We went to see Johnny Clegg at the Great Concert Hall where he played a good selection of songs justifying the nearly R1000 we paid to go and watch. The audience went into a frenzy when Johnny broke into a bit of Zulu dancing during his hit song Impi leaving us all in goose bumps. One can never ever forget that African beat and rhythm, it is in your soul. “It's a cruel, crazy wonderful world.”
The next day we picked up our visitors from SA and their luggage at Brisbane International and after a few days of jet lag recovery and lots of red wine we planned our trip to Stradbroke Island. The Pajero was packed like a taxi to Soweto and we left early to find a suitable camp site on Flinders beach. Much brandy and red wine was consumed on the first night. After a cup of strong camping coffee the morning was spent on Cylinder beach while David and I tried to catch fish for dinner. Eventually we gave up and popped in to buy 1.5kgs of prawns for lunch at the Keyholes fresh water lakes on the Eastern side of the island. On Sunday we enjoyed some lovely body surf waves in front of our camp site in the morning before a cruise down the beach to Point Lookout to restock the cool box and enjoy a cold one on the Hotel patio while watching dolphins swimming in the ocean. The afternoon was spent leisurely knocking down camp and then a refreshing swim at Brown Lake before catching the ferry home.
We then endured a 14 hour trek north to Airlie Beach where we were introduced to our boat and home for the next ten days, Leopard Seal. This multi level, 8 berth, 2 bathroom, luxury cruise craft. We crossed the channel to Hook Island without any sea-sick casualties. The first four days of beautiful sunshine and gentle southerly winds had us exploring the northern side of Hook Island where we snorkelled until we had granny fingers each day. Spectacular coral reefs, massive live clam shells, colourful reef fish, schools of about a thousand yellow tail fish swimming like a well rehearsed synchronised swimming team, huge Wrasse and Bat fish and even a turtle from time to time kept us hypnotised below the water for hours. We made our way down to Cid Island anchoring in Homewark bay where we held a fine meeting which took its toll and the peaceful bay was transformed into cacophony of laughter and loud music ending in a bit of a boogie to the tunes of local African artists. We adopted the motto ‘as good as it gets' for the rest of the trip as we cruised around one of the world's most beautiful playgrounds. The fishing was good with our catch including a 50kg Bronzed Whaler Shark and another highlight was catching a Trevally King fish on a fly rod.
We shared a photo session on Whitehaven beach, rated as oneof the top ten in the world, with its silky white fine sand that stretches for miles with several groups enjoying the breath taking setting. We anchored in Chance Bay for Christmas Eve under the most spectacular rainbow at sun set enjoying our cocktails on the Beach and ended with a night cap and gifts. Christmas Day was a beauty with not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze to keep things cool. After a review of the gifts Santa brought for the boys and breakfast we went to shore with our chairs where we lounged in the aqua clear waters with little fish swimming around us as we steadily fought off dehydration for most of the day. We slowly made our way back home over the next couple of days with our final night in Nara Inlet where we had two big takes on the repalla but with no score. It was sad to end what must be one of the worlds most spectacular holidays anyone can ever experience, if heaven is anything like this I'm ready.