We weren’t exactly sold on the idea of the usual piss-up on Australia Day this year. What? I know. So unAstrayan. Nevertheless, we wanted to do something other than waste our free day off on the couch, so we thought we’d celebrate the real fun that happens along the harbour. Had never partaken before but figured this year was the year to do so.
We had a lot to do that morning, however, the day started slowly. For once in my life I was allowed a sleep in by my boyfriend but for once in my life, I didn’t want a sleep in – poor boyfriend got yelled at. Sowee.
My main priority was to get the prawns. Prawns prawns prawns prawns prawns. You can’t have Australia Day without the prawns! So from about 9:30am to 10:30am we ran around like prawns with their heads cut off to Woolies to get the bleetin’ prawns and back to our place to set up a picnic. The issue was that the Ferrython started at 11am and this was the whole reason we were heading down to the harbour – I was NOT going to miss it.
Surprisingly, the streets weren’t blocked off as they usually are down in Kirribilli for events like this. We found a carpark (somehow) and raced off to find a spot right under the bridge. For some reason, bagpipes played the entire day, alongside Scottish dancing competitions? I’m all for multiculturalism but fuck, they’re pretty annoying after a while! After a bit of the bags, I would have appreciated some Barnesy or Johnny Farnham over the loud speakers.
We set up our prawns, a slab of our favourite ash goats cheese with a crusty breadstick from Bakers and sipped on half a beer each which we had smuggled in inside two plastic water bottles (North Sydney Council has basically banned drinking everywhere except in your bathroom, alone, at night, away from the shaming eyes). We weren’t there to get totally-wasted-mannn, just wanted to toast our beautiful country. Even though it was only 11am, they say it’s always 5pm somewhere. To Australia!
In the end, post all my yelling and over-dramatics about getting the prawns before we were late for the ferries to race to the Harbour Bridge, the ferries took about an hour to actually reach a point where we could see them from. The best part was the parade of boats (all shapes and sizes) that followed the ferries, making for a very choppy and foamy harbour. I never knew this happened (I guess I always miss the 6pm news on Australia Day). It was fantastic to see.
The most interesting part of the day came when we went and sat next to an elderly lady who, inevitably, started talking to us. We spoke a little bit about the race (she had missed it) and then she revealed the most shocking news I had ever heard – the race is rigged. She said (and old ladies are obviously very credible sources) that when one of the ferries sunk a few years ago during the race, it all came out that the race was rigged. Now, I have done some Google searches on this and I haven’t come up with anything to confirm this lady’s conspiracy theory but I just don’t know what to think anymore…
For the record, Sirius “won” the race, Charlottle came second and Supply took the bronze. I was rooting for the Friendship but I guess it just didn’t take the race Siriusly enough…