade celebrity does something stupid in a bar we are in. But we were so awe struck by the size of these waves that it did not occur to me until it was over. Oh well I shall just have to keep working I guess.

These challenging conditions for the trip home must have be sent to balance the perfect conditions we experienced in this year’s edition of the ‘Great Race’. Perfect clear skies, flat seas and light south-easters made for very pleasant sailing conditions without too much ‘excitement’. On board Oceans we had a terrific race with at least 10 other similarly sized boats around us all race and positions changing constantly. We did knock the bowman out cold once by dropping the brand new spinnaker pole on his head, but he should be thankful the new pole is much lighter than the old one. And for those of you who were worried yes the new pole is fine – thank you.

The Brisbane to Keppel race is the next big event on the offshore racing calendar and we still have places available on board Oceans. The price includes a training weekend and the race itself. The race starts on the 3rd August but if you are interested don’t leave booking to long as this is one of the most popular events we do each year.

As always plenty happening here at Southern Cross with the intensive Day Skipper theory course beginning next Monday and we do have a few places for the 5 day practical course beginning Monday the 7th of April. A great opportunity to complete both Day skipper courses back to back.

That’s all for this edition, I will be attempting the bar crossing again tomorrow morning so if someone else starts writing this newsletter in the future, you will know that it didn’t go well!
Until next time fair winds and small seas.
Cheers Mike Job.

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