Our singing the praises of Easter school holidays must have fallen on deaf ears. Never have I seen so few boaters on the water. We shared the usually thronging anchorage at The Basin, aka Coaster's Retreat, in Pittwater with a mere handful of crews. Perhaps the weather reports are to blame? Yet the reality was a wonderful Sydney bolt-hole, barely rocked by waves and wind, with warm water, hungry fish and, dare I say it, no crowds.
Forecasts for change
The Bureau of Meteorology has made structural changes to its marine forecasts. Marine wind warnings will now be incorporated within the coastal waters forecasts and not listed separately. The warnings cover the first two days of the forecast period and specify which day is affected. The wind warning will be added as a label above the wind and wave forecasts for the affected days within the coastal waters forecast. During wind warning periods, the coastal waters forecast will be issued every six hours. See the detailed forecasts at bom.gov.au/marine.
Newcastle revs up
The first round of the 2013 Offshore Superboat Series will be held at Newcastle next weekend for three exciting classes of supercats capable of speeds of up to 215km/h. The superboats will take to a predetermined course in Newcastle Harbour in an effort to set new Australian and world speed records. At the same time, the Newcastle Foreshore Park will host the annual boat and leisure show. For car buffs, Fuelarama at Wharf Road and the Foreshore Car Parks will celebrate Newcastle's car culture. See fuelarama.com.au.
The 53rd Melbourne Boat Show on June 14-17 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre has been expanded by 3000 square metres. The Boating Industry Association event is billed as Australia's biggest indoor boat show. And every new-boat buyer at the show gets a free half-day boat-handling course. See biavic.com.au.
In its third year, the Gold Coast International Marine Expo from November 1-3 is set to break records. In 2012, the Expo attracted 190 exhibitors, more than 500 boats and more than 20,000 visitors. Geared towards the grass-roots and family boater, the expo is a working boat show in the heart of the Gold Coast's marine precinct. It's worth a trip. See gcmarineexpo.com.au.