Meeting a Pink Lady
27 October 2009 | Norfolk Island
Michael and Jackie
I once had a pink lady. It was made of plastic and shaped like the kind of paper aeroplanes you shot across classrooms when the teacher wasn't looking. I attached my pink lady to a white/ yellow squid type lure and just hauled in the mahi mahi.
Eventually I lost my pink lady to a large fish, and was never able to replace it. I looked up pink lady on google, and you might be unsurprised to know most of the items had little to do with fishing.
Anyway today 20 miles north of Norfolk Island we met another pink lady. We were heading South into the anchorage, in increasingly strong winds. Just before dawn they were 5- 10 knots, and then as a cold front approached they quickly increased with gusts into the mid 20s. All we could think of was get into shelter before it gets worse, when coming out of the West, like a bat out of hell, I saw a yacht under full sail. It passed a couple of miles ahead going East, foregoing all shelter.
How strange we thought. Then we heard a young female voice on the radio, the boat was called Pink Lady and she was calling us. Where are you bound she asked, "oh Norfolk Island then Opua, coming out of Noumea" I answered. "How about you". "Me, Oh I'm out of Brisbane doing a solo circumnavigation" the voice replied. By now she was almost on the horizon, as I realised that the solo sailor was the 16 year old girl we had heard about on the Australian News who was aiming to beat the record of going round the world the wrong way in the roaring 40s. Admittedly she was going down wind but her boat was racing along at enormous speed and by time I thought to take a picture she was a speck on the horizon.
Strange who you meet at sea.
At the other end of the spectrum we had an interesting conversation with the Indian skipper of a cargo ship bound for Lyttleton, New Zealand to pick up coal for China. Didn't even know there was coal there or that it was sold to China.
What of us. Well we're safely at anchor on the North shore of Norfolk Island. We arrived mid morning. The anchorage is a totally different experience from last year when it was so rolly you might as well have been at sea. It is still windy but at the moment - the swell is in the ocean not in the bay. We were even able to take a dinghy and tie it up to do customs. Last year, it was a quick jump onto the dock and the dinghy had to return to the boat.
It looks as if we will have to stay here until the weekend. Then we plan to sail the next leg to New Zealand. 415 miles to the North Cape and then a further 80 miles onto Opua to check into customs.