It’s 8 am and we’re at Atwells Boatshed at Burraneer Bay on Port Hacking in Sydney’s south. We are just about to set off on a day of fishing and adventure.
It’s a beautiful November day. A light north East breeze gently tickles the water and the early morning sunlight creates mirror reflections of the resting boats.
It has a bit of history this place, being first explored by Matthew Flinders and George Bass back in 1796. They were returning from exploring when the Tom Thumb II was caught in a strong storm. The crew was in grave danger, as they were caught between the forbidding cliffs and a tumultuous sea.
Luckily, as they struggled northwards with the storm they saw a gap in the dark forms of the cliff and took a chance that this was a safe anchorage and not more danger. The explorers soon found themselves in the sheltered anchorage of Wattamolla.
In the days after this lucky escape Bass and Flinders mapped and named Port Hacking. It is now a popular recreational area, where swimming, fishing and boating is enjoyed. We will soon be getting some of that enjoyment for ourselves.