Saturdays for many people are usually pretty busy. Clearing up the debris left over from the working week, taking kids to swimming lessons, school sports or doing the weekly shop. Getting all the boring things out of the way so we can have fun. What often happens is that we get to 3.30pm and decide that “there’s nothing left of the day”. This weekend we decided to not let this be the case and, mindful of the few remaining weeks of daylight saving, we hitched up the tinny and headed to Port Hacking.
The forecast rain did not eventuate and the ususally busy boatramp at Swallow Rock had a certain “tail end of the season” feel about it. As usual, pushing the boat off the sand and putting down the river past Northwest Arm had its usual calming affect, the business of the week floating away within minutes. I couldn’t do a track on Navionics to share with you as Tessa had wrapped the phone charger round the wheels of the office chair and taken it for spin earlier in the week. So with the Iphone well and truly switched off I surrendered to being completely offline (as one really should) with the exception of snapping a few photos on the camera.
After ten or 15 minutes of wriggling toddler I’m usually keeping an eye out for a nice patch of sand to land on and pour the tea. But today Chris convinced me of the merits of just finding a shallow spot, switching off the outboard and just floating. What could be more relaxing than listening to the sound of the water lapping on the hull and the cockatoos going through their raucous nesting routine as the sun gradually sinks lower in the sky?
No time for baking this week so we settled for a premature hot cross bun from Brasserie Bread with our thermos tea. Heaven. As Henry James said in The Portrait of a Lady; ” There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”. I think he’s quite right, perhaps with the exception of messing about in boats.
The area where we stopped was just off the corner of South West Arm on Port Hacking, in some shallow water where the river bed was covered in sea grass (note to self to bring snorkels next time). After a rather quick trip up South West Arm and a brief stop on a sandflat for Rhubarb’s benefit, we headed back to Swallow Rock for barbequed snags and what was left in the thermos. No dinner plates to wash when we got back, all that remained was to tip the sleeping toddler into bed, still a little salty, but oblivious.
This little excursion has been one of the best so far and was a good reminder not to call it quits on a Saturday afternoon when actually the tail end of the day is the outdoors at its best.
Swallow Rock is near Gray’s Point, about a 45 minute drive from Sydney CBD. There are public barbeques, a boat ramp, toilet blocks and open air showers. Its a great spot for a late afternoon picnic even if you don’t have a tinny. There’s a sandy beach perfect for children to swim in, and dogs are allowed on leads.
Here’s the google map link: