It was a Carole King kinda day from the start …
August 18, 2016
Just add water â€¦
Driving in to Airlie Beach I absolutely squealed with delight at the sight before my eyes, not for once realising it was going to be a Carole King kinda day …
Iâ€™d always heard it was a pretty place, but to arrive on the final day of a week-long regatta meant the water was filled with brightly-coloured yachts and craft of all shapes and sizes. It was an absolute bonus.
First things first, though. We had a long, leisurely walk and then breakfast at Salt in the main street, with the girls at my feet.
They were made very welcome by the wait staff at this cool cafÃ©, so I was happy to part with my money for some delicious soft poached eggs, with avocado on the side, on sour dough, washed down with a cappuccino.
I donâ€™t make it a practice to eat out every day, but I do try to support the towns Iâ€™m passing through, even if it is just a meal here and there â€“ or spending anything up to $100 in meat, fruit, veg and grocery items at the local supermarket.
Touching base with Butto
Realising I was on Gavin Butlinâ€™s turf (Butto is the man behind the gigantic Airlie Beach Festival of Music, held the first weekend in November each year), I gave him a call and we arranged for me to visit his office after breakfast and before his next meeting.
After catching up on the latest news, he suggested I stick around for the night, as the Hillbilly Goats would be playing at presentation night at Whitsunday Sailing Club.
He also said I should take a drive out to Shute Harbour to the lookout, where you can get a great view of the coastline. It was no disappointment. How beautiful. I nearly wore out the panorama feature on my Samsung Galaxy S6 â€¦ love that gadget.
Up close at Abell Point Marina
Driving back in to Airlie, I visited the local shopping centre, bought some supplies, and had lunch in the van.
I thought Iâ€™d check out the local marina â€“ Abell Point â€“ where I could get an up-close look at some of those craft Iâ€™d spotted on my way into town.
I took the girls for a walk and then settled them back in the van, so I could do some exploring on my own with the camera. Juggling three dogs and attempting to take photos isnâ€™t a skill Iâ€™ve mastered just yet.Â There was no shortage of photo opportunities at the marina, which was a hive of activity with all the boaties in town, stocking up on supplies, fuelling up and enjoying a coffee in the sunshine.
I feel the Earth move … under my van
After snapping for all I was worth, I returned to Rambling Rose and was sitting in the driverâ€™s seat reviewing my shots when the van started to shake.
At first I thought it was a really strong wind that had got up underneath the van, rocking it recklessly. It almost felt as if I was in a washing machine, being agitated from side to side. It would have lasted about 30 seconds, Iâ€™d say.
Having never experienced anything like it before I didnâ€™t realise it was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake until my friend Anna sent me a text asking if Iâ€™d felt the earth move, then told me what it was.
Yes, it was an earthquake!
Read all about the 5.8 magnitude earthquake off Bowen at the following link â€¦ http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/earthquake-felt-in-north-queensland-was-58-magnitude/news-story/1de39840d54d7dd2f006f5cf12b2ce25/
Well, I certainly canâ€™t say life in Queensland is uneventful. The media reported it as the biggest earthquake event in the state in 20 years.
Exactly how do youÂ follow an earthquake?
Attend a Hillbilly Goats outdoor gig in the pouring rain, of course!
The Whitsunday Sailing Club was a pretty cool venue, particularly when the driver of your vehicle has backstage access, so parking close to the venue packed with the seafaring set was a breeze. Onya, Butto!
Getting the lie of the land was the first challenge here. I soon worked out it was infinitely easier to buy your drinks from the bar upstairs at the sailing club than fart around with tickets at the booths below â€¦
Now the formalities are out of the way
Itâ€™s time to mix and mingle. I actually sat with the smokers on the outer deck of the sailing club as the sensible non-smokers (whoâ€™d all reserved tables) were nowhere to be seen â€“ but you couldnâ€™t squat â€“ it just didnâ€™t seem like it was the done thing.
In between downpours and conversation with polite table crashers, I cheered on the Goats. Only then did I brave the great unknown and find somewhere to acquire sustenance for future alcohol consumption â€“ closer to the music.
On Buttoâ€™s recommendation, I chose the pizza man â€“ and he was a champion; the whole family pitching in to punch out the orders. Like a well-oiled machine.
Balancing my pizza on my lap, we moved our plastic chairs out to front of stage where we could appreciate the Goatsâ€™ music more easily than inside, where we couldnâ€™t see them.
A good time, not a long time
Whoever was responsible for the regatta slideshow inside the marquee, congratulations on wonderful coverage capturing some extreme moments of the event.
Seize the moment. Savour the sound. Itâ€™s all gone way too soon. Thatâ€™s how it was that night with the Hillbilly Goats. Their music was fabulous but it was a school night â€¦ and there were tired kids and weary travellers in our party.
As it was, the girls and I had to get back to Mackay the next day so we headed off after an early-morning cuppa with Butto.Â As we drove away, the warmth of the hospitality extended by both Elanor and Butto wonâ€™t be forgotten quickly. Thatâ€™s lovely stuff. Thanks, guys. The festival is going to be fabulous! See you on Thursday for day 1. Canâ€™t wait.
Next stop: Airlie Beach Festival of Music
Check out all the latest festival news atÂ http://www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au/