Our friends from church (B and J, husband and wife) invited us to boat. End of last year, their first invitation was, but we couldn’t make it due to some uni schedule.So, when they invited us again this year, we said yes!
When we arrived at their home, there, the boat was already on top of its trail, connected to the rear part of a car. B drove us to Ermington boat ramp, at the end of Wharf Rd, where we will launch the boat onto Paramatta River. I know I may sound weird but sitting in a car with a boat towed behind was something. :p
There is a way the boat is launched to the water. So, the car needs to be driven backwards until the boat trail is partially submerged. B was ready in the boat so as trail was submerged, he turned the engine and move the boat backwards. As it may again sound weird, but I do really think that watching the launching boat was indeed interesting.
I learnt that when the boat is docked, a hawser (sort of a thick rope, according to dictionary) is tied to a spring line in a infinity-pattern moving from the top to the bottom part of the spring, not in a mere circle-pattern the spring neck. The latter will not create a friction if the boat moves away from the dock, however, the former will intensify the knot should it happens. We used this hawser to also tow our boat closer to the dock.
Interesting fact that at some certain point, you can’t drive a boat more than a certain speed, such as under the bridge or when passing a bridging boat. When you’re under a bridge, high speed will create a high current for your boat and when the turbulence it creates hit the bridge’s pillar, the current could hit your boat back. A bridging boat (yes, I created the name by myself) is a boat used to transfer things (or people in Indonesia) to cross over the river. This kind of boat is pulled by a thick-strong cable that mostly stay submerged all the time. However, if the bridging boat is operated, the cable will be hovering the river’s surface. Therefore, when a high-speed boat passed without ensuring the cable whereabouts, can you imagine what could happen from this collision? I don’t wanna know certainly.
Oh, another thing is there is no speed camera, like the ones the government placed in streets. 😄 During boating, we need to take the right side of the river, not the left as we do when we walk or drive a car. You also need to have license in driving a boat because you need to understand all the sign and safety regulations. You don’t need to wear seat belts (yeay!) but do need to wear the life jacket. We didn’t but make sure that you can swim. 🙂 The person who is behind the wheel are not allowed to drink, but the rest of the member is fine.
So, we boated (or sailed?)! B and J provided us with tons of information as we sailed.They have been living in Sydney a lot of years, so they updated us with city history and story along the river. We went to a location where it used to be an array of factories, but then closed down as the environmental policy on waste made them difficult to cope with the regulation. So, as the environmental regulation tighten the waste allowance, the river now is significantly clean. Not even a bad smell. The river, that leads to high seas, was so polluted that houses with the river view used to be so cheap and allocated for public houses. However, as you might already know that Sydney is one of the cities with the highest accommodation cost, river-view houses especially the ones close to Darling Harbor and close by, are approximately ten of thousands dollar per week rent! Might be not in all area along the river, yes, that’s true, but it won’t be only few hundred dollars per week. Only during the WWII, the owner of the river-houses were willing to give away their houses with peanuts. Well, we obviously understood why.
Regarding the public houses, there was another story. When we passed Barangaroo Reserve, B and J told us a story many years back. Public houses was intended to give the society who are less fortunate in getting a place to stay due to their earning, a way cheaper place to stay. The government expected the tenants to stay temporarily, get a job, earn and move to a more permanent place by their own. However, one time, there was this man stating and bragging in public that he and his family throughout few generations have been living in the same public house. 😄 B thought that they might already earn enough to move but the public houses they stayed in might too comfortable for them to leave. As the government found it out (oh-oh), they decided to sell this particular public houses in Barangaroo Reserve area to the current tenants and used the money to build more public houses in different areas. 😄 Good for you, govt, hopefully the public houses now is used to its original and good purposes. 🙂
We arrived at the most-visit spot in Sydney, the Opera House and Harbor bridge. Here are some pictures.
We also passed other distinctive spot, the Anzac bridge.
We finished by 2 PM in the afternoon (yes, we had lunch in the boat. How interesting!) and took the boat back to Ermington boat ramp, back to its trail in the back of the car. Ha! Another interesting aspect of the day was seeing B drove the boat to its trail. Due to strong wind, the boat was pushed away when it was almost reaching the trail. So, when B needs to drive the boat in, he was not putting 100% working engine, he needed to drive slowly because if not, he might hit the car, right. But, because of that, the boat was not having enough energy to fight the wind back 😄 so, it got pushed away once or twice.
B and J had been boating since forever. B had a boat before they met, both of them had a great interest, and therefore knowledge, in boat, I mean in any kind of boat. They knew what boat we passed and so thrilled to see a particular boat parked (some boat’s name we don’t recognize). When I asked what name they gave to their boat, they said, “It is ‘Our Boat’. Or, ‘My boat’.” 😄
Thank you for inviting us, B and J! We definitely had a great time and experiences!
See you soon!