The Gulf Cruise is an annual event, usually held in March, in which boats, under power and sail are invited to cruise the waters of the upper Spencer Gulf for a period of about 2 weeks. Various towns are visited along the way as ports of call and the social aspect of the trip is as much a part of  the event as is the sailing/cruising. In 2002 it coincided with the Encounter 2002 event in which Tall Ships re-enacted the 1802 voyages of Matthew Flinders and Nicholas Baudin.  We had the pleasure of escorting the Tall Ships as they headed north up the Spencer Gulf and it was truly a sight to behold. At left is a picture of the Enterprize, heading north to Port Augusta. There were over 50 yachts in this year's cruise and in two weeks we travelled just over 220 nautical miles in Peter's yacht Jay-Em 2, a 24 foot RL24.  During the 2 weeks, Linda wrote a poem which was included in the log of our trip and it included the names of all the boats which were there. You can read it if you wish by clicking on, "What's in a boat a name?" below.  Linda also won the award for the best log of the Cruise....written from the 2 weeks on Jay-Em 2, and the poem was a part of this.

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Gulf Cruise 2003   Report by Linda Castle
There are so many stories we could all tell of the 2003 Gulf Trip - here is just a part of what was special to us. Setting sail from Port Broughton to the sounds of children farewelling us singing Po-Kara-Kara Ana, Clear waters, Great company, Great organization, Flexible program, Spectacular sunrises and sunsets, Sharing crabs on Shelly beach at Port Davis while doing the March Fly & Mozzie Dance. Finally leaving Port Davis over 24hrs after a storm had been through. Fishing or at least trying to fish, Watching Brian Lawrie catch a kingfish over 60cm, Hand feeding fish to the dolphins on entry to Whyalla Marina, Country hospitality, Hot showers, Hands on flares demonstration at Whyalla Yacht Club, Mayoral Receptions at Whyalla Yacht Club & Port Pirie Art Gallery/Tourist Centre, Half Past and Happy Hours so numerous we've lost count, Beach b-b-q put on by Port Augusta Coast Guard, Having a taste of snapper at Whyalla caught by someone else and Tina's 73cm snook at the beach b-b-q, Wading in knee high mud for what seemed an eternity. A ride with Pt. Augusta Coast Guard so we could all make it to the beach b-b-q Going for a ride in Coast Guard 97 at Blanche Harbour & Pt. Pirie - courtesy Kevin Pallant, Walking Tour of Pt. Pirie with a local guide, The "Awards" at Port Pirie where Linda won runner up in the activity sheets, - Bringing home a lovely towel set prize made by Clare Pallant, Meeting the intrepid crew of Alka, Enjoying Richard Minchins' lovely pics sent to us after the event.

A feature event during our time away on the Gulf Trip 2003 was the Flinders Shield. In this competition experienced sailors are paired up with locals under the age of 25 who have very little sailing experience. Each team of 2 sails a Heron on the waters of Port Broughton in a knockout competition until only 1 boat remains and is declared the winner. The Inaugural event held last year, in 2002 was won by our ery own Brian Lawrie and young companion. This year 2003 it is Jerzy Kawecki who has done the TSASA proud. True to the spirit of the competition Jerzy guided his craft, "Tiny Tim" with young local Matthew O'Brien through every leg to win the 2003 Flinders Shield. The event fosters young sailors and gives acknowledgement to Matthew Flinders who navigated the same waters over 200 years ago. This year the event was sailed on the birthday of Matthew Flinders. So which TSASA member is going to win it next year? You will just have to be there and be a part of it to find out! See you on the water!