THE OUTBACK AND SO FORTH – Sunday, 25 March

I could hear the weather carrying all night long. It’s gray and cold when we arise. A good day to work on a jigsaw puzzle under normal circumstances, but by midday we’re rollin’ on the river. Ali has become adept at mooring and unmooring the Mayflower. Me – I’m Captain Afib and we’re heading upstream again. Ali makes lunch and I manage to consume a sandwich one-handed without running us into any obstacles. That comes later. Despite the crummy weather, people are out on the water. The two of us have relaxed into a form of boat existence characterized by relative efficiency and teamwork. Who knew!

Twenty kilometers from where we started out this morning, we decide to tie up for the evening. The shadows are lengthening and the wind is picking up. I turn the craft into the bank at too oblique an angle and we get stuck sideways; not exactly aground, but semi-immobilized against the shore by the wind and current. Distress ensues. There’s no ‘reverse’ possible due to this skewed position. After several misguided and potentially foolhardy attempts at wading in and pushing the goddamn thing, we call service and repair again and confess to pathos. A simple, quick maneuver guided by Josh and we’re in the middle of the current. All we feel is relief.

This was a bullshit snafu. We find a wonderful mooring place sheltered between two fallen trees. Penne with pesto, broccoli, and leftover burger meat weighs a ton and is delicious. Let’s see how puzzled we can get. It’s a hard one, a landscape reflected on water with basically only seven or eight colors repeated murkily on the horizontal axis. Pfeh. Movie time. Tonight – Lion. It has a lovely first half, but then the lost boy, now grown, boringly searches for his home in India via Google Earth. Still, a decent enough film and shot in part in Tasmania. We gotta pack tonight, because we’re due back at Echuca at 9am.

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