At the last minute we decided to go up to Lake Macquarie for this festival over Easter. Jenny had work commitments and could only fly up on Thursday after work, so I drove up on Wednesday with Penguin in tow, and met her at Newcastle airport.

On Friday morning we launched at Rathmines at the Catalina flying boat ramp, and with our friends Dave and Jenny Myers, we had a pleasant putt around to Toronto. Weather was calm and warm and we enjoyed morning tea on board along on the way. Plenty of boats were moored on the foreshore, including fellow travellers, Malcolm Mckay from Narooma with his launch Carmel J, and Jim and Pauline Fowles from Handorf in South Australia, in their Hartley designated Seas the Day.

Jim and Pauline had travelled from Adelaide stopping at rivers and lakes along the way whilst living in the boat. Jim rescued Seas the Day from Clayton on Lake Alexandrina in poor condition and has fully restored her into a comfortable little cruiser. However the choppy conditions of the open waters of Lake Macquarie tossed her around a bit at the jetty, making it uncomfortable aboard and we had to work hard to convince Jim & Pauline that the chop would settle down at night once the sea breeze eased off. Eventually this came true and they were able to sleep aboard.

A number of boats were displayed on the hard, and this proved to be a good idea as it allowed the public to have a good close look at the boats, with plenty of interest. Consequently one putt putt was sold. The Friday night Meet and Greet was on the ferry Wangi Queen, an old timber ferry which has worked around Lake Macquarie for many years. On Easter Sunday a very large crowd viewed the boats, including a sail past and blessing of the fleet.

Due to limited time available, we headed back home to Melbourne on Monday morning, leaving in glorious sunny weather but ran into a southerly change with the temperature falling the further south we travelled. At Albury we experienced a frost and 3 degrees overnight, requiring all our bedding to be brought out. A big change from the mild and humid weather at Toronto.

David Stott.