Chapter 106

Kangaroo Point community

July 4th 1987 came and Rebecca was launched six years ago. There was always lot to be done in all areas of my life. As a family, we all enjoyed the day trips at weekends and motored from the mooring in the river to the marina berth at RQYS as the pressure of work kept me up the river longer. Saturday, 18th July, was a memorable day as the Gold Coast Seaway Tower was opened at 14.30 hrs. This was a project Lloyd did using precast tilt panels for the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, so we were invited to the opening, but the morning was more memorable when the ferry pulled alongside with Lyndon, who came on board and advised me I was a grandfather. Rebecca has a son, Patrick Ainsley Murphy and all is well in spite of high blood pressure the day before. Patrick arrived on 0500 hours on the 18th.

By remaining at Kangaroo Point over week-ends you had a chance to meet other yachties and there was quite a community there and many happy hours were spent on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Max was one of the ferry drivers and had a catamaran moored on the Kangaroo Point side opposite the Botanical Gardens and Sundowner was the centre for many such gatherings. For maintenance purposes I kept Rebecca at Kangaroo Point for about 4 – 5 weeks and in this time sealed off the rear area of the keel, where it became too narrow to inspect or repair with non- shrink concrete grout, using two bags 50kg. all up, as well as some of those small jobs which constantly arise. I enjoyed the convenience of rowing up to the ferry pontoon and tying the dinghy up along with all the others, then crossing the river by ferry and walking to the office. There was one day when the dinghy came free and was drifting down the river. Fortunately for me Max was on duty, collected it and returned it to the pontoon. It was either I was getting careless, or another yachtie had moved it along so he could fit his dinghy in and did not take much care re-securing mine, anyway it was trying to tell me something. Another incident occurred after returning from a week-end down the bay. I returned to Kangaroo Point towing the dinghy and, after picking up the mooring buoy, the tide put Rebecca upstream of the dinghy and flipped it over so I had to put out a stern anchor on rope out to align the boat with the flow, turn the dinghy over and bail it out. By now I had learnt to tie the oars to cleats in the dinghy as they cost $20 to $30 each to replace and they say things come in threes. Another Friday night motoring to the marina there was no moon and it was dark with no depth of vision… I sensed something was ahead and nearly collided with a yacht anchored in the channel to the west of St. Helena Island with no lights on…lucky again!

Having cancelled the Noumea trip I got back into a comfortable routine of work during the week and socialising either over the bay or up the river at week-ends and there were many ‘happy hours’ on board Max’s Sundowner, with crews from Woppy, Martesa, Christine and Rebecca.