It was devastated by a hurricane shortly after we visited.
It was a novel way to be leaving Sydney as the forked smoking stack slid under the harbour bridge, seemingly grazing the metal struts, like the flukes of a giant metallic whale. The gloom of the clouds threatened a tropical storm and the Opera House was already lit up as we glided past. It looked atmospheric in the heavy light.
We were loose.
We were consumed by the ritual of the voyage, reading, exercising and eating, writing, watching the sea slide by and peering into the infinity of ocean that surrounded us. At night we gave ourselves over to the throb of the screws and the lethargic yawing, pitching, rolling and staggering of the ship. We rocked and rolled to a physical lullaby.
To our left the shores of NSW slowly rose and fell on the horizon as a low smudge of hills looking so low against the immense sea…
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