Hi folks, I hope you’re enjoying your life and making the most of it. Me? Yeah, I’ve pretty much been doing that my whole life. There only one thing better than being a baby, it’s being a traveling baby. And my mom’s gotta be the best at finding impossibly cool stuff. Just give her an uplink and tell her: “find us some epic shit to do” and there’s not telling how far she’s going to reset the scale of awesomeness. For example:
We were in Townsville for only a day, having freshly disembarked the ferry from the island of aborigines. While Weirdo was nursing a hangover that he caught from meeting up with Hugo, an old friend of his from the road, Cranky went and found us some pure awesomeness. There’s a dude called Stu out there, that lives on his sailboat, and likes going to beaches on deserted islands and swimming above coral and fishing his dinner ; but he thinks it’s more fun with company. So he posts a call for crew on the interwebs, and since Cranky was on the lookout, she found it. Now, the dude was anchored in Airlie Beach, 300 km south AND he wanted to meet us before agreeing on setting sail with us on board, but that’s when you have to take risks. Within a couple of hours, the backpack was packed, thumbs were raised and cars were already fighting to take us to our destination.
The dude, Stu then, invited us for dinner on board his boat. He came to pick us up on the beach in his dingy, claiming to have spent the day cleaning up and making it bearable with the assistance of a bourbon bottle. He didn’t look drunk to us so we had to conclude he was really good at being drunk.
He’s a retired chef. Not that he’s old or anything. He just retired early. And he never forgot how to cook epic food. Some red emperor fish he caught the day before, he turned into the most delicious breaded fish I’ve ever had.
We got along quite OK, so we set sail the next morning. Weirdo was trying to be helpful with pulling ropes and anchors and stuff. He remembered some stuff from Inara. I stayed in the cockpit to watch over the instruments.
The island we reached was like shaped by the wind. On one side it was a vertical cliff, and on the other side a long beach. There was a pretty constant slope from one side to the other. We anchored on the cliff-side (good shelter from the wind) ans hopped in the dingy to go to the beach side. They found me a little shadowy cave where I could play in the sand while they gathered oysters. A bagful of it.
The beach had plenty of big rocks. That’s good for oysters, but not for swimming. So we dingy-hopped another one.
Back to the boat, we spend the afternoon opening oysters (or trying, in the case of Weirdo) and preparing them. In the evening, we were ready for a sunset in style : Oysters and Bourbons cola.
When Stu heard that Weirdo had never caught fish in his life, he got the fishing gear out. All three of them spent the rest of the evening doing that.
They only stopped when it got so late that the only thing they were getting was shark. You can’t eat shark apparently.
The next day, we set sail to an island that had corral.
When we got there, Stu threw a really awesome contraption in the water. It’s like a floating compressor that sends, well, compressed air down a pipe. A 10-meters-long pipe that ends in a mouthpiece. So you can send someone underwater with no diving equipment and they can still breathe. Weirdo and Cranky got to try it. Me? Not so lucky. Didn’t have a mouthpiece my size.
And so they swam in the coral while I guarded the boat. And then we were feeding bread to the fish from the boat, just to see them up close, then we cooked the stuff we had fished the day before… Not necessarily in that order.
And when the sun started getting too close to the horizon, we set sail back to port. Except we didn’t because we were into the wind so we came back on motors only.
That was fun!