Saucy Sue. Where Are You
08 November 2017
Fancy this. We're on our way to Newcastle. Should have had a bag of coal on board. We should also have just stayed in Port Stephens as there's hee haw wind.
As we left the bay, we were being watched! You could almost feel the eyes on you as here in sunny Australia, at least on the east coast, there's a volunteer coastal watch cum rescue service. And.....,,,we're not registered!
It's like the UK's RNLI but apparently run by retirees, in their blue, badged uniforms and presumably and hopefully ex sailors. They also have some "tinnies", small, considering the size of the seas, twenty to twenty five foot aluminium speedboats with an outboard or two off the back. I'm not entirely sure what situation I'd have to be in to get off Time Bandit into one of these.
The deal is, you call up at the start of your passage, say Brisbane to Sydney and as you pass down the coast you report in at a scheduled time. As the miles tick by along your voyage you are handed from one station to the next. It's all very efficient and the locals seem to use it widely, calling in and reporting regularly. If you don't check in, I guess they have a look out the window or maybe send a rescue boat.
On passage the other night we heard them calling a boat thrashing along somewhere out in the dark with us. "Saucy Sue, Saucy Sue, Saucy Sue. This is Marine Rescue."
After Saucy Sue had fought their way, out from whatever inadequate shelter they had, climbed down the companionway and crossed dripping wet to the VHF and replied, they got a bit of a slapping because they were "six minutes late" for their check in.
My mum never worried about me that much.
And our kids only kind of vaguely know we're in Australia somewhere. (But they do know precisely where the wills are.)
Anyway, I think we'll just stay below the radar.