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
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.
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
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,