Sense and the Census
13 August 2021 | Sailing north door Magnetic Island
Jenny Gaskell | 0-35knts, 1-3mt swell and sunshine
It was Census time and evident we weren't permanent residents, despite our lengthy stay in Airlie Beach.
We, the transient boaters, were finally out and northward bound. I looked as we left behind the picture perfect sailing playground, the camaraderie and the stunning Coral Sea resort, all right there in the Heart of the Reef.
With He Who Hum's left wrist well bandaged with a Carpal tunnel operation also behind him and a mate Murray in front of him, keen to work the sails for the next leg. It's nice to have him onboard, making a total of three good hands to haul the sails and one sore paw to do all the pointing.
We wove through the Whitsunday Islands with a plan to pitstop at Dingo Beach for our first night out and the next anchorage was set for Gloucester passage - the home of "Shaggers" (of which we are members).
Now before you raise an eyebrow, the official name of the area is Shag Islet, where the Cruising Yacht club's fundraising takes place annually for men's cancer research.
SICYC (Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club) boasts as one of the largest cruising yacht clubs of the world, with over 7,000 members. Google it! you too can become a Commodore of your own island just by joining!
I was deeply enthralled, the mystical mountainous islands with their heads in the clouds when I mention how I'd much rather explore by boat than to trek by foot. Imagine hiking all the way to the top of these rugged lands, only to find you have to head down the other side. With that He Who Hums pointed out Saddleback Island for it's obvious formation. I suppose exploring on horseback is slightly more appealing. Sailing though, with the ever changing colours of the waters, fresh ocean breezes and a constantly changing landscape seals it for me.
In the health journals it states, if you hear your name called (and no one else hears the same), then you have reached the ultimate state of spiritual calm. Whilst it has happened on a couple of occasions, one I can vouch for. I was on night-watch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and heard my name. I sat up and took notice of the inexplicable phenomenon but knew instantly what it was. As for the other, I have to say it's a long story and as it turned out we had simply left a wallet behind in a cafe.
I consider if I can wake up and remember exactly where I am whilst weaving through these clusters of islands, then I haven't lost it yet.
However speaking of isolation, it appears there are quite a few people who have found their slice of heaven ocean side, nestled under canopies of trees. We pass the temporary dwellings, looking sideways as we strolled the beach. These areas are clearly only accessible by water, and I wondered if they even knew about covid?
Knowing the sea life are plentiful in these areas. I assumed it's a bit like subsistence farming for these folk. Simple living off fish, oysters and crabs, which sounds like a healthy lifestyle. There's a good chance even crocs make it to their table as the further north we go, the creeks take on a far more appealing habitat for wildlife than man.
So, are they aware it's Census time? I can't imagine what category their beach address falls. Then again, there isn't any reception out here, so there’s a good chance they are oblivious for all the right reasons.