Dowager Goes to the Movies

Dowager's 371 Jimmy cranks over four times, then stops

Count: 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10

Again Jimmy grinds, then takes, then roars to life

Rumbling away, Dowager wakes up shaking like a dog

Sigred & Fred scurry around

"Careful! Careful of me!" Dowager chants

After much anxiety, commotion and controlled chaos

Sigred, Fred & Dowager head off into the sunrise

"I'm going to be a Movie Star" Dowager ponders

"Ho hum… Patrol vessel, police boat, hospital, jail, marine laboratory, home

And now movie star. What next?

All in a day's work"

Dowager is content

She purrs as she glides through the water

The trip is uneventful. Sigred takes pictures of awesome beauty and writes in her Booky. Fred chatters about his work & Dowager & his friend Hendritch & all the kids & the price of tea in China. Dowager purrs & glides & chants, "Be careful with me! Purrrrr. Watch out for that crab trap! Swoosh, purr. Oh look over there, there's a deadhead. Look! Look!"

"They want us to anchor here", Fred explains to Sigred not hiding his own anxiety.

"Here!" Dowager exclaims. "I've only got 200 feet of chain! The water's 150 feet deep here! You can't anchor me here! And look! A ferry comes in here. Look! This is NOT a good place to anchor me! Are you crazy!"

"Here!" Sigred exclaims. "We can't anchor here! We've only got 200 feet of chain and the bottom's 150 feet deep. And look!" Sigred points. "A ferry docks over there! We'll rock and roll right off the chain at the first ferry landing if not before!"

Fred sighs. Dowager & Sigred wait anxiously.

"These boat wranglers are good! They're going to sort of tie all the boats together so they can keep us stable. I don't know how they'll do it but I'm sure they will. This is the movies Sigred. What they want, they'll get. Don't worry, they'll keep an eye on us. At night we'll raft to that bigger boat over there." Fred points. "These guys are professionals. Don't worry Sigred."

"What about me!" Dowager exclaims.

"OK Fred" Sigred sighs.

Dowager watches as only a dowager can watch as the boat wranglers go about their business. Sigred & Fred watch with mixed anxiety, excitement and admiration. In no time at all the boat wranglers have done their thing. Much shouting is required. It appears that four other boats, besides Dowager, have been hired for the shoot. Sigred & Fred peek out the windows somewhat in awe of all the goings on.Once things have settled down the wranglers do the rounds of the boats and pick all passengers up in their launch.

"Ready for something to eat!?" they shout.

Upon reaching the shore Sigred & Fred are introduced to the Captain of the boat they're to raft up to during the night.

"Do you mind?" they inquire. "We've only got 200 feet of chain."

"Not at all" is the gracious reply.

"Here come the boat people!" the wranglers shout, herding the boat people into a van for a short ride up a hill to the main camp of the movie set.

"Here's the boat people" the wranglers shout, herding the boat people through the process of the catered lunch line.

"Isn't it beautiful here!" Sigred gushes to Kriss (one of the boat people & neighbour of Dowager et al) whilst stuffing herself with a gourmet lunch.

"After you've finished eating, gather at the launch" the wranglers shout. "When we take you back to your boats, REMEMBER to stay below. No peeking!"

"How can I keep an anchor watch then?" Fred mumbles to Sigred.

"Don't worry about your boats. We'll see nothing happens to you or your vessels!" the wranglers shout reading Fred's mind or his lips. (Professional: having heard all the questions before.)

Meanwhile, on her own, Dowager too admires the scenery.

"I wish I could................


Dowager ponders, wondering at all the commotion.

"Why are all these boats here where they shouldn't be?

Hello!" Dowager nods to a pretty little sailboat.


"It's a movie about electricity" the pretty little sailboat explains.

"No it's not!" the beautiful converted pocket seiner rumbles. "It's a sequel" the seiner counsels.

"What's a sequel?" Dowager inquires.


"I'm to have one of the stars riding on me" advises an exquisite troller. "Only makes sense as I'm a Star myself" the troller continues.

Much shifting on water & dangling of hooks then takes place as the others boats attempt to ignore the bravado.

"What's a star?" Dowager finally asks.

"We use them to steer by" the seiner explains. Sea gulls squawk. A wrangler circles the boats keeping watch. Dowager takes note that Sigred & Fred are coming home.

"Shhhhhh" she whispers. "Shhhhh".

"Let me get this straight" Sigred muses out loud to Fred. "The ferry is going to be coming in and backing out. We're to stay below until they sound the all clear."

"Right" Fred confirms. "They're actually mostly shooting from the ferry to Kriss' boat. One of the Stars is already on it. Look he's taking a picture of us!"

"Do you know who it is?" Sigred interrupts anxious to have a name to give to her kids when they ask.

"I don't know. I heard he was on ER or some other show like that. We should ask Kriss next time we see him."

"What's the movie about?" Sigred interrupts again.

"I don't know" Fred replies somewhat frustrated. "All I know is that they're paying us fantastic money, giving us a working holiday and feeding us great grub! Isn't that enough?"

"Oh sure!" Sigred laughs. "I'm not complaining but you know, Hope or Faith or Ferdinand or Freedom are bound to ask. I've never even heard of Elektra! Maybe we should get out more.

Fred laughs. Dowager ponders E…L…E…K…T…R…. Sigred laughs too.

"We get out plenty!" all of them say at the same time "Look where we are!"

Dowager is not heard in the crowd. Sigred & Fred go below & play trivial pursuit & eat apples as supplied by the wranglers.

"I wish I could read........................................." Dowager ponders. "I'm sure that sign on the launch means something.


Perhaps if I try really hard I'll figure it out".

"Take action!" Dowager self admonishes. "That's what I do and it's always worked before. Take action!" Dowager sets to pondering all the letters she's seen or heard before ~ Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo... (!)

After much to-ing and fro-ing of the boat wranglers & the ferry and after much shouting of SILENCE & "Can't you keep those boats still!" the all clear finally sounds. Sigred &Fred cautiously climb to the wheelhouse and peek out. Once again the wranglers are gathering the boat people for dinner. The atmosphere in the launch is one of repressed excitement. "What was the Star like?" Sigred asks Kriss impatient for details.

"Just a guy" Kriss replies laconic. "He liked my boat even though he bumped his head a couple of times before he learned to duck."

All the boat people chuckled at the ignorance of souls from The Hard.

"Here come the boat people!" the wranglers again announce as everyone is herded to the catering bus and back. "Here come the boat people!"

Dowager's anchor is lifted and the wranglers deal with the tie lines stringing the vessels together. Dowager and the lovely pocket seiner raft together and Sigred & Fred & the Captain of the seiner compare notes before it's lights out.

"How much are they paying you!?"

The next day is more of the same ~ more "Here come the boat people", more to-ing and fro-ing, more "SILENCE" and more "Can't you keep those boats still!" shouted at the top of large lungs. When the all-clear horn is blasted Sigred & Fred & Dowager are all quite exhausted.

"All we did was sit around all day, go for a couple of launch & van rides and eat, how come we're all so tired?" Sigred asks.

"It's the anticipation" Dowager comments but is not heard.

The wranglers untie the lines keeping the boats in camera ready position.

"We're going tonight" Kriss shouts to Fred "Want to join the convoy?"

"Na" Fred replies smiling. "We're headed to Centre Bay for a night on the hook. We'll go home tomorrow. It's been a long two days and we don't want to push it."

Kriss smiles and waves as he heads out, Commodore of a small but fine convoy, minus one.

Dowager nods to Kriss' troller, waves to the pretty little sail boat, thanks the gorgeous pocket seiner for the safe harbour, winks at the funky prawn boat and heads over to Centre Bay glad in her wooden dowager boat heart she'll get a decent dangle on the hook.

"E...L...E...K...T...R..." Dowager chants.

"Elektr...a. I wonder what that means? I wonder why they left off the 'A'? I wish I could read..... better..........................................."

Dowager contemplates, purring & cautioning & doing the best she can, gliding through the water, dangling on her hook, going on about her own special business. "Careful! Careful of me! Careful!" Dowager chants. "Look! A seal. Hi Ms Seal hi! Purrrrr.