It’s not very common in our house for someone to wake up at 3.30am. Well, maybe dad who works crazy long days, but 3.30am, even that’s an hour too early for him. I had never been sailing, or have any knowledge on which rope to pull and which way to ‘hoist’ the sails, before last Tuesday’s adventure on the Sydney Harbour.
A friend of mine, Dave (David Paillas Photography) has recently purchased a little sailing boat, perfect sized for the five of us to jump aboard on. This boat was set for a day full of laughs, rope pulling and of course fun! After our early start we drove a few hours along the coast picking up the ‘crew’ for the day, along with all essentials; ropes, sails and of course ice to keep the prawns cold and the beers extra chill.
With a few pitt stops we soon arrived to Parsley Bay, Vauclause (on the Sydney Harbbour for those that don’t know). Unaware of the time (still pretty early) we loaded the boat and pushed off the fishermen-crowded wharf, under the glistening morning light. With the postcard perfect view of the Opera House sitting just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we headed out in the opposite direction, towards Manly Beach. As the wind was in full swing, we navigated our way out towards Sydney heads. After being just metres away from a huge cargo ship on it’s way out to sea, we sailed our way back towards Shark Beach.
With the anchor dropped, the sun shining and the suncream well and truly soaked in, we took turns jumping over board. If you’ve ever been to shark beach or heard of this beautiful little spot, you will understand by what I mean when I say SHARK NETS. These nets surround the beach, with poles and netting well and truly visible above the water, it’s like swimming in a pool, only the wall is a net and your at a beach.
The only thing is our boat, was out past the nets. Seeing the nets, realising how deep it is and that we are on the same side of the net as the Sharks made the swim to shore quite a quick one! Lucky me, I jumped in last when everyone was almost to shore, I screamed for Dwi to wait and being the gentleman he is, he bobbed up and down in the ‘sharky’ water. (It isn’t really sharky! I just imagine it with seeing all the netting around!).
The swim ashore turned it to short walk up to a look out over the harbour, a pretty spectacular view! With seeing the Harbour Bridge in the distance, it was only fair that out next destination, after swimming back to the boat of course, was going to be the city sights of the Bridge and the Opera House.
As the limes were dropped into our beers and the distance between swims grew, having no toilet on board soon took its toll, especially for us girls! As the wind dropped and we slowed in speed, the girls took turns hanging off the ladder at back of the boat or as I would announce, ‘I’m going for a ‘swim”. This was definitely not as simple as it sounds, a moving boat, water spraying in your face and not to mention the burning thighs as you lowered yourself low enough into the water. haha!
The Sydney Harbour is home to several nudist beaches. As we sailed past, the water (yes, definitely only the water!) looked too good to resist another swim! The weather was more than perfect. After a prawn lunch, we swam ashore to soak up the views. The beach was spectacular! We were definitely not getting into this nudist ‘scene’ nor enjoying these views of oldies soaking up the sun on their entire bodies.
We splashed around at another few beaches along the coast and soon realised we were out of cold beverages. Where do you find a bottle shop on the Harbour you may ask? At a prestigious yacht club of course! As we tied up our cute sailing boat next to the super huge and impressive yachts, we weaved our way across the jetty and inside to a cool, air-conditioned bar that specialised in take-away. PERFECT.
After a re-stock of the esky and the sun beginning to make its descent we cruised past another two nudist beaches to another beautiful beach. We found ourselves back flipping and splashing around next to the ice-cream boat, how good! As families began to leave the beach and the lifeguards packing up we decided it was our turn too, to pack up, hoist the sails, dry off and head home. For us, home was quite far away; a windy sail back to the mooring, a long walk to the car and the even longer three hour drive home it was only fair to have dinner at the Local Pub at Rose Bay.
As we arrived back at to where we left our car, (we live another 1.5 hours away), it was almost midnight. We decided to sleep in the car and drive home when we weren’t so tired! Unlucky for us, we picked the hottest night of summer to sleep in the car. With minimal sleep, maximum sweat and so much frustration we drove to the beach at about 4am for a swim to freshen up and cool down. Eventually with a few hours sleep in the cooler sea breeze on the beach, we headed south and soon arrived home with tired eyes and smiles on our faces.
Watch our Video from the day here
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