Well, yesterday afternoon saw the much heralded,
frequently threatened, and long overdue, visit - from old High
School friends (and still are, oddly enough) - Phil Brunskill and Bill
Dudenhoeffer. They were planning on coming over about 2 months
ago - but I used the excuse that I was in Hospital with heart failure - to
postpone the invasion that time - and had apparently just run out of good
excuses this time. So the morning message was 'Thunderbirds
But you know I'm kidding - because I was looking
forward to seeing them both - and the challenge of getting Bill out here - and
on to the yacht - afloat - as the last time he'd seen it was for the
lifting and loading - back on land - when he and his son came for the historic
And of course Phil - has never been to the yacht
before - so it would be his first time aboard - but he does claim to be an old
sea dog from way back - and to have crewed in years gone (long) by -
aboard 'Margaret Rintoul II' a famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht. So one
of these days we might have to put him to the test.
Now - coming aboard the yacht - back on dry land
was one thing
but getting out from shore and up on
to the buoyant yacht
in the middle of the bay in a fresh breeze and
presents an entirely new adventure.
But if you know Bill at all - you know that this
presents no problem whatsoever - and so it was full steam ahead - as I powered
the little 2Hp Yamaha - towards the shore - for a 'D-Day Normandy Style'
landing - running straight up onto the beach beside the Sailing Club - amid a
hail of bullets from the shore batteries and no aerial fighter cover. (Did
I tell you that I'm still reading those 'War Speeches of Sir Winston
Phil carried down what seemed to be a 6 months
supply of equipment and supplies for a 3 hour visit - and Bill wheeled himself
straight down onto the beach - alongside the runabout and slid off the
chair without the slightest fuss - in and on to the boat seat.
We both posed ruggedly for 2 photos that Phil took - which I regret to report
have disappeared into the void.
I suspect that while Bill and I were smiling like
a pair of Ping Pong Carnival Clowns
the camera was set to - 'Why bother
clicking because I'm switched off'
or maybe 'file these in the Twilight
because when I downloaded the photos off Phil's
these 2 weren't there.
So with the 2 solid passengers aboard - and all
I waded into the water and attempted to pull the
beached boat off
to the encouraging words from both on board, not
to - 'over strain your heart'.
Once again - we have no photos of this Herculean
effort - as I pulled with all my strength to move the half buried and
overloaded boat from the quicksand grip of the beach. It was
definitely very 'nose down' - so I asked Phil to move a little further
aft. For a minute it almost looked like we might have to just sit
there and wait for the next tide. But then somehow it budged and
floated out - and I jumped aboard.
I fired up the mighty outboard and warned Phil and
Bill to hang on tight - because that 2hp was just as likely to hurl them out of
the boat as it took off. They didn't seem to believe
At this point I'm reminded of one of the
'Trouble' Cartoons I did a while back
but I'm not suggesting for one minute that there
is any resemblance with our boat
or situation - because we had a bag of Red
Rooster Chips and Burgers with us
and no cutlery was produced by anyone present . .
No - I can honestly report - that we survived the trip - with a
just a bit of spray now and then from an occasional rogue
wave. We did a circuit of the Navy boat and a tour through the
other yachts - to end up at the stern of the yacht - deaf Yacht Guard Dog Penny
still sound asleep on her cushions and oblivious to the hostile boarding taking
place only feet away.
With the runabout firmly under the stern of the yacht - and
pretty stable - it was a simple matter for Bill to get up the few feet onto the
transom boarding area with only the slightest assistance - and then
haul himself up the stern steps to the deck and his chair.
But it wasn't long before we were all settled in
to the cockpit - out of the wind
behind the screens - eating our chicken burgers -
And then we settled down to a couple of hours of
catching up - and general men's discussion of old High School
activities and 'acquaintances' - best probably that no names or details be
mentioned here. But certain claims were made - concerning alleged
'successes' with known persons - that may never be able to be verified.
(which is generally the safest way to make such boasts)
Anyway - it's probably best I not go any further -
because the High School's 50th Anniversary Re-Union is in September next - and I
don't want there to be too much of this . . . . . . .
which there's bound to be.
Well that's about all there is to report - except
as it started to get dark - and Phil was going to the Rugby Union International
game that evening - we re-enacted it all - in
reverse - back down the stern steps - into
the runabout - back across the blowey bay - the only difference being it was
getting pretty dark - when we got to the Sailing Club - and we opted to unload
at the sloping ramp you see on their dock. Which all went pretty
well too - as I was able to hold the boat fairly level with the dock for Bill to
climb over - with Phil on the dock to lend a hand.
No photos were taken - as I told you it was
so I've just done this one for you - so that you
can sort of get the feel of it.
So as you can see - it was
So as I waved farewell - and Phil and Bill -
(safely back on shore with no 'loss of life') - headed up the dock to the
carpark - I turned the little boat seaward into the black open bay - in search
of home - and Penny. And unbelievably - I found the yacht in
the dark - 1st time - but not without running out of petrol half way
back. (fortunately I had brought some more - or it
could have turned into a long hard row into the
I was home - no doubt - long before them - and
later that night - I received a pleasant email from Phil - thanking me for the
visit - and promising - 'to come again soon' - for a 'longer
'We can't wait - can we Penny?'
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 4:04 PM
Subject: Did you check? - The Phil & Bill Travelling Roadshow
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