What does the last of the housewives do?

Tag: Houseboat

A life on the Ocean Wave

We had lunch at Berowra Waters Inn.

When I say at, I mean moored outside. They’re closed on Wednesdays. And as if we’d go in there with the Horror, even if we were having a pink fit.

I started the morning with a swim to a tiny beach near where we were moored for the night, in Refuge Bay. As I stepped on to the sand, narrowly avoiding a tiny stingray, I thought about the first white settlers to Australia. They would have stepped on to a little beach like this, looking up a steep scrubby slope covered in completely unfamiliar plants, no grass, no animals, no fruit or flowers. All the pink stemmed trees twisted into fantastic shapes, the scream of cicadas in the air and the mad cackle of kookaburras. They would have felt so very far from home.

Anyway, swimming is terrific from a houseboat. You can just dangle your feet, dip in, find different spots to jump from the boat, or swim to shore to explore. “Look out, Mummy’s making a bid for freedom!” my husband shouted.

Of course I wasn’t, I knew they could run me down.

I’ve rather liked the challenge of bringing all our own food. We had sausages on the barbeque the first night. Chicken nuggets that I’d made last week and frozen, these looked like a bag full of damp sawdust when defrosted, but barbecued up nicely. I even managed mashed potatoes to go with, it isn’t too hard to mash them with a fork. I’m finding that my ankles are being gnawed on, so I’d better start preparing deconstructed sushi for tonight’s dinner pretty smartly. All this open air makes one EXTREMELY hungry.

So overall, this has been rather fun. I’d even consider doing it again, although possibly with a slightly bigger boat and someone else’s children.

Things to do on a Houseboat

You’d be surprised how many things there are to do on a houseboat.
Laps. The kids discovered very early that you can circumnavigate the boat due to narrow ledges along the outsides. You can vary this by going counterclockwise or over the top. I had to put my foot down at climbing through the windows.
Counting jellyfish. The Moose said he had to stop counting because his tongue was sore, but he said he got up to six hundred. They’re quite large, and I expect to see Spongebob in amongst them with his net. We wonder if they’ll sting, but no one wants to volunteer to find out.

Fishing. There was great excitement yesterday afternoon when the fire bucket made a bid for freedom. A houseboat isn’t very nippy on its feet, so we made several circuits of it before we got close. It was taking on water and starting to look very sad before the Moose reached it with the boat hook and dragged it safety. His greatest triumph.

Reading. While others look at the scenery, I’m reading a fascinating book about the history of double entry accounting. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it, it’s excellent. Called Double Entry, it’s by Jane Gleeson-White, go and buy a copy now.
And finally, steering the boat. It’s a bit exciting, there’s a handsome wooden steering wheel and no rudder, just a tiny engine off the back. So when you first start out you make series of elegant swoops across the river, it takes some time to get used to. However, we’re not going too much faster than a snail with the ague, so not too much harm can be done.
Now Ho for a buoy for the night. We’re not very good at dropping anchor yet, I’m surprised no one’s lost a finger.


Houseboat Holiday

My dear husband planned a holiday for this week that he wouldn’t tell us about. I suspect it was because it was an outing I would purse my lips about, and he was kind of right.

I guessed it was a houseboat when he said there would be no power points and a gas fridge, and when he started collecting together fishing gear. The first thing I thought when I saw it was that I should have brought more alcohol. Then I wondered which child I’d be compelled to throw overboard first? But after we’d talked the office into giving us more pillows and doonas and toilet paper, it started looking quite cosy. “What do you think?” asked Captain Casey (actually, he’s a Lieutenant Colonel). “Aargh, I should have brought rum”, I said. “And a parrot”, added the Horror.

There are plenty of nooks and crannies in which I can hide from the kids on the boat. The kitchen is far better equipped than the cabin at our last holiday. I’m looking forward to seeing my plus six foot husband cram himself into the minus six foot bed. We’ve just done a circuit of Dangar Island, which looks very pretty but would be an annoying commute. Now we’ve stopped to fish, and I’m wondering how long it’s going to take the kids to notice the rocking motion of the stationary boat and throw up. They’re fairly excited about possibly catching something edible, or a jellyfish, so may not. It doesn’t bother me.

It may not be so bad after all. Aargh, me hearties.