So it turns out that we have an awesome friend, whose dad not only owns a boat, but was awesome enough to let us all tag along on a trip to Rottnest. So this is the story of how a random idea about a Pokemon hunt turned into a family outing.
Originally I wasn’t going to tag along, thinking this literally was just a Pokemon hunt, but the whole family were invited and it seemed mean to deprive the kids of an extremely rare chance to take a private boat trip to Rottnest. That said, it wasn’t until the morning that I finally decided to go along.
In the end there were well over a dozen of us hitching a ride (some of whom, in true Perth fashion, it turned out I knew from twitter). The Kinderbeast proved to be a big hit all round, managing to get all manner of strangers/fellow passengers to lug him around the various parts of the boat. The Elderbeast scored himself a co-pilot’s seat. Finally everyone was assembled and we were set for a pleasant cruise over to Rottnest.
Or so we thought.
Let’s talk a little bit about seasickness.
I’ll say quite honestly that the thought of being sick on the trip hadn’t even remotely occurred to me. It was a small boat, short trip, fine day–in my naiveté I figured that meant seasickness just wasn’t a thing that was going to happen. So I settled in the main cabin, with a few others, including Stormy and prepared to enjoy the ride. After twenty minutes or so of constant bumping around I’ll confess I did start to feel a mite nauseous. Fortunately, sitting back and closing my eyes seemed to help quite a lot. Then I become aware of some movement beside me: one of our friends is cleaning up the sofa with some handy kitchen roll. I realise that the Kinderbeast has puked all over the seat. And all over himself. And also all over me. I look over and the cabin has turned into a pukefest: one friend with her head in a bag, the other looking pure green while presiding over a formerly empty cardboard box. Our friend with the kitchen roll wipes up the worst of the damage, then flies to the back of the boat to join in the chorus. I continue to wipe up while just about managing to retain the contents of my own stomach.
Fortunately it’s getting near the end of the journey. The Kinderbeast is distraught, but we’re moving slowly enough now to go and stand by the back of the boat and get some fresh air … while I continue to mop up the apparent acres of puke that he’s adorned himself with.
Then, finally, land! We stagger onto the island and find a shady spot to relax in, and perhaps eat a tonne or two of crisps. Salty goodness! Must be my sea legs kicking in. After that: pie, because Rottnest is all about the eating. As we eat, the Kinderbeast starts to really kick it off with our host: it makes me very happy and proud to see him bonding so well with someone he’s never met before.
The decision is then made to hire some bicycles in order to achieve the Pokemon hunting goal of the day. I abstain, deciding that cycling with the Kinderbeast in tow will be too much hard work. We find a nearby playground to hang out at, and I watch the Kinderbeast as he successfully engages in a game of imaginary pirates with some other five-year-olds … and then less successfully with a group of ten-year-olds that show up a little later. I call him over and suggest he tries being a little less bossy, but I think he quietly decides I’m just full of crap.
It seems almost no time before Rach comes to join us, having decided that cycling isn’t agreeing with her knee, and we abscond to Dome for some much-needed coffee. Shortly after, we’re also joined by the Elderbeast and Hedgie. I grab twenty minutes of peace and quiet, while the others go to return bikes and look for more Pokemon, and use the time to get started on Hidden Figures–which I’m already hooked on by the time everyone returns.
We regroup with the others and decide it’s time for more pie, but somehow pie turns into ice cream and no one complains about that at all. Apart from the Elderbeast who seems to not like ice cream. I wonder if he’s really mine sometimes …
Once ice cream is consumed, the various members of our party disappear in search of further Pokemon. We few who remain take the bus over to Longreach Bay, where our ride is docked. The others gradually join us. Much fun is had taking the tiny dinghy back over to the boat (which, we find out, almost drifted away earlier). We have an hour or so to chill out and snack. Some people go for a swim. Stormy renews his acquaintance with the various other passengers. Then it’s time to leave.
We learn from our mistakes and chug down some anti-nausea tablets, and choose different seats. The Kinderbeast sits upstairs (the scene of No Puking on the outbound journey) with Rach, and I decided to stand at the back of the boat, in the open air: I reason that staying on my feet will make it easier to move with the boat and hopefully not end up feeling less sick.
Something works, or everything does, because no one pukes on the way back. I visit the top of the boat a few times, and get to enjoy the sight of a speeding boat being pulled over by the river police. I find myself marvelling at sheer number of huge cargo ships that line our path. Fremantle may be tiny on the map, but the docks sure seem to bring in the big business.
Then we’re back at the boat club and, in the nicest way possible, urged to leave the boat quickly so the owners can get on with the cleaning up. We head home, relax for a bit on the sofa, then head to bed. Shattered.