Sunday, August 14, 2011

Airlie Beach race week: Pre Start nerves

12th August 2011
Airlie Beach Race Week -1

We have been drifting around the Whitsundays for a few days now. We are hosts to Nik and Mick, a couple who met on this very yacht a year ago in the Louisiades. We have reinforced the anchor windlass, Mick has dived on the boat and retrieved a fishing line that wrapped around the prop, and also scrubbed her bottom. We have drifted from Island to Island watching whales, turtles, dolphins and various other marine life. He weather has been beautiful with cloudless days and crisp nights. W have dined with Chris and his delightful guests Gary and Joy and generally led an idyllic life.

However all things eventually come to an end, and in this case the end is August the 10th and Airlie Beach Race Week. We spent th evening in one of my favourite spots on the planet, Nara Inlet. An early breakfast and then a short hop across to Abel Point Marina to register. As soon as we were in telephone range we called Abel Point for our berth allocation. It isn’t as if we are strangers to them, having written several times requesting that we be berthed near Time Lord but the receptionist immediately denied all knowledge of the entire Race Week and said we needed to speak to Stewart., who would not be available until midday. Dreamagic standing by.

At 12 we spoke with a rather flustered Stewart who said we were in M24. No problem, where is Time Lord? He is in N15. We don’t actually have a map of the Marina but no matter how I try, I cannot visualise a situation where M24 and N19 are adjacent. We reminded Stewart of our several requests, that we were actually the first boat to register and it was a provision of our booking that had our wish with the berthing arrangements, and that it was my birthday in a few days time so I have to get special treatment. Stewart did not appear to be a man who handles pressure well.  He explained that he has 130 boats coming in, that he can’t make special provisions for single yachts but will do his best.

We found our berth and tied up. Stewart had done us a favour and Time Lord had been allocated the actual same berth as us which we were assured would be big enough for the two boats. I assume that he must have missed the zero from the 50 when reading the registration form and clearly this wouldn’t work. We called Stewart. He was at lunch.

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