Thursday, 21 June 2012

Week 8: Emu Park

"But me well I’m still on the road, heading for another joint..."
Bob dylan

The next time Jim sailed to the mainland after a beautiful week exploring the Keppels, I decided it was time to disembark and continue my search for a new boat from land.

I spent the morning meandering around the marina there enquiring whether anyone was searching for crew. I must have looked quite a spectacle, carting around my eclectic combination of possessions; ukulele, statistical mechanics textbooks, singing sheep, paints, fur coat, I could go on… Not to mention my appearance, having not been anywhere near a shower since we left Port Stephens (two weeks ago!), my hair was becoming a dreaded forest sticking up out of a flowery 1950s designed viva, with shades, furry socks and sea boats completing the look… who wouldn’t want me on their fancy yacht?

Having put feelers out around the marina, I made my way to a local backpackers in Emu Park. I felt vaguely amused to be in a place where showers, washing machines and people were all easily accessible. Not to mention the pool and bar! Needless to say it didn’t take long before I found myself (fresh and clean) sat at the bar with a glass of sparkling in hand and the natural order was (briefly) restored.

Here again I was able to work for my keep, and was thus welcomed into the crew keeping this little joint alive and kicking. Busloads of newcomers every night kept us on our toes and with a permanent hangover simmering. However, it wasn’t long before the next stones in the road fell into place. I found a vessel wanting crew; Blueprint, a 34ft Colvic UFO owned by an Aussie skipper Matt.

Blueprint was at that time moored in a marina in Scarborough, just north of Brisbane, and Matt was planning to cruise up north at a relaxed pace – too easy! It also just happened that one of the drivers of the tours streaming through the doors here was headed down that way with an empty bus… So I decided it was meant to be and heaved my crab shell onto the bus and off we went! I like watching the way things like this fall into place when rolling free, it’s almost part of the package. Like many things in life, when you open yourself to opportunities, opportunities come, and being open to opportunities is something I’m learning how to do.

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