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Lord Howe Island - New Year 1993
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30th December 1993

The next morning the other four once again went to the island and bought some fresh food and went to see Clive to organise another mooring further down the lagoon. When they got back Jodi was sitting up the front and the inflatable kept taking water. Just as they came along side the yacht the inflatable went completely under, motor and all. Jodi was to be the first to get off. She reached out to grab the boarding ladder and would not make the commitment of stepping of the inflatable onto the ladder. The boat started to drift further and further away from the ladder and she fell in. She couldn’t get herself up unto the ladder she was just to big. Jodi had to stay in the water until Rosalin and Ian got onto the yacht then Ivan pulled her into the dinghy then she climbed up the ladder again.

We had to wait for high tide to go to our new mooring as Ivan’s boat drew 6 feet which was about the depth of some parts of the lagoon. Clive stood on the beach with his radio and binoculars and directed us where to go and when to turn through the coral in the lagoon.

We got to our new mooring and picked up the chain, no mean feat and the chain was about as thick as my arm. After we had made maximum effort in tying up the boat Clive came roaring out in his boat and told us it was the wrong mooring and that we had to move about 100 metres away. Another big chain and I was just about stuffed.

Col and I were just about climbing the walls, here it was we had been at the island about 18 hours and had so far spent only half an hour on it. The island was further away than ever but at least there was no current between the beach and us so we shouldn’t have any problem rowing. We modified the rowlocks for my dinghy and rowed across. By the time we reached the beach the others had organised themselves and arrived at the same time, courtesy of the outboard motor. We pulled the dinghies up above the high water mark and started walking along the road toward the main town.

Col had mentioned in passing that there was a guy on the island that he knew from Clarence Town and we had walked no more than 100 metres when a car stopped, a guy leaned out the window and said “hi Col’. Very convenient. The others had gone on ahead of us and were unaware of our good fortune. It didn’t matter though, we had transport, they gave us a lift to the place where we could hire some pushbikes. This was the way tourists got around the island. Our local push bike hirer just happened to be Clive our friendly harbour master.

He was also the glass bottom boat operator, the round island boat trip skipper and tour guide and the bowling club president among other things.

We caught up with the others who had also hired bikes and spent the rest of the day sightseeing with the occasional stop for refreshments at the various cafes around the place. We went to Ned’s Beach where the fish come right up to you and can be hand fed. We snorkelled around with them and I kept thinking that Josh would think it a good place. We all took in a shower at the yachties amenities building. The facilities were very good and free.

Then at the end of the day we graced the RSL club for a beer and chat with some of the other yachties. We road our bikes back to where we had left the dinghies and pushed them into the bush on the side of the road. Col and I got a tow back to the yacht by the others, as it really was a long way out. We really finished the day off with a few beers then some solid rum and cokes, listening to ENYA on the CD player and looking at some of the best scenery I have ever seen in my life, probably the best. To this day whenever I hear Enya I associate it with Lord Howe and the afternoons spent sitting on the boat and sipping Bundy Rum and coke.
   
We did a post mortem on the day and decided that seeing as it was such a big deal to go over to the island, from now on we would go over in the morning prepared to stay all day.

The weather and water was so warm that all you needed to go over in the boat was your swimmers. From that day on I left my sand shoes, suntan cream and a cake of soap in the basket on my bike and all I would carry over was my hat, camera, T shirt and shorts. The T shirt and shorts I washed out every day when I had a shower and wore them while they dried.

 

 

 



 

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