Strawbridge Pointers - cold on the cove

Earth's coldest known temperature is minus 89.2 °C at a Russian station in the Antarctic in 1983.

We know those Russkies are given to hyperbole but it was only a smidgen warmer on Eastern Cove the Wednesday before last when two Strawbridge Pointers vessels chipped off the ice and crisply set off to Newland Bay.

It was mostly Millard's fault, as he had parked a large, dense, slow moving mass at Matzu's tiller for the morning run.

This stable, dry mass, although talkative, failed to deliver any wind and sentenced Matzu to a glacial speed adjacent to Ballast Head.

Fortunately Grant's gorgeous wicker picnic basket produced coffee and a cask of port that had its origins in the year of the Russkies' big freeze and warmth sprang from within.

Andy Wood had Samphires' reverse cycle air conditioning going, and despite looking like an iceberg as she trolled about in search of lunch, Andy was toasty in the cockpit.

The cloud hovered, lowered and thickened, but there was a sunlit patch, far, far astern where Rocky Point glowed.

This phenomenon lasted the entire day, with Eastern Cove clothed in gray save for the ethereal glare emanating from Rocky Point. Guess which commodore picked the wrong destination?

Two tree-climbing polar bears guarded Norma Cove. Closer inspection proved them to be extremely large and bold sea eagles disdainfully appraising the Pointers as they rafted up amidst a gaggle of dolphins discussing the weather.

The frostiness evaporated once below at Newland Bay. Lunch was an attractive collation of toasties and freeze dried soup, with Andy complementing the soup with freshly caught snook. The fish, in a selfless gesture gave up his life, simply to get warm.

In the interests of speed and meteorology, Grant replaced the commodore with a more aggressive helmsman, with tighter isobars and pecs, who instantly sourced wind after lunch.

Matzu surged into Eastern cove for almost 200 metres before this helmsman too was reduced to whistling for the wind. Wind both aft and for'ad but not a breath surrounded the boat.

The low-angled setting sun warmed the Pointers later from Hammond's deck, nature reminding the avuncular group of why they live on Kangaroo island. - Hal Yard

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