Yesterday we had seen five souped up motorboats pull up – they appeared to be filming each other as they whizzed around the cove. I have no objection to non-wind powered vessels – until they begin doing laps around your catamaran at an illegally high speed, anchor 20 feet away and then fly a drone past your boat. Somewhere, as they trawl through their footage, they may observe me on deck, lip curled, mouthing “FUCK OFF” in the direction of their drone… But I digress.
Today was a day of bluster and occasional blasts of wind – switching from a northerly to a southeasterly. M dropped the Smalls and I at the far beach. Our intention was to hike up a trail as far as it took to obtain some mobile signal. I wanted to let people know we had arrived intact and also report into Centrelink – they need to be reassured on a fortnightly basis that I am continuing to homeschool – which is fair enough.
DB had been warned, in no uncertain terms, about behaviour requirements for what was at least a 4km return journey. Almost the instant we started the trail, she melted – melted in the name of SHOE REFUSAL. I resisted screaming, “THIS IS AUSTRALIA! THERE ARE SO. MANY. SNAKES! THERE IS A WILD MISCELLANY OF CREATURES THAT WILL KILL YOU. AND THEN WE WILL HAVE TO SAIL BACK TO WESTERNPORT AND THAT WILL KILL ME.”
Based on years of combat, the thought of how far we had not yet walked and the fact that M was now back at the boat and unattainable, I acquiesced.
“Fine.” I said. “Don’t wear shoes. And remember, if something bites you, it’s your problem, I don’t want to hear about it.”
“I will watch where I step, mama.”
I am not a hiker. But I do enjoy tracks that require some climbing – and include a wonderful view and the quest for a mobile phone signal. It was a great walk. We stopped for snacks when required. Zoe spied a rock wallaby. I found some signal about halfway to our destination at Kersops Peak.
In the meantime, after narrowly avoiding at least two bullants that were more than an inch long, and stubbing her toe, DB had decided that shoes could be endured. Apparently it’s not the shoes that are the problem, it’s the feeling of sand in between her foot and the sole. Yeah. Life’s hard when you’re a boatkid.
In addition to the other communiques, I also had to screenshot as many wind patterns and marine forecasts for the next few days as I could, in order for M to gauge our next destination (having already been told that a repeat of the other night would spark a mutiny). It was very hard to do on the phone, and in hindsight I should have definitely taken the ipad.
I spent too long on all the communications stuff and DB eventually lost the plot again – bush flies were freaking her out. She kept dropping her bits of popcorn when they landed on her. We turned back. Of course, as is the law of the universe, it was far quicker returning – we met M on the beach and sheltered under low hanging branches from the rain that had started up. The cove was dusted in mist…
M picked us up once we had descended from the track and we had a look at the boat names that had been left at Refuge Cove – I looked vainly for Penyllan (in hindsight I realised I should have been looking for Pegasus) and Pelican and Out of Mind Out of Sight – I did spy Ceilidh (whose blog I have consulted). We didn’t add ourselves on, but mused on how we could do it. It rained solidly on us as we motored back to Bella Luna and I couldn’t help feeling that there was some justice in the fact that all those motorboating people now had wet soggy tents.
Back onboard, I napped – still recovering from the big sail. The walk had cured the slightly hungover feeling that had persisted, but I was tired. Soooo tired. Stew for dinner, followed by fried pear. Early to bed, with M confessing he had slept little the night before because of continually waking and worrying that the anchor might be dragging. Looking at the chart on the iPad, the pinpoints of our movements at anchor had drawn something that looked slightly crablike…