Position: Binalong Bungalows, Binalong Bay
After lying awake thinking of the mess we’ll find when we get back on board – books and charts all over the floor? Will anything in the fridge smash or leak? I did manage to relax myself enough to sleep.
Over a poached egg breakfast in the Lichen café we consulted the latest weather forecast, and didn’t like what we saw: strong northerly winds, increasing over 30 knots towards Wineglass Bay in the afternoon – just when we’d be getting down there. Sunday was looking a better day to make the passage, and just out the window was our little boat bobbing about on the swell. We rang the redoubtable Jan to see if we could get another night’s accommodation. She had nothing available, but very obligingly rang around the town and secured us a night at Binalong Bungalows, managed by friends Marie and Colin, also boaties, and sympathetic to our plight. Jan also offered to take us in to St Helens for a quick shopping expedition, stopping on the way at Lease 65 oyster farm where she’d arranged to collect a dozen oysters – and we asked for another dozen for us! It transpires that Jan herself is a seasoned sailor having competed in a few Melbourne to Hobart races, including the tragic 1998 race when they rolled the boat before they even got it to Melbourne for the start!
Marie then picked us up with our belongings to drive us the short trip up the road to the bungalow, which is tastefully decorated in retro style, complete with video player and a library of videos from the 90s. Marie said she’d been at the café earlier looking at our boat and hoping the poor sailors weren’t staying on board. She supposed we were on shore somewhere – perhaps King Fisher Cottage?… I guess that’s small-town life.
We settled in, Derek did some work while I wrote and then, after a lunch of cheese, crackers and tomato with a few fresh oysters thrown in, we headed off to the beach via the lagoon track. The wind was blowing strongly onshore, the waves were pumping, and there was our boat still bobbing and swaying on that mooring. Marie had recommended a series of gulches past the boat-ramp as a good sheltered spot for a swim, so we wandered down to one of these delightfully secluded natural swimming pools where I swam and floated in the warm sunshine.
After a lazy afternoon we scrubbed up and walked back to the same restaurant for dinner. The staff all recognise us now as if we’re locals! We both ate the market fish tonight – delicious pink ling – and I indulged in chocolate pudding for dessert, but no coffee! The swell was beginning to settle down as we walked back to the bungalow in the dusk. I don’t think I’ll be worrying about Ariadne’s Clew so much tonight.