How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Sea Horse Bay – Guess Who Came to Dinner?

Monday 3rd June 2013
Sea Horse Bay – Move Anchorage
sunrise at Seahorse Bay
0500 HF radio sked and the Americans are back on board. There was not even a peep from the SICYC crew. And no bugs to clean up!
This day we were bless with one of the biggest reddest sunrises that I had seen for a while. Maybe blessed is not the right word for sailor to be using about a red sunrise, knowing what Mother Nature’s warning means; most certainly it was spectacular. The morning light snuck in over the eastern point and the small island off the point with a heavy cover of cloud on the horizon and a slice of moon making its way up the sky. With the morning brought a tinge of pink across the sky and a slight red glow at the base of the cloud mass. As the dawn unfolded the glow intensified through the clouds to a mass of redness stretching up to the heavens and spilling dark red blood across the sea. This stage show in the sky held its performance for no more than half an hour before gracefully fading through the curtains.
By 0900 the strong winds, 25knt plus, had kicked in forcing MrJ and I to retreat to the comfort of inside where I was happy to keep myself busy at the computer. The strong winds keep at us as was the fetch from the sea, coming at AR from the little bay out front. MrJ and I decided to move AR further into Sea Horse Bay to calmer waters. This is the real boating life............!!
There I was standing on the forward deck with the strong winds blowing, blowing hard enough to blow my hat off which was secures by the tie under my chin and was now nearly chocking me but I could not remove the hat or loosen the tie for fear of the terrible winds taking it away. I was standing there with one hand holding the genoa line and the other hand I was using to ready the anchor winch and bridle, letting go the first hand only to secure the bridle and then grabbing hold of whatever my hand felt first which just so happened to be the electrical cord of the anchor winch device which was already in my other hand. Just meant that I had to keep myself balanced with my feet and hope not to be rocked off balance.
The chain was so tight with the wind and sea pushing AR back that to get the anchor up MrJ had to keep driving AR forward making the chain a bit slack in order to not put any unwanted extra strain on the winch. Anchor up and away we went we motored further into Sea Horse Bay a bay that has no chart readings, relying on the depth sounder and our eye sight as the only guides. About a mile further in and a little closer to the shore was where we found calmer water and a little wind protection behind some high rocky ridges. (Inside Seahorse Bay 13’56.479S – 127’03.137E) The anchorage was good holding of muddy & sand in 4-5mts and we arrived there just in time for morning tea. How’s that for luck? ;o)
This was to be our new home for a couple of days while waiting for the strong winds to abate.

new neighbour lurking
During the afternoon the winds had dies off enough to allow MrJ and I the pleasure of being able to sit out in the cockpit again. I was doing some sew chores with the restitching of the Velcro on our insect screen. That done and it was put up in place again covering the hatchway into the saloon left me relax time to continue my book reading. I was reading “A Beautiful Place to Die”, a great detective story set in South Africa during the 1950’s. A very powerful crime story which uses the story of murder to show the history and politics of SA with a lot of understanding and empathy for those caught up in the ramification of apartheid. A great read, it had me completely absorbed when our visitor arrived.
Late in the afternoon as the sun was preparing to do a slow dive over the hills we had a visit from a very quiet character, our new neighbour I think. Our new neighbour; a 3mt Saltwater Crocodile came in the silence for sticky-beak. The Salty had stealthily swam down the port side and was casually sliding through the water out the back when MrJ first spotted him (I’m saying him because of the size) with most of his head, back and tail raised out of the water. I had been told by the guide at the croc farm that croc’s lift their back out of the water to show that they are boss, not a threat just a warning. The sight of a large salty at our back door startled me from my reading and into action; I had jumped up, dropped the book and was retreating towards the doorway.

watching the sunset

MrJ had his camera in hand but by the time I went inside and had grabbed mine the Salty had dived under the water and disappeared. Too much noise and movement from one crazy lady is what he must have been thinking. Hahaha!

Tuesday 4th June 2013
Seahorse Bay - Guess Who Came to Dinner?
look how calm and inviting Seahorse Bay was
I had laid in bed till the dawn had broken and had listened to the scratchy squawking of the HF radio as MrJ twirled the knobs. Only the faint unreadable sounds of the Americans again. This was also the time of day that MrJ would start the generator to recharge AR’s battery supply our electricity supply.
The generator had not been working properly since the Berkeley River and the only way to get it to stay connected to the battery charger (I am not using the correct technical terms here) is to give the battery charter a big boost with one of the boat engines first and then connect the genny. (MrJ has probably explained this procedure much better than I can in his own blog).
This day the genny was not having a bar of it and MrJ was getting frustrated with all the stop/starting of engines, battery charger and genny. Time and time again he would go through the process till everything went according to plan; I think it took about six goes till everything was okay. Meanwhile I had headed out front, out front away from the noise and mayhem, out front to the peace and quiet of the deck and my morning exercise routine.
No Mr Salty was seen either!
The strong winds have kicked in again around the 0700 make but AR is well protected on anchor; MrJ and I will sit and wait.
The morning was spent in making two screen guards for the back scoops/step area on AR. This was to help deter any unwanted visitors. We cut out the screens from some blue rubbery material that I had stored on board that was going to be used for I could not remember what, it was that long ago and we had probable decided to use something else. Great explanation!

MrJ hard at work making new screens
We had finished and had both screens in place before lunch. In the afternoon I went on with sewing and washing chores; washing bedding and scrubbing the dish drainer. All this was done while I sat out forward on the tramp using the seawater to wash with then using a small amount of fresh water for the final rinse. The sewing, I was by hand sewing, making myself a new cover for my back cushion on the saloon lounge out of a piece of material that I had found while looking for the rubber material. MrJ went back to reading his book, we had found Radio Nation on the little radio and the afternoon went by peacefully.
At sometime during the afternoon I had precooked a pot of rice to be able to make our dinner; it was to be an Asian type flavoured tuna and rice with peas and corn. I would have all the flavours of my home grown pot garden; Thai coriander, Thai basil, chives and lemongrass as well as onion, garlic, chilli and ginger with a dash each of fish sauce, mirim sauce and soy sauce for good measure. I would be making enough for two meals.
As always, I rinsed all cooking implements out under the sea water tap and stacked to the side for washing up after our dinner. In doing this process I had also rinsed the emptied cans, tuna, peas and corn with the sea water letting the messy water wash down the sink drain hole and into the sea. I have always been particular about cleaning up and getting rid of any unwanted stuff that will cause a bad smell throughout the boat. I then went happily about finishing the cooking and served our evening meal which we usually eat out at the cockpit table. The aromas of the hot food, not to forget the delightful titbits that had been flushed done the sink had been too much of a temptation for our new neighbour.
Our new neighbour had decided to join us for dinner only I thought it was us that would be his dinner!
Mr Salty tried to launch himself up the STB steps; thank-god for the screen and the plastic garbage bin which I don’t think the croc saw in his attempt to get on board; it was very dark out the back.
The first MrJ and I knew of anything happening as we sat in the quiet and peaceful atmosphere enjoying our candlelight dinner was when there was a big bang behind us as the bin received a serve jolt and the croc slid of the steps. We were off like rockets, flashing lights and making a terrible din but Mr Salty (and he looked bigger than 3mts in the dark) stayed still right near the step and it was not until I used the bright flash of the camera right in his eye that the croc went under the boat and away.
After that little fright we kept the back lights on and put extra lights in my platter boxes by both steps. But I could not go back to sitting out near the back and found it more comfortable huddled in the top corner of the cockpit wondering what I would have done if the big old croc had of made it on board. #1 I was not going to get close enough to the croc to give him a few hard wallops on the snout.
#2 I would probably have retreated inside to lock the saloon doors to Mr Salty to do as he had pleased hoping that the damage would not have been too bad and that he would have been able to find his way out again.
Reminded me a bit of when we had the big bull sea lion on board in Galapagos both very dangerous animals only this big bugger might have wanted me for his dinner. Cheeky buggar!
thank goodness for the great sunset


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