Monday, February 22, 2010

The Fleet

From the air, this was a sight to behold. At first, from a distance, I thought I could see a thunderhead that had slipped its moorings from a storm to the south. And then I thought the genetic engineering that had made the Waggas so huge had afflicted a kookaburra. It was massive: ten storeys high with beams of light shooting out from its eyes and beak. Yet when I angled my glider closer, riding the thermals that spiral off Box Head, I could see that it was a hot-air balloon, with the Symbolists hanging over the edge of the basket. They raved at me as I sailed past, holding up signs and throwing items of clothing and sheets of paper.
Below them, white lines were cutting the surface of Broken Bay. About two miles out from Lion Island, a diverse and bizarre fleet was ploughing its way north. There were, as I said in my earlier report, tall ships, canoes, kayaks, jet skis and game fishing boats. But now other craft had joined them. Amid the whitewaterlines and rooster-tails of spray, I could see a periscope cutting a thin line through the waves. And out behind it a pale, angular shape emerged through veils of spindrift. It was a pyramid of naked poets, water-skiing in the wash of an oyster punt. To the left of this insane apparition, a Maori war canoe was ratcheting its bladed way into the morning. Even from within my streamlined, wind-lifted glider I could hear the drums and singing as I went over. There were dinghies, bass boats and gin-palaces with poets falling over themselves on deck. There were cabin cruisers and long-liners up from Bermagui, pontoons, Scandinavian and Nova Scotian cod boats. A single helicopter clattered back and forth like a desert drover, keeping things in order.
I left them to make their way to The Island and banked south. I think just the sight of this madness might be enough to make the Waggaists turn and run!
Your friend in the air
David W. Foster

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