“We want more” say Maritimo Musterers
Beautiful weather, gleaming boats and great companionship made the annual Maritimo Muster from Sydney to Port Hinchinbrook this year a highlight for about 100 excited boating enthusiasts.
The Muster attracted a fleet of 24 boats, some of which completed the entire three-week voyage. For a few of the adventurers, the 2010 event was their third or fourth Muster and for a few, it was their first.
Gerald and Amanda Cummings and their three small children, for example, bought their Maritimo M48 “Man Cave” only weeks before the start of the Muster. It was their first big boat and a chance to learn all about it. They seemed to have more fun than almost anyone on the trip.
According to Amanda, it was their chance to learn to “get in the groove” together, learning who takes responsibility for what on the boat.
Their son Connor, aged four, completed the trip from Sydney to Hamilton Island with his Dad. Amanda and Jake, 2, and Chloe, 5, joined them on the Queensland Gold Coast.
“Connor is a real’s man’s man,” laughed Amanda. “He would happily have helped with ropes and fenders. Luckily, Gerald had a couple of friend along for the first part of the voyage.”
Both agreed that safety was paramount is selecting the Maritimo.
“The secure walk-around decks mean we don’t need to worry about the children falling overboard,” said Gerald. “When we come in to berth the boat, Amanda has the kids sit on the lounge in the saloon and sets up a video or a game for them so we can get on with the job.”
A highlight of the voyage for Amanda was their first opportunity to dive off the back of “our own boat” at Great Keppel Island.
Ross Anderson returned for his second Muster aboard his 500 Offshore, “Stones”.
“This year was much more relaxed,” he said. “My wife, Vera, came along for the entire trip this time. We’re going to continue on to Cairns for some fishing this year.”
Vera has resolved to learn how to drive the boat so that Ross can act as deckie in future.
“I had no fingernails left by the end of the trip!” she declared.
Highlights included an hilarious dinner at Keppel Bay Marina, always a favourite stopover for the Musterers, and a welcome cocktail party when they reached Hamilton Island.
Stuart Boam and partner Maggs on board their Maritimo 500 Offshore “Susie B” kept Greg Alward alert and amused. Stuart’s broad Scottish accent and a constant sense of humour and mischief were put to good use as he often went off on his own, fishing and exploring.
“Every day has been different,” said Stuart when they reached Hamilton Island. “We are going to do this trip anyway, but when we heard about the Muster, we joined immediately. It’s much more fun doing the voyage in company.”
Whale sightings kept Musterers and their crew alert and excited for the entire trip. Pods of whales, as well as individuals and mothers and calves, are heading south at this time of year.
A ladies’ round-table at Hamilton Island gave a resounding vote for more such events in the future. Even some who had been fearful of open water voyaging were getting into the spirit of the adventure.
Peter and Sue Hamilton bought an Aegean 50 Open flybridge at the end of last year and joined the Muster “to experience the boat”.
Based in Brisbane, they had “never gone further than Tangalooma on Moreton Island,” Peter explained.
“We also came to meet new friend, like-minded people who love boating and love to party.
“We certainly found them on the Muster!”