These are words that M only dreams of hearing from my pearly lips. They are;
Thank GOD for the BOAT!!
On both Saturday and Sunday it was 38°C – which translates to over 100°F. On the Saturday, we were lucky to have arranged a night away on Boat with Dr Grass and his daughter Al. Al turned 18 back in September and M and I bought her a fishing kit, which, with all the schoolies, Meredith, Falls Festival and other vital events, had not yet seen any action.
Before we departed, M and I had one of those seminal garage sale experiences, where we were so thrilled at some of the items that we found that we spent money that we should be saving for our M got a fabulous grinder for $30, we got two metal painting ladders for $6 each (for the next house we find to do up), an old amplifier to power some speakers we’ve got hanging about ($10) and we bought my dad a gate. It really doesn’t translate the thrillingness when I type it at you, but it was exciting.
It was so lovely to head out to sea. The tide was high (though it was a very low high tide, only about 2.25 metres) and we did wonder whether we would make it out of the creek into the bay. Cannons Creek was dotted with jelly fish, but there were people swimming – that’s how hot it was. M had refined our shadecloth idea, and had rigged it up so it covered the cockpit and there was enough wind to just sail under the jib alone,
We were aiming for Tortoise Head. We stopped to say hello to a slippery little seal that was playing around near a marker. And then it was just too much for me to cope with. I made a sort of swing rope in between the outrigger and the main hull, and to everybodys horror, jumped overboard. It was sublime. It has always been an issue for me, trying to get back onboard from the sea, due to my non-existent upper body strength. But my rope swing also worked as a step up on to the outrigger. Yah!
We stopped off at various spots so the others could do some fishing. There were some spectacular fish getaways. The first fish (of the three Al nearly hauled aboard) looked like a particularly feral goldfish. M landed a very presentable flathead. Later on, both he and Dr Grass caught little gummy shark things, which I made them throw back because they were too pretty to grace our frypan, and deserved a few more years at sea.
After a late dinner, we sat up playing Euchre. The others saw some sort of amazing falling star, which passed me by. Then M and I got our guests to play our little electronic 20 Questions game, and took great delight in seeing them look at it as if it was possessed by the devil, when it correctly guessed that they had been thinking of… a shoelace.
M woke up before dawn and had us motoring back close to Cannons Creek, in response to the weather forecast, which had changed to a 30 knot northerly which, when it kicked in, would be coming straight at us. Once we got near enough to the channel, we anchored, and did some more fishing – but once the wind arrived, we snuck back down the creek and pulled in for a dip at Cannons Creek and had lunch aboard. Never underestimate the value of inviting someone who works in a delicatessen to come for a sail – they bring fabulous snacks.
Once we got back to land, the heat was pretty bad, but almost bearable. Al was kind enough to remove the dead mouse from where the cats had thoughtfully left it in the middle of the rug in the trailer, while I averted my eyes and organised iced water for everyone. After our fishing friends had departed, the heat of the day really kicked in, and it was revolting. We had to put Saffy in the bathtub and douse him in cold water three times, while Mow (who’s excess of fur somehow seemed to keep him cool?) remained inscrutable as ever, if just a bit more floppy.
M read his book, positioned between the craptastic evaporative cooler and the fan. I, wearing shorts and a singlet, just left them on as I got in and out of the shower, laid in the bath, and then finally just curled up on a wet towel on the floor with another one on my head. And waited for the cool change that they had promised. It took about five hours. Ack. All I wanted was ice, as we had foolishly tipped it all into the evaporative cooler, but there was no was that either of us was going outside to get in a non-air conditioned car to go and get some.
The relief, when the change came, was so great, that it was like I’d been injected with adrenaline. Moments before, I had been prone and bemoaning, but with the southerly breeze I came back to life and we went and bought some Coopers Stout to celebrate. We watched the end of Sideways – which I had thought was going to be better than it was.