Accordingly, as a result of a bit of pre-holiday organising, Thursday lunchtime saw us leaving Steiglitz with a motley crew comprising Phil, three of his kids, Genevieve, William and Sarah, and myself, together with Johanna and Freya. Lara herself underway with a dinghy and kayak in tow.
The wind was blowing reasonably steadily from the south-east at 10-15 knots as we motored sedately in a south-easterly direction towards South Stradbroke Island. Our original plan was to turn northwards into Canaipa passage and overnight at North Stradbroke Island. However our slow progress into the wind and tide saw us change our destination and stop at Horseshoe Bay at the northern end of South Stradbroke Island. The afternoon high tide allowed us to anchor close to a sandy spit and as we didn’t plan to leave until the afternoon of the following day our anchorage dried out overnight. This was the first time I have allowed Lara to settle on the hard. Fortunately the shoal draft keel allows her to ground at an angle that didn’t prove to be too awkward that we couldn’t clamber about in her, albeit carefully.
With five kids ranging in age from ten to thirteen years there was always a multitude of simultaneous activities going on including swimming, kayaking, fishing and just a lot of general mucking about type stuff. Consequently Lara took on a bit of a gypsy look with towels, togs, assorted clothes and fishing gear festooning the rigging and lifelines. The look contrasted sharply with the clinically clean tidy lines of the Baycruisers and motor yachts moored around us. I definitely prefer the gypsy look myself.
Feeding five hungry kids also took on a whole new perspective, and obviously Phil’s thoughtful wife Judith was well aware of this. She had provided a heap of tucker which combined with our supplies, meant the ship’s larder was well stocked and nobody went hungry.
Friday morning was spent exploring and clambering about the sand dunes before lunch and a sedate trip home.