Small Z had a hoot. She loves the idea of a party and opening presents. A day for mum was fine by her. Her Nana and Nanas partener came too.
We left from Warneet peir at around 11am after a surprise motor swap. Getting out onto the bay was such a balm to my soul. Small Z knows all about boats. She knows her port and starboard. Knows what a mast does and a boom. Names the sails. Knows bow and stern and rudder and anchor etc etc. She was in boaty heaven as we sailed out onto Westernport Bay and over to Hastings to anchor and eat cake and drink coffee.
Wind was around 15 knots all day. Both sails up and a clean bottom saw us hooting along nicely.
B slept on the net.
Dropped family off at peir in late arvo. I slept on boat and noodled my way back to boatyard in morning.
Small Z has seen little of my family. However she has a cracker memory and is as sharp as a tack when it comes to names and places. She remembers “Aunty Jan, Aunty Yvonne and Uncle Michael” They are in “Her Family”.
My sister Jan came to stay for a week recently.
Z loved her.
By coincidence my other sister Yvonne and her partner Micheal were in town for the day.
Explored a few inlets we hadn’t seen before.
One entrance is tucked out of sight behind mangroves. A creek opens up and meanders on into the paddocks for ages. Mysterious. Strangely, our neighbours were up this same inlet at the same time as us… and for thier first time too.
I went for a swim and little Z, at 23 months, got to steer. That has to be kinda wrong.
Still and quiet except for a surreal humming coming from the rigging. A few red wines and ’20 Questions’.
PGR mocks the Maldon Folk Festival within 30secs of waking up…
First fish of the morning.
12345 once we caught a fish alive. 6789 ten. Then we put him back again.
An amazing day on the water. Azure blue. Still.
Only… we have run out of water… Well… Honeybone has some.
The Lord of the Flies.
So after a brief trip back to port for bait, water and advice from a very wise but very wrong man we are back on the water.
PGR had the biggest fish fight of recent history in the last hour of our adventure. He had the monster on for so long that the rest of us lost interest and made coffee and fished on the other side of the boat. Eventually i pulled up the anchor and motored toward his catch. The monster had reefed out a lot line and PGR was getting none back. After a few circles of the boat and huffs and puffs the monster called it a day. Broke the line and swam off.
Good mates turned up out of the blue. They dropped what they were doing and grabbed cheap flights down here from thier home in the Nth NSW hinterland. We dropped what we were doing and hung out with them for a week. We got out on the boats and got stuck into some good food and wine.
Us dads and C got to sleep the night on Surfarosa. What do you do with a drunken Sailor?
B and Z and myself went for a row at around 5pm today. It was such a beautiful afternoon. I dragged B away from her desk, where she was diligently earning our moo-la, and plonked her and small z in Oomoo. Not the somewhat delicious shiraz but Bs small boat.
Z explored the boat and gazed into the water. B held the grab handle on Zs tweeny life jacket and chatted to me. I rowed.
We wobbled out to the middle of the inlet and we let ourselves drift around in the fading light. There was no wind. We were three cats sunning ourselves. We rowed around a small orange trimaran then back home.
The pool this morning. A splash in the Inlet this arvo. Now a row in Mums boat. Z the Water Bug.
I spy small Z making a vitamin b12 cats
break for it. I'm not sure where she thinks she is going exactly. However she is determined to get there. Maybe her pilot is reving the helicopter even as I sneak her picture.
Note parents and house guests lolling oblivious by the water enjoying a brief break from the inevitable decent into winter.
The locals around here are the Bunurong tribe. They reckoned there were about 6 or so different Seasons.
Not just four.
Over the years I have noticed a bit of what they were on about. After a descent into the European ‘2nd season’, with a blast of wind and cold, there was a plateau here. All sunny skies and stable weather. The migratory birds seemed to know that maybe this was thier chance to get out and fly into a summer that was kicking in somewhere way north… like Siberia. Huge flocks of water birds have been heading Nth this past two weeks.
The days got still and quiet and warm. The water became clear and so did the sky.
I guess to put a daggy point on it. I would call it ‘a nice time of year’ and I like to think that this is what the Bunurong called this time too. Their word for this bit of the year was Manemit or ‘good’.
I can feel that this will only last for a few more weeks or days even… then what? Wind? Winter?
Today I asked a wizened old guy about when the Whiting may be going ‘off the bite’. (I want to have a crack at them one more time this season.) He surprised me by saying that they disappear with the first frost…
Anyway, Manemit does it for me. I like it. We have been hanging out at the beach over the road every other day for the past week or so. I know this watery fun is coming to an end. Then? Wood fires and toasty jumpers… All good and right but I want to walk and splash and stand still in this short ‘season’. I don’t want to waste it at all.