Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bluewater Dinner - A Unique Group of Boaties

The view from our little room - looking out over Lake Macquarie.
The almost indistinguishable black dots in the water - to the left and right of centre -
are very large black swans. 
Our 'dream come true' sailing boat, Southern Belle, is unique with only a handful (less than 20) ever made.  She was built right here in New South Wales, only 2 hours from Sydney, by a small boat builder who's business I would describe as more artisan than manufacturer. 

Each yacht like ours is exclusive, a one of a kind commissioned by couples like us who dreamed and saved and scraped and generally stretched themselves financially - and every which way - to build and own one of these special boats.   And because this boat is so rare we've been able to meet and, in some cases, become good friends with other owners.  We only get to see many of them once in a while and generally it's only one or two boats & owners at a time.  Invariably each time there's a get together someone suggests we have a Bluewater dinner or raft up or something to bring more owners together.  Finally last night the builder David and his family did just that.  They invited the Bluewater crew up to a dinner at the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club.

Now all this sounds very high-flutin' (great word, must be said with a regional twang!).  But the reality is nothing like that.

Certainly with our (mine and George's) background and upbringing there was never an expectation, or to be honest, a drive to be a custom made yacht owner.  I mean, George is a carpenter and I was a little hippy secretary when I started out.  In fact my parents and most of my uncles and aunts expected me to end up barefoot and pregnant by the time I was 20 .. in my early life I was hell bent on having a good time and "doing it all".  But George and I have been well blessed.  We found each other along with jobs and careers that gave us a good living and we found a way to join this Bluewater bunch.  All of the other owners are like us as well ... hard working people who dreamed of something special and were able to see it through. 

So yesterday we drove the 2 hours up to the Lake for the first Bluewater dinner. 

We stayed at a little motel right on the Lake not far from the little LM Yacht Club.  Our room was tiny and a bit old fashion but it had a terrific view of the lake.  George had worked on a big job Friday and was still tired so he crashed out as soon as we checked in and got settled.

As we moved into our room some people in the rooms just down from us were already well into celebrating their Saturday night with loudish talking.  I guess we should have been a bit concerned when the owner asked us if we would be "alright" as she showed us to our room but the view was nice and we just wanted to relax a bit before going to the dinner.   So, unconcerned, we said, "we're fine!".

The dinner was fun.  We know three of the owner couples well and, as usual, it was great to be in their company.  There were couples there that we had met maybe once or twice before and it was great to share some good times with them over a glass or two of wine and hear their stories. One couple spent 6 years sailing around the world in their boat just like ours! 

Me with our good friends Peter and Sue and Kevin and Francis. 
Kevin and Frances had sailed to the Louisiades years ago and shared so much of their
knowledge with us before we made the trip last year.

David Bradburn, the owner of Bluewater Yachts, presented each boat owning couple with a certificate and little trophy in recognition of, in most cases, their less than noble adventures.  In our case it was for George's unplanned dive/fall off the side of the boat while coming alongside at our club.  I wrote about that in this blog awhile back (click here to read the SPLASH story).  Each award meant hearing all the adventures, or misadventures, all over again.  It was a good night.

Certificates and our little trophies.

My troublesome foot was a pain though.  While standing around talking, drinking and sitting it swelled right out of the "good" shoes I took and I almost couldn't get my crappy old sneakers on either at the end of the night it had grown so big.  To deal with the hassle of my hurting foot I'm drinking more these days when out along with taking a few pain relievers.  By the end of the night I felt a good ole buzz.  I remember talking quite a bit (which I never have trouble with anyway) and loudly and hugging a good deal.  God I hope I'm not becoming a bore at parties and a pain in the ass for others!  George hasn't given me the morning frown and cold shoulder yet so I must not be too bad. 

When we got back to our little room all was quiet.  Peter and Sue gave us a ride back, bless their hearts.  I was in pain so took a sleeping pill along with 2 more pain tablets and promptly passed out into snoring oblivion.  Unfortunately the people down the way from us returned to continue their Saturday night celebrations with growing intensity.  George was left to try to sleep through the racket.  They were certifiable pains in the ass according to him this morning.  The owner/manager of the motel had to move them in the early hours of the morning way down the block under threat of the police.  I never heard a thing.

I love our life right now in spite of the foot.  Thank you Universe.

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