The small fishing boat has pulled away from the shore. Two young women sit on the sand waiting. A dog chases the uncatchable.
It has been a hot and drowsy day, not a day for fishing and not a day for taking a walk along the bay.
The sky is grayer than the water and the tide is far out, as far as possible. The sea birds are aloft heading for their roost on Five Islands Nature Reserve off the Illawarra east coast.
A lone gull sits atop a pole waiting to launch into the light blue air.
SMOOTH SAILING UPDATE
I was thinking of what Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
So I looked back twenty years to see what I had done and remembered my childhood as a sailor who conquered the Bay during the early 1960’s. Later on in 1983 the dream was still alive and along with a friend I invented and published The America’s Cup Game. I googled the game and found it on a site known as ‘boardgamegeek’
Anyone else interested in the dream of sailing come on board and let the winds catch your soul and head off under the silky sky.
THE AMERICA’S CUP GAME
30 YEARS AGO
In New York in 1983 the America’s Cup was won by Australia. This was the first successful challenge to the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year defence of the trophy. The Australian win ended the longest winning streak in sporting history.
Meanwhile in Australia in 1983, two mates, Paul Rea and Sean Fraser inspired by the performance of the Australian challenge designed and produced a board game known as ‘The America’s Cup Game’
The small boats in 1983
We created over 60,000 multi-colored cardboard yachts. I got my inspiration for the design of the yachts from my days as a young sailor around Botany Bay. Both Paul and I were keen sailors.
It is now 2013 and just last week I visited a regatta at the Bay and captured the small yachts as they are today. The inspiration of 30 years ago still lives on.
The small boats
The playing board .
What the press had to say .
It is daylight savings here in Australia and I almost didn’t get out of bed. Clocks went forward and tomorrow came an hour earlier.
As I lay there in the warm bed I almost forgot how tomorrow is such a cheat and his trick is always so fresh. “Don’t do it now some day you’ll really start living.” he says.
Well tomorrow’s not good enough for me so I got up and went fishing at 6am really 5am.
As I watched the sun rise and tempted the fish on to my line I saw this little free bird fly off across the bay and thought, ‘what’s in my heart and mind is my freedom and I must let it take me somewhere.’
In the meantime the fact I have hope is enough happiness for me, so I’ll go somewhere tomorrow.
Whenever I’ve needed an Angel one has joined me on my pillow, and when I wake up in the morning all my troubles are gone.
Angels are there when you need them, and over time I’ve had lots of angels help me.
So you can imagine how delighted I was last Sunday, as I sat by the Bay, to see one heading back to sing at heaven’s gate.
“The point is workin” Every once in a while you hear those words echo around Russell Avenue Sans Souci and you know it’s a day not to be missed.
Sydney has some of the most famous surf beaches in the world. They stretch from Bondi in the east to Cronulla in the south and you just want to paddle out and get into some of that wave action.
When there is a chunky SSE ocean swell in the 2-3 metre range, as there was this morning, it can be wild and woolly and sometimes on these occasions you get the wind and waves working together to provide plenty of fun for those there to ride the easterly swell waves as they break over sand bars just off Dolls Point.
Dolls Point is actually within Botany Bay and is usually protected but as the tide goes out and the strong current from the river pushes against the swell coming into the bay, well that’s when the Point can start working.
Saturday 15th May 2010 was one of those days.
If wherever I lay my fishing rod is home then I’m there. I’m back by the Bay after a week or so in New Zealand and spent the early hours of today at the water’s edge.
There is no certain date to say when the world begun but the age of the universe is calculated to be between 13-16 billion years. That means there have between 5000-6000 billion sunrises. Numbers that big are weird when you think of it because my life span falls within the range of a statistical error.
Today I saw the morning breaking probably much like that first morning. The sea gulls were flying towards the northern end of the Bay squawking out as if to sing praise to a new day. The humidity of a summer day in February starts to signal its presence and the warmth from the sun feels like it comes all the way from heaven.
The wetness of the ocean water lapping on my feet is so sweet and I’m happy that I’m here to see another dawning
There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting on the edge of the Bay leaving the stress of everyday life far behind and doing a little fishing. It calms the soul and it’s a lot cheaper than a therapist.
I push the rod into the sand and sit on the moss-covered rocks. I close my eyes and take a long slow deep breath to clear my mind. I inhale the clean fresh sea air and exhale tension and stress. The warm bubbly sea water washes over my feet. I keep breathing deeply and slowly and say to myself, in a quiet way, I am calm. The south-east breeze carries my mind away and it’s not long before my thoughts are floating on a calm sea of emerald green water.
I’m in a boat and I have to keep on sailing as long as the south-east wind keeps on blowing. I gently float farther and farther out into the tranquil sea. When the wind stops I see I’m in a place I’ve never been to before where green and gold colours begin to surround me. I take a long deep breath and get into a little row-boat to find what is on this foreign shore.
The waves keep rolling and as I look at the rocks on the shore I realise I have sailed to a world of moss-covered rocks where shimmering diamonds sparkle and dance at the edge of the sea. I jump from the small row-boat and try to saturate my body with the warm sunlight but my feet don’t even touch the sand. I focus my attention completely on the green covered rocks blocking out all other thoughts and allow myself to drift into my past.
‘Rolling stones gather no moss’ I ask. Is it true that those of us who are always moving, with no ties to one place, avoid responsibilities and care. Should I have been more like these moss-covered rocks and remained static? Would I have profited from going nowhere? Is this growth of moss desirable or is this a question of stagnation versus mobility and vision?
Is it time for me to stop being unsettled and busy or should I continue on in my journey ensuring a second half of life filled with meaning? I become absorbed in contemplating these questions, what has it all meant? what is my purpose? I accept that there are no answers but the mere fact that the question is asked helps to clarify.
I jump into the small row-boat and head back to sea determined that nothing is going to slow me down. I’m going to keep on sailing and let my thoughts shape my destiny.
So what is important to me from my present perspective? I’m going to keep on fishing, falling to sleep on the beach, harvesting wisdom from my dreams and curing the problems of the world. And it’s all free.