Well, maybe he’s visiting Australia, but we just happen to be here too, and we got between him and the field artillery.
We’ve been in Brisbane a week doing all of the tourist stuff – museums, churches, botanical gardens, art galleries. Yesterday we shifted to an anchorage in the middle of downtown right off the botanic gardens – it’s a time-honored place for deadbeats and no-accounts to park their boats. It’s a pretty nice place, with nice parks on both sides of the river. Then this morning the Australian military started wheeling field artillery into the park just across the river from us. We didn’t think anything of it.
We went ashore for a walk through the botanic gardens and over to the farmer’s market and ran into a whole lot of police presence and cordons. And barricades stymieing our every twist and turn trying to get to our destination. Turns out that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were coming to town to open the Commonwealth Games tonight. The city leaders were going to greet them in the park just next to us on the north bank. And give them a 21-gun salute from the opposite park on the south bank. And there we were right between the two, staring down the barrels of four four-inch guns.
When we got back to the boat with our fresh produce there were all kinds of police boats running around. Their job was to keep all the boats out of the way. Not safe to be in a moving boat when the guns get fired. But apparently safe to be on an anchored boat in the same place. Not sure how that works, but we got to stay put and plug our ears as the guns were fired right over our heads to greet the Prince and his partner.