Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Trip to Elvina Bay

We arrive at Church point on what is turning out to be a beautiful Easter Weekend.  We have woken up to bright blue skies, dotted with white puffy clouds but thankfully there is no hint of rain.  We have just turned back the clocks here in Sydney, so daylight is precious and winter only just around the corner.  We are determined to make the most of what nature is dishing up on this wonderful long holiday weekend…

IMG_7906.CR2We have come to the Pittwater Area, in the northern suburbs of Sydney and find ourselves looking at picture postcards views of the bays around the mouth of the Hawkesbury River just before it dumps into the ocean.  There seem to be far too many sail boats moored and unused on such a brilliant day as this...  IMG_7898.CR2We have a short wait before we catch the ferry to Elvina Bay from Church Point.  I reflect on the book I am

Map picture
currently reading Briny Cafe, set in this area and written by Susan Duncan who lives at Lovett Bay, next door to our destination today. I am insatiably curious about these ‘off-shore’ folk, who live in places where the only way in and out of home is by boat.  It is a lifestyle choice that sounds idyllic but is not without its hassles.  These off-shore folk still need a car for getting about the mainland.  Parking at Church Point is at a premium and a hassle.  Often people plan their lives around times when parking might be more available and may make choices about dining at home to driving to a restaurant just because they want to keep that prime parking spot they just scored!  Most of these locations have no cafes or groceries available, so everything has to be trucked in by boat!  Not easy if you have run out of milk…but the difference is the sense of community that is so often missing from your typical middle of the suburbia.  Running next-door for a bit of milk or a bowl of something…is a way of life unlike places where people live behind manicured lawns and walled in properties and barely exchange a hello with the guys next door!  

We pile in to the ferry in eager anticipation and enjoy the ride around the Bay, catching fleeting glimpses of life at places like Scotland Island.  There is a laid back and almost tropical feel to the communities we pass and the people who live there.  It is easy to make out the locals from the day trippers and it isn’t just the expensive cameras hung around our necks. IMG_7961.CR2We hop off at Elvina Bay armed with information we had gleaned on the ferry.  There is a waterfall we have just heard about and that is now our destination.  Of course there are no signs to this place and we would have missed it had we not stopped to chat to Michael.  He and his wife were the longest residents in the area and we chatted about the pros and cons of living the off-shore lifestyle.  His relaxed and friendly manner indicated that after 43 years this was certainly his bit of paradise.  He not only gave us directions but invited us to their once a month local community dinner!  Perhaps we might take him up on that…

The waterfall was pretty and we scrambled down to splash around the ice cold water.  There were a few more day trippers there…but they appear to be speaking French!  I wouldn’t have thought any overseas travellers would have found their way to this intrepid location..but it just goes to show there are others out there who discover Sydney’s hidden gems...and don’t limit their visit to ticking off the 3 Sisters and the Harbour Bridge!  

It’s close to 3 pm and I am starving.  We hadn’t thought to pack a picnic lunch and I was starving.  We walk down to the boatshed to catch the ferry back, enjoying the view and  the schools of tiny fish darting about in the water below us.  It isn’t a long wait and we wrap up a wonderful day with a brilliant seafood meal that doubles up for lunch and dinner.  As we leave, we notice the name on one of the boats….Endurance…a quality required in abundance if one were to make the choice of living a life off-shore!


"To dream anything that you want to dream; that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything you want to do; that is the strength of the human will.  To trust yourself to test your limits; that is the courage to succeed".   Reverend B.B.Edmonds

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