Monday, March 28, 2011

Leisure and pleasure

Two months have passed since the last entry. A lot has happened in that time. That viscous Dame La Nina has  had her way with this antipodean land. She lowered the ruffles of her monsoon skirt across the upper half of this land of extremes and what she didn't blow asunder she drenched and re-drenched enough to create new entries in the record books. Not satisfied with her usual territory she allowed her cascading excesses to spread far and wide overflowing every appreciative depression large and small from Torres to Bass. Pictures posted on the web display images of despair and delight, emotions that are poles apart in terms of the impacts of tragedy and reward. Ah the balance of Nature.

Poseidon, God of the seas and "Earth-Shaker" has been in concert with the Dame delivering savage undulations of land in Christchurch and Sendai and now Burma. The Sendai earthquake, the strongest in Japan's history with a recorded magnitude of 9 created a 10m Tsunami that travelled up to 12km inland and obliterated entire towns tragically ending  tens of thousands of lives. A modern catastrophe expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The most expensive natural disaster on world record. Lessons have been provided for the proponents of nuclear energy. Fortunately our friends in Japan (Tokyo, Kawasaki and Yokahama) have escaped any injury or damage experiencing only the tremors and subsequent disruptions to power supply and transport. It was a relief to have news of their well-being and to speak to them of their experiences.

Gento and Daiki




The female contingent of our Japanaese friends along with two toddler boys spent a week in Noosa during February. We put them up in a unit beside the Noosa River at Noosaville which conveniently has a floating jetty where I was able to bring Truansea alongside for them to come aboard for a leisurely cruise up river to Tewantin and down to Woods Bay for a swim and lunch before taking them back. They were delighted with the experience, something they could not contemplate in Japan. Our experience with the Sekiya family began in 1991 when Miwa the eldest daughter of Kazushige and Kazuko spent a year with us whilst on student exchange. Miwa has two sisters Miki and Nami and all three are now married. Miki also lived with us for the best part of a year whilst attending English language studies at University.  Miwa and Miki both have sons Daiki and Gento respectively. Our relationship with this family is truly a salute to the cause of fostering international relations. It has in effect created an extension of our family and exposed us to a culture that is so remote from the teachings during our school years as to make me wonder why the fostering of such relationships is not universal and supported by governments worldwide. The long term benefits are obvious and in my view provide a catalyst for the ideal of world peace. The commitment and effort required is a fraction of that required to deal with conflict.

The list of maintenance jobs at the house grows smaller as I work my way through them. Rear Admiral Lyn is pleased with progress and her beloved Trim now 15 months old is developing his own character but still a little aloof for her liking. He is very fond of endearing himself to our close neighbours and takes a great interest in his surroundings particularly if it is small and moves. The hunting instinct is there though generally targeted at the Geckos. His bell gives anything with that range of hearing a better than sporting chance. We are always amazed at his ability to leap 6,7 or 8 times his height to make his preferred entry into the house through a downstairs window. A cat door is on the list.

Hopefully all the painting and maintenance tasks and little jobs I have been doing around the house will see it in good stead with a minimum of attention in my absence under the guidance and attention of  Rear Admiral Lyn. My good doctor listened, probed, perused test results and happily pronounced me fit and healthy, a direct result I'm convinced of the care and attention provided by the Rear Admiral and a couple of small pills. He also announced his jealousy but with a new baby and toddler at home to occupy his thoughts that envy will soon fade.

Frying pan damper

Between jobs at the house and normal day to day life all is going to plan with Truansea's preparation. I spend time aboard mostly during inclement weather or periods of strong wind to get the feel and learn the reactions of Truansea in different conditions. Also on weekends both as a deterrent to the weekend hire boat fleet who's "skippers" know little of  boating safety or etiquette or even care if their behaviour is any indication and to keep up Truansea's appearance with a bit of cleaning and polishing.  Another satisfying element to this approach is the enhancement of my basic cooking skills. During those times aboard I am, with tuition from Lyn a most able and accomplished cook who needs little in the way of recipe or measuring device, expanding my ability beyond applying heat to left overs and pre prepared meals. Whilst still about two lifetimes away from being  confident and able in all respects of gathering, preparing and delivering the finished product I remain conservative and cautious in culinary pursuits not wanting to inflict even the slightest discomfort on either the inlet or exit apparatus or that mighty central organ that converts all that enters into energy. Or so I hope. All the great mariners from the illustrious Cook and Flinders onwards knew of the benefits to crew morale and strength to perform work of healthy eating, cleanliness and regular exercise. Mercifully there was also an understanding that grog played a significant role in maintaining the efficacy of all that goodly stuff. The daughter of the vine is most appreciated especially if the label bears the Penfolds stamp.

I have missed he opportunity to start a visitors book from day one however I will remedy that this coming week and it may be possible to acquire some retrospective entries.  The next phase between now and next months full moon will involve purchasing and fitting the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and a few other small jobs. Then check and recheck all equipment and systems stock up on consumables. The plan for departure is to weigh anchor after the 14th April when the Noosa bar is conducive to a safe crossing and slide across Laguna Bay towards Double Island Point and then on to the Wide Bay Bar and The Great Sandy Straits and beyond.

Noosa Main Beach

From First Point towards Noosa North Shore
This is where I started surfing back in '65, there weren't any more people than this then.

It's a pretty tough life here at Noosa, beautiful one day perfect the next. Sure is a great incentive to complete the rounding. Woods Bay is about 150m through the trees behind the rock groin just to the right of centre in the top picture.
My choice of anchorage here at Woods Bay Noosa has proven to be ideal in terms of security, accessibility and proximity to home. Only a waterfrontage home with Truansea moored in front would improve the situation. Keeping my surfboard on Truansea has enabled me to take advantage of any good surf running whilst I am aboard. A short paddle ashore and walk across the spit and I'm in to it. I have enjoyed the best seat in the house at a couple of recent outdoor musical entertainment venues in the park at the woods adjacent to the anchorage. Far from an intrusion into the serenity of the anchorage the music has been quite enjoyable with the clarity of  sound across the still water equivalent to earphones. The bass beats being wonderfully vibrant encouraging involuntary participation in a rock and roll kind of way. There was a very energetic outrigger canoe corporate challenge day at which I again had an enviable spectators position midway along the southern edge of the course with a full view of the start and finish lines. I was able to take photo's close up of the canoes and their paddlers as they passed only meters from Truansea.  A well organised and run event from my viewpoint and a day I'm sure was enjoyed by all participants, spectators and helpers.

Woods Bay anchorage & entertainment
Photo taken from aboard Truansea

I have decided to advertise the Vulcan for sale. The big 2000cc V twin will rumble no more with my grip on the revving handle. That unique pleasure will belong to the new owner. I contemplated loaning it to a motorbike museum for exhibit and also preparing it for long term storage with a view to future use but as I get older and weaker (it is a very big, powerful and heavy machine) the reality is future use is whimsical at best.  My motorcycle days are now confined to 100cc of  relaxed, sweet  scootering around Noosa. An inexpensive pleasure in itself now shared by what must amount to 25% of the local population. Italians can be very sensible. The double delight is seeing the Rear Admiral taking to the scootering style like a duck to water and exuding so much confident pleasure.

The Vulcan

Really the hardest thing to cope with is the absence of day to day contact with friends and workmates but, and with  the exception of the dearest of friends, it is only in the deepest of those reflective moments that the concern arises.

Well that's an overview of the past two months and about as close an insight as my personal space allows. If you get closer than that you really have been admitted to the esoterical sanctorum - not for the feint hearted.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written once again, sounds like you are almost ready to head off on an adventure of a lfetime, great pics too.