Home' Afloat : AFLOAT April 2016 Contents 60 AFLOAT.com.au April 2016
1kg of sirloin steak cut into thin strips
1 onion cut into thin wedges
1 green pepper cut into thin strips
1 dessert spoon of crushed ginger
1 dessert spoon of crushed garlic
1-tablespoon soy sauce
3⁄4 cup of beef stock
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon of rice flour
Mix the soy sauce, ginger, garlic and stock in a small bowl. Heat oil
in a wok; add steak and cook until no longer pink; add the onion and
pepper for a minute or so, then toss in the mixture from the bowl.
Cook for about four minutes. To thicken put a small amount of water
in a cup and mix in the rice flour. Just before you remove the steak
from the heat, add the flour and stir it into the wok. Serve with white
with Captain Chaos
Special timber including Teak, Mahogany,
Sitka Spruce, Oregon,
Kauri, White Beech,
Qld Maple, Silver Ash
144 Renwick St,
02 955 88 444 www.anagote.com
The picture of the historical skiff Yendys with the large crew
in their football jumpers on the cover of last month’s Afloat
takes me back to the 1940s. Sydney Harbour was awash
with 18-footers racing the length of the harbour, followed by a
fleet of ferries, private boats and tenders. The tenders were used
to help any boat that got into trouble and to pick up un-needed
crew members if the wind dropped.
Those dropped off weren’t too happy as the harbour was
teeming with sharks because the anchored cargo ships moored
around the harbour used to chuck their garbage over the side.
Crew members were dropped adjacent to a large turning buoy
which was used by ships to tie off on. The crew would scramble up
the sides so they could sit as far away from the water as possible.
The ferries looked like they were going to capsize when all
the passengers raced to one side to watch the race go by. Betting
was illegal in those days but even so every ferry had SP bookies
on board. They even took bets from the boats following the race.
The police found it hard to board the ferries to make an arrest. If
the police did get aboard, the punters made it so hard for them
to find the bookies that most times they retreated back to their
launch ... sometimes after a few beers with the boys.
Saturday afternoon was a day out for blokes only. No women
allowed. So it was booze, cigs and gambling for the working man
on Sydney Harbour. There were a lot of illegal tactics ...
We had a full crew of eight on Desdemona with me as the bailing
boy. The boat was moving fast as we approached the Iron Cove
Bridge to go around a marker. We thought we had a clear run as
we had to veer to port to make the next mark.
Suddenly we were overtaken by another boat which blanketed
our wind so it could overtake us. Instead of coming alongside it
took advantage of its speed to ram their bowsprit into the side
of our boat as it changed direction.
“Bloody hell! We’re taking water. BAIL you little bastard ... bail!”
There was no way I could bail as everyone was standing on
top of me in the centre. We slowly settled in the water while the
other boat veered off to the other mark.
I heard Dad shout.
“ You better pull the young’un up. Take the rope off him in
case the boat sinks. His mother would never forgive me if I came
home without him.”
I was pulled up from the bottom of the boat and the rope
that had me attached to the boat was removed.
Someone yelled, “ Where’s the skipper? ”
Everyone looked around. He wasn’t aboard.
“Hey look, he’s in the rigging of the other boat,” said one of
the crew pointing.
“He’s about 20 feet up. He must have climbed up the rigging.
He’s hanging on to the leach of their sail. One of their crew has
a spinnaker pole and is trying to clobber him.”
Our reply is unprintable. A couple of the larger blokes offered
to change his appearance once we were back at the boat shed.
The skipper dived off before the bloke could hit him and swam
like crazy to our submerged boat. He didn’t need to climb aboard
just float on top of it. One of the tenders came and towed us into
some shallow water where we could empty the boat. It wasn’t a
happy crew that sailed back to the boat shed.
There were many incidents like this because a lot of money
was bet on the outcome of the race.
When we returned to Sydney Amateur’s in Mosman Bay there
was a large group of women who had brought something hot
for us to eat ... and a lot of long necks of Reschs Pilsener. h
As a young lad Chaos crewed on the 18-footer
Desdemona which sailed with the Sydney Flying Squadron
from 1910-1940. Originally owned by AC Roberts, then
with a bit of rebuilding in the 1940s by a young Tom Doyle
who was the skipper when he was bailing. His father sailed
in her for as long as he can remember.
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