Home' Afloat : AFLOAT March 2018 Contents Take monthly with water March 2018 37
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Organised by the Australia Day Council through the Premiers
Department, the day began just after dawn and continued till
well after dark. In order to ensure the smooth flow of planned
activities runs without hiccup, meticulous plans are developed
and every possibility is considered, with public safety being
assigned highest priority. Meetings convened by Roads & Maritime
Services (RMS) are attended by representatives responsible for
everything that should happen, could happen, might happen
and you don’t want to happen.
At Barangaroo celebrations began at 7.30am with a traditional
Aboriginal smoking ceremony and a special Indigenous dance
followed by Aboriginal dancers and singers performing the
WugulOra Morning Ceremony.
From 8-10am, there were Stand up Paddleboard (SUP) races
for dog owners and their best mate in Watsons Bay; canoe and
dragon boat races in Drummoyne and Iron Cove; while about
1,000 swimmers took to the water and splashed their way around
The Great Ferry Race known as the Ferrython started just
east of the Opera House at 10.45am led by the Sydney Harbour
Emergency Response fire boat to clear the way with its fire hoses
at maximum power.
In it’s infancy, the Ferrython was a real race. The normally
staid old commuter ferries that carried the public to work each
day would open their throttles in earnest but, in 1984, the Karrabee
started to take on water and had to withdraw from the event and
quickly return to Circular Quay to disembark passengers. She
sunk at the wharf a few minutes after the last passengers and
crew were evacuated.
HMAS Canberra, Australia’s largest naval ship then came into
force for the 21 Gun Salute To Australia from cannons located
in Bradfield Park, at Milsons Point before the National Anthem
sung by children aboard was broadcast. Your ears just had time
to stop ringing from the cannon fire before three Hornet F18s
came thundering in to execute combat turns so tight that the
wind movement across their wings vaporises creating an amazing
mist-like blanket around their fuselage.
The Ballet of Tug, Yacht and Jet Boats was conducted in
Sydney Cove where the participants glided around performing
intricate manoeuvres in unison.
The Australia Day Parade that followed is always a real crowd
pleaser because entrants decorate their boats in Australian
themes as they compete for the ‘Best Dressed Vessel’ award.
The Tall Ships Race set off at 13.00 from Bradleys Head in a
westerly direction towards the finishing line under the Harbour
Bridge followed by the 182nd Australia Day Regatta (the world’s
longest continuously held sailing regatta).
The evening activities, previously confined to Cockle Bay in
Darling Harbour, had been transferred to Circular Quay because
the organisers expected more than 60,000 spectators. The working
boat parade, led by Sydney Sundancer (nine-times winner of the
Best Dressed Vessel award and this years’ runner up) was greeted
by huge applause from crowds lining the shore.
But the event that everyone was waiting for was the fireworks.
Even though Sydney’s famous New Years Eve fireworks enjoys the
reputation of being the world’s best, the display on Australia Day
could never be called a “fizzer” – like every activity conducted to
celebrate our nations birthday, it was spectacular. h
h Sydney Sundancer charters on Sydney Harbour www.
luxurysydneyharbourcruises.com.au during summer and conducts
expedition voyages for discerning explorers during winter www.
whitsundayluxurysailing.com.au Anyone interested in participation
in the voyage between these two iconic locations should see Afloat
crew list page 81.
On the 26th January, all around Australia the sense of camaraderie and mateship is infectious. Aussies
gather to enjoy activities that we all hold dear, a backyard barbeque, a day at the beach or at the cricket.
But the biggest and best party of all is on Sydney Harbour. John Boyce reports.
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