Guests 2002                          

 The following stories were written by guests who have visited us aboard Shear Madness

Kim & Marja - July 2002

Even before we stepped on board Sheer Madness the adventure began. As we came closer to boarding the yacht, my dad and I had news that there was to be a wedding on board a boat named Mango Tango. The wedding was perfect with Terri and Patrice exchanging their vows on the bow of the boat. After the wedding, there was a reception up at the boat club in Yorkey’s Knob, Cairns. The reception was great with each nationality of people singing songs and national anthems from their separate countries. Dad reckons that holding up the veranda post of the Yacht club with one hand and a beer in the other is as close to true bliss as you can get. The night was wonderful until Kathy and I decided to hit the sack and look at the day’s events on Kathy’s digital camera.Kim and Marja sunbathe on deck

After Bradley, Ron and Dad had finished playing with the autopilot, it was onward and upward for a 2 hour motor to Double Island, near Palm Cove. When we had finished our general relaxation period of eating, sleeping, reading and sunbathing, we decided to give our muscles a bit of a workout and explore the island. Walking around the island was interesting, as there were many things to see, wallabies, a huge water tank, burnt house and the foundations of another house. This was all very good until we took this path that led us to the other side of the island. This path started out as dirt and became more and more luxurious as it eventually became a brick laid road with a huge resort amongst the native bush. There was nobody there so we decided to have a look at this marvelous site. Just as we were finishing our tour a man came to the island and told us to go away (not in those words). Ron decided that instead of going back from where we came, that he would take a death defying swim to retrieve the dingy.

The next stop was Palm Cove were we gazed at the magnificent 400 year old melaleucca trees whilst we sat on the deck of a takeaway shop and ate our food. It was getting dark so we decided to head back to the boat for the night and eat dinner. Ron, the genius chef that he is, cooked up my favourite of salad sprinkled with big hunks of chicken and delicious sauce. After we had gutsed ourselves on dinner and dessert it was time for bed. At this stage it was only about 7.30 but boy it had been a long day.

When everyone arose from their deep slumbers, Bradley decided that it would be a good idea if we took the boat for a sail to the Great Barrier Reef. The journey was awesome, as we were cruising at around 6-7 knots. Dad and I had a wonderful time sunbathing on the stern of the boat whilst we let everybody do all the work. As we approached Michaelmas Kay we had to steer clear of the reef, as they were virtually undetectable. We arrived and Kathy and I went for a snorkel around the reef. As I had never been snorkeling on the barrier reef I found the coral and the fish amazing. After a game of petonque on the beach, and a spot of bird watching it was time for dinner again and back to bed.

As the sun rose higher into the sky the next day, Bradley, Kathy, Dad and I went for a snorkel on a reef near the island before the tourists came. From the distance we saw the massive amount of cruising boats coming our way so we decided to go while the going was good. Unfortunately after we had been snorkeling, the tourists came in droves and a boat was coming very close to Shear Madness. Bradley decided to investigate and as we found out the boat had managed to run aground on the reef and was wedged in-between two rocks. We decided to leave at that moment, as we didn’t know which way the boat would turn and hit us.

We left in a hurry and motored to a white sandy island just like the ones in treasure island books. We got our selves comfortable, there was another competition of petonque to be played on the beach. The day grew to a close and before we knew it, the sun had gone down and it was time for bed.

The last day we were on the boat dad and I decided to make the most of it. We sailed back from Cairns to the main part of Cairns. This is where Bradley and Ron had been a few days prior, and discovered a new adventure. They took us all on a dingy cruise down a creek near the main town centre. It was all very peaceful until we saw 2, two metre crocs that I thought looked rather hungry, but nobody else believe me. This is when I decided to sit in the middle of the dinghy and Ron that it was great fun and decided to play games. After our exciting dingy cruise it was off to do a bit of shopping before we left the next day. We all thought it would be nice to have dinner ashore on the water front so we headed back to the yacht got ready and cruised to the town centre again. That was the final experience of dad’s trip and mine and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It will be lots of fun when Bradley and Kathy come to our neck of the woods in New Zealand and we can show them new experiences.

Marja Spencer


Nancy & Cynthia - April 2002 

On April 4, 2002 I began what most of my friends say was the greatest trip in the world.  I heartily agree with them.  For years, Kathy Clark, Cynthia Moore and I have had great fun traveling to many wonderful places. This trip was no exception.  I never in my wildest dreams would have done this had it not been for Kathy's wonderful friendship.

 We started our journey in Sydney, where we had 3 days to acclimate to the "reverse side of the world", then flew to Hamilton Island to begin a glorious 9 day cruise aboard  "Shear Madness".  I was not prepared to find the coast of this wonderful country so tropical. It was like being in Hawaii but better!  The sailboat is a magnificent vessel and Cynthia and I were "bunkies".  The accommodations were very pleasing. Not an inch of space goes unused on Shear Madness.  It's definitely a "water estate"!!

Ron, the mate, is totally awesome.  Not only does he know the art of sailing to a "T", but also serves the most delicious of meals!!  I've never eaten better in my life.  In fact, I lost about 5 pounds while aboard and learned to eat much healthier foods.

This was Cynthia's and my first-ever sailing experience and it was glorious.  The weather, although rainy some parts some days, was perfect and the sailing was wonderful.  We moored at various islands of the Whitsunday island chain.  Beautiful water, gorgeous birds, hikes and views, snorkeling (awesome) and the beaches were breathtaking.

We met wonderful people wherever we went and had great meals while in port.  I had a blast spending money since the $ exchange is so advantageous for Americans.  My credit card statement was 5 pages long after I returned to North Carolina!

Seems that I've just about run out of adjectives to describe this "once in a lifetime" adventure.  Bradley and Kathy are the most magnanimous hosts (see I found another adjective) and we enjoyed their interest in our comfort and fun the entire time.  Needless to say, but I will say it again, "We never have ANY FUN when we are all together.  I did, indeed, have the time of my life.  Team Rosenberg-Clark are indeed super friends!

Nancy Ludlow, Southport, North Carolina



Harry & Shirley Ann- April 2002

 All I can say was "wow" it was the best time.  Both Shirley-Ann and I also enjoyed and appreciated the time shared - to the point of not  really knowing how to say thanks.  There are times when the sharing of events is something that touches you even more than just a event or a
 holiday and we both felt this was one.
 I have already shown the photos to family and some friends - I will have the copy of our over to you guys real soon - probably take a week or two
 to get them copied and sent across. The thought of sailing more with you is real!  I will look and see if I can work the Tasmania to New Zealand option and will let you know.


Chip & Barb - March 2002

 We  arrived the evening of March 3 for a trip to Lady Musgrave island and some scuba diving.  Cyclone Des had other ideas and kept us in Maloolooba until Wednesday. We put the time to good use. We rented a car and explored up in the hills and stopped on the way back at some beautiful beaches and took lots of pictures. We also spent some time exploring Maloolooba and renting diving equipment for the trip.
 On Wednesday about 2 pm, off we went to the barrier reef. Des left behind some heavy seas and Barb, even with a patch and Dramimine pills, got seasick for 20 hours. However, that finially passed and when we pulled into the lagoon at Lady Musgrave island it was like paradise. We snorkled first to get a feel for the water and currents, and then managed 3 dives the next couple days. We explored the island and found some beautiful shells.
 On Sunday 3/11 we departed for Bundaberg where we had a great dinner at a pub and spent the night. Chip and Barb were off the next day to catch a flight
 to Sydney. We had a great time and have been enjoying sharing the adventure with friends and family ever since.


Christeen & Wolfgang - August 2001

August 2001

We arrived at Airlie Beach to meet the boat after a long drive from Palm Cove (it really is a big country), the purpose of which was to see a little of Australia.  What we observed along the way was lots of sugar cane fields and kangaroo roadkill!  Never having been to Australia we were curious to see everything and were surprised to find little of the British influence we had expected.

Our first day on the boat began with a view from the top…the top of the mast, that is.  After getting harnessed up we were a little nervous at first but settled down to enjoy the spectacular view over Airlie Beach.  We spent the day asking lots of questions about the boat in an attempt to learn proper boat etiquette, doing a little sightseeing, and relaxing.  The next morning, after a trip to the farmers market, we motored over to Hamilton Island to pick Kathy up at the airport.  How cool is it to pick someone up directly at the airport in a dinghy!?

We spent a day snorkeling at Border Island before heading to Whitehaven Beach the next day.  A hike to the summit lookout was well worth the effort for the gorgeous view of Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach.  This is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  After the hike down from the summit we sailed to shore and pretty much had the entire beach for ourselves for an afternoon game of Pitonk and a leisurely stroll.  Heaven.

The next day we picked up friends of Kathy and Bradley’s at Hamilton Island and set out for a day of sailing.  We happened upon a sailing competition and had front row seats to view the harrowing turns at the buoy.  It looked like complete chaos and we expected to hear collision at any moment – amazing!  The rest of the afternoon was spent snorkeling and lounging on the beach.  That evening we had a very nice dinner on Hamilton Island, where some of us tasted kangaroo for the first time and also discovered that the “bugs” on the menu really weren’t bugs.

The highlight of our trip was the two days we spent anchored at Bait Reef.  On the sail over we saw dolphins and whales, which was really thrilling.  Once we arrived at the reef and got settled in we noticed some really BIG fish swimming around the boat.  We suited up for a snorkel and got to check them out up close.  We’ve never seen anything that size at Red Lobster!  One of the fish we promptly dubbed “Mick” (as in “Jagger”) for his big lips.  The marine life around the reef was amazing, truly something we’ve never experienced before in other snorkeling trips in Hawaii or the Caribbean.  Prior to the trip we were petrified at the thought of seeing sharks, but by the end of our days at the reef they were just one more item to be checked off the “To See” list.

The two mornings at the reef we experienced “sunrise with coffee and whales.”  It was almost Disneyesque, as though we had booked the vacation room with the 6 a.m. whale option.  Our trip was definitely one of the best and most relaxing vacations we’ve ever experienced.  We weren’t sure how we would handle life on a boat for a length of time but being “held captive” certainly made it easy to sit and read a book or play cards or just simply while the hours away doing nothing.  But “Shear Madness” certainly made it easy on us, too; she is a beautiful boat, with plenty of room for everyone.  And the food!  We had expected spaghetti in a pot and instead were treated to the most delectable meals.  Thanks to Kathy, Bradley and Ron for your gourmet touch, the wonderful hospitality, and incredible experience.


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