17 September 2021 | Low Islet and Port Douglas
Jenny Gaskell | Perfect Conditions for Reef exploring
The picture postcard surrounds of Port Douglas enveloped Condesa as she glides past the yacht club deck. It is such close range you can hear the low collective mumbling of the cheerful patrons. This view must trick them into losing their sense of time, as it does us out in the water. The afternoon light sinking behind the mountain ranges, familiar tall palms and deathly quiet waters combined bring back memories of the last time Condesa checked into Crystalbrook Marina. My memory bank says last year, but the true date was September 2015. The familiarity so welcoming, warm and wonderfully tropical. Somehow there is a need to inhale to refresh the already crystal clear image. No wonder I didn't want to leave here last visit, however I can rest assure the heat will be the only thing to drive us out as summer's heat will do that.
He Who Hums loudly busied himself to work on Condesa's hull in Cairns, knowing those impressively gnarly croc skins we handled in Kuranda markets came from these eerie creeks. There was no way he was going to be scrubbing the hull, even from the dingy.
I swear the tourist footage playing of a large croc leaping 10ft out of the water has left him slightly gun shy. Ummm two words "Australia Zoo" hellooooo. 🙌🏻
Crocs are alway in the back of your minds up here, even when walking the marina, which takes me back to the day I warned two Asian back packers, sitting dangling there feet in the cool waters. Them not understanding a word I said about sightings of crocodiles the Marina.
Me: snapping croc charades.
Asian back packers: Horror stricken... lifting their feet.
I never meant to be overly dramatic, but they understood where I was coming from.
Sadly there are no backpackers in town these days but everything else is still here.
We have our sights set on sailing to the elusive Lizard Island, which might happen if our stars align. If not there are many other reefs waiting to be explored nearby.
Meanwhile we seem to meet like minded people who share the love of something so beautiful as the lines of an old boat. But if ever there was a time for long stories to not be cut short, it is when He Who Hums and others speak of any classical boat and their history. With the right person, boat names roll off the tongue such as Bolero, Premier, Links , Hallison, (I could go on 😑), triggering all they know, the whereabouts and credentials. He Who Hums has always been a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to tracking certain boats. It has become a way of life and each time he takes me there I fall more in love with the sea and the vessels who roam across the world.
Anyway, I must go! We are about to jump into a car and we know the driver, he is cut from the same cloth as He Who Hums. Let's call it another fanciful history lesson in classical boats for me listening to these two whist in transit.
Stay safe and we will too!