De plane boss, de plane!

Donna has to leave early for her 7-7 shift, ouch 🙁 The rest of us get up around 9am. A coffee (vanilla coffee at that, very nice), a chat and the offer of poached eggs for brekkie make us think we´re in heaven. Mmm mmm. We also sneak a laundry on, which sorts out our stinky campfire and hiking clothes – they were left outside all night. We thought the arrangement was for Gary and Michelle to call round for us all this morning, and take us out on the lake on their boat but they never materialise. The time is pleasantly passed with a rum´n´coke or two, but in the end we decide we´ve waited long enough for them and a trip to Donna´s parents to borrow their boat is the best answer.

Her dad David have a right old speed boat that he keeps in really good nick, mostly for Donna and Nathan to use and so for the cost of some fuel we get to use it for the day. Genius! Their house is right on the beach and very nicely located, Donna´s mum, Bernice – yes that´s right her name is Bernice (only the 2nd ever time Bernice has met face-to-face another Bernice!!) – supplies us with loads of freshly picked blueberries too, yummy scrummy.

Down at the dock, we sit and take in the view for a bit. Huw and Nathan go in for a dip, apparently the water is not that cold … Bernice isn´t that convinced or that hot yet! The boat is great, like something straight out of a James Bond movie, no kidding. We take it for a spin, Nathan giving us a proper tour of the lake (Sproat Lake) which is huge. There are about a dozen house boats and lots of private speed boats jetting about the place. The houseboats are like floating top-heavy caravans, party boats really, complete with BBQ and slide at the back, and hot-tub on the top deck; they are restricted to 5kts/hr, so they can´t do too much damage. They are owned by the fish´n´duck pub and rented out to tourists mostly. The speedboats on the other hand are either just darting about or pulling screaming passengers in huge inflatables or pulling wake-boarders/jet-skiiers. Oh and did we mention the planes, there´s quite a few properties who have their own hanger on their waterfront with a plane in. You know the ones with big floats instead of wheels that allow them to land on the water. Think “Fantasy Island”. Then there are the two big red and white ones for fire-fighting forest fires – Donna´s dad used to work with these. It´s all go here.

Along with jumping into get cool – Bernice does go in the 2nd time – the boys do a little snorkelling too. As part of our tour around the lake, we have to stop at the burnt down hotel – it used to be a hotel with an off-licence attached, but now its burnt down they´ve put a couple of containers in the car park and are still acting as an offie to the lake-dwellers. The lake is huge, vast in fact … with no real comparison back home. Another “must do” stop is to the fish´n´duck pub dock, to sample a bushwacker – this is a cocktail you can buy “to go” by the jug that has allsorts in … very very nice…

At some point in the proceedings, diving in the water to cool down, touring around the lake and sampling the local refreshments, Bernice falls out … while climbing into … the boat. Huw had been giving her a hard time all day for using her knees as leverage to haul herself up, but she still has really stiff calves from the hiking with Conny and Rowan, at least this is her excuse. Well anyway, the ribbing got too much and she attempted to climb in without knees – it ended in disaster and she banged her hip off a metal bracket on the back of the boat. Ouch!…. That´ll be a shiner tomorrow!

Nathan is keen to get the wake board out for a play, so we head back to Donna´s parents’ house to pick up the board, it´s basically a snowboard that you get your feet into and then hold onto a t-bar and ski the lake. Bernice gets to drive the boat (tee hee) while Huw spots for when Nathan falls in so we can go back and pick him up. He´s pretty good so it doesn´t happen too often, till he gets tired anyhow. Next it´s Huw´s turn, but try as he might he just can´t get on his feet, and he has a lot of goes! Shame, maybe next time…

We arrange for Donna to pick us up on her way home from work, and drive us back to theirs, leaving the car there to pick up tomorrow. We have yummy burgers for dinner and are all pretty tired from the day’s exertion … just thinking of calling it a night when their friend Chris and a whole bunch of people just appear at the patio door. Both Donna and Nathan think it´s going to be a session they can´t avoid when suddenly they apologise and leave … maybe remembering Donna has work tomorrow, maybe embarrassed because we are there, or maybe just the tired look on all our faces does it… who knows, all we do know is how relieved the guys are when they leave again so swiftly..

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