Australia

Sydney is so pretty, so witty and wild and I pity anyone who is a surveyor there. The roads all follow old bullock tracks around native sandstone blocks. Sydney is so charming, it’s alarming how charming Sydney is, with her tree lined streets curving around beautiful old brick buildings and then bursting out onto a seashore road exposing a blue sea coved with multicolored sails. 

            This time we rode a silver bird for some fourteen hours far above the biosphere of the planet earth, leaving the coming fall and winter weather in the north for the new spring of the south. Last time we stayed in the biosphere sailing our boat for nine months through all types of weather to reach the same shores. In some ways our flight was a miracle, because early on I fell into a restful sleep and was awakened by a generous older steward to ask if I’d like some breakfast before landing in Sydney. As I stared through the window at the unusually tranquil sea I wondered sadly if the memories of our incredible sailing trip across the pacific were just a remembered dream filling in the hours before touchdown.

At first we couldn’t understand the scene below us as we dove towards the sea into the thick air of the biosphere but then it dawned on us, those things that looked like submarines traveling south in an organized fashion beneath us were a pod of whales, their water spouts resembling the exhaust of some great machine randomly sending up spumes of vapor were obviously whales traveling to the thick krill of the ant-arctic. The joy of the whales was eclipsed by the sight of our friends Noel and Jackie, who had come to meet us in the dazzling bright concourse of the Sydney airport, flooding my mind with delightful memories of sailing behind coral barrier reefs following the sails of their ship the Pywackett.

With the help of their cell phone navigation system we managed to find the home of our wonderful old friends Roger and Robin Bowie who we first met in Comox in 1985. They weren’t home but offered to lend us their house in Manley a seaside suburb of Sydney. Robin’s sister Leslie opened the house for us and told us to enjoy ourselves.

Welcome to Australia.

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