2019 Tas Christmas Day Tassie Style

Sat 11 Jan 2020 22:11

Christmas Day Tassie Style

You can see the joy on Rob’s face as he unwraps the ram, the amazement as Bron and Ken read about their bee hotel we bought in Coffs Harbour, my surprise and delight with Ken’s marine-scape acrylic painting of the hidden rising sun spreading its rays in a stormy sky with its familiar focal point of the tiny yacht, created, I believe from a passion for and understanding of the environment similar to that of John Constable and Elve’s smile at the challenge of her new tablet and the welcome communication with family it would bring. Bron is skilled at producing hard back books of their many adventures which are full with photos and brief explanatory text and we will treasure the one she gave us and look forward to showing our family and friends the story of our shared Vanuatu experience together.

Helping prepare lunch and the table arrangement on the rear garden veranda brought its usual pleasure and sometime in the morning Rob, Elve and Ken went to fetch her husband, Bob, whom she married in 2004 after 20 years of widowhood and is now in a home due to his dementia. He is the one in the photo wearing a yellow shirt with Elve to his right. It was momentous for them to be together again.

We were thirteen for lunch that day, a lucky number for us amongst friends and Ken’s relatives. They all brought a dessert dish on which we feasted, diets held at bay for the day.

Early Boxing Day, when the weather was fine once again we made an early start back to Hobart with Bron while Ken took Elve off to the airport to meet up with her friend and start her travels. Leaving the shores of the lovely Tamar River Valley we climbed the Highland Lakes Road passing more fields of white poppies, others with sheep gently grazing, rivers of rock, towns with such curious names as Cressy, Poatina and Cramps and a familiar named hotel, The Melton Mowbray. The blue water of dammed lakes and lagoons glistened in the sun looking beautiful but we were saddened by the number of wallabies from the previous night’s roadkill. Nevertheless it made a pleasant alternative to the Midland Highway we had used on the way up a few days before.

I know for a fact that Rob could not wait to get on with fitting the ram and checking the Watt&sea generator. We had to delay our departure south until at least 7th January because Nial was coming back on board on the 6th to fit a new positive cable from the engine to its dedicated battery, the existing one crackled as we bent it and we wondered when that would have let us down had he not noticed it.

As Greg had advised, Rob fitted an Allen key into his drill and then into the propeller boss of the water generator and when he started the drill turning the propeller, I could happily report from my companionway step vantage point that there were no more flashing red lights and the purple light was as it should be when charging. Some more negative wiring was required by Nial before we could tell if power was going to the ‘house’ batteries.