Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sailing North: T'was the Night Before Christmas

21st June 2011
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

Club House. RQYS
It’s that time of year again. The nights are cold, even in Brisbane. Birds have flown north for the winter and the roads are congested with columns of brand new four wheel drives dragging equally new huge caravans behind and driven by doddery grey nomads slowing the traffic as they go SKIing, or Spending the Kids Inheritance.  Labels on the back proclaim that it is piloted by Fred and Doris who can be reached on UHF Channel 47 should your following vehicle be radio equipped and you wish to anonymously abuse them for travelling at a very safe 45 kph in a 70kph zone.

The marina is also filling with another migratory species, the Cruising Yachtie. These folk, like their land locked counterparts are slowly following the sun, and the whales north. The Cruising Yachtie  has two distinct sub species, both or which are represented at The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron or RQYS. The first is made up of very smartly dressed middle aged couples who have their boats berthed at the marina or on in the hard stand while hoards of workmen swarm over the boat like cleaner wrasse to a shark, picking off the considerable amount of financial crumbs that float their way. The BOAT, acronym for Bring Out Another Thousand thoroughly enjoys this attention, however the owner can usually be spotted sitting in his Mercedes, mobile phone to ear explaining to his Bank Manager/Wife/ Debt Collection Agency why the 5c wire that fell off the back of the depth sounder has so far cost in excess of $650 to diagnose, and another $780 should see it working.

The other group of Cruising Yachties are not parked in the marina but moored in the bay outside it. This saves the daily mooring fees. Like pensioners who know where to get cheap meals, they know the routine of the Marina Management and swarm into the marina 15 minutes after the Manager has gone home to steal a vacant berth. They use the electricity, water and ablutions, (taking the entire supply of toilet paper back to their boat with them) then disappear back to their bobbing existence before the Marina Office opens again. This sub species is called the Feral Yachtie. How can you spot one? They arrive at the Yacht Club on the first of the month with a $50 note and a clean shirt. At the end of the month they have changed neither.

Tomorrow we are destined to join both groups (and the whales) on our migration north. The boat is ready, and all pigs are fed and ready to fly. Thank you to everyone who replied with messages of Bon Voyage. Very many thanks to those who came down last Sunday for our send off dock party. It was brilliant and great to see so many. To those who are joining the boat on it’s way up the Coast, not long now! And to those who are joining the trip vicariously, think about joining the boat on the way back! Fares are ridiculously cheap, and it truly is a chance that doesn’t come up often.

See you on the water.

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