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Cruising with Charlie – Islands

Sailing along down the Sir Francis Drake Channel one day
with a panorama of islands always in view some bright spark in the charter
party asked Charlie, “Are all the islands joined together?”

Charlie
answered, “Well, urrrrh, yes, they are, under the water.”

Islands
seem to be a confusing geographical phenomenon for others too. Charlie heard
this on the radio by a government spokesman, “The government will improve
access to the territory’s clinics by providing a special boat
because the islands are all separated by
water
.” Charlie was glad to hear that because he enjoys sailing
between the islands.

Then
in a local hospitality magazine a woman was explaining how lucky she was
because her son was “growing up on an island circled by water.” Well, I suppose there are ‘traffic
islands’ and an oasis could be described as an ‘island in the
desert’…I’m just being fair here.

One
more question Charlie had concerning islands, “Do the islands go all the
way to the bottom?”

Charlie
had to think about that for quite for some time. Then he answered as seriously
as possible “Those ones sailing along at five knots don’t. Those stationery ones do.”

Then
Charlie changed the subject immediately… as was his customary way when
getting into deep water…so to speak.

The
other day I ran into Charlie at the Jolly Roger, where the drinks are
exceptionally good. We were chatting about the nature of islands and the waters
surrounding them, “ Islands are confusing
to many,” he said, “even to those in the upper echelons of
government.” A couple of years ago there was a big debate in the
legislative council concerning the airport runway extension. A problem was
foreseeable… the extension was to be built out and into the popular
anchorage of Trellis Bay and the height of yacht masts could hinder takeoff and
landing of aircraft.

A
minister got up and addressed his colleagues, “Dat
ain’t a problem at all,” he said, waving
his hand in dismissal of such a minor setback. “We dredge de bay
sufficiently to lower yacht masts. It dat
simple.”

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