Sun – denied
Fun – shwwing
Food & drink – party on
Penguins and shags – shwwwing
Dolphins – denied
What more can one add to describe one of Wayne and Jeanine’s infamous kayaking trips, this time to Ratimera Bay, Marlborough Sounds for Halloween 1998. The team was W & J, Lyndsay, Andrew, Glynne, Larry, John (Hoffeins), Sharron, Sarah and Charlie.
The kayak hire company began their de-brief at 7.30 am and it wasn’t until after 9am that we made it onto the water. They covered everything from which end to face in the kayak to where and where not to pooh, the pros and cons of polyprops, and remembering to pay for your hut tickets. They told us everything except what to do if one rolled their kayak on dry land so John inadvertently misguided his kayak off the ramp onto the beach with a thud. But we weren’t told not to do it!
The “instructor” informed Lyndsay that his rudder was not down properly which was promptly ignored. We told her “Oh, don’t mind him” or “He’s called the Colonel, you know”. What she should have done was to tell him the “Lyndsay AIC-style” – “OK, gather around everybody. Look what Lyndsay is doing wrong. Can anyone tell me? Safety. Safety. Safety.”
Finally we were under way. The double kayaks streaked off Olympic style as John languished by arranging his fishing tackle 30 metres behind him and catching up on his Tax Information Bulletin (known as “TIB” in the trade). Wayne, always so colour-coordinated in his kayak, looked like an American tourist with all the mod cons on his personage.
Loaded with copious amounts of wine and food the kayaks moved in a manner not dissimilar to a fully laden oil tanker with the potential for as much pollution damage had Lyndsay’s cask wine escaped into the Sounds.
To John’s dismay, Wayne had caught a small barracuda. Not to be disheartened, John left the campsite to go out kayak fishing at 7pm – two minutes before dinner was ready. Hunger probably wasn’t an issue for him since he had chomped his way through packets of biscuits all day. Alas, he returned at twilight empty-handed despite venturing what we thought was remarkably close to a salmon farm when we could see him at all.
But then the fun really started. Our beach wasn’t as deserted as we had hoped since two boatie families with teenagers had already landed. Using torchlights like guards patrolling Colditz, the kids finally plucked up the courage to Trick or Treat us. The Trick was on them when Wayne waved the barracuda in their faces to see a look of terror amongst the poor girls. To add insult to injury the fish was later given to the boys who were advised to “put it in the girls’ sleeping bags”. Seconds later there were screams that would not have been out of place in Hitchcock’s “Psycho” followed by Wayne being reprimanded by three 14-year-old girls about being irresponsible and how would he have liked it. All this was under interrogation of the torchlight directed at Wayne’s face.
The girls were so disenchanted by now that they left half way through Uncle Lyndsay’s fireworks display. This was not unexpected since The Warehouse fireworks were indeed a bargain with 20 for $10 as we thought about the money back guarantee at the end.
Sunday saw a windier day so Wayne, Jeanine, Lyndsay, Glynne, Sarah and Charlie rafted together, hoisted a fly (don’t tell Ray) and sailed a kilometre down the Sound with Sarah doing a good impression of an Aunt Sally at the front of the vessel. The speed we reached was as fast as a quick paddle, which Wayne and the Colonel proceeded to do with Lyndsay winning the race by a head. The conversation that followed was something similar to “Old Fart”, “Old Bugger”. Denied – Wayne.