For some the closest we have ever come to gliding effortlessly across the waters of the magnificent Sydney Harbour is staring out at our ‘water views’ from a galley kitchen. There is not a gay person out there who has not uttered — with a lilting wistful, lusting tone — the headline. Try saying it — your voice naturally takes on an edge, as you try not to be just another ‘uniform magnet’.
The Australian Sailing and Cruising Club takes cruising to a whole new level. First, being cruised on water is pretty hot. Second, men and women of all ages and abilities compete or just sail for fun on a casual basis. For those who are really serious, of course, there is the need to be a foodie. Further, imagine sailing without champagne?
The sun is shining, the skipper (or skipperette as I prefer to call them — to ensure gender equality) has the helm and a motley crew of all ages and abilities join her for the pleasure cruise of the weekend. It is not held in a seedy bar, but with a good stiff breeze and rolling swell beneath the deck. Monthly race days are not that different, sailors are more serious about getting back to the shore and their five-star luncheon.
Stepping off the gangplank for the first time may seem impossible. The club makes that easy with a website packed with information on events. Two of the big annual events are the Boxing Day Cruise and the Broken Bay Cruise, where members and first-timers alike can get to know the cruisers in a friendly social environment before being ditched in the shark-infested waters off the heads. (Just kidding — everyone knows we have whales to swim with in the harbour.)
I think it has nothing to do with water, the boat or even the people. It’s about colour. White looks good on blue, white highlights and accentuates coloured trims and military medals, and woe if your outfit is not squeaky clean and pressed. Bright sails, bright sunlight, amazing backdrops. How irresistible.
If you like the sun on your back, or your face — we all have different preferred positions — give cruising the high seas a thought.
No one can be too old and gender is no barrier or advantage. You need to be mobile, with some sort of balance.
This leaves me out, as I am totally unbalanced. However, as you speed by, spinnaker taut to bursting, look below. The dark patch at your waterline is my head, out for an afternoon swim — carefully please!
info: Get into really wet cruising with the Australian Sailing and Cruising Club via Team Sydney : www.teamsydney.org.au