Pelorus – what a lovely way to spend a weekend…
The Queen’s birthday June long weekend saw NQUEC chilling out at one of our fave locations – Pelorus Island! We had enough takers to make it just worth taking two (very comfy and roomy!) boat trips. The early boat meant meeting Andre at Taylor’s at 7am, so a brrrr 4.30am start for some of us. It was worth it! Dave, Steve, Jane, Simon and I got there first and had the tarp up and a cuppa while waiting for Ken, Julie, Joe, Barbara, Louise, Tanya and Claudia. Later on, Bill Arthur arrived with his rubber duck.
The first day was brilliant and calm, everyone made the most of it by diving / snorkelling plenty before the weather picked up. BOM had predicted 25 knots on Sunday. Funny thing though, it actually continued to be very pleasant the whole weekend in our lovely protected spot!! Yay, we were VERY happy with that!
There was one bummer about the weekend. The dive compressor had a wobbly belt, which lead to a shredded belt - not pointing any fingers. Never mind, after the first day’s tanks were filled we were forced to endure peace and quiet (apart from yelps by Ken of course, and even underwater I’ve been told!) It meant careful planning of dives (not just air wise, but also with sharing of gear!), and an emergency trip to Orpheus to fill a few tanks on Sunday morning. We were lucky to have the generous assistance of Bill in his duck for the latter. So, the diving still brought back many happy sightings! Simon was clearly the keenest diver, good to have his enthusiasm to get Jane out there for a night dive! Jane was keen too, having qualified at Ningaloo. Other dives included a bunch being dropped off for a drift dive ‘around the corner’ by Bill, from which Dave returned with a sack of fresh oysters. Also Simon and Louise tested out Bill’s invention, the dive kite, which is designed to tow divers without tiring them and to mount underwater video gear.
Saturday night was a wonderful feast, not only did we have our supplies from home, but Steve caught half a dozen fish which he shared with all. Dave also caught his own fish, apparently not out-competed by Steve for the first time in the spearfishing stakes, and Simon a crayfish! We were very appreciative that our new member, Simon, had actually been to Pelorus before. In fact it was the Easter weekend which blew a gale, and NQUEC cancelled. Never mind, Simon was there with his group, without an axe and other hardships they collected wood, but it was so blowy and wet, that they couldn’t get the fires going well. So guess who scored?! NQUEC had a lovely pile of dried out wood to get our campfire off to a great start. This brings to mind campfire discussions of ‘Pelorus virgins’: we had overseas guests Tanya and Claudia, locals Louise and Simon all new to NQUEC. It was suggested that perhaps Simon could not be considered a virgin, having been to Pelorus before. Steve most helpfully clarified the term, however, and we now all know that to no longer be a Pelorus virgin “You have to come with NQUEC”! Perhaps that needs to be added to our Constitution?!
Louise was our celebrity for the weekend, she was the middle page spread of the Townsville Bulletin, with her story from Antarctica and photos drinking champagne on the biggest iceberg in the world! Speaking of photography (and champagne), Steve and Jane were determined to win a case of champagne. The brand Pelorus, and the challenge to have a photo featured in the Margaret River winery newsletter. Steve posed with freshly caught fish and Pelorus champers on the beach, Steve and Jane posed romantically in front of rays of sun shooting from behind Hinchinbrook…many photos taken and ideas offered, some photos even by our very own professional, Julie…we will all take the credit when they win, and of course expect a share of the takings! Especially since we didn’t get to try the bottle that Steve dangled in front of us all weekend!
So, Steve and Jane have been away for two years now, travelling around coastal Australia, and seeing some wonderful places. We were very happy to welcome them back and hear a few stories. On Monday morning, while looking out towards Hinchinbrook, a cuppa in hand, Steve reminded us that “there’s only one thing better than Sunday morning on Pelorus, and that’s Monday morning on Pelorus”!
(photos, thanks Louise and Ken)
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