|Orpheus Anchorage. 18 yachts|
The Townsville Yacht Club held a Bluewater Race to Orpheus Island which was then followed by a two day party on the Island over the Easter break. Notice of this event was given months before and I did put it the question to everyone, “Do we want to do this, or indeed anything over the holiday?”
In true Dreamagic tradition I got no reply. Sarah, a friend of mine from Cairns asked if she could come down with a couple of Easter Orphan friends for a sail. Absolutely! Then Jo, who is part Malaysian and the only Banana allowed on this boat found herself with time on her hands. (Before anyone criticises, Banana is Jo’s description of herself. Yellow on the outside, white inside. I think it’s very clever). Could she come down for a few days? Absolutely! So on the Thursday before Easter Jo drove the 3.5 hours down to arrive about 7 pm. Sarah had to work until 6 so that group were scheduled to arrive about 11pm. Jo and I did some provisioning as all shops would be closed Good Friday, bought copious quantities of wine and returned back to DM to attempt to stow it all. My first lesson that morning was early, my last lesson didn’t finish until late and by the time I had swapped cars, collected Bob, met Jo, shopped, stowed, I was pretty stuffed. It was 10.30 so I suggested I have a quick nap before Sarah got here. Unfortunately there was a disconnect in communication, Jo also went to bed, complete with earplugs and I was woken up at 2.30 am to Bob barking. Climbing out of bed I then heard the not very happy voice of Sarah. Seems due to another communication breakdown I had neglected to tell Sarah which marina the boat was in. She had gone to TYC, finally got through the security gate, searched all the fingers looking for Dreamagic, and, as only Sarah could, got caught up in a Police siege with armed officers surrounding a yacht and trying to remove a dangerous nutter. Not satisfied with the level of excitement she had then come to Bluewater Marina, and scaled not one but two security fences to search the fingers for Dreamagic. Bob’s barking had located us. I then met Drew and Megan. You know how first impressions are important. Well I though these guys were delightful, fun and would be good travelling companions. Their impression of me as someone who has irresponsibly made them temporarily homeless, at that moment….well best get their stuff on the boat, and everyone bedded down.
Good Friday dawned a beautiful day. We left about 7.30 am, went to the fuel wharf to pick up diesel, and set off in a flat sea to make the 45 nms to Orpheus. Someone was definitely smiling at us. The wind filled and we put our kite up. Sailing with Spinnaker only we reached 7.5 knts and then a spotted mackerel committed suicide on our line. Reeling him in while the boat was still moving was challenging but successful. It seems Drew worked on a trawler and filleted the fish with the precision of a surgeon. Frame and head over the side, one fillet in the freezer, one in small chunks and marinading in lemon juice in record time. This holiday may have had an unfortunate start but sailing does not get better than this.
We made Orpheus at the same time as the leading race yachts. I was hoping to pick up a public mooring but alas, some yachts had obviously come out the day before and bagged those. We anchored in 10 meters of water, initially alone but soon surrounded by the rest of the boats from the TYC fleet. We were rewarded with the spectacle of the last yachts crossing the line with a setting sun behind them. It’s one day past full moon and the rise was equally impressive. The night was spent eating, drinking and telling jokes. The guitar came out and Jo and I took turns in murdering songs as, at least in my case, I found red wine appears to affect both my fingers ability to form chords, and my ability to memorize words.