What did I do with a drunken sailor?

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FACT ONE: there are 74 islands in the Whitsundays.
FACT TWO: there are also 800 horny sailors in town.

IT’S a Whitsunday Wednesday and I am aboard the 80ft yacht, Brahms and Liszt which I am informed is sailing rhyming slang for pissed. Somewhere, in the shimmering waters around me, are 800 sex-charged sailors. Or so I’m told. What I do know is that every second salt is called Fitzy, so I’ve just taken to singing out “g’day Fitzy” when I walk down the dock of the Abell Point Marina each morning and hoping that my greeting lands on the right shoulders. What I am yet to learn is that crusty old salts like their calamari young, so to speak, and I have a better chance of spotting a whale in the Whitsunday Passage than hooking a man. Me, I’m more of a barracuda.
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Airlie Beach Race Week and every man and his dinghy is in town, lured by the warm trade winds which sweep the Australian sailing fraternity north along the Queensland coast. The weather is perfect except for one thing. There’s no wind and so, somewhere out to sea, sit 800 frustrated sailors, the lack of breeze keeping their sails limp, so to speak.
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I, too, am frustrated. I am meant to be writing a story about Airlie Beach and sailing, but it’s difficult without any wind in the sails. In these parts, it blows every week of the year but for once, Mother Nature is refusing to co-operate. Bored sailors circle each other like sharks, jokes and jibes tossed across bows, until early afternoon, when enough breeze picks up to warrant enough of a race. It’s not perfect, but it will do.
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As for me, a great story I eventually find, but it is one borne from dredging rather than smooth sailing. A quick quip here, a chat there, a day out on a tallship, a spot of snorkelling, a few drinks at the yacht club, a wander down the main drag. Some stories are like life. You have to wait for them to come to you, rather than force them. And so it is with this one.
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Sure, I could shout superlatives from the bow of a boat about how wonderful the Whitsundays is, but it’s all that and more. It’s the crinkly smiles behind the sunglasses as experienced eyes look out to sea, searching for a hint of a breeze. Just like I look frantically to the horizon for a story. It’s recognising boats – Fifty Shades of 50, Rum Gutz, Malice – like they are all old friends. It’s the unexpected.
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I came to Airlie Beach expecting some wild winds and, if I’m a little bit honest, hoping I might meet a man. In between grasping for my story, I fantasise about what I would do with a drunken sailor. I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say the thought of sailing off into the sunset with someone held great appeal. But life’s not like that. You can’t just rig up the sails and expect the wind will arrive at your command. Instead, you sit, you watch, you wait. You drop anchor. And you laugh. At life’s perfect imperfection.
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The Global Goddess travelled to Airlie Beach Race Week as a guest of the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Next year, Airlie Beach Race Week will celebrate its 25th anniversary. And with a bit of luck, there will be a breeze. http://www.airlieraceweek.com
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A Date with Destiny

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DEPENDING on your point of view, we’re facing either the end of the world, or the end of the year sometime in the next two weeks. For the record, I’m going with the latter, but in any case, I thought it might be timely to provide a little festy…I mean festive, update on my dating success.

At this point I should warn you, you could stop reading now and be just as wise as those who make it to the end. Or, if you’re really bored and trying to kill those last few days at work before Christmas, please read on.

In recent weeks, and in no particular order, there’s been a host of potential new suitors, via my dating site. Let me introduce you to some of the men who’ve been contacting me. I don’t want to brag, but they’ve been practically lining up to meet me (or, in the case of the photo below which I took in Laos some years back, are much more enlightened souls than those on my dating site).

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My most recent admirer has been a bloke who calls himself Rough Diamond (obviously, he doesn’t work in PR). Rough, 42, doesn’t believe in apostrophes, but does like fishing, camping and 4×4’s. He apparently cooks “a mean muffin”, has a dog called “Bundy” and listens to Guns and Roses. The real treat was Rough’s answer to the kinds of sport he liked: “If you can class drinking as a sport, I guess I play that.”

The next fella calls himself Caloundra Bloke. Caloundra reckons we have “a lot in common” but exactly what that is remains a mystery to me, for despite asking him to actually fill out some of his profile or perhaps email me with a few highlights, he refuses. I can’t help but wonder whether Calounda’s wife knows he’s on a dating site.

Andy P, also from the Sunshine Coast (ladies, there appears to be a pandemic of single men on the Sunny at the moment), actually engaged in a one-hour internet chat with me, in which he revealed he had retired at 37 and owned a yacht called Chardonnay. Andy asked me how I’d feel about a sunset sail, some seafood and some good conversation, to which I replied: “That sounds great!”. At that point, I never heard from Andy again. Now, I’m either doing something wrong, or Andy’s yacht is actually a tinnie.

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Finally, there’s Tantric, who, as his name suggests is Indian. The problem with Tantric is that he also lives in India and has asked me to come and visit him which is a little outside the 50km radius I’ve stipulated on my profile. Apparently his name means “Shiva” in Sanskrit and he is looking for his “Shakthi”. I’m not entirely sure what a Shakthi is, and despite doing a bit of yoga and meditation lately, I don’t think I’m the girl for Tantric. 

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Which leaves me with the same old question, what to do about dating? According to a recent report in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, you now download a Virtual Boyfriend App, tailor him to meet your needs, and dump him when he doesn’t make the grade. You can even download a Wingman App, when you’re lost for the perfect pick-up line which also comes with a pep talk for when you’re feeling a bit blue in the dating department.

I guess it’s all food for thought this silly season as we entertain the prospect of exactly who, if anyone, we’ll be kissing under the mistletoe. As for me, and knowing my luck, I will finally find a boyfriend…just as the world ends.  

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