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From The Coastal Passage, issue #36
On the highway, south of Childers at the BP servo is not where I usually pick up a Passage People story but it is about boats and they seem to come from everywhere and at the silliest times so why not. Denis Kloske from Mourilyan near Innisfail, had just bought the boat through Ebay and was transporting it back north. The trailer to boat ratio looked a little sus but he did make it OK.. couple flat tires but OK. He believes she is a Dick Zaal design that was created for a wooden boat construction competition back in the sixties. She is built of Ply despite an appearance that suggests otherwise and in very good condition. The hull is sound. (Yes, I had to have a squiz now didnt I!) The previous owner was in the process of a cabin redesign but lost interest so Denis has some work but she should come good and be worth the work. The boat is about 21 feet with a Rolly Tasker Rig and steel for keel. With the shallow draft she will be ideal for cruising around Hinchinbrook and Dunk and all the other funs bits close at hand. Or further at hand if the skipper wants to! We look forward to the relaunch.. but mate.. get a bigger trailer!
Sea Hog and Lady Hog
We first met the Lady Hog crew in Trinity inlet on September 10 2001, one of those dates you don't forget and it seems that unforgettable details are the hallmark of John and Case and son Luke.
John Built Lady Hog in Tasmania but sold her to Keith on the Gold Coast. He and Case found another project down south, this time a 50 year old trader and another boat on hard times. Working 12 hour days for 3 years they rebuilt the trader from the two boats, into a fantastic home. Solid, dry, very seaworthy. A lot of planking was replaced and the engine was replaced with like kind, a 230 horsepower jimmy and the rig all set with furlers. And now they are on the cruise again in a style that is a delightful throwback to the freedom and ingenuity of a years ago.
The forward cabin has a very large hatch, which you need to get their two Harleys stowed securely. Case has a little sporty and John has a bit bigger hog. And he needs a big bike as he is all of 5 feet 18 inches.
Genzan is crew for this voyage, he met them at the tweed and admired the vessel. Everything had the look of careful hand work and the wood glowed with soul and feeling. From our talk I could tell the deep affection he has for the what the ship represents. He does the cooking. The iron chef of Sea Hog!
They are on their way to the Kimberly and may step off to Asia after that?
Luke is a lucky lad to have mum and dad providing such an adventurous floating home. He smiles a lot!
Keith (see photo below) bought Lady Hog about 7 years ago and now the big steely motor sailor calls Tweed Heads home. They've been cruising along with Sea Hog more or less but they got separated at the fearsome Wide Bay Bar. Slowed by a foul tide they were just a little past slack water but weren't in a position to go round Fraser Island so they steeled themselves for a rough ride.. and they got it.. side on three times. They left the pilot house doors open in case they needed to abandon the ship in the bar (a clear indication of the fear at hand!) and it turned out to be a bad call as one broach knocked them down and flooded the cabin. The ship was OK but there was a lot of gear on the jetty still trying to dry out days later. Hauges and Bumps are along for crew and according to Hauges, I saw God and I don't even believe in god! Dickie was crew for the hard stuff too, but had to get back to the Gold Coast before I got there with the camera.
Hauges wants to make it to Bustard Heads this trip on Lady Hog, he has many memories of Pancake creek from many years ago, most of them fond but the time he stepped on a huge stone fish wasn't one of them. However he has much thanks for the light house keeper as he brought him up to the compound in the Land Rover and treated him for it.
All great crew and two magnificent vessels and the closer you look the more impressive they are. John is a very clever man. He and Case are the best kind of hardworking, independent sailors that made cruising in Australia what it is.