When the 2003 Herreshoff Nereia-designed ketch "Atmosphere" anchored just off "Riverbend", I wasted no time in rowing out to introduce myself as commodore (and only member) of the Nelligen Yacht Club to Captain Donald, Admiral Megan, and their 9-year-old son, Master Gunner Shay.
They had bought the yacht in Townsville three years ago and have lived on it ever since. They are now on their way to the Australian Wooden Boat Show in Tasmania as Donald is a traditional wooden shipwright and hopes to find some work down there.
Donald, being Irish, knew all about one of my favourite books and movies, "The Riddle of the Sands", by Robert Erskine Childers, and they'd been in Ireland in 1997 when Tony Hawks travelled "Round Ireland with a Fridge" (another Irishman, Alan, had introduced me to this book when I revisited Thursday Island in 2005 - click here). It has since been made into a movie; guess who's placing an order on ebay soon? ☺
Of course, we gave them full membership to the Nelligen Yacht Club, complete with matching t-shirts, and treated them to afternoon coffee and cake and long (and longed-for) hot showers, and they treated us to their stories of sailing around Australia. It was a pleasurable exchange for both parties!
Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw, Donald, Megan and Shay!