Monday, 19 May 2014

SPLASH!!! - An awkward and potentially dangerous end to a wonderful weekend

Bruce and Molly enjoying the warm autumn sun at the bow of the boat.
We've just arrived back home after 3 terrific days on the boat with our very close friend Leona and her new partner Bruce who came up from Canberra on Friday night.  So much to tell, which I'll get to in a minute, but first I have to share our rather unfortunate entry into the yacht club about midday today. 

Our boat is on a mooring which means we have to first lug the dingy ( heavy!), the outboard (also heavy), and all the food, provisions and clothes for the weekend down two fights of rough stone steps to the water.  Its a bit of a bother but it does keep the 2 of us reasonably fit doing it as often as we do.

Which means it is so much easier to launch the dingy - still at the stone steps - and have George take the boat around to the RPAYC yacht club to load up.  Its also much easier when we have guests to get them on at the club - that way they don't have to go through all the chores before enjoying the boat.  And that's what happened this weekend.  We dropped Leona and Bruce back at the club on Sunday afternoon so they could drive back to Canberra and then spent the night on the water before starting home this morning. 

It was easy pulling along side on Sunday - there were plenty of spaces out the front.  Not so today.

Today it was full.  Always the ultra careful one I suggested we either anchor off or pull up a spare mooring and then George could take me over to the club dock and off load there so I could pick up the car.  Well of course that suggestion was silly! 

So, in a huff of "just give me the boat" (I was driving), George proceeded to back down an arm headed for a space right in front of the club and perfectly abeam of a slight - but still significant - breeze blowing on the side of the boat. 

The breeze made getting alongside very difficult.   Every time we got close I unhitched the side gate and got ready to jump on the dock and every time we were blown off.  Then someone came to help and we got a stern line on ... but the bow was getting blown off about 90 degrees and on the way to the stern of boats on the next marina arm.  "Get me a rope", I was told by the captain.  I did.  He went to throw it to the helper on the dock.  And then he leaned on the side gate I left half open.  It released under his weight and right there in front of the whole yacht club he went - quite spectacularly - into the water still holding the rope.

At first it was funny.  George even came up smiling, swam the rope over to the dock and we pulled her along side - all good.  But then I realised he could have dived head first into the side of the dock if we had been about 10 feet closer, hurt badly or killed, and I got mad - at myself for not locking the gate all the way and at him for wanting to put us there in the first place!   Anger, in any situation, isn't a helpful emotion.  Luckily people passing started to call out and laugh ... and the atmosphere calmed.

George isn't looking forward to the spectre of almighty ribbing he's going to get from our friends at the club - not to mention from people we barely know!  But he's safe, we've both learned a valuable lesson about locking the side gates - first! - no matter what, and we had a great weekend!

The time on the boat was, as usual, delightful.  It was lovely meeting Bruce who absolutely loves sailing.  Unfortunately we didn't have much wind to sail but we still managed to have fun, drink some nice wine, eat lots, and have some good gab-fests.  Saturday night we moored near boat mates on 'Bogart' and 'Celay' and enjoyed drinks before dinner and morning tea the next morning.  Fabulous.

Then, Sunday night after dropping our guests off, George and I went for a quiet evening in Towlers Bay.   I wrote about this bay once before in my post -  Mystery in Towlers Bay  (click on link to read again) - and the lone man that mysteriously arrives after dark.   Last night was the first time we've been back to the bay in over a year and we were wondering if we'd see him again.  But as the twilight turned to darkness and we were busy aboard we forgot about him.  Then around 9:30pm as George got in the dingy to take Molly ashore for her final toilet break of the day we saw the tin dingy on the shore.  And there, deep in the trees, we could see a dim light and the faint glow of a cigarette.  Who is this person?  What is his story?  Later we heard the dingy leave and we jumped up to peer at him through the gloom.  He came down through the woods carefully with just a small light, got in his little boat, turned off his light and proceeded slowly up the bay - no nav lights, no lights whatsoever - slow and deliberate.  Geez, too spooky.

We're home now, safe and happy.  Hope whatever that man's story is he's OK.

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