I almost couldnâ€™t believe my eyes when I saw the listing for â€˜Heave Ho Me Hearties! (an outdoor event)â€™ published. An event (excellent!) on el golcoâ€™s yacht (even more excellent!!). I rather guiltily RSPVed immediately for myself, Scott, and Julian â€“ I just couldnâ€™t believe my luck that all for places hadnâ€™t been taken yet! And an added bonus (like it needed another): Iâ€™d get to meet el capitan.
The morning of the event dawned sparkling clear. I did my normal running around like a headless chook, even more than I thought I would need to as the local shop hadnâ€™t had its fresh bread delivered yet. I wanted to be in good time for the event, so left Snuva HQ at 9 am. I suffered Scott and Julianâ€™s jokes (Julian: dad, do you like kettering? Scott: I donâ€™t know; Iâ€™ve never kettered!) and we were soon parked near Oyster Cove, confronted with crowds of yachts and the sun sparkling off the water. Sparkling so much it made it hard to see, and it was at that point I realised Iâ€™d forgotten to bring the coordinates of their slip because Iâ€™d been too busy impersonating a headless chook! Oh well, we slowly hoofed it down the quay and soon heard the cheerful call of el golco (calling out the code for the onshore facilities Iâ€™d just spotted).
We were welcomed aboard Moja (did the wine help?) and stowed our stuff. We were the first to arrive (el golco, el capitan, and Caxixi were there preparing for the day) but were soon followed by Mr Cheesy Pig and Sog n Paulus. That being our full compliment for the day (Swampy, Piglet, and Mrs Cheesy had to pull out) we were soon off. I was impressed by el capitanâ€™s ability to get out of the slip â€“ which itself was narrow, and the channel between their row of slips and the next was extremely narrow too â€“ especially when being watched by so many land lubbers. I know what itâ€™s like searching for a cache with onlookers â€“ adds to the pressure!
Soon we were headed out of Oyster Cove, past the peasantsâ€™ mode of transport when leaving the area by water, the Bruny Island Ferry. The water was sooo smooth, with a bit of mist rising and wood smoke from houses hidden in the trees along the shoreline. Once we were out in the Dâ€™Entrecasteaux Channel, el golco made coffee and tea. Woo-hoo! It was great coffee too â€“ hot and strong, none of this instant stuff! Can you think of a more idyllic way to spend a lazy late morning â€“ out on a friendâ€™s boat, calm waters, sipping coffee, and knowing that youâ€™ll be logging at least 3 geocaches out of the experience!?!? I took MANY photos along the way and kept checking my GPSr to see how far we were from Snake Island and its 2 lovely geocaches. I kept my eyes peeled looking for FTF pirates as we approached; one of the caches had only been published the evening before so was a potential FTF! I was surprised how polite everyone was as we made anchor, raised the Jolly Roger and the Catalan flag and started making trips across in the tinker (thanks for rowing us ashore Caxixi!).
Since we landed near SNAKES! and that had already been found, I thought Iâ€™d check it out while the others were coming ashore. However one look at the logbook killed any hopes of a FTF at the other cache; rebulus had logged a find an hour ago! So you can bet he and gspblu already grabbed the FTF honours for Dead Personâ€™s Chest. Oh well.
Once everyone was ashore, we all headed off to the opposite side of the island to check out Dead Personâ€™s Chest. On the way we passed some campers and wondered if they could possibly be rebulus or gspblu (no, they werenâ€™t). We were all surprisingly polite upon reaching the cache location; Mr Cheesy Pig (who hadnâ€™t even realised there was a new cache to find until someone was nice enough to give him the coordinates) was the first to get his hands on it. It was certainly a fantastic spot to be waiting around to log a cache â€“ the views of the Channel were fantastic.
We all made our way back to the landing site where the Black Duck had joined Moja: Scott and I taking a â€˜scenicâ€™ route, those who hadnâ€™t yet logged SNAKES! taking the opportunity to do so. We decided to eat ashore, so el capitan ferried food across (after letting the crew of the Black Duck raid Mojaâ€™s larder). What a lovely, relaxed lunch! On a small island, a bunch of geocachers and some red wine, the winter sun warm and not a breeze at all. After eating and drinking and pushing brie on everyone, we all just relaxed and discovering things along the shoreline, el capitan rowed us back to Moja (he had gotten the outboard motor going, but then hit rocks making one of his trips in). And then we were off on the journey home! As we headed back a few clouds gathered and a sea eagle soared overhead â€“ just to be picturesque, Iâ€™m sure â€“ and we sipped tea and ate biscotti (itâ€™s a very civilised brand of pirate one gets on this ship!).