Dangar Happy Endings
20 Jan 2007
|On the first weekend on the island Drenka and Tim came to stay with me. Tim caught the ferry after getting the train from work, and Drenka arrived the next morning by car to Brooklyn and we went to collect her in the 'tinnie'. She brought with her delicious prawns for the BBQ from the fish markets in Sydney which were yummy. We spent Saturday chilling out, reading the papers and walking the dogs. We decided to head to the Bowling Club, the only other place where there is life apart from the café. It was heaving- there must have been at least 20 people in there! We had a beer before being booted out of our seats for someone who had a reservation. We ended up having a pretty early night ready to explore in the morning.
On Sunday morning we got up early. The water was still as glass so we decided it would be a good opportunity to take the 'tinnie' for a spin around the island and to investigate a bit more. The tide was a bit low and we ended up running into the mud flats and getting a bit stuck so had to paddle back out into the deeper water. The water was full of huge jellyfish with massive heads the size of plates and then loads of tentacles dangling down. There were so many at one point they just kept clunking against the side of the boat. It was like Nemo when he bounces off them. We carried on puttering around the island just enjoying being on the river as the speed boats hooned past us.
Drenka headed back to Sydney late afternoon, and Tim caught the 7am ferry and train to work. I was once again left to my own devices.
Monday I had decided to head into Sydney as I have an appointment with a recruitment agency lined up. I had difficulty getting hold of anyone to feed the dogs, so started to panic a bit when at 7pm I still hadn't managed to get anyone and was still in Sydney. Eventually one of the contacts Michele gave me responded and agreed to go in and feed them. The interview went well and I caught an afternoon train back to the Hawkesbury River and the ferry to the Island. The dogs went crazy when I arrived jumping all over me. I felt a bit guilty having neglected them.
I started seeing a few big cockroaches that night. When I went to bed there was a noise like mice running across floorboards so I leapt out of bed and turned the light on to find a massive mouse size cockroach flying around the room. I ran for the spray - drenched the room in the stuff and then ran for cover. It ended up on its back on the floor and I left it for cleaning up in the morning when I could be sure it was really dead! As I was beginning to relax again in bed, with the sheet over my head to avoid any other crawlies when I started to hear the familiar patter of cockroach feet. I had to go through the same ordeal all over again. When I finally got back into bed, having managed to talk myself out of doing a runner and leaving the island there and then, I tried to sleep again with the sheet over my head, sweating to death and suffering a headache from all the insecticide I had filled the room with. I couldn't wait for morning- although was very cautious getting out of bed in case another one appeared.
I checked the shower in the morning and the coast seemed clear..... but as it started to fill with water a massive black shadow crept up from the plug hole. I had to drown it quick before I had a fit an injured myself.
Eventually I managed to calm down a bit and not be jumpy every time I saw something dark and shiney on the floor. I have to say they were the shiniest cockroaches I had ever seen. I started counting the nights until Tim would come and save me from them.
I decided to do a fibreglass repair job on their sailing dinghy so we could take it out on the weekend. Having never fibre glassed before I was pretty pleased with my efforts. When Tim finally arrived on Friday night I was ready for a weekend out on the river. We watched a film called the Oyster Farmer on Friday evening which was filmed locally and actually really good- to our surprise! Next morning we got up early and dragged the laser (sailing dinghy) down to the water. We had to go out on the high tide as otherwise there is no way to get the boat back in. We thought we would launch it, even though there was not much wind, thinking the wind would start to get up. We had a few difficulties working out the rigging system. In the end the ferry man saw us struggling and came over to help rig it properly (although in the end it turned out he did it wrong as well!) We got into the water, although Tim lost a flip flop in the launch. There was very little wind - and we were lucky the tide was slack as otherwise we would have just have been carried out on the tide! We stayed out for about an hour, but as there was virtually no wind most of that time was spent trying to get back! I ended up getting sunburnt too, as I hadn't put on enough sunscreen.
Still, luckily when we got back in a couple saw us struggling to push it up the hill and gave us a hand, which we gratefully accepted. The day became unbearably hot, with no wind and high humidity. In order to cool down we filled big tub with cold water and sat in it! It worked surprisingly well. In order not to waste the water we washed the dogs in it afterwards - they had quite a few fleas on them so it was a good job we got in first!
We were meant to be going to watch a film at the island hall, at 7.30 but we didn't get ourselves sorted out in time, so we went down at 10pm to see a junk boat which was meant to be appearing as part of the Sydney festival and having art projected onto its sails. Unfortunately this was cancelled due to bad weather we found out once we got down to the wharf.
Sunday we spent cleaning and preparing to leave the island. We took the dogs for one last long walk to the top of the island. Up there, the stone has aboriginal carvings in it, and there are caves full of oyster shells where they must have camped for a while. It was another stinking hot day so we decided to head over to Brooklyn where there is a net to stop the jelly fish, where we could swim. It was low tide so it was a bit manky but still a refreshing swim. On the way back to Sydney, we got stuck in terrible traffic. We found out that this was due to bush fires in the Ku Ring Gai national park, which we had to drive through . We got to watch the helicopters flying overhead bombing the fire with water they scooped up from the sea. It was quite exciting to watch! The main highway was closed and the trains were stopped, so it was a very slow 3 hour trip when it should have taken 30 mins or so. But we are used to long journeys in the van and felt so chilled from our 'Island Time' that it didn't really bother either of us.