The weather portents were as bad as could be on Wednesday with black skies, thunder and cloudbursts. But Thursday morning dawned clear and nine youthful Bearbrass members rocked up to the catamaran terminal in Victoria Harbor with shining eager faces.
The trip out was morning magic with a kaleidoscope of views from the open back of the boat as we cruised past moored freighters of every description and configuration. 
At the port our courtesy bus was waiting to whisk us to Jack Rabbit Vineyard overlooking the bay. The gap till lunch was filled with relaxed conversation and compulsory biographical tales. 
We had been alerted that mains courses were so generous no entrees or desserts were required, as this proved correct. Jack Rabbit’s reputation for food elegance was well deserved. We split from the restaurant at 2pm to be bused to Port Arlington’s main street and shopping there to rival any Paris excursion to Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées. All this time the sun bathed us in kindly rays.
We made sure to get back to the ferry on time, having been told that it wouldn’t wait even for VIPs such as ourselves. Half way home the skies went black and a few minutes from the wharf the rain bucketed down. The crew handed out free serviceable ponchos which were vitally needed. Despite removing her shoes, one lissom barefooted member managed to slip elbow over turkey en route to parked car but without damage other than to dignity. Another damp stalwart boarded his tram which set off for Coburg  and then broke down midway and he finished his  trip on foot in a squelchy fashion. Beyond argument it was a wonderful day to offset two years of lockdown confinement.