The DH Lawrence
Society of Australia held its annual Sydney Harbour cruise
on the evening of Saturday, 8 November, 2008.
The previous few days had seen varying weather: hot, humid,
cool, and wet. Saturday was overcast and windy in the
morning, then the sky darkened even more and there were
some showers. By the afternoon the rain had retreated
and the winds had moderated, but there was a warning of
strong coastal winds and a southerly change.
Last year's Harbour cruise was held on the day the drought
broke and our plans had to change, but our members saw
a sight none of us had ever seen before: waterfalls streaming
off the Harbour Bridge. Would we see a novel sight this
Given the above weather conditions, the cruise plan was
discussed with the crew and modified to give us a better
view of the jacarandas (the cruise was being held in the
Sydney jacaranda month of "Mauvember" after
all). As the 1902- built VIP yacht Lady Hopetoun
steamed out of Rozelle Bay under a leaden sky, the passengers
saw the first jacarandas on the Balmain- Birchgrove peninsula,
yet they were but paltry examples of what was to be seen
on the banks of the Lane Cove River further up the Harbour.
We saw stands of jacarandas, framed by bougainvillea (particularly
noted in one Greenwich backyard), and flame trees, and
the members of the Longueville Sailing Club cheering the
sound of the
whistle as we took advantage of the wide space near the
Riverview College wharf to turn and head down Harbour
to the Parramatta River.
It was still overcast as we steamed up the Parramatta
River to beyond Abbotsford, where we turned for a cruise
back to the main Harbour. Approaching the arched Gladesville
Bridge, the sun appeared for the first time on the day.
The clouds lifted and the passengers were treated to almost
an hour of the most glorious display of sunset colours.
The sky was full of turquoise, and then pinks and purples
and reds as Lady Hopetoun steamed back towards
Some on board claimed to have never seen such colours
in the sky before, and the magic continued as the Lady
Hopetoun steamed past Goat Island, and the eastern
city buildings reflected the very last of the setting
sunlight in their office windows.
We steamed under the Harbour Bridge and passed Fort Denison.
What a view there was of the city lights as we rounded
Observing the marvellous display of light on the Harbour,
one member, echoed the feeling of many of us: "Why
would you live anywhere else? Isn't this Rananim?"
Three views of Sydney: from the West, from the rivers,
from the eastern Harbour - the leaden, grey, overcast
sky, the glorious sunset, then the sublime aftermath.
A cruise and a day to remember.
to see more photos of the cruise