I am not much of a “water” person. I prefer mountains and trees and stuff like that. But water is an element you have to embrace. It looks beautiful and it brings life and stuff and is a part of everyone. So I don’t hate it — I just dabble in it every now and again.
SAILING and DRAMA and DISASTER
Quite bizarrely my dad got into sailing when I was a kid. He had a mate who sailed up at Lake Cootharaba — just north of Noosa — and we went up there once and Dad got hooked and bought this very dodgy and ancient wooden catamaran off that bloke (so he could upgrade to a fibreglass boat).
So one day Dad was sailing around the lake and somehow managed to get into trouble — no one knows exactly what happened — not even dad. It seems he was knocked off the boat and consequently put a big hole in the hull with his head. He was knocked out and only saved by his brand new life jacket.
A bit later I received a boat for Christmas one year. A tiny boat — perhaps the tiniest. It was a Northbridge Junior and could really only support the weight of me at 11 and one mate of roughly the same age. That mate was Scott and we had a great time camping and sailing and getting horribly sunburnt. (In those days I wanted a tan more than anything).
But then Dad couldn’t fix that hole his head made in his boat and so we never went sailing again, apart from one day when we went to Lake Moogarah during the Christmas Holidays and the wind was shit and the lake was horrible for sailing and afterwards while dad was packing up the boat and putting it on the car’s roof — my sister and I managed to watch a girl drown in the cafe’s pool. TRUE STORY.
But then things got even more surreal.
On the way home the car’s roof racks broke free and my Northbridge, still attached to the racks were suddenly free and sailing across the road behind us, narrowly missing another car and then landing without much dignity in the grass by the roadside.
I got out of the car with dad and helped him get things back in order. My new boat was a mess, but just quietly I didn’t really care. We eventually got it back on the car and got back to my nan’s house in Ipswich.
But that boat was cursed. When Dad and I moved to Sydney the removerlists lost the mast. I was appalled at the injustice, but ultimately didn’t morn the loss.
Yeah — so sail-boating is nice and natural and appeals to all my love of history and as we were splashing through the Bay I thought of how Oxley had done so, perhaps just at the same pace and if you you blocked out the other boats — which wasn’t hard — with perhaps a very, very similar vista. That was nice.
And sailing on nature’s whim is pretty cool. I really enjoyed that. The sails give you shade from the sun and send down this torrent of breeze to keep you even more cool.
But in saying that, it was an entirely stressful adventure. Everyone kept saying to me, “How relaxing is this?” AndI kept thinking, “Wha?”
See it might have been quite zen, and serene and really, really cool in the periods when we were out, “free as a bird” (so to speak). But the bookends around that stuff were really, really stressful. I tried my best to present a very calm and united front in these periods, but secretly I was a mess.
And you know what? Those in control were probably in a much worse state than me.
Anyway — we managed to get the boat refuelled and then we were off. I’ll get to the drama later.
After some time we did a tack and headed into Horseshoe Bay — part of Peel Island. Peel was a former leper colony of colonial (and later) Brisbane. I really wanted to walk around the island and I swum off towards it and only 30 metres away I could touch the bottom — but I wasn’t sure what the schedule was. But then I took out my camera and swum around for a bit with one hand above the water!
Eventually we got to go home.
I am a bit maybe “fast” in my appreciation of “experiences”. So things seemed to be moving so, so slow. Consequently I was very happy when we go moving again and in that process I got to steer the boat for about 20 minutes. And it’s not like driving a car — it’s like walking through a crowd of people — no matter which way you want to move in, something keeps pushing you somewhere else — probably towards the bar.
I am really, really impressed by sails. They look amazing in flight, but they also look organic — with their veins and really cool detail when you get up close. Plus — they are working away to help you get somewhere for free! Awesome. Bike-riding and sailing are more similar than you’d think. The wind is a constant worry when you ride a bike. Sometimes a wonderful friend, sometimes an idiot not knowing where it’s going, and mostly a fucktard always in your face and being a total downer.
And below is Tim pretending to do that leaning off the boat stuff to fill the sail stuff. LOL
The craziest thing today was when we attempted to park the boat. It went against the grain of everyone trying to convince me that this was such a peaceful, relaxing adventure; I kept hearing “this is the life,” which I knew wasn’t the reality.
When we came into dock that sense became a total reality. Given it was the first time on his own, Terry was having trouble getting the boat into the tiny dock space which was fucking complicated. It had a big yacht at the top whose owner was there watching us – and another boat at the bottom. 2 attempts trying to back-in failed and then there was even trouble turning around to try a front-in dock.
So now I was at the very front of the boat and Terry was gliding us in at a pace you could see grass grow. Meanwhile that douchecanoe was watching us all the while. You could “feel” his absolute pleasure in our battle.
So I was on the bow. And I was steadily getting worried that this attempt would end in more tears. From my position I could sense everyone was getting STRESSED.
I now had a rope and as the bow got closer to the pontoon I was told not to jump but I was determined — I was not only going to jump, I was going to dive into the canal just to drag this boat to its pontoon if it came to that.
But luckily the boat got close enough for me to leap over.
And then I dragged it closer but had to use all my strength to keep the very front of the boat from scratching along the pontoon. Dee wondered why I was shaking, 2 minutes later.