Arriving In Sydney Harbor Bay And Flying The Flag.
The Beer and Flies vessel slowed, the Captain at the bridge with Ziv by his side, manning the radar system. As the crew’s ship cruised slowly into the bay, the Opera House stood out in the evening sky, with the arch of the Sydney Harbor Bridge behind it.
‘Beautiful,’ said Nicole, ‘look at that sunset!’
‘Quite something,’ I said.
‘How high do you think that Opera House is?’ said David, the ship’s Quartermaster.
‘No idea,’ I said, ‘why?’
‘Oh, just a thought,’ said David, ‘just a passing thought…’
‘I think it’s about 65 metres,’ said Nicole, taking a photo.
‘How do you know that?’ I asked.
‘She used to be a surveyor,’ piped in Jay.
‘Really?!’ I said, looking at Nicole, totally shocked.
‘No!’ she said, laughing, ‘God you’re gullible, I was just reading the Rough Guide To Australia, I’ve always wanted to see the Opera House, especially from the Harbor!’
Jay and David were slapping me on the back, laughing, ‘Seriously gullible my man!’ said David.
‘Well, I’ve been called worse,’ I said, ‘no reason she didn’t used to be!’
The journey down the East coast of Australia had been glorious; all barbecues, testing the bar supplies the hotel had donated to us, huge sunsets over the warm ocean, dolphins chasing the ship hoping for snacks of barbecued fish… And yet, somehow, as we entered the Sydney Harbor I had an ominous feeling building in my belly, like a strange foreboding.
‘That’s Taronga Zoo over there,’ said Nicole, pointing across the bay towards the East shore of the bay.
‘We obviously won’t be needing a tour guide!’ joked David.
The Captain shut down the engine, ‘How deep is it here?’ he asked Ziv, ‘just do a quick sonar of the depths.’
‘Yes, Captain, already on it…’ replied Ziv.
‘How’s it looking?’ asked the Captain.
‘It’s only about 30 metres right here Captain, ’ said Ziv.
‘Drop the anchor, we’ll camp here tonight,’ said the Captain, stepping away from the controls and looking out the window, ‘great view, don’t you think?’
‘Looks interesting,’ said Ziv, staring at the Metatron radar screen.
‘Not on the equipment, out the window!’
‘Sorry Captain, just guiding the anchor down,’ said Ziv, quickly looking up, ‘yea, looks great actually.’
There was soft running up the stairs to the bridge, and Nicole burst in, ‘Why are we stopping Captain?’
‘What do you mean?’ asked the Captain, ‘where do you suggest we stop, we don’t want to get much closer to the shore or the Coast Guard might check on why we aren’t paying a docking fee!’
‘What about the hotel?’ asked Nicole.
‘What hotel?’ asked the Captain, baffled.
‘Well, I was reading in the Rough Guide to Australia that there’s a lovely hotel next to the Opera House.’ said Nicole.
‘Okay,’ said the Captain, ‘we’ll check in there tomorrow, but tonight we’ll just bunk down here.’
‘Aye aye, Sir,’ said Nicole, mock saluting before jogging back out of the door, down the stairs and back to the front of the ship, camera in hand.
The Captain looked at Ziv, wrinkling his eyebrows, ‘What’s the deal with that?’ he asked.
‘Oh, she’s been looking forward to visiting Sydney, Sir, she’s been reading up on it all the way here!’
‘Okay,’ said the Captain, ‘at least we won’t need a tour guide while we’re here!’
The crew were already asleep after a good celebratory session at the bar as David walked quietly down the passageway, boots tied by the laces around his neck. He slipped quietly into Scott’s room, ‘Wake up!’ he whispered loudly, ‘wake up, we got work to do!’
‘What is it, what time is it?’ said Scott, half asleep.
‘Don’t you worry about that, I’m going to get Jay, meet us on deck in 2 minutes flat!’ David hoarsely whispered.
The speed boat dropped quietly into the water on the side of the ship. Then three figures climbed down a rope, dropping into the boat.
‘Quietly,’ said David, ‘here, row!’ he said, handing Scott and Jay a wooden paddle each.
‘Jeez, what’s wrong with the engine?’ asked Scott.
‘It’s supposed to be a surprise!’ said David.
They paddled quietly away from the ship under the full moon, the light dancing on the waves. 500 metres away from the boat, ‘Should be okay now,’ said David, and he revved the engine and they sped towards the shore.
Scanning the shoreline, with the engine off, the three figures in a speed boat drifted between the yachts in the marina. Slipping in behind a huge luxury yacht Jay tied the boat to the moorings and they got out and climbed up the ladder onto the pier.
‘Where are we going?’ asked Jay, looking at David, marching ahead of himself and Scott.
David looked over his shoulder, ‘The bridge my friends, we’re going to that bridge.’
‘What’s in your rucksack?’ asked Scott.
‘You’ll see!’ said David.
‘Oh God, no, please don’t tell me it’s explosives!’ said Scott, ‘we’ve only just arrived, shouldn’t we do that on our way out?’
‘It’s not explosives you fool!’ hissed David, Quartermaster, ‘you know I hate waste, and keep your voice down, there’s a guard over there!’
45 minutes later they were standing under the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
‘Now what?’ said Jay.
‘We’re not impressed,’ whispered Scott, ‘all this mystery!’
‘Okay, okay,’ said David, ‘here, look!’ he said, taking the bulging bag off his back, ‘take a look for yourself…’
‘Haha, you genius,’ said Scott.
‘Spot on,’ said Jay, ‘absolutely perfect!’
The next morning, on board the Beer and Flies, Nicole was up early, just after sunrise.
‘Come on guys, it’s going to be a big day!’ she said, walking down the passageway, knocking on the doors, ‘Breakfast is ready!’
Up on deck, Nicole had prepared a huge spread of food, a buffet equal to anything in a hotel!
The crew slowly gathered, ‘Where are the rest of you boys?’ she asked, ‘I’ll go get them, tuck in guys, don’t wait up!’
A few minutes later David, Scott and Jay staggered up the stairs to the deck from the sleeping quarters below, bleary eyes, with Nicole behind them, ‘Come on guys, I’ve made breakfast!’
As they stepped onto the deck the Captain was instantly suspicious, ‘What’s happened to you lot?’ he asked.
‘Well, uh,’ said Jay.
‘We were busy,’ said Scott.
‘Last night?’ said the Captain, standing up.
‘Well, uh, Captain, we thought we needed a bit more publicity for the show tomorrow night.’
‘And…’ growled the Captain.
David pointed across the bow of the ship.
‘Oh my God!’ shouted Nicole, ‘it’s… it’s…’
‘It’s perfect,’ said Mad Myx.
The crew looked, waiting, at the Captain, who just stared.
‘It’s…’ said the Captain, ‘it’s…. Perfect! Well done boys!’
The band cheered.
Across the bay, hanging from the Sydney Harbor Bridge, was a huge Beer and Flies flag, hanging down the front of the top half of the bridge.
‘Amazing,’ said Mad Myx, ‘I’ll tell you what boys, looks like you need a few hairs of a dog, and I’ve invented a new cocktail for a moment just like this.’