2020 Aus In Isolation at Emu Point
In Isolation at Emu Point
I am so pleased to report with enormous relief that the new raw water pump for the engine has just arrived. This has been so important to us in the light of the present clamp down on unnecessary journeys leading us to worry that maybe it would be months rather than days. Once Rob has fitted it and checked the exhaust elbow for wear and changed the alternator belt then Zoonie will be shipshape once more and we know our eventual exit is assured. Border Control has told us there should be no problem clearing out of Carnarvon at the end of September, but we know we may be excluded from putting in anywhere on the way home. That is the worst possible scenario, but it is do-able. Non-stop to UK.
Our flights have been cancelled and the funds banked for use or refund at some future date but we are unsure. Fortunately our families accept the situation and suggest we stay put for the duration and we would be reluctant to return home at the moment anyway in case we could not get back to Zoonie.
One of our young friends has made it back to Germany and we hope to hear from others too. For all of April and May there will be no Qantas or Virgin International flights so here we are in this beautiful spot with the southern winter rapidly approaching. Some folk are still working on their boats and as you can see from the photos there are the usual labours of love, beautiful old wooden hulls from a different age looking toward a new lease of life.
The sleek blue motor boat just setting off from the boat yard is the Royal Sovereign; a beautifully restored Admirals launch which was used as a troop carrier at Gallipoli, so she’s well over a century old. She shot out of the lifting area so fast John from the yard said “Jet propelled is she!”
The pretty sloop next to Zoons is no longer there. Her owner, a young plumber who works at a bauxite mine during the week, bought her for $12000 (£6000) because she had osmosis, which he has since sorted out. His girlfriend suffered from morning sickness so badly she had to stop sailing for a while, so he has taken the boat back up to Fremantle where they live, to await the happy event.
The picture after the blue launch looks like an accident but if you look closely you will see a manta ray down there and although schools are no longer using the offshore swimming pool, individuals including us yesterday use it daily for their exercise.
We gave in to temptation at the Emu Point Café before we left for Perth. It has a good reputation for fine food and as you can see the cakes and iced coffees are no exception. Those days seem so long ago now, when we could relax overlooking the passage in to Oyster Harbour and chat with other customers about their optimistic travel plans.
I took the pictures of the pelicans onwards this morning while we were on our once daily permitted hour of exercise. We walked towards the wild area of the estuary as far as there was a path and where the ibis fished with the oyster catchers while the tide was low. Tomorrow we hope to swim again, four lengths wearing our snorkels to make it easier and see the many fish that live in the seagrass underneath. But now it is raining and a front is passing over this weekend so who knows, swimming in the rain, why not!
I had a nice chat with our retired doctor friend Neville at Marsden Point in NZ this morning. You may remember we used to walk his lovely collie, Chase while we were waiting to leave NZ. He has been asked if he would be willing to go back into service during the epidemic and he is thinking about it, although of course it would make him vulnerable. Like the Aborigines here the Maoris in NZ are very susceptible to our diseases and his practice mostly looked after their medical needs. The photo of the white hulled sailing boat with the tan mainsail is Doumar on her way out to Great Barrier Island earlier this year, in another time.
We had a lovely stay with Malcolm (Jeannie’s brother) and his wife Christine at their sheep station, Te Pui on our way to Perth and I will tell you about that next.