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BRIAN’S BOATING and outdoor adventures

BRIAN’S BOATING and outdoor adventures

By Roselle Tenefrancia

Many would say that social media have taken over our lives. The various platforms of social media have been praised, criticised, celebrated and shunned, depending on where you stand or how it affects you. For Brian Smith, this current digital platform has given him and boating enthusiasts in Southeast Queensland a new and easy way to get people together.

Using Brian’s Boating & Outdoors as his social media handle on Facebook and Instagram, he has been seeing a growing interest in his adventure tag-along activities. “The interest is increasing every week with guys and gals wanting to come along and get involved. I think many months ago we were averaging around 10 boats per trip, give or take, but we are now averaging 17 boats, with one of the recent South Stradbroke weekends seeing 25 boats lining the shore,” notes Brian.

While it all just started with Brian doing a call-out on Facebook for boaties who wanted to join him for his boating trips, it has grown into a community whose social boating trips have become highlights of their adventures, and a great way to obtain more confidence to boat to new places. While personal boating trips have their advantages, group getaways can be more exciting. “This gives people a great opportunity to discover camping sites or fishing holes that they may not have discovered yet. Then, some of those who joined the group have gained the confidence to return on their own or just with their family. I genuinely think this is an awesome achievement.”

He describes one of the weekend getaways they had late 2021. “We camped at the Jumpinpin on South Stradbroke Island. My wife and I arrived around 1pm on a Friday, catching up with the regulars and meeting the newcomers as they arrived to set up camp and settling in for a fish and a beer on the shoreline. Saturday always sees the majority head out for a fish and try their luck for a feed. 25 boats were anchored on Saturday night. We had over 30 people. Some groups shared a campfire while others enjoyed a sunset beer sitting by their own fire and swag. Everyone was welcome to do their own thing.”

Despite the growing number of participants, Brian says that the challenges remain very few as the concept is really simple. “There is the date, the time, the details of what we are doing, and where we are meeting depending on the event. If you make it, that’s great. If not, I’m going anyway. What is of big help is that people tell me if they are coming or not. Sometimes, we would meet expecting four boats, and then end up with eight boats on the beach. We always make it work, but then the location may have to change to suit.”

In October 2021, they organised a full-moon trip. This time they went further north than SEQ. “Seven excited guys met up on a foggy morning with cars and boats loaded heading for Hervey Bay with a plan to be on the water and on our way by 8am. Secure parking was all sorted at a private residence and we left River Heads boat ramp on schedule, and met by the most glorious conditions we could have asked for. Chasing tuna within 20 minutes of leaving the boat ramp and getting in some sight-seeing and checking out some old wrecks and logging jetties as we made our way south along Fraser Island to our campsite at Garry’s Anchorage. We explored the south-western side of Fraser Island, we fished and enjoyed this amazing place until Sunday morning before making our way home.”

The basic principle behind Brian’s boating adventures is that there is no pressure to do anything specific. “The authenticity of the people that join us is contagious. There are no expectations or criteria to meet. This is just about getting out there to enjoy a camping and fishing weekend with friends.”

The only planning Brian does is for himself first and what he loves doing, and if others have similar interests then they are most welcome to join. Although he says that over the months, he has shared his adventures with those who also love fishing. “We all have a common interest in fishing and camping so the group dynamic just seems to work every trip. There are guys in their twenties and guys in their sixties. Some bring the whole family and some come alone. It just works.”

For those who may not be keen fishers, and just want to boat and camp with the group at the destination, the weekend adventure trips are still open to join. “I do, however, make clear that some of the more hardcore fishing weekends may not be family-friendly and this is expected,” explains Brian. “Whether you come with your family or come alone, you will have met a new group of friends by the end of the day, discovered a new location, and probably learned some new fishing or boating skills by the time you go home.”

The year 2022 is looking very promising for Brian’s boating and camping adventures. “January is always a busy time with school and public holidays happening so we will keep the tag-alongs to one night campovers or all night fishing sessions (which I am a big fan of) around the Gold Coast Broadwater or southern Moreton Bay. Late February and March, we will go back to full weekends with camps planned for South Stradbroke, North Stradbroke and Peel Islands. I am planning another away trip with the destination yet to be confirmed, but could be into one of the dams or back to Hervey Bay and heading north this time around.”

Whether you are an old hand looking to get on the water for the day, looking to meet new friends, new to the area or new to the trailer-boat world, Brian invites you to check out his page for more information about the many camping and fishing trips in the works for the rest of the year.

Facebook: Brian’s Boating & Outdoors

 

BRIAN’S BOAT ADVICE

What boat? That’s the big question I enjoy assisting new boat buyers to answer. First rule is that every boat is a compromise. Asking yourself a few valuable questions will help you and your family get closer to the better outcome and not just what someone may tell you. These questions are: Where are you going to store it? What is your tow vehicle? What will be the boat’s intended use most of the time? Boating has to be easy and with more ease comes more fun. Bigger is not necessarily better if it is going to make your day out on the water more difficult, so look outside the box when choosing a boat or give me a call to challenge the status quo.

 

Published in print January-March 2022

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