Boom Bang a Bang
Boom Bang a Bang
It wasn’t just the flaming red water beneath the black night sky above that filled with sparkling colour right up to and over our heads, it wasn’t only the explosions of colour from the bridge a mile or so away up the river to the fireworks barge, one of the six that were divided three above the bridge and three below on our side that filled our little world with psychedelic colour, it was also the SOUND.
Teams of kettle drummers were in the hills all around us bombarding our eardrums with their wonderful belly trembling resonance everytime a fistful of fireworks exploded. The inanimate pyrodynamic performance went on for what seemed like ages but was around 15 minutes.
And this was the third show we had that evening. Early on while it was still daylight the kettle drummers were preceded with nature’s own show. Fork and sheet lightening slashed and blanketed the darkening sky over the land around the bay and those kettle drummers practiced hard for their final performance at midnight. We wondered if rods of rain might spoil the show but if the arousing sight of mounted cavalry charging across the stage at the Edinburgh Festival a few years before, the floodlights reflected in the pouring rain over their king sheet sized banners flying in the wind was anything to go by, it would enhance man’s creation.
In fact that show ended neatly before the ‘warming up’ Childrens’ Firework Display, for and not by children. Yes we were so lucky to be with dear friends Alison and Randall, aboard their lovely Tregoning, with a fine view and watching three displays.
Earlier in the day we received the eagerly awaited text from Alison to say that they had successfully moved Tregoning from her mooring buoy jut around the headland to the anchorage in Athol Bay and Randall was ready to come and collect us from the ferry terminal half a mile away. As our boat pulled in alongside Randall motored underneath the terminal structure to a safe little purpose built embarkation point, and we were able to clamber down the stainless steel ladder into the tender. What we omitted to do was swipe our credit cards over the Opal Point to pay for the trip. We would have to remedy that the next morning by swiping it twice.
I wondered how we would fill the time between the early afternoon and midnight. But with Randall’s sister, Martha and their two friends Jan and Michael to chat with, meals to prepare and eat, then games to play, the evening was soon upon us.
I went with Alison in the tender to chat with cruising friends on their yachts known to Alison since they had sailed to Vanuatu and New Caledonia and one or two we had met in Marsden.
All the while more yachts were arriving giving us some fine entertainment with their variety of anchoring skills. “You are going to have to move. My plotter shows we have not moved from our original anchor spot and you are dragging, come aboard and see for yourself if you like,” Randal said with his usual calm courtesy. So this particular chap upped his snapping chain and shifted a few metres away, dropped the hook while he was still moving and never reversed a little to bury it.
Others vessels had released just enough chain to reach the riverbed, no ‘three times the depth for the chain length and then let’s take her gently astern till it bites’ with these city slickers, just chuck it over so it stops us and hope for the best. But there was little wind to worry about and surprisingly little roll. I guess the ferries, now full with eyes popping guests, were cruising slowly around after their day of speedy, energetic deliveries were over. They all sported pink lights and plodded gently around the central bay area in a pretty, circular procession giving their guests a 360’ view of the goings on.
All the super yachts were moored over the bay so they wouldn’t block our view with their massive hulls and our view was enhanced by the silhouetted masts and rigging between us and the bridge. All through the evening one yacht, the one with the blue lights around the guard rail, motored slowly backwards around our area so the guests could sit in the spacious cockpit and watch the show with a clear view to the stern. Made intelligent sense to me and she obviously motored backwards with more finesse and directional control than Zoonie.
Just before midnight we all celebrated together with a glass of bubbly and shared a wind down chat as the doors of the old year locked behind us and we were now firmly in 2019, despite reports that the fireworks on the bridge allegedly spelled out WELCOME TO 2018.
Rob and I shared the saloon table berth with Alison nearby on a settee berth while Randal rested in the fresh air of the cockpit and the others had the cabins. Together we had voyaged into the New Year without so much as raising the anchor.
The next morning, after a breakfast banquet laid on by our lovely hosts, Alison motored us back to the quay to catch our ferry and pay for the previous crossing and I managed to pick out Tregoning in the mass of yachts that were still there as we passed through the fleet on our way back to the city.
The weather was beautiful, polished to sparkling by the rain the night before, so we mingled with everyone taking in the atmosphere of the surroundings and supped an iced mocha to refresh the easy journey back ‘home’ for a rest before seeing what the evening would bring.