I’m on a boat!

We bought a boat. I don’t know why. I don’t know how, but we bought a boat! We found out that you don’t need a licence for certain types of boats… so we bought one! We don’t have a trailer or anything for the boat, we just ratchet strap it to the top of the 4×4 and load the engine in to the boot. It’s pretty awesome.

Tom and I went halves on this bad boy, we had the idea in our heads on the Thursday and with both mine and his impulsive minds working together we got it on the Friday. It’s fairly big – able to hold up to 6 people (but goes much faster when there are only 2!).

Boat on the 4x4We took it out on Friday afternoon, launching from Main Beach near Surfers Paradise. It took us a while to get everything ready because it was our first time out in it – but I reckon we’ve got the hang of it now!

As I said, we launched from Main Beach and weaved through the field of boats that were anchored just off the coast. We were heading north towards Wave Break Island. We didn’t realise how far away Wave Break Island was from where we actually launched – it probably took around an hour to get there. There were a lot of sandbanks that we had to avoid so Tom took the helm and I hung over the front keeping an eye on the depth of the water. We’d occasionally have to put the boat in reverse before we got stuck on one of the banks that materialised out of nowhere, but we managed it!

We landed on the southerly west side of Wave Break and pulled the boat up the shore so it didn’t drift away (we don’t have an anchor just yet!). We got the snorkelling gear out of the boat and headed in to the sea. We didn’t stay out too long because storm clouds were rolling in and we weren’t the best prepared. We saw some awesome fish there though! Unfortunately the area we landed in wasn’t the best to see the sea life – the best area is on the North but we didn’t have enough fuel to get us there.

My boatWe headed back to shore after around 30 minutes of snorkelling trying to take the same route as earlier to avoid the sandbanks. We could feel ourselves burning on the way back and the horror stuck us as we realised we hadn’t put any sun cream on at all. We were out between 11am and 3pm – the most dangerous time to be out in the sun without any cream. We were going to pay dearly for that – and by god we did!

Getting the boat back on the roof was pretty hard. There were 3 of us there when we put it on the first time, but only two of us this time – it’s not a light boat! We detached the engine, loaded it in to the boot and then heaved the boat up over the back of the car. By now we were both starting to sting a little from the burns but we were all packed up and ready to go home. Luckily it’s only a 10 minute drive back to the house so we got showered and lathered ourselves in after sun to try and soothe it a little.

A few hours in to the night the sunburn started to show. We were both glowing red and radiating enough heat to melt the polar ice caps. I put my after sun in to the freezer for a while before re-applying some – the chilled cream is such a relief when you’re burning!

Needless to say, we didn’t do anything on Saturday. We were both in agony form the burns and neither of us could lift our arms. It was a shame really. Carelessness from the day before meant we were missing out on a fantastic day. The weather was amazing and we were stuck inside – never again!

Sailing the boatWe kept soaking the burns in after sun throughout the day on Saturday and by Sunday night we were feeling a little better. We decided we would see what we were feeling like in the morning and then go out on the boat again if we were both ok.

Luckily we were both feeling fine on Sunday. The relentless use of after sun had paid off and we were feeling good enough to go out again.

This time, Mark and Karl (our housemates) came with us so it was a lot easier mounting and dismounting the boat from the car. I tried wearing my wetsuit but it was a very bad idea. Rubber and sunburn is not a good combination! Instead of zipping it up I left the wetsuit on to keep my legs warm but wore a t-shirt to keep the rest of me covered up. It seemed to work!

We launched from the end of The Spit this time around and so it was only a small journey to get to Wave Break. We did however have to cross a very busy shipping lane. Jet boats were going past us in every direction and we were having a brilliant time trying to catch their bow-waves!

We eventually landed on the east side of Wave Break but decided to travel around to the West for a while. The tide was only just coming in so when we got there we couldn’t get too far in with the motor still running due to the amount of sandbanks in the area. This meant one of us had to get out and pull the boat…. Guess who that ended up being!

We saw some pretty awesome sea creatures this time around though. Stingrays were the largest thing we saw – they got pretty close to us too!

Gold Coast boat

We all got hungry and forgot to pack any food… so we headed back after around 4 hours of being there. We’re definitely going back to that area again with the snorkelling gear and a packed lunch! We’re off to Stradbroke Island next weekend and I think we’re going to take the boat there too – that should be fun! I hope my waterproof camera arrives by then!

Author: Dan Collins

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