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.