I appear to be increasingly weather intolerant. As I type I can feel the slightest sprinkle of rain being blown through the hatch behind me which is opened less than an inch. It is as if some malevolent force has moved a pocket of weather from Melbourne and deposited it upon me. The past four days have all been roughly the same.
Deceptively sunny early mornings as the tide begins to rise and floats us off the sand. Then an ongoing flux between sunshine and cloud shadows as the south easterly wind kicks in – cold and buffeting. As the surface of the creek becomes stirred up and opaque, the rain squalls begin. There are still intermittent glares of flat sunlight as the squalls continue. The rain is cold, the wind is cold and the boat is being yanked about on the front and rear anchor lines just as if something wants us to acknowledge that it is there.
It is a small space I am in. Already I have sent one kid to it’s room because it was sticking to me like velcro, begging me to play chess or chequers in an unrelenting fashion. Yeah, #parentingfail – I don’t play chess when my kid asks me. Sorry, not sorry.
Tiny spaces. Obviously at times they are restrictive. Constrictive. Of course any of us could throw on a wet weather jacket and go for a wander, but BLEUGH – it’s not wild enough out there to be fun, and the tide has now risen so far that it would necessitate a dinghy ride or a kayak paddle – both of which guarantee a wet arse.
Meanwhile an overly ambitious looking motor boat has nosed it’s way into the creek and has decided to anchor 20 feet away for reasons known only to itself. I have two thoughts about this. One is the wish that they haven’t checked the tides and will topple over on the sand when the water disappears, the other is that I will go out and start our generator to both annoy them, and to charge our waning batteries. They could have anchored in a zillion other places, why they hell would they anchor right here as if it’s a caravan park?
I am slumped in a kind of malaise that is basically a reflection of the weather outside. Changeable and inconclusive with occasional blasts of rain or sunshine. I’m ready to leave this creek, but the weather will make going out to sea untenable for another three days.
We’ve been to Lady Musgrave Island twice before and the entrance slithers between two deep banks of coral in such a way that someone, decades ago, must have used dynamite to create the gap. Awful, but effective. As far as I know, you can’t enter at low tide…. [Update: yes you can. We did.]
The attraction of Lady Musgrave? For everyone else on this boat, it’s the corals and thus the snorkelling. For me, I am super keen to get in the kayak and see what I can see. I love the silence of it, the way I can look down into the water and see things without disturbing them – and I can see things without everything around me fogging up on my stupid full face mask that I got because normal snorkels hurt my jaw.
I like walking around the island – checking out the birds, the shells that have washed up on to the beach – I remember that quite near the shallows there are giant clams with brightly colours lips that close when they sense you’re too near.
Last time we were there a boat that had been shipwrecked hours before and the two crew were carrying stuff ashore, unable to get their boat off the rocks. People were helping them make a pile of their rescued bits and pieces – presumably they were rescued by one of the tour boats that visit there daily.
Of course the creek is not a total disaster – we have met people we know on the beautiful Bob Oram designed catamaran Somewhere as well as our old friends on Olivia who we have caught up with in Tasmania and Yamba. There have been fires and marshmallows on the beach and dingo footprints to follow in the sand. But the constant wind…stabby, stabby, stabby.