Monthly Archives: October 2010

They Breed Them Tough in St George

And if the recent Dragons win over the eastern suburbs Roosters wasn’t proof enough, take a look at this snapshot of family fun that I captured down at George’s River on the weekend.  Now I’ve seen this done with dogs to really tire them out,  but to see the same technique used on kids made my heart sing. We had a bit of a cold snap in Sydney on the weekend, and most people who had dipped a toe in the week before would have thought twice this weekend. But down on the beach not far from the skiff club was a father with a cricket bat and a tennis ball playing a game of fetch in the river with his two young sons neither of whom were wearing a wetsuit, and were having so much fun they were completely oblivious to the wind chill factor.

Go Fetch

Those of you reading this in cooler climes are probably thinking “big deal” but temperatures are all relative and we get some pretty chilly southern ocean currents off the South East Coast of Australia.

Anyway, it was nice to see heaps of families out with their kids on a blustery cold day doing busy things and generally soaking up the outdoors…bring on spring.

Remarkable Bare Green Patch and Other Favourite Places

Maritime undertones with a hint of windy weather

An acquaintance last weekend with a pleasing bottle of pinot got me thinking about how evocative and meaningful place names can be, reminders of people and places we’d like to go back to. The vintage in question was a pinot noir called Storm Bay, made of course from Tasmanian grapes.  Reg and I, having both sailed past that exact spot on the South East corner of Tasmania numerous times, had to pass over less imaginatively named (and priced) wines on the list and have a taste. Funnily enough my memory of the place and the taste of the wine, whilst both wonderful, were a bit mismatched; the wine being refreshing and light, and the place more wild and windswept, perhaps more suited to a boisterous shiraz!

Making his way along uncharted waters along the coast of Australia, Captain Cook and his crew must have had a lot of fun coming up with suitable names for the bays, headlands, landmarks and hazards they encountered. Whilst many tell a story about the voyage itself, others just state the blinding obvious. I imagine for Aboriginal people these names seemed superfluous given most of these places had names with significant meaning already. For me they are reminders of my travels and the people I shared them with. Here are a few of my favourite location names on nautical charts:

 “Remarkable Bare Green Patch” which is indeed a remarkably bare patch of grass on the cliffs near Diamond Head on the northern coast of New South Wales.  It reminds me of a Sydney to Southport race when we were becalmed and had time on our hands to ponder the origins of names on a chart.

 “The Wrigglers” a group of rocks not far from the Lizard Point in Cornwall. This is a favourite just because it sounds silly and makes me think of home and the Cornish tendency for unusual place names (think Mevagissey and Ventongimps).

“Sow and Pigs” on Sydney Harbour, because, well it really is a pig if you hit this one!

“The Iron Pot”, a landmark hailing from Hobart’s whaling days which stands at the entrance to the Derwent River in Tasmania, signalling the end of a cold wet voyage and the vicinity of a well earned and welcome rum!

What’s your favourite place name (nautical or not) and what does it remind you of?

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