FROM 2015 & 2016 Logs

Wind in the trees

It’s blowing 30kts out in the Tasman Sea. Here, the faintest silky zephyr of cold air to play on the surface of Bantry Bay. It’s 0445, the moon rose about half an hour ago above the hill to the east – the big lump with Seaforth Oval silhouetted against the ambient light from the city. Just the sound of the wind in the trees on the hilltops. We are about 15k from the Harbour Bridge but could be on Lake Windermere – I heard a dog barking, the sound diaphanous and and transparent. The gravelly rruff of an open exhaust as some early starter hoons up the hill behind the Roseville Bridge. Tea with dunking biscuits. Starlight. We both have our arctic sleeping bags with added sea rugs – it’s cold, but not really that cold – and we sat in the cockpit wrapped in all that stuff and watched the cumulus roll in and out to sea from the SW and huge slashes of Milky Way and the first and second magnitude stars and planets. Skyview on the ipad is wonderful. Bantry Bay has an interesting history – there are Aboriginal middens and carvings going back thousands of years and later remains of white settlement. Early last century, it was the summer pleasure spot for the citizens of Sydney, accessible only by ferry or the very steep and difficult Timbergetters’ track through the bush. There was a dance hall here and a slipway, both still here in decay and grassy slopes for picnics and the exploration of relationships far from inquisitors. A place of carousing, debauchery and fun. London’s Vauxhall Gardens, perhaps, with a bit of attitude. And then it became the explosives and munitions store for Sydney, used until the 1970’s and still very much off limits to us transients. Barbed wire around the land side, familiar to runners who do the Great Nosh. Big Keep Out – Explosives signs beside the water. But a lovely spot and we have it entirely to ourselves.

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