Largs Bay, Australia – Sailing, Dolphins and Patience

In my working career I had to deal with a lot of different types of personalities, and there are those few types I never learned to deal with.  Two personality traits I could never find a way to deal with, were people who were not self-aware, and or were condescending.  If you added in a person who just doesn’t care, you had a perfect mix of ASSHOLE!  People who showed these behaviors I always wanted to learn how to better handle them, and on this week, I got another chance to learn.

By now, I think most people know I am trying to better myself, but I wasn’t expecting I would keep myself in this situation on purpose.

Well, here it goes, this is the story about my week long attempt at getting experience on the ocean.

While in New Zealand, I was on a site called CrewBay, where people with all levels of experience can apply for various positions on boats.  Ranging from a deck hand, to captain.  I would be at the bottom of this list, and have been applying for a helping hand/deck hand, in exchange for passage on a boat.

I had a few responses but nothing solid until Dragos from Adelaide, Australia messaged me back and invited me for a few day trips to get a feel for it.  I accepted this offer and left New Zealand.

A few days later I arrived at Dragos house.  From day 1 of meeting him, I could tell he was a decent guy, but definitely had a god complex.  The first day he non stop talked about how people are useless and never follow instructions.

I first hand know there is only two reasons for this, either the person is useless, or the instructions are sub-par.  I have a gut feeling I know which one it is with him.

Our first day out sailing I found the answer to my curiosity.  This is how it went.

Picture across the roof of the cabin is 8 or more ropes.  All of which go forward to the sails, and this being my first time on this boat, actually any sailboat, I don’t know what each one is for.

Dragos says, “Give me slack on the (something)!”

I look at him and said, “Which rope?”

He response a little pissed, “I’ll do it myself!!!”

This is how the next week or more goes.  He would ask me or whoever is with us to do something, haven’t ever done it before and expect us to know what he means.  This frustrates the hell out of me but I really wanted this experience.  So I stick with it.

Our first day sailing went really good all in all.  We had two tourist with us from France.  Both of which got sea sick.  I never felt any kind of sickness and still have no idea what people are talking about.

We also saw 3 dolphins, a few seals and in the harbor there were 50 or more jellyfish.

Here are a few pictures from that day.

A few days later, we go out again with two young french girls.  The trip was a mirror image of our first trip.  The two girls got sea sick, I didn’t.  I don’t think I have this jean.  We again saw dolphins, seals and I got a lessen on being patient with Dragos.

Dragos says he is enjoying my company and offers to find a 3rd person to go with us on a 3 day trip.  Honestly I did not want to go, I wanted to leave and completely forgot about ever meeting this dude, but at the same time I force myself and say, lets do it!

A couple of days later Dragos has found a young German girl who is extremely excited to go and we finalize the details and meet at the boat.

Leaving the slip was easy as I have done it twice now and know what he expects.  We hit the ocean and have a days sail until we arrive at the river opening, where there is a dolphin reserve.  This is were we will anchor for a few nights.

Getting here was relaxing.  Lots of big waves and I am enjoying the bouncing around.  Annie doesn’t get sea sick, and she ends up being an amazing girl for this trip.  Outgoing, funny, sweet, and nice to look at, 🙂  Her and I have some great times over the next few days.

When we arrive at the river opening, we sail as long as we can, and then we bring down the sails and cruise in under motor.

I handed over the steering to Annie, as I have done this enough in my past, and she has never.  As you can see, she loves it.

We finally arrive at the mooring hook and hookup.  The area is beautiful!

Annie and I jump in and swim.  The water is so warm, almost like swimming in pee.
ANNIE, you didn’t!

That night we pumped up the dingy and went for a short cruise around the area to see what we can do tomorrow.

When we got back to the boat, the sun was setting and this was our view.  The night sky was perfectly clear and amazing for star gazing.

Later in the night when everyone was asleep, but me.  I was laying there enjoying the quiet when all of a sudden, I hear this snorting and splashing not far from the boat.  I get up and go onto the deck.  I can see from the moonlit water a few dolphins playing and jumping, and coming towards the boat.  Closer and closer they are coming! Just like in the cartoons, where you see them jump up and back down, over and over, making very little ripples in the water.

I am getting really excited and then it happened.  I was leaning over the edge of the boat watching them, and then they disappeared. I thought they left, but NO!  One jumped beside the boat, only inches from my face.  He was so close, I felt water on my face from him.  In that same jump, he also snorted.  Sooo cool!  I can’t believe how close he was.

A split second later, the other two do the same thing.  I am in love with these dolphins.

I can officially die, I have seen everything life can give.  This moment was one of the most amazing moments in my life.

Over the next few minutes, they kept playing not far from the boat.  Absolutely amazing, I love it.

The next morning I tell Annie about it, and she was like, “Next time keep shaking me until I wake up!”

Day two we spend the morning cruising around in the dingy, were we saw the ship graveyard first.

On our way back from the graveyard, we see 3 dolphins following us.  A mom, dad and little one.  I know these are the same dolphins was last night.  My new friends.

The little one was swimming back and forth across the front of the dingy, having so much fun. I swear I saw a smile on his face.  We got some amazing videos and you can see them on YouTube.
Click Me!

However, these pictures and videos came at a cost.  During our excitement, Dragos yells out, “Is anyone videoing?”  I reply, “Yes, I am videoing above and below the water.”,  He asks again, the same questions,  I repeat, my answer.  He then says, “If SOMEONE DOESN’T START DOING VIDEO, I AM STOPPING THE  DINGY AND THE DOLPHINS WILL GO AWAY!” I turn around and aggressively, say, “I am fucking videoing!”.

This somewhat kills the mood for me, but then I see the little dolphin playing, and I quickly forget all about Dragos.

Eventually the dolphins take off and we head back to the boat for some drinks and sunblock.

A short bit pasts and Dragos suggest we go into this little canal which goes through the mangroves.   Sounds cool!

The canal water is too low for us to use the motor, so we paddle in.

First Annie and Dragos were paddling, but Dragos was being his normal self, telling Annie she is amateur and doesn’t know how to paddle.  This wasn’t actually the case.  I have a tone of experience, and could see the issue was him.  He only did power strokes with 100% of the paddle in the water.  Any experience person knows this is incorrect and would compensate for the other person.  He also tells Annie she can paddle backwards.  I nicely tell him there is no such thing as paddling backwards.  The person in the back does a Forward, Draw or J Stoke to keep the boat moving forward in the direction he wants.  He ignores me and continues telling her she is doing it wrong.

I am not sure how much longer I can deal with this dude, but now I have no choice. I am on a boat with him, and my luggage is at his house.

I take over for Annie and every time he does his power stroke, I do one harder and force the boat in his direction, annoying the hell out of him.  After a few minutes of fun Annie wanted to take back over.  She is a persistent little one and that is one reason I really enjoyed being around her.

We head back because the misquotes are eating us alive and a tree was blocking our route.

When we get back to the boat, Annie and I go for another swim and Dragos ends up going for a sleep saying he isn’t feeling well.  I think he got to much sun.

That evening Annie and I watched the sunset and had a few beers together.  Was a great end to a long day, full of sun.

It is now the 3rd day, time to tie up the dingy and prepare for our voyage home.

Dragos starts bringing up our back anchor, when we both realize it is snagged around an old mooring chain.  He was able to use one of the wenches to bring the chain and our anchor about half way up.  I could see if I looked a rope through the chain, we could lower the anchor and then release the chain.  Of coarse Dragos is scared of water, so he tells me to get into the dingy to do this.  I suggested I just jump in, because it will be easier.  Nope, he says use the dingy.

OK, so I use the dingy and I can’t really reach it from the dingy.  Guess what comment comes out of dickheads mouth, “Why didn’t you jump in?”  I reply, “You said use the dingy!”  Anyways, I got it looped and he tells me it is wrong, I quickly respond back, “No, it is correct, pull it up now!”  It unhooks right away, and we are now free.

Funny, I never heard a thanks.  However, I did hear him explaining to Annie how he fixed it!

Only one day remaining.

Our trip back to the harbor was actually an easy one and rather uneventful.  I think I am getting better at ignoring him.

The water is super calm along the rocks where the seals are hanging out.  We anchor down and Annie jumps in to swim with the seals.  I sit back and watch, but with reason.  I was hoping the seals would fallow her back, so I can jump in the water when they are close.  Yup! I am lazy today.

My plan works, the seals are almost along side the boat.  Annie gets out and I jump in.
Check out the end of this video to see them!
Click me for video!

Our trip is finally over.  We are now at the slip, hooked up and ready to go.

Even though Dragos is a condescending, not self-aware, god like complex guy.  I still had an amazing time.  I do now realize I still do not know how to deal with these types of people, but I am learning patience.  In the past I would have blown up and told the guy where to go on several occasions, but this time I just ignored it and enjoyed the amazing views.

Annie, you are an amazing girl!  Keep living life and being the sweet person you are.
Don’t forget, “I am going pee” and “I want to see” sound a lot like with a German accent.

Until next time!


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