18 January 2010

158. WIND AND STARS (2)

These sailing adventures of mine go back more than 10 years ago. I am writing them down now from memory alone. I never bothered playing journalist then. My experience was raw, rough and ready so to speak. At first I had a camera but later when I sailed from Polynesia to New Caledonia, I didn't even have a camera.

My memory can fail, of course. Thinking over it again the story about waking the captain because of the moon rise did not occur as I said in my previous post. On that sailing leg from Noumea to Bundaberg I woke the captain because I suddenly noticed a red light on the sideboard. As it happened, this red light had always been there to indicate that the mast light was on... hence the captain accusing me of being moon struck, as a joke. But I did take the moon rise for a large tanker on the horizon once. I forgot on what boat and where exactly.

After arriving in Australia in December 1995, I went to visit several friends, spent Xmas in Sydney with the family of an old Canberra friend, and then went to Coffs Harbour to wait for a possible crew job sailing across the Tasman sea to New Zealand.



I stayed there in a caravan park within walkable distance to the marina, put a note up on the notice board and checked that notice board every day. I got talking to people around the place. As it was often raining, I spent the rest of the day reading a book in the cosy caravan I had rented. One day some yacht owner told me that the New Zealand harbour authorities had invented a charge for yachts being rescued in NZ waters. The kiwi people had enough, they said, of having to rescue stupid sailors not knowing how to handle their boats in the rough kiwi waters. So the Australian sailors retaliated by banning any sailing trip across the Tasman sea that year. No luck for me. I decided to fly over instead. A franco-australian friend who ran a travel agency bought me a ticket to fly Sydney-Wellington at the beginning of February 1996.

My tracking down Captain James Cook was temporarily put off.

Post Scriptum The above YouTube video is thanks to Andreas Paschen. Many thanks for sharing.

No comments: