Everyone calls him Sailor Dave, but he doesn’t sail. He has an eighteen foot caravan – he calls it ‘the frigate’ – he says it’s like his ship on dry land. And also he’s partial to a Bundy and dry. Sailor Dave likes the wanderer’s life. This is what he does. He checks in to a caravan park and gets to know the locals. Finds out the good fishing spots and catches a few, flathead mostly. Cleans the BBQ with a slosh of his beer. The barbie in Greenwell Point is where it happens. He is there talking about the cricket and the government and the old days and the right way to cook a steak. That fella Gus is there, half listening. Sailor Dave is a bit of a gas bagger if you really want to know. Luckily Gus can tune out, quite easily. It’s a skill. For a while he looks across the pool to where Pearl is sitting in the shade and doing the crossword. Gus thinks, she’s a looker. He thinks, I’m admiring her. Not in a pervy way, but from afar, like a gentleman. Respectfully. Sailor Dave is banging on with some story about a radio shock jock and an MP and a scandal and it’s kind of ruining it for Gus, this moment of admiring Pearl. Gus has been propping himself up on the brickwork of the barbie,  but now he steps back and goes for another beer. ‘Steady on mate,’ he says. ‘ And that’s when I realise this story is about Gus and that Sailor Dave is really not such a good fellow.


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