When the phone rings and a voice asks,
How ya doin' ya Pommie bastard?, then I know I'm speaking to Greg. I've known him for thirty years. He and Bev, his wife, are very dear friends and they pop up from time to time in these pages. They never change, that's what I love about them.
Well, Greg and Bev were going to be in Merimbula for a day - how would we like to meet them there? Answer: Very much. Merimbula is only a half hour drive from Eden (but we still managed to be twenty minutes late).
Merimbula is a lovely coastal resort town, larger than Eden with a bigger shopping centre. However, it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that Eden possesses though it has the same rugged coastline interspersed with pristine beaches. Eden's quaint fishing harbour with its cafés overlooking the water sets it apart. For me, anyway.
The four of us ... yes, Pam was allowed out for the day ... had a nice, relaxing time which included some retail therapy. Greg and I wandered into a camera shop and had a look at a tripod I rather liked. I was telling him about my previous visit to that same shop and how a tripod that I'd looked at had one of it's legs hanging off for want of a moment's attention with a screwdriver. The tripod was still there; its leg was still hanging off. I mentioned that I had looked at several tripods and that during the twenty minutes I had spent in the shop, I had been totally ignored. We looked around. The shop was nearly empty but nobody as much as glanced our way. Thank God for the Internet is all I can say.
Are you into yacht racing? No, neither are we. However, while not listening to the television news, the word Eden caught my attention.
Living Doll, a 55-foot contender for line honours in the race, had damaged one of her two rudders out on the Tasman Sea. She became the first withdrawal from the race and had retired to ... roll of drums ... Eden.
Well, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth and maybe one of the readers of this site might be a
yachtie. If not, the other one might. So we grabbed a camera and drove down to Snug Cove for a look.
Living Doll was being hoisted out of the water by a crane but the setting sun was in the wrong place and the edge of the wharf screened most of the boat before they lifted her. So, I had to go around to a parallel wharf by which time the sun had all but set and the yacht was well clear of the water.
Get the idea? Things weren't going right and the wind was freezing. Anyway, here's
When I was on the wharf alongside the boat, I'd photographed what looked like a black aeroplane propeller blade lying on the ground. A broken rudder, perhaps? Have a look ...
Just in front of
Living Doll there were two other yachts which had also retired from the race. The picture shows their race numbers but I didn't know their names. The reports on the Internet concentrate on the winners and neglect the really interesting boats - the ones in Eden.
Long story short, I spent the best part of an hour on different Internet sites trying to establish the names of the two boats from their race numbers. Finally I re-checked my own photos and found their names written on their sterns.
Google earthmap showing part of Eden.
I had to laugh when people approached me on the wharf and asked questions about the yacht. Why me? Does a beard signify a seafaring man? I had to admit that all I knew about
Living Doll was her name and I only knew that because it's written across her stern.
At midnight we were treated to more lighting effects - a wonderful fireworks display.
Footnote: This re-working of Page 172 was completed on 4 April 2013. It conforms to HTML5 and CSS level 3.