It’s been a wild Melbourne like day in Sydney. Sunny, cold snap, drenching rain and now sunny and becoming warm. Now perfect conditions for an early trip home.
Vintage Cellars at Wynyard has the odd unique and BotF’s great friend, Pete (yet to be inducted) tipped us off to a couple. Not too sure what to make of the Ruddles. Starts bland, but kicks, but not with the coffee/caramel that the label suggests. One for an open glass another time.
It’s still windy and some big yachts are out. There’s a chill in the wind, but the sun’s taking the edge off. One of these days I’ll do Two Birds Sunset Ale with the classic BotF sunset, but for the time being it still looks pretty good. One of the best beers going around and good to see them in Vintage Cellars.
Another colleague of this correspondent, who has heard plenty about the Back of the Ferry going’s on. Has done the journey before, but before BotF was born.
Reynold is Swiss, which explains the unusual sport choice. Well, at least it wasn’t handball.
Favourite beverage: Red wine
Favourite sport to spectate: Ice Hockey
Area of trivial expertise: Foreign languages
Michael’s a patriotic New Zealander and is a bloke to avoid around Bledisloe Cup, particularly the way the Wallabies have been playing (or haven’t as the case maybe).
Favourite beverage: Speights
Favourite sport to spectate: Rugby Union
Area of trivial expertise: 80′s pop DD Smash anyone
Induction witnessed by illiards and bladdamasta
There’ll be a veritable slew of induction posts over the next few days as this correspondent and illiards felt like a priest at a mass Korean wedding inducting 10 new members. A team bonding session needed to held offsite and whilst some of the lads came from as far afield as Prestons (no I don’t know where that is either) a northern beaches venue was chosen. Aah, the pull that the ferry has.
Ferry etiquette was clearly spelt out to the large crowd and our group was augmented by a member of the Todd River SLSC.
New South Wales’ unbelievably warm late winter and early spring weather has had some very destructive consequences. On Wednesday, fires rages to the North, West and South of Sydney and at around 4pm an apocalyptic cloud cover darkened the city.
By the time the old crew had assembled on the 6pm ferry, the freakish wall of purple cloud had started to move north east and was being replaced by clear blue. With the sun shining low from the west and the skies immediately above still a swirl of purple and grey, Sydney Harbour took an eerie hue. All passengers were mesmerised by the sights as familiar silhouettes took on different appearances with such unique backdrops.
As our eyes were constantly drawn skywards we noticed for the first time – though it has probably been fluttering there for ever – a unique flag. Back of the Ferry’s most scientific correspondent (Lamb0) subsequently determined that it is the House Flag of Sydney. Nice one.
This correspondent was on the late boat home have a “business meeting” with old inductee Don (we don’t see you enough on the Back), when I bumped into a long time follower of BotF’s acquatic and alcoholic antics. M W loves his @untapped and frequently comments on Back of the Ferry’s check ins, but we rarely get the same boat or are in the 4 Pines at the same time. The stars aligned last night and Don and I deferred our business meeting and had a good old chin wag with M W. By the end of the voyage, Don and M W had worked out numerous insular peninsula connections and a previous meeting some 10 years ago. And so to the all important questions.
Favourite Beverage: IPA
Favourite sport to spectate: Soccer
Area of trivial expertise: Science
Don and I commented on the breadth of M W’s chosen topic, but he convinced us of a store of scientific knowledge during the voyage. During the course of our journey home, we watched 6 Australian Patrol Boats sail past as the International Fleet Review readies. Not sure who’ll be stopping the boats this week, given our border protectors are all in Sydney getting slaughtered – but Scott M wouldn’t tell us anyway if anyone did come in. Welcome aboard M W – see you around.
Induction ceremony witnessed by bladdamasta and Don.
The finest Sydney September in memory is drawing big crowds to the Back of the Ferry. Rod used to be a regular on the “Chugger” as he calls it, but reports of police calling in have driven him to the arms of the Fast Ferry. I reckon after a reminder of how good the slow journey is, Rod will be back more regularly.
Favourite beverage: Brakspar’s Ordinary
Favourite sport to spectate: Rugby Union
Area of trivial expertise: Led Zeppelin – 1970 to 1980
Induction ceremony witnessed by bladdamasta, illiards and Sandy.
A back of the Ferry induction is always a joyous occasion. It is made even better when the weather is fine and a couple of salts can witness the continuation of a fine tradition. An all too rare induction of a member of the fairer sex also makes for a quality induction. Cecilia’s been hearing tales about the Back of the Ferry for a couple of years now and decided that it was time to see what the fuss was all about. She might just now move from Bondi.
Now to the important questions:
Favourite beverage: Dry and Dirty Grey Goose
Favourite sport to spectate: Tennis
Area of trivial expertise: Shopping destinations
Induction ceremony witnessed by Keiran and bladdamasta.
In yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, there was an article generally bemoaning the growth of boating in Sydney. Whilst the article was generally negative, it made an observation that resonated with the correspondent. “It’s the best harbour in the world, absolutely marvellous for sailing. There is plenty of space. You can tuck into a small corner and … escape from a complex world.” He’s dead right – whether it is little coves, bays or beaches like Collins Flat, there are just so many nooks and crannies to access from land or sea. Amazingly you still often still see the Harbour and all its traffic.
To get to Collins Flat, you can either sail in, or do what we did – and drive up the road to North Head and take the right hand turn down. The parking is sparse, but generally so are the crowds. You come out from the bush on to a beach that is set back at the end of a chute. You can see the Manly Ferries cruise past along with other yachts – but there’s an detachment and lack of noise that’s quite surreal. There’s quite often a waterfall caused by rainwater coming off the North Head, and even though buildings can be seen – bush and cliffs dominate. One of the little known features is Jump Rock – a very accurately named platform that despite numerous fencing attempts, is still a challenge taken up by the local kids (and the occasional adult). So you can laze on the beach, snorkel or be a yahoo. Whatever you do – it’s all in a tranquil setting.
It’s the perfect location for a piece of Beerp0rn. I’ve been very tardy with the latest bounty of beers from the US arranged by BotF’s greatest traveller Rachel. In this instance, recently admitted member, Linda, brought three very special long-necks with her. These are such special beers, that you can’t just drink ‘em in from of the telly and they really need to be given the full BotF beerp0rn treatment. Wake Up Dead Stout is a big black beer in a beautiful big bottle that comes from the Colorado based Left Hand Brewing Co. It comes in at a hefty 10.2% and is classified as a Russian Imperial Stout. What is amazing often about these big US beers, is that even though there’s enough fuel in this to kickstart a rocket – the alcohol is subdued. Don’t get me wrong – this will knit you a fine beer blanket, but it is done gently (relatively). I shared it, so didn’t Wake Up Dead. Wake Up Dead could really sneak up on you, because even though it is full flavoured it isn’t viscous at all and slides down almost too easily. Another reason to visit Colorado.
It’s been a long time between inductions. The stars aligned on this one and our latest inductee was welcomed by no less than 5 salty seadogs, including Lamb0 who’s
been absent from the BotF for some time.
Our latest member, Rhett, was treated to full blown BotF experience including beverages at favourite BotF haunts before and after the voyage. Frankie’s Pizza didn’t fail to disappoint with its usual eclectic range of tap beers including a Rhubarb Wit. The post voyage venues almost don’t need to be stated – but 4 Pines and Murrays got a run.
So to the questions.
Favourite beverage Tooheys New (seriously)
Favourite sport to spectate Test cricket
Area of trivial expertise War
Induction ceremony witnessed by Pommy_ch, Lamb0, Gerald, Oompaloompa and Bladdamasta.
It has been a sodden week in Sydney. The cruise ships have left at the right time because Sydney has, in the words of Edmund Blackadder, been wetter than a fish’s wet bits. That didn’t deter two old salty sea dogs from assuming the position on the Back of the Ferry for the voyage home. For a while we thought we’d caught a break in the weather, but ultimately not even Warwick Armstrong’s umbrella was going to keep us dry.
Before we adjourned to the Side of the Ferry we enjoyed a 500ml drop of Old Fart beer. This is a truly English drop. Malt to the fore. This is probably a good beer for the style, but my palate has become so conditioned to hop overload, I struggled to adjust and appreciate. By no means unpalatable, but I found the caramel overpowering. Need to have another for sure.