|The Vagabond as I remember her growing up|
The wedding boat in 1997
When the Beach or holidays are mentioned, I think of the Vagabond.
The smell of diesel always reminds me of the Vagabond.
The Vagabond was a big part of my childhood; most weekend and every school holidays. She was built in 1958 by my grandfather and uncle and passed to my father, when Granddad died.
The Vagabond had a distinctive chug chug chug sound, which could be heard for miles. I remember my Nanna listening out for it and then I would follow Nanna into the back yard, where she would look out to check if it was returning. She would then start cooking for the men returning from fishing. I was only 6 when she died, so it is an early memory.
|My Grandfather and Uncle took 2 years to build the Vagabond, which was launched|
4th October 1958.
You can read more here.
As a child, I loved it when dad would get up close to the Entrance of the 90 Mile Beach. I really liked it when the boat would rock furiously in the waves. I remember mum yelling at me to get inside the boat as I would be on the side and hold on to the railing with no life jacket on (maybe this was the first indication that I would like theme park rides?).
|My grandfather, Gordon Walker aboard the Vagabond|
I have many vivid memories of the Vagabond;
- When we drove into the Beach, the Vagabond was always moored in a prime position, across the channel from the jetty.
- The first time I saw a dolphin was when I was aboard the Vagabond. I thought it was a shark!
- Dad holding me and letting me steer the boat but I couldn't see where we were going
- Pretending to steer the Vagabond from the rudder at the back of the boat
- Getting my fingers pinched in the cables that controlled the steering that ran along the side the boat
- Jumping up on the seat when a Flathead was flapping around as I didn't want to get spiked.
- Leaning over the side and washing bait from my hands by using the the water coming out the side of the Vagabond from the bilge pump.
- My mother's panic when my little sister (who was only a toddler) had fallen off the jetty and was in the water between the jetty and the Vagabond.
|The life jackets were similar to these|
Image Source: www.ebay.co.uk
- The old dirty life jackets that were stored in the Bow, which smelt like diesel. We only wore them when we were playing in the water. We would try (always unsuccessfully) to sink or go under the water wearing them. Even multiple kids sitting on them would not sink them! A lot of fun trying to sink them!
- There was no toilet aboard the Vagabond and we would need to to into the cabin, shut the door and use a bucket for a toilet, which would then be emptied overboard.
- Sitting in the sun on the engine box reading a book when the Vagabond was running. It was very warm, noisy and rattled/vibrated.
- I liked to sit on the "Flying Bridge" when the Vagabond was motoring (but Mum didn't like it). I don't think anyone could ever tell me why it was called a "Flying Bridge" as it just didn't make sense to me.
- Rowing from the jetty to the Vagabond and then swimming and diving from the boat.
- Holding my breath and swimming under the Vagabond. Initially the width and then the length as we became more confident. Don't think Mum and Dad knew about this.
- The Vagabond being up on the Slips, having barnacles removed and being painted. It seemed so much bigger out of the water.
- Asking Dad to change the colour and being told that "Marine Orange and White are safest and easily spotted from the air in an emergency"
- Being told to stop winding and casting, winding and casting and to wait patiently for a fish to bite
- Trying to get out of the dinghy into the Vagabond with one leg on each boat, the tide separated the boats and I did the splits, falling into the water, fully clothed. I seem to remember this happening to a cousin too?
- Feeling guilty that my daughter got sun-burnt the first time we took her on the Vagabond (she was only a baby)
- My sister getting married aboard the Vagabond with my son and daughter in the wedding party. We watched on from the jetty
I am sure that I will add further memories and find photos in future.
|The Vagabond in 2013|
New Owner, New Mooring, New Colour
Just not the same!
|This prompt was inspired by Sepia Saturday. Please click to read more posts.|