Archive for January, 2008

“Adventures of an IMP” Part X: Seals!

Friday 11 January 2008
6:52 pm
      6:30 pm. 
      Low tide. 
Slight off shore wind. 
 Whananaki estuary.

Here is the weather forecast:
1021 mb
30.14 inHg
23.7°C
10 knts gusting to 15 knts
Cloudy skies with possible showers.

Good, now the paper is dry enough to write on (finally!). 
I only wrote the weather forecast to see if the paper was dry enough.

Today was a wonderful day; only a little bit of wind and quite overcast, (that was good because on “Headlands” we don’t have any sunblock and the sun is very harsh), but it was still very hot! The Second Mate and Able Seaman rowed us down “Fresh Water”, swapping places with Captain and First Mate when we were out on open sea. Beyond the breakers, turning N.N.W. we rowed keeping in line with the beach. Suddenly out of nowhere a seal popped up about ten meters off, Ship’s Baby being the first to notice.
“Look at the…,” she said, not quite knowing what she was looking at. 
“The seal,” interjected The Crew (The Crew being the two very special memers who got to live easy; they did not have any particular job as the rest of us did, not counting Ship’s Baby!)
All turned to watch the seal . 
“Throw a coconut to him,” said First Mate, “but watch….”
Too late! Able Seaman (or not so Able) was in the drink.
First Mate had just been going to say “Watch out” because she and Captain had been back-watering against the current and could see a bit of a wave coming towards them, when Able Seaman had stood up in IMP and thrown (or tried to) a coconut into the water. When Able Seaman stood up in IMP she lost her balance, just a little bit, and then as she threw the coconut the wave came, knocking Able Seaman overboard and leaving the coconut in IMP!
Later this incident was referred to as “The throw that threw her overboard”.
When Able Seaman was back onboard several seals were watching us and barking. Captain and Ship’s Boy insisted they were laughing at us! Able Seaman was not  impressed at this remark. She proceed to gently throw a coconut in saying that were only asking for the coconut back. As if to prove the point the seals stopped their barking and started to play with the coconut! After a long time of watching the seals push the coconut round we rowed on. It was then that one seal (possibly their leader?) followed us balancing the coconut on his head. It was like watching a circus act. We stopped rowing to watch again, but this time we heard the sound of distant barking. We rowed round “Headlands” a bit more and came across a cove from which the sound of barking was coming. Upon entering the cove in IMP we saw so many seals we could hardly believe our eyes. There must have been about one hundred seals in the water and on the beach. There were so many that the cove we had just found just had to be named “Seal Cove”, and so it was. This also was put on the map.       

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T.B.C.

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“Adventures of an IMP” Part IX: The Storm

Thursday 10 January 2008
5:34 am
Sure enough, 1 am this morning a westerly wind, that measured 30 knots, hit our camp. The camp shook and shuddered and then finally fell over. (Oar-‘n’-sail tents are not very sturdy!!!!!!) Everybody woke up immediately. Ship’s Boy, disentangling himself from the sail, went out to look for the visitor, but Captain called him back.
“I think you must have got the date or time mixed up, Cap’n,” called out Ship’s Boy.
“No,” said Captain rather drily. “I haven’t. As you can see, he pushed our tent over.” 
“But…I thought… that was the wind.”
“Exactly….the wind is our visitor.”
“Oh,” said Ship’s Boy with a hint of disappointment.
6 Hours later:
The rain has gone, but a fine drizzle has set in for a day.
24 degrees Celsius
Wind speed 6 knots
We aren’t doing much, just sitting under out tent keeping dry (trying to).
6 Hours even later:
Can’t write much because the Ship’s Logs paper is all damp and is tearing. Thankfully the rain has stopped. Also we will be moving to higher ground.
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T.B.C.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part VIII: The Riddle

Wednesday 9 January 2008
9:45 pm

For the second time since we had been on “Headlands”, (yes we have named the island “Headlands” because it looks like a rhino’s head), our barometer started dropping; not very noticeably, but still dropping. More bad weather was on the way! IMP‘s crew decided to row back across the “Harbour” and across “Trout Lake”. We camped N.W. of
“Trout Lake” on the “Grasslands”. As before there was about half an hour before the rain came, accompanied by thunder and lightning. This time though it was to last much longer! Evening came sooner than expected on account of the dark rain clouds.
“I happen to have learned of some good and bad news,” said Captain, talking to us all. “So what would you like first?” Everyone decided on good news first.
“Tonight we are going to receive a visitor, but he’s coming late at night.”
“How late?” asked Able Seaman.
“Ah, that bit is uncertain. He left a note on the barometer saying that he would come around 1 am and that we needn’t stay awake for him and that if we were asleep when he came he would borrow one of our oars. By the way, his name is a western one.”
“What a strange name,” Ship’s Baby stated.
We sat there under our tent with both of “The Crew” looking at the oars that were holding up our tent, when they both said “Won’t our tent fall down without both oars?”
“YES!” answered Captain.
“What about the bad news?” asked Ship’s Boy.
“The bad news is simply that this rain will last for 2-4 days.”
Now the First and Second Mate had worked out who the visitor would be, but said nothing to anyone, and checking the barometer later they saw, as they had suspected, a forecast for westerly winds around 1 am.

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T.B.C.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part VII:In which pigs roast and crabs snap (sort of)

Tuesday 8 January 2008
4:26 pm
Looking across from “The Harbour” you could see a very long mudflat that stayed above the level of high tide, and to the eye it seemed very straight. When Able Seaman saw this she said, “I think that we should call that mudflat “The Spit”, because it looks just like a spit waiting for a pig (or more fitting to our situation, a wild boar) to be roasted on it…so what do you think?”
No one objected to this, so “The Spit” was named. On “The Spit” lived HEAPS of little crabs. It was fun to poke twigs down holes and then pull them out with a crab hanging on the end. After searching for crabs (which was not that hard to do) we cast our rods, which IMP‘s crew had made, off “The Spit”, managing to catch five snapper about 75 cm in length! We filleted the snapper. Then skewering them on a stick, we cooked them over a fire. Delicious! 
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T.B.C.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part VI: Look!

Monday 7 January 2008
8:15 pm
“…something on the horizon…”

All thought that the “something” (or “it”) would be a boat. Because “it” was so far away we were not taking any chances. Captain, Second Mate and Ship’s Boy went to gather fresh bamboo while First Mate, Able Seaman, The Crew and Ship’s Baby gathered enough fire wood to light up the whole island, almost. While all this was happening the thing, hoped to be a boat, came nearer. After some time Captain, Second Mate and Ship’s Boy came leaping over a sand dune and on to the beach where a HUGE fire was lit. On went the bamboo and we all ran over the sand dune to watch. BOOM, then a cloud of red, as red as, well, red. Back down on the beach we saw the “boat”, very clearly blow a great fountain of water high into the air, then with a flick of its tail swim away.
“A WHALE!,” we cried in excitement. And then came the sudden realisation that there was no boat and we were still on the island. It was then that Our Captain and First Mate realised how much they had wanted the whale to be a boat. Oh well, surely we would be found soon, in the meantime we had to wash down IMP.
   

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T.B.C.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part V: The Trick

Sunday 6 January
6:05 am
We are presently going down “The Eye” S.S.W. towards “Trout Lake”. Named so because trout are so abundant in the lake that rowing in it is quite a challenge as the trout push against your oars making rowing impossible for the beginner. If you were to just glance at the water it would seem as though the colour of the water was a mix of purple, green and cream.
IMP sure has served us well!”, remarked First Mate, as they were resting on the other side of “Trout Lake”. “Hmm,” said Captain not really paying attention, but thinking of how long they would be on the island and feeling quite bad that we had been washed onto this island in his care. But it couldn’t really be helped; we were here and couldn’t go back safely. While Captain was feeling glum (to his credit, he was trying to convince the younger members of our crew that everything would be alright) Ship’s Boy was up to his tricks again; this time he put a trout, still alive and flapping about wildly (if trout can flap), down Captain’s shirt!!! Ahem! Our Captain was NOT in the least expecting anything to be put down his shirt and DEFINITELY NOT a trout. Well, the Captain started chasing Ship’s Boy, but Ship’s Boy had already taken a head start and was climbing a tree that was entangled in vines. As Captain climbed up, Ship’s Boy swung down on one of these vines, dropping fish heads out of his pockets. What a smell!!! No wonder he wasn’t getting eaten by U.F.I.!!! “We still have to go down to the “Harbour” Second Mate reminded us.
“So, ah,…stir your stumps” he said.
(Now it must be recorded that this particular saying was reserved for Captain, it is not so on all ships, but on IMP only Captain said that. It was not a written law or anything, it was just, well, Captain’s saying. And also Second Mate was not in the habit of speaking “sailor talk”).
There was silence, total silence.
And then Captain said “Good to see you are  picking up some “sailor talk”, finally. Come on people The Harbour” is waiting for us”.
While we treked across to “The Harbour”, Able Seaman started our feet into a steady rhythm by singing an old song:
“What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
Early in the morning.
Way hey, and up she rises,
Way hey, and up she rises,
Way hey, and up she rises,
Early in the morning.
Set him polishing up the brass work,
Set him polishing up the brass work,
Set him polishing up the brass work,
Early in the morning.
Way hey, and up she rises,
Way hey, and up she rises,
Way hey, and up she rises,
Early in the morning!
 Soon we came within sight of “The Harbour” and had such high spirits, that, had “The Harbour” been all rock or mud we probably wouldn’t have minded. But to the delight of everyone it was perfect, deep, clear water, clear as a bell as some say. Even Captain’s spirits lifted. And during the midst of all this Ship’s Baby had spotted something on the horizon!….
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T.B.C.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part IV: Row, Row, Row your boat…

Saturday 5 January 2008
 6:55 pm

We awoke before sunrise, just, and pulled the IMP down to “The Rope” and rowed upstream to where it split. From there we went across to “The Worm”. Even more rowing upstream, as we rowed up “The Worm” to the base of “The Eye” (a mountain. For some reason none of us thought that  “Mount Eye” would sound quite right). We named it that because of the view. It was like looking through a giant’s eye. From the summit you could see to the edges of the island. It was amazing; looking out over the rivers, coconut palms, sand dunes, valleys and seas, such seas, glittering and sparkling and crashing against the coral reefs and washing the beaches. Also, you were able to see a lot of the island’s inhabitants. Here is a list of the animals we saw:

  • Monkeys
  • Parrots (green and blue ones)
  • Trout
  • Crayfish
  • Wild Boar

Although we could not see all the animals (or insects, for that matter) there were definitely other living beings on the island. Like the U.F.I. and a sort of animal that makes a grinding noise at night.
Tomorrow will be spent at the “Harbour”.

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T.B.C.