My cousins grew up in Bondi. This meant living on and around the water of both the beautiful beaches of the East Coast of Australia and Sydney Harbour. I happened to visit them every year until 2018, and I would observe everything around me.
Boats were part of their life, and everyone seemed to have one. The boats ranged from the small runabouts used to get families from one place to another to the larger fishing boats that could haul in some large game. But the greatest pleasure of all was sailing on a yacht in Sydney.
The magnificence of this waterway has to be experienced to appreciate all that it offers fully. It has many beaches and coves, with lots of stop-off points for recreation and food.
The first time my cousins took me cruising was when a group of us rented a yacht for the day. It left Milson’s point around 8:30 am and took about five hours to reach the North Head area, where a lovely beach permitted us to anchor and dive in and swim to shore.
The day was excellent and around 27 degrees Celsius. The slight breeze was enough to make it even more pleasant. The people around me were also great, and everyone had a ball. Once on shore, we set up the barbecue, and lunch was soon provided.
My cousins had always sailed here. My brother and his father used to do it in small racers when they were part of the sailing clubs that survived in their day. From what they told during the many tales of adventure, there were relatively small boats that kept upright or dunked. These types of craft are still seen around the banks today.
As the yacht sailed back up the harbor after enjoying a great lunch and swim, it was fun to lie on the deck and let the mind escape into a fantastic mode of dreams. The large sails standing high over our heads reminded us that it was the wind pushing the boat along with minimal sound, except for when we heard the call to tack.
As the day drew to a close, the waters cemented my memories into that special place where good things are kept alive. With only those flashbacks of something unforgettable, it is with regret that I may never experience such again. COVID has stopped all flights to Australia from my hometown. Now I rarely even get to visit Sydney, but when I do, it is the harbor that still stands out as the best part of it.