I am returned from a very relaxing week's holiday in the Whitsundays, on Hamilton Island, all of which is part of the Great Barrier Reef. Highly recommended, especially if you have kids.
The Whitsunday group of islands was discovered and named by Captain Cook, who US readers will know better for finding Hawaii, but in his extra time he also discovered the east coast of Australia. Hamilton Island is named for Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson.
Cook certainly sailed the Whitsunday passage, but I never expected to see another naval vessel make the same trip. I definitely never thought to see one from the room in which we were staying:
This is an Australian Navy warship at the southern end of the passage, which we woke to see one morning. It looks like it has plenty of room, but what it's heading towards is this:
Which is another view from our room. The second view is to the left of the top one.
I have sailed these waters in a 40 foot yacht, and believe me, once you get through that gap in the second picture, there isn't a lot of water under your keel. Even at high tide there are places where you have less than a meter to spare.
So I am watching this navy ship steam up, wondering at what point it's going to ground.
The navy ship stops, backs, turns, and exits the way it came in.
What happened? Did they make a wong turn? Are our captains that incompetent? Did some junior officer blow it?
Next morning we are at the beach, and up comes the same ship. On the same course. It stops at the same point, backs, and exits the way it came.
I'm at a loss to explain, unless they were practising how to get out of a dead end, using a real dead end.
I kept writing on the holiday, and I was surprisingly productive even using a notepad and a pen and writing only when the girls were doing their own thing. I am disconcerted to report that lying on a lounge on a gorgeous tropical island, next to a pool with women wearing bikinis, I was not as distracted as I am by my internet connection at home. This is a sad commentary on my personality, but also does not bode well for the time I spend on the net. Clearly I'd be more productive if I didn't spend so much time doing netty things.
I'm not home for long. In three and a bit days I get on a plane for the US and Bouchercon.
I am slightly amazed to see my pre-positioned posts actually appeared. Thank you everyone who stayed with me! I've replied to your comments, and fun they were to read too.