Growing up in Bondi meant living on and around the water of both Sydney Harbour and the beautiful beaches of the East Coast of Australia. Boats were part of my life and everyone seemed to have one. They ranged from the small run-abouts that were used to get people from one place to another, to the larger fishing boats that could haul in some big game. But the greatest pleasure of all was sailing in a yacht on Sydney Harbour.
The magnificence of this water-way has to be experienced to fully appreciate all that it offers. It has many coves and beaches, with lots of stop-off points for food and recreation.
The first time we went cruising was when a group of us hired a yacht for the day. It left Milson’s point around 8 am and took about four hours to reach the North Head area where a beautiful beach allowed us to anchor and dive in and swim to shore.
The day was perfect and around 28 degrees Celsius. The slight breeze was enough to make it even more pleasant. The company was also great and everyone had a ball. Once on shore the barbecue was set up and lunch was soon provided.
My family had always sailed here. My father and brother used to do it in small racers when they were part of the sailing clubs that existed in their day. From what they told during the many stories of adventure they were rather small boats that took some work to keep upright or be dunked. These type of craft are still seen around the shores today.
As the yacht sailed back up the harbour after we had enjoyed a great lunch and swim it was fun just to lie on the deck and allow the mind to escape into a fanciful mode of dreams. The large sails reaching high over our heads reminded us that it was the wind driving the boat along with very little sound, except for when the call to tack was heard.
As the day drew to a close my memories were cemented into that special place where good things are kept alive. With only those flashbacks of something that is unforgettable it is with regret that such may never be experienced again. Now I rarely even get to visit Sydney but when I do it is the harbour that still stands out as the best part of it.