Because three weeks is not a lot of time to see a country the size of Australia, the 'organised' part of Jeffscape's visit entails 'experiences' rather than just sight seeing with just enough down time to chill, enjoy the autumn sun, talk my socks off and generally lounge around. The beauty of not just driving incessantly through the country is that you also get to see how the other half lives and some pretty nice scenery if you time it right.
I'm fortunate enough to have good friends who own a sailing boat. Sunday saw us pack a picnic of prawns and salad, fresh bread rolls and wine as we headed down to the Barrenjoey Peninsular, clamoured into a small row boat with four people and a large standard poodle called Harry, eskies and supplies and boarded the boat. The weather at first was glorious and we pootled under motor (my friend's wife, not keen on sliding sideways under sail in a brisk wind - actually I'm not keen on sliding sideways in a brisk wind). We headed out towards Lion Island then into more sheltered waters at The Basin for a picnic, conversation, fine company and lovely views. Jeffscape took a hand at the helm, entertained us with chat about America and the Military and was invited back on the weekend to participate in a sailing race - we'll see if he takes them up on the offer. On the return trip, the weather turned, we all packed on waterproofs, (including Harry the large standard poodle) as we were beaten by driving rain (fortunately it wasn't too cold) and ended up with date scones and tea and a review of the Tropfest short film winners. Very civilised. So what has he learned so far?
- How to measure the length of a boat (since my explanation was totally erroneous)
- The difference between the colours of port and starboard (nah he knew, just forgot)
- That Supacenta is not an aboriginal word
- How to peel a prawn (hilarious effort there). The tender lad doesn't like to know what his food actually looked like before it was prepared.
- How to serve tea from a tea pot without getting leaves in the cup
- The joy of scones, jam and cream
- Australian cigarettes taste the same as US cigarettes but the packet warnings are worth collecting like baseball cards
- There's little use for knots on modern sailing boats, despite his being able to tie a bowline, cherry, reef, girth, prusik etc.
- Standing up on the high seas for 50% of the time is hard on the legs
- Aussie Merlot is pretty decent, and beer, and mohitos
|Fine Weather Moving out|
|Strong North Westerley and the Yachties Love It|
|The Ship's Mate at the Helm|
|Lunch On Deck at The Basin (My friend Ros - not sure who the skinny guy drinking Merlot is)|
|Nothing Like the Slap of Rain in the Face to Make me Grimace|
|Harry has His Own Wet Weather Gear|