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During 1997 we had a routine life of John supervising the boys going to and from school, and doing work on the boat to prepare for an ocean crossing. Catherine was able to find “temp” work with her updated computer skills, and was employed in the city, so was able to walk to work. Catchcry was moored at “The Gardens”, fore and aft pile moorings right next to the Botanical Gardens, with facilities ashore at a very reasonable price. We decided that we needed to have a break and so 2 weeks before the September holidays we left for a 4 week cruise to Great Keppel Island. On the way to Lady Musgrave we met Ewen, Leanne, Kyle & Jake on their yacht, also doing a similar cruise, who have become great friends in the years since. For a change we traveled north from Lady Musgrave, stopping at Fitzroy Reef, North West Island to Keppel. We had a great 10 days at Keppel, having to move anchorages a few times, as is normal there. We caught the northerlies with a great one day sail all the way to Pancake Creek, but the next morning we received a mobile phone call (high tide only), to say that Johns father had taken a turn for the worse and not expected to last long. As a major front and weather change occurred only half an hour later, we decided to turn back to Gladstone. Catherine and boys had a week in the marina while John went down to Brisbane. When John returned, we were able to make good time down to Brisbane and back to school, only one week late.




Over the summer we had a number of enjoyable trips out to Moreton Bay, before finishing work and school at Easter and going out into Moreton Bay to wait for the right weather pattern to depart for New Caledonia. We waited for 3 weeks and left on 7 May.


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