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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

The Ship Unloads!

NORFOLK ISLAND | Thursday, 28 August 2014 | Views [4053] | Comments [1]

Imagine a V-dub being unloaded onto a rowboat, let alone a 22-seater bus. You dream of a bus being unloaded onto a platform being floated ashore on two rowboats tied together. On Norfolk Island however, this is no dream, it’s reality. This is how large goods and vehicles are brought to shore. Norfolk has no harbour, and a ship only arrives about once every six weeks or so from Auckland or Sydney. I’d spend most of my morning watching cars and buses being brought to shore.

I did my usual work of making the strawberry patch look nice, pulling a large amount of weeds. Today was the first sunny day in four days! A couple of days ago the weather was so miserable it was nigh impossible to do anything but read, write, or sit by the fire. I rode the bicycle into town instead of hitching or walking. Doosy (Carli) surprised me with “did you speak to your mum?” “My mum” I replied. She said that she saw something on my Facebook wall written by my mother and that she was worried about me. For now I’m not about to break my 20-day period of “internet celibacy” so I asked Doosy if she’d comment on that post with something like “I saw him today, he’s fine.” Racheal said she didn’t have a lot of time with me today but we could definitely hang out tomorrow. She wants to take me out to 100 Acres. I love Racheal with all my heart! She did the most incredible drawing of a face on the sun and referred to me as her “wandering albatross.” One of these days things will really work out between us. I’ll be living here and I’ll be next to her always. Luck was with me as the ship was unloading at Kingston rather than Cascade; Racheal works at the museums in Kingston, so I don’t have to make a huge detour to watch the ship unload. My film director has told me to get unique videos of myself doing things only I would do so I tried to ask if I could get a lift on the rowboats coming in with a vehicle, however they couldn’t for “insurance” reasons. One bus came in and then another was getting ready, so I used those few minutes to see Racheal and give her a hug. She was in an off-mood again today. It seems she gets too many hugs as well; if it’s not her kids it’s Alan, and if it’s not Alan it’s me. I’ll admit I must enjoy her warm, hearty hugs whilst I’m here. There would be no chance at getting a lift on the rowboats but I did get to capture photos of a 22-seater bus being brought to shore: one of those only on Norfolk moments.

It wasn’t not getting on the rowboats that put me in a bad mood, it was something else. In two trips to Norfolk, I’ve been trying to get out to Philip Island. A local fisherman named Scotty said he was going out that way, but said “I’ll only take you if you’re going out there with someone else; if something happened to you, I’m responsible.” Confidently, I replied “I’m not 10, I’m almost 30, I can take care of myself out there.” He said “Sorry bro, maybe next time.” Frustrated, I took my head full of steam back toward the museum. Seriously, I’ve had to go through this crap my whole life of people having to be so damn paranoid about me being hurt, lost, or whatever! Why can’t people ever think of the best that can happen rather than the worst? Infuriated I was! Another opportunity to get to Philip Island down the drain! Scotty told me earlier that another fisherman, David Bigg is probably going out there tomorrow but I have plans with Racheal tomorrow. I want to get my ass out there now! Not tomorrow! Now! I’ve seriously had to miss out on so much in my life as a result of paranoia. I’ve accomplished a lot, but I can only imagine what I could have accomplished by now if it weren’t for people being so damn paranoid. As I’ve mentioned in my book, us on the spectrum know we’re going to be alright despite the fact that others don’t believe in us. To burn some steam I thought of the good times that await Racheal and I tomorrow and then decided to have another go at Geocaching. This time I was focused on two caches in the Cascade area. With my bicycle in the back of a ute I got dropped at the school where I followed Cascade Road tomorrow the waterfall. Cattle had the roads taken over as I called into Norfolk Island Liqueurs to sample some of their fabled tastes. Last time I sampled some more subtle flavours, so now I thought I’d bring out my bravery. Maconochie’s Rum (the good commandant) and the Convict’s Curse are the that can really test your bravery much like sampling hakarl in Iceland. After sampling some of the braver liqueurs on a short video I washed them down with a bit of a chocolate and mint and then the Pitcairn Passion (mixture of strawberry and banana). Down a few hills and through some cow shit I went before ending up at the carpark to the waterfall. It’s odd that I’ve spent enough time on farms and it rural areas that I can tell what animal a pile of shit belongs to. My bike left at the parking area I made my way safely down to the base of the waterfall where I strolled along the rocks. The fog has been omnipresent with a bit of a haunting feeling. Legend has it that Norfolk is the world’s fourth most haunted island, and at least one local swears that Satan lives here. Relentless I strolled along the rocks for the two Geocaches. One of them is said to contain all sorts of Norfolk trinkets. This is the spot where Janelle Patton’s body was dumped in 2002. She was murdered, and to this day it remains one of the few heinous crimes Norfolk has seen since the days of the second settlement. The geocache I searched for is a 1L container but I was up and over rocks yet couldn’t find anything. Just as I was about to give up I stumbled across the other geocache, but it was nothing special. It was getting dark and I had some hills to climb. I’ve cycled a good section of the island today! New Cascade Rd. has a section that goes steeply down and steeply up but it turned out I passed it. A couple of bananas at 10 cents each tempted me so I got them before I called in at Rumours. After a long and adventurous day I was up for a coffee but disappointingly their coffee machine was shut off. Rumours is the place for rumours (gossip) on the island and it’s one of the oldest homes on the island; one of the few old homes open to the public. They also serve the best coffee I’ve had on Norfolk! Coffee wasn’t an option but a glass of wine was, so I got a chilled sauvignon blanc before I sat with Joel and the people from the national park. Philip Island is off the list for next week but I’ll have an opportunity Monday to be taken to nesting sites of the endangered Norfolk Island green parrot. Joel even said there’s a spot near Anson Bay where I could go camping. Camping is officially prohibited by visitors to Norfolk, although many locals camp at Emily Bay during summer. It’d be amazing to pioneer camping on Norfolk Island; the potential is sky-high. Joel’s son has autism so we got to talk a bit about my experiences as a child. Joel has a ute, so he offered me a lift and I stuck the bike in the back. Tonight’s fish fry would wrap up a golf tournament that was on this week. Golf backwards spells “flog” and it’s funny that Kingston once was infamous for floggings yet has, said to be, the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere. Words have ways of catching my eye. Another one I’ve noticed is that goods on a ship are often called “cargo” yet goods in a car are called a “shipment.” Already with two glasses of wine at Rumours, I ordered another and it was a great time. However I was then put into an awkward position. Diesel invited me to tonight’s fish fry last night and I asked if I had to buy a ticket. He had said “just ask for me and I’ll look after ya” but tonight he said he only invited me. Feeling slightly uncomfortable I explained that Diesel invited me but I didn’t want him to look bad. Somebody then gave me a ticket and told me not to worry. Tickets are only $22 but I didn’t have that much money with me. Whilst I’ve had fish & chips a million times it’s the first time I’ve been to a fish fry. It was fun, and I saw quite a few locals tonight. From then it was time for the long pedal home. My headlamp would prevent me from running into a dark cow on a dark road under the dark sky. The moon was barely visible tonight. Cristina performed in a play called “The Dining Room” which she’d been rehearsing rigourously for. She was there with Tyna, Joy, Juliette, and several other locals whom I’ve gotten to know. After some chatter I had one more hill I had to climb and then it was sweet dreams for me. All in all, it was a fantastic day. Norfolk Island, I deeply love you! 



I can remember things like this when I was the Electrical Engineer on the Kalia a Tongan ship in the70's 80's . We carried about 12 passengers,and at the time I think we were the only way out other than by air .I have been trying to find a photo of the Kalia and i am wondering If you may have one or know where I may fJSAEBERind one

  Evan Duke Aug 20, 2017 2:49 PM

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