Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 11 Goldsmith Island

14th January 2011
Goldsmith Island. The Cumberland Islands

The stories of what is happening in Brisbane are still filtering through, and as we had a flat battery this morning anyway, we got underway asap and headed for the Whitsunday Passage and some sort of phone coverage. In the passage, and when we had more than 12 volts of power I also tuned the TV into the local stations. (Yes, we have a TV)

Wow! Images of lakes where houses were compete for space in the news. We had no idea it was this bad. Anna Bligh is talking absolute crap about how “her” Queensland will cope and there are numerous images of an “heroic” tug driver who is pushing part of a floating walkway downstream so it doesn’t collide with the Dockside Marina. “The Little Tug” sounding more like Thomas the Tank Engine is getting more coverage than the bigger and more important issues. Then that bloody woman is self promoting herself by telling viewers how she sat in on every meeting while the “heroic” Damn Managers made the decision to release the water from Wivenhoe dam, thereby flooding Brisbane. (Oh, sorry, should that be Dam Managers?) Aren’t these people just doing their jobs? No doubt the “Little Tug Driver” will be up for Queenslander of the year while the Wivenhoe managers who two years ago were heroically managing the drought will now get performance bonuses.

Meanwhile we have a very dismal day with wind, on the nose of course. We motored to Goldsmith Island and picked our way carefully through the coral to some shelter from the wind, which has now had a maxed at 31 knts, or over 55 kph in the old scale. During the trip we read books, slept a lot, and Mark decided to learn to juggle. (See Photo)

Three things I have learned while sailing.
1)      Do not cook bacon in the nude.
2)      Chlamydia is not something you send by Interflora for Mothers day. (*see note below)
3)      You can’t learn to juggle on a moving yacht

Still, it was an heroic effort. (The juggling, not the other two. Although the bacon one was impressive.)
Anchor down, we had lunch of ham, cheese, home, or should I say yacht baked bread and pickles.

The wind started to increase and there were occasional rain squalls as we sheltered in this forlorn bay. Across the bay there is Farrier island, a tiny piece of land on which there are a dozen or so huts and one very nice small house with a beautifully kept lawn. Our pilot guide suggests these are private homes as we gaze at the through binoculars. I wonder if the are gazing back at us.

Because we are going into Mackay tomorrow and can refuel and water, the latter is off ration. We all took turns in a complete shower off the back deck before Isabelle decided to try her hand at fishing. After a few minutes the screaming off the back alerted us to the fact that she had been successful and her admonishing of the “imbecile” fish who had so stupidly taken the bait, her imploring someone to release it unharmed, and her apologies to the fish for hurting it indeed revealed that we had a decent size reef fish looking very surprised at a woman who was jerking around more than it was. We got it off the hook, noting that it had swallowed the bait and released it with a full belly and a cheery “til next time” waive of it’s dorsal fin.

Dinner was a superb as ever. A chicken curry with rice cooked by the very talented Rona, and then an early night listening to the wind howl around the boat.

*The explanation. This refers to an incident that happened a year ago on a sailing trip in Thailand. To understand you had to be there, or at least be a part of the sailing scene then.

“Some learn by their own mistakes, fortunate ones learn by the mistakes of others. Then there are the guys who have to urinate on the electric fence to see what happens”  
Capt’n Willi Cinque.
(Fortunately Capt’n Willi is more than happy to watch, from a safe distance, the latter)

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