Sailing Away in Sydney
Looking for a way to impress interstate or international guests? Or seeking a gift idea for a local? NSW blogger Daniella has just the experience for you!
Those who fly into Sydney at sunrise are often rendered speechless by the calm, sparkling city on the verge of a daily hive of activity. The vast ocean that seems to dominate every uneven corner, creeps into every crevice of land, while reminding passengers that Australia is really just an island, surprising even the most hardened traveller.
Sydney is a city built around its harbour, and unless one has regular access to a plane, is at its best when viewed from the water itself. It’s a cloudless winter day when my boyfriend and I board Sydney By Sail’s three hour social yacht race in Pyrmont. The wind is strong enough to provide momentum for the sails, while the sun is in position to keep us comfortably warm.
The friendly skipper gives us novices a brief introduction to the boat, the basics of sailing, and our route for the day. We are given the option of being as involved as we’d like, and the keen beans on the boat jump at the chance to learn to sail. We’re ‘competing’ against another novice group, and we’re determined to become pros.
I take the wheel, while others man ropes, sails and other foreign implements that seem to flail dangerously as the boat leans from side to side. Our skipper artfully tells us what to do, guiding us through the race while making sure that the boat behaves. His delegation skills are impressive, allowing us to believe that we know what we’re doing while ensuring the race goes smoothly.
We sail under the Harbour Bridge, in front of the Opera House and past small islands that call the harbour home. Thanks to the ideal conditions for sailing, the harbour is a playground of leisure yachts, large motor boats and small family runabouts eager for some sunshine. A group of tourists wave and photograph us from a large motor boat, while a ferry creates waves as it thunders past and reminds us who has right of way.
After an hour or two, a few of us opt for the ‘sit back and relax’ option. A glass of champagne wouldn’t go astray as we admire the majestic houses lining the harbour and keep an eye out for dolphins that are known to frequent the area. Whether you’re a Sydney local, an interstate Aussie popping by or an international visitor, the three hour Sydney for Sail social race showcases the city from its best vantage point – and ensures you have fun while you’re at it.
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