Even Keels Cruising Club INC 9897603 ABN 37599776442
Grant first started sailing Hobie cats off the beach at St Kilda, in Melbourne, in the late 1970s. After a sailing hiatus of about 20 years, and having met and married Leanne, Grant and Leanne bought their first yacht, a Sonata 7 trailer sailer, in 1997. Many great sailing trips followed, including Port Phillip and Westernport Bays in Victoria, the Gippsland Lakes, Mallacoota Inlet, Port Stephens and the Myall Lakes, Moreton Bay, and the Whitsundays. Grant was elected to the committee of the Sonata Yacht Association of Victoria and spent many years as its membership officer.
Above: Mirage, Leanne and Grant’s Sonata 7, in Breakfast Bay, Gloucester Island, Queensland
In 2003 Grant needed to find out whether he had what it took to do ocean sailing, so he went on a two month sail as crew on a Roberts 44 from Cairns to Darwin, with a bunch of total strangers. Despite shark attack, nearly being murdered, and lots of other adventures, Grant survived and was never the same again in the sense that sailing was about to become the dominant force in his life (after Leanne, that is!!). You can find a link to the first chapter of his forthcoming book about this trip, Captain Jack, from the Photowords home page: www.photowords.com.au
Later the same year, a fellow Sonata owner bought a Mumby 46 aluminium catamaran from Monty’s Boatyard in the Caboolture River, a feeder of Moreton Bay north of Brisbane. Grant helped sail the boat from there to Lakes Entrance in Victoria. This time there were few adventures, just lots of great sailing, and a growing determination to do more ocean cruising.
Not ready yet to make the time and financial commitment of buying their own ocean-
In late 2004 MCYC bought a 39’ monohull that was for sale in Pittwater. Grant skippered the boat on its delivery trip to Melbourne, along with three other members of the club. In early 2005, Grant and Leanne, along with various other club members, sailed the boat from Melbourne to Brisbane where it was based for that winter.
MCYC has gone on to operate the boat between Hobart and the Whitsundays, and offshore to New Zealand and New Caledonia, and the club is still going strong. NEXT PAGE >>
Right: Grant and Leanne rounding South Cape, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, on MCYC’s yacht