OK, Easter break comes along. We load up the Womboat with the usual oversupply of food, booze and books and head out.
We were a tad late getting away on Friday so we anchored in one of our favourite spots intending to head up the coast Saturday. Bucketed down with rain on Friday night, still wet and gloomy Saturday morning and forecast suggested more rain on the way.
OK, so call me a sook if you will but when faced with the choice of a wet ride up the coast or a quiet weekend , warm and dry with plenty to read and the Wombet for company, well I'll take the soft option anyday and so we stayed put.
Saturday morning......pre dawn.....I'm awake, thinking about getting up to make a cup of tea but its warm and cosy so I'm putting off the fateful moment.
Wombet "Stupid dinghy" Snuggles back down again.
Wombat "mmmm.....oi...sound of coin dropping.....wait a second....didn't we leave the dinghy back on the mooring ? "
All together now "what the fluck was that then ? "
Now I am not a brave man. Didn't I mention 'sook' earlier on ? Nonetheless it appears my legs are braver than the rest of me cos in a flash the buggers had me out of bed and heading up the companionway.
There, alongside, with one of them already halfway onto Raven were a couple of would be Capts Kidd in a small tinny.
I shouted, our boarder nearly fell overboard but he managed to scramble back into their boat and away they rowed. No way to chase them , no way to identify them as they were wearing hooded windcheaters and they made damned sure they kept their faces well hidden. Rowed back to shore, dumped the purloined tinny, exited stage left.
Water Police came round but there was no way they could have arrived in time to catch the flecking scroats though they did have a cursory look about with searchlight. Their vessel was not shallow enough draft to get in close to shore.
Daybreak arrives, stolen dinghy is adrift in the bay. We rang Maritime and they send round a boat to pick it up. Given that it had been sitting on the beach without being chained to anything I suspect it had been stolen previously and dumped. I can think of no other reason why anyone would leave a newish tinny on an accessible beach , with oars, where it was simply asking to be stolen.
Conclusion ? I reckon a couple of local scroats, seeing an obvious opportunity nicked the tinny and thinking Raven was unattended thought they might be able to lift the odd bit of equipment. There was no fight in them. As soon as I gave them an "Oi !! Just what do you think you're about then ? " they scarpered right smartly. Now maybe they couldn't see me all that clearly but it must be admitted that the sight of a semi naked Fuzzball is not the most intimidating sight the world has ever seen. Disturbing, perhaps, but intimidating I think not. Ergo, I have to think they did think Raven unattended. The anchorage had only two boats in it at the time, one of which was indeed unmanned and has been for some months. Maybe the knobheads simply got the wrong boat.
Forty years, man, boy and rodent, I've played around on Sydney Harbour. Never , ever, have I slept on board with the hatches closed and in all that time the worse thing that has happened was having an outboard nicked after I stupidly left it on the stern rail when we went home one evening and a dinghy stolen from off our mooring before we had a chain.
OK so it was probably a case of 'opportunity knocking' but even so a worrying event and I guess some kind of early warning system may be required. Not sure what to do about that. Guns are out. Wombats are all peace love happiness man.
Man-mauling wombat felled by axe
Hidden depths peoples, hidden depths.