Audioscape of a holiday

Gentle drone of the motor boat as it passes at the regulation 10 kph so as not to make any wake to disturb the jetties, dad with his arm in a sling his two kids possibly 4 and 6 years of age ‘fishing’.

‘Catch any fish?’ I call down for the top of the ramp. Rods taller than me, he reels in the line ‘have I got anything yet?’ He shouts to dad. ‘Not yet. Leave it in the water.’ Cap tilted back, his young eyes look up squinting and follows it as the hook hurls threw the air and lands with a small splash in the slowly moving river.

Two teenage girls slide by on stand-up paddle boards. Effortless, their arms guide the oars through the water. Large catamarans pull against their anchor chains, all facing into the wind or is it the current? Swirling Dream Catcher taller than the others, sits back nestled against goatless Goat island. White hulls, tinted windows, sailcloth packed away and covers tied tight, they’re sleeping, resting waiting. Mangrove trees edging the water, sand bars popping up in the middle of the river to negotiate.

Water ripples, silver lines glinting in all different directions, glare forcing me to squint.

‘Dad? Dad!’ Mum lays on the plastic sun lounger absorbed in her book. Kids throwing a ball to each other in the pool. Squeals of delight, laughter, splashes. The ball landing atop lush bushes just out of reach.

‘Don’t run’ shouts mum without looking up.

And this morning it’s been washed anew. Constant rain trickling down from the tree canopy above,

Only the dedicated fisher people out on the river today. Huddled under the calico tops, one dry spot between the river below and the rain surrounding them. Others have given and just accept that they’re going to get wet one way or another. A hot shower and a cuppa coffee will sort them out when they get home.

It’s not the rain itself that makes the noise but the objects it falls on. The tight large sunshades boy the pool, the edge of the glass table poking out from below the verandah, the aqua blue infinity pool reaching out over the river’s edge. Intermittent drops fall front the canopy above, filtered through the palm trees. The drain pipe to the right as it empties into the gutter.

Somewhere across the lawn a tv plays quietly as families go about their breakfast routines.

‘Addy, Addy, Addison. ‘

‘Come on let’s go. ‘

‘But it’s raining’

‘It’s not too bad. At least it’s not pouring.’

‘Slow down!’

A larger boat speeding in head-on, two white curls as it carves through the still river water. Around the green marker and it turns revealing itself as Coast Guard blue letters against yellow hull. It slows and pulls hard right or should that be starboard.

The two resident ducks fly in low to land on the pool, the only users of the pool this morning. Bobbing below and ruffling their feathers, they seem happy to frolic and they’re the quietest swimmers the pool has seen these last few days.

Tables and chairs being rearranged on the balcony below. Dragging across the tiles without understanding of the din it causes below.

The ferry steams along, its pre-recorded commentary playing to an empty vessel in contrast to the sunset trip last night with its crowded roof top.


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