It was a dark and stormy night… (well to be accurate it wasn’t stormy at all, …yet)
A certain lady, well known for her erratic sleep habits, was awake and pillow punching at 2am. Since she was in the beautiful Port St Francis, she decided to make good use of the time by taking some night shots over the water. At this stage it was so still that the lights left long reflections in the mirror-like water of the harbour
….like this. (the storm came later…but that is another story.)
When she saw the 4 hanging around the yachts, she toyed with the idea of phoning the police emergency number, but was still not sure that an actual crime was being committed, and not just a drunken prank. So she crept out, and went up to the top of the hotel, then out around the side to try and see the emergency phone number on the National Sea Rescue Building, next to the guard house.
Unfortunately there was no way to see it without standing in a place where the 4 intruders could see her. Having learned her lesson after the injuries inflicted the last time she accosted an intruder, (you can read about that here and here) she kept out of sight, and returned to her balcony to watch and see what they were up to.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by the chugging of a motor, and a boat came in from the sea, and headed towards the yacht that the intruders had climbed aboard. Aha, thought our watchful guardian of the law…. It must be a drug deal about to go down and this is the rendezvous. But the boat went past the yacht and the 2 people moored it and then walked right past the yacht, ignoring the others. They got to the security access gate, and found that it was locked, and the guard was not in the guard-house. They went back onto the bridge and whistled, and within a short time a security guard appeared around the corner and unlocked the gate for them.
Not wanting to miss the opportunity to report her obsevations to someone in authority, our intrepid sleuth scurried back upstairs and caught up with the guard as he was about to disappear around the corner again.
She explained what she had seen, and voiced her concern that perhaps the yacht was being broken into. The guard assured her that the 4 people she described were the owners of the yacht, and had already told him they would be sleeping onboard. They had told him they would be arriving very late, and had asked for his key. He had refused to part with it, so they had obviously decided that, in his absence, they would get in another way!
Our would-be crime buster slunk back to her room. Fortunately, since her husband slept through the whole thing, and no-one knows about it, she doesn’t have to admit to feeling rather foolish for her ridiculous paranoia (obviously brought on by watching too much TV and having too many recent brushes with criminals)!
During the whole paranoia incident, the wind rose steadily, from nothing at 2am to really howling and whistling by 4am.
In the morning, a walk to the harbour wall revealed that a huge fleet of chokka boats (read more about them here) was drawn up outside the harbour wall, obviously sheltering from the coming storm.
The waters of the bay were relatively calm, compared to the open seas beyond the point, which were extremely choppy.
During the downpour, the fleet assumed a ghostly appearance as they rode out the storm.
Later in the afternoon, the sun came out, and the wind dropped below gale force. The sea took on a lovely deep blue, and the bright colours of the boats gleamed.
and the cloud remnants looked wonderful with the sun going down behind them
Most of the boats stayed where they were during the night, with their powerful banks of lights blazing to attract the little squid. (These halogen lamps are each larger than a man’s head!)
At sunrise, they were just turning them off, but the sea had risen during the night, and yesterday’s peaceful bay was running a large and erratic swell.
As if to reward the sailors for their courage and patience in riding out the storm, the sunrise was spectacular.
With the Equinox a couple of days away, the seas are already building up to some extreme spring tides. By late afternoon yesterday, the waves were pounding so hard right over the harbour wall that it was impossible to walk to the end without a serious drenching.
It is hard to give you an idea of the scale of these waves, but if you look at the top smooth section of the harbour wall, (click on the picture if you need to see it bigger) that is the height of the inside walkway, and the wall is so high that you cannot look over it without standing on a step 500mm high. So bear in mind that this is high tide, and there is still about 4 times the height of the smooth bit below that, showing above the waterline!