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Lord Howe Island - New Year 1993
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The day finally came and it was time for Ian to fly out, as he had to get back to his business and sailing back would have taken to long. We spent the morning just cruising around having fun, although I don’t recall exactly what we did. That afternoon Ian was due to be at the airport so after a ceremonial drink at the RSL we rode out to the airport on our push bikes and said our goodbyes. It was a sad occasion, we had all had such a good time with him there we were sorry to see him go. We shook his hand and patted him on the shoulder and finally he was on his way. Then there were five. We went back and got some more snorkelling in during the afternoon.

One day we had spent a fair bit of time on various bushwalks and sightseeing in general.

Finally Jodi was leaving us and flying home. When it came time to get her to the plane we put her bags in the dinghy and motored across to the beach.The airport was at the other end of the island from the main community, joined by a road running parallel with the beach. A shuttle bus ran along this every half-hour or so.We carried her bags to the side of the road, told her, the shuttle bus would be along in a few minutes then got back in the dinghy and went back out to the boat.This might sound mean but we had all had an absolute gut full of her. She hadn’t made any effort to fit in, never cooked a meal or washed up and complained about everything. Then there were four.

The weather in general was very tropical while we were there. However the first few days were the best. The wind came in from the north pretty constantly after that. It was still very pleasant on the island but not the nicest on the boat. One day it started to build up and we were getting gusts (bullets) coming down from the mountains of about 70 knots. This was making the boat skew around on the mooring line and we were worried about the security of the mooring. The following day when it calmed down we dived down to see what we were tied to and it was the worlds biggest admiralty anchor. No problems there !
One afternoon I went for a walk up to one of the lookouts by myself. On the way I passed the wreckage of the Catalina Flying Boat that crashed on the island sometime around the end of WW2. It was pretty degraded with time and spread over a fairly large area. The most prominent parts and the things that interested me the most were the engines. They were big rotary piston engines. This is the type of engine that inspired the horizontally opposed

BMW bike engine, some time after the end of WW1. A BMW BOXER engine as they were called is what was in the bike I owned at the time. I wandered around the various bits of wreckage for quite a while and could feel the drama that must have ensued years before.




We all went for a swim one day to the only beach that had surf. You might think that surfing is no big deal, but this was the cleanest, cleanest and I might say cleanest beach I had ever been to. The water was so clear that even while in the surf you could see underwater without goggles to the next swimmer about 30 metres away. The sand was so white and clean. It’s a pity that we only managed to get to this beach once. No ones fault but our own.


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