Back to Bundy and Bliss
I ladle half a dozen oysters on each plate and add a wedge of lemon. Ice crystals cling to the shells that still smell of the sea. Greg pours a cold McGuigans Chardonnay into four blue-stemmed goblets for Pat, Gunter and me. The Pacific Bliss salon table is set festively, three teal candles burning softly to enhance the cozy ambience.
“Cheers,” says Gunter, lifting his glass of pale gold. “Here’s to being back on Bliss!” Plexiglass has a unique clink, I notice, as I savor the sip of Aussie wine, distilled near Newcastle where Pat and Greg lived before they began cruising on Rascal Too. Our friends met our plane in Brisbane and magnanimously drove us along the Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg.
The oysters slither down my throat as Pat checks the next course sizzling
on the stove—fresh scallops fried in butter, with the roe nestled
alongside. Pat comes from a fishing family and knows her seafood. I
roll the hot crumb coating in my mouth, contrasting with the succulent
texture of the scallops, and let myself flow with the sensuous of it
all. This is our first meal back on board and I want it to be special.
The main course is prawn sandwiches: whole meal bread topped with arugula
salad, a light tomato dressing, and giant prawns. Simple and delicate,
and oh, so good!
Tomorrow, our friends will leave and we will begin to tackle lists of work to be done on Pacific Bliss, our second home. But tonight, We think of all the reasons why we’re happy to be back: basking in the friendly hospitality of Australia and seeing our Aussie friends again; fulfilling our dreams of cruising the Great Barrier Reef; and looking forward to touring parts the vast hinterlands.