Friends With Benefits

A few weeks ago one of my friends whom I met because Arabella was friends with her daughter at school, phoned to ask if Carl and I would like to go out on their boat for the day.  ‘Absolutely’, I said.  Who wouldn’t like a day out on the harbour!

Our friend’s boat

We were to meet them at the mariner on Saturday which happened to be our first day of summer and the weather certainly turned on summer conditions with a 37C (95F) heatwave.  Another couple was invited and so between the four invited guests we decided to provide the catering – surely it was the least we could do!  However, due to squeezed schedules we weren’t able to provide any homemade fare but I did the next best thing and visited a deli.

An identical boat to the one we were on

We arrived on the boat at lunchtime and I was amazed if not totally impressed that our friend’s ‘boat’ is a 53ft Riviera no less.  So there was plenty of room and lots of comfort and we weren’t hot because the interior is air-conditioned.  The boat sleeps 10 with a bunk cabin, a queen bed cabin and then a master suite with ensuite.  It’s a shame we were only on-board for the day as I could just see myself enjoying a lovely cruise up to the Whitsundays.

Queen-sized bedroom

Master suite

From the bed in the master suite you can watch TV!

The fly-bridge

The boat has three engines and these were quickly turned on at full power and off we went at lightening speed, burning our way to Sydney Harbour where we went past Fort Denison which is where convicts used to be sent to endure much suffering however today the tiny island is used for happier things like weddings and other private functions.

Fort Denison

We then went past the Opera House and came close to the Harbour Bridge where we saw a huge passenger liner that was docked at Circular Quay for the day.

Huge cruise ship

Sightseeing over, we headed to Store Beach, a beach that can only be reached by water near Manly where we hooked up to a mooring, relaxed and had lunch.

Antipasto from the deli appallingly arranged on a plastic platter!

You can’t be on the sea without seafood

Fresh fruit platter

There was much discussion about whether or not we should go in for a swim.  We were moored a few hundred metres from shore and my friend told me that at the moment there are a lot of Great White sharks in the harbour and that quite a few beaches are closed because a whale carcass is close to shore and that is bringing in the sharks who are feeding off it.

Wine o’clock

But her husband (the skipper) piped up and said it was perfectly fine for us to have a swim because he had this gadget he’d bought in South Africa that’s some kind of electronic device on the end of a thing that looks like a hose and you attach one end of it to the boat and the other end you throw into the water and it lets off some sort of sound and sharks don’t like that noise so won’t come into those waters for a few hundred metres around the boat.  So the skipper gave the thingy to one in our party who happens to be an electronics engineer (so bound to know all about these sorts of devices thought the skipper) and it was switched on and thrown overboard while we all changed into our swimwear.

I was about to put my toe in the water to test the temperature when next thing the engineer pushed me overboard.  And I bet you’re sorry the tomfoolery wasn’t caught on camera but I actually didn’t mind a bit a bit.  It was such a hot day and the water was crystal clear and very refreshing that so it was perfect swimming conditions.  The skipper saw some friends on another boat about 100mtrs away so we swam over to introduce ourselves and have a chat and then I swam back to the boat leaving the others behind me.

Happy at sea

Within half an hour we were all back on board and it was now early evening and so time to head back to the mariner.  The skipper went to pull the anti-shark thingy out of the water only to discover the engineer had thrown the wrong end into the water and so actually we had had no protection from Great White sharks whatsoever.  Excellent.

But we had the most wonderful day where the weather was amazing, the harbour beautiful, the boat utterly incredible and as for the Great Whites, well they obviously found us totally undesirable.

Friends with 53ft Rivieras are definitely my ‘friends with benefits’.

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  1. My goodness – shark bait! Glad you are still in one piece.

  2. I would have never gone into the water with the possibility of sharks coming by, no way!!!!!!!! i’m really scared of sharks!!!!!! It’s great to have friends with boats, i wish I did, it surely sounds and looks like you had an amazing time 🙂

  3. wow, what a great day out. There is no prettier harbour anywhere in the world! When we ad our boat in Sydney it was only 40′ and we always said it was 10′ too short on one end. 53′ would be dreamy!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the first day of summer. Let’s hope the rest of your summer is just as lovely.

  5. What a great way to spend a summer afternoon! Glad the sharks stayed away. The boat is amazing!

  6. Great day out and I love your deli lunch. Perfect boating fare.

  7. Oh wow! Would you and your friends adopt me? I would LOVE to live near the ocean! So glad the sharks stayed away…

  8. What a great day! That’s a huge boat – almost a ship! And what a great lunch selection you provided. Sounds like so much fun – thanks for allowing us onto the boat via your pictures.

  9. These kinds of posts remind me of why I love summer – sounds like a gorgeous way to spend the day 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Sounds like you had a great day indeed and I bet the engineer felt like an idiot. 🙂

  11. I grew up around boats (lived on an island) and this post makes me quite nostalgic. And what a beautiful, beautiful boat. Looks like you provided some lovely food as well. What a lovely day and way to initiate summer.

  12. What a wonderful trip and the food looked perfect for the outing. We haven’t got even vaguely near those temperatures yet over here. No swimming yet, that’s for sure. The boat looks amazing. We had a 26ft launch for a while but the weather was seldom good enough to take it out so we sold it.

  13. What a fantastic day! It would have been perfect for that crazy hot weather! And the food looks fantastic!

  14. I am always green with envy from these posts,but keep them coming!

  15. Your day sounds wonderful, just as well the great whites were napping! GG

  16. What a great way to spend the first day of summer 🙂

  17. The perfect day (and with the head) to be on a boat! Glad the sharks stayed away. They probably were just being nice to you to let you enjoy your day in peace 😉 x

  18. I don’t know if it’s a sorry state of affairs or a good thing but these are the kind of “friends with benefits” that I want these days. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and what a great way to usher in Summer.

  19. It’s always so nice too see how the other half live 🙂 What a gorgeous day indeed! I’m so glad you all didn’t get electrocuted by the anti-shark thingy, how funny putting the wrong end in! I hope the test of your summer is just as wonderful sweetie! Xox

  20. What a cool day out – if I had a boat like that I’d live on the damn thing… wouldn’t ever be bothered by annoying little street trolls ever again!

  21. I wouldn’t mind a friend like that although cruising the Brisbane river isn’t quite as nice. Good thing you were undesirable to those sharks!

  22. What a great day cruising!! I haven’t been on such a luxurious cruise before 🙂 I’d ove to!! Glad that sharks went away!

  23. Wow, I am SOOOO envious on so many levels! We had a light dusting of snow and it’s the beginning of winter here for a start! That is one beautiful boat! Who’s that cutie you’re pictured with?
    I’m glad you had a nice day with your friends with benefits! I love a lunch like that.

  24. You take an engineer out of their office and they just are not as smart. Lovely catering!

  25. I was wondering where this story was leading, starting with the title.

    Anyway, I have my suspicions about any shark detection device. Sounds rather fishy to me.

  26. That is my sort of boat, and those sound like very good friends to have! What a wonderful day – I’m so glad you are getting to enjoy summer after Sydney’s poor effort last year. Let’s hope you get a repeat boat experience!

  27. Pete always talks of us selling everything and buying a boat to live on – for a couple of days, okay but permanently, I’m not so sure – think I would get a wee bit claustrophobic. Besides I don’t think we would have enough money to buy a decent sized boat anyway, so I should be safe enough in our home for now. 😉
    What a fantastic day out – despite the wrong part of the anti shark thingy being in the water.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  28. Hehe from the title, I so thought that this post was headed another way 😉 And I’m glad to hear that you survived your swim! I’ve heard that Sydney Harbour does have its share of less than friendly fish!

  29. I LOVE your stories. I’m sure I’ve gushed over you before, but I’m doing it again and probably will continue in the future. I’m happy the Great Whites found you undesirable…I would be really sad if I couldn’t be involved in your life adventures.

    And you’re much braver than I. Shark detector thingy or not, once I heard them talking about sharks there would have been NO way I was getting in that water!

    ~ April

  30. What a boat and what a day. Those are definitely some beneficial friends, and I’m so glad you weren’t eaten by a shark!

  31. What a wonderful day! The cruise ship’s color scheme seems like a Royal Caribbean ship – but I can’t tell for sure as they have a large blue anchor on the smoke stack. (We’ve enjoyed our time on RCCL) …. and because it’s always wine time … cheers!

  32. Glad you didn’t get eaten!

  33. Ah, now you’re making me miss summer days on the boat!

  34. My gosh.. you’re a brave woman, I’m not sure I would have trusted the Shark-Thingy! What a perfectly lovely day you’ve had!! So nice and warm!!! xx

  35. What a fabulous trip. So glad you escaped the sharks!

  36. What wonderful friends!! A 53ft Riviera would be fantastic… if they want a cook for their next boating trip to the Whitsundays make sure you mention me 😉

  37. How nice to have friends with a boat. And what a boat! I can imagine it must have been quite an experience. It sounds like you had a fantastic trip, even with the prospect of sharks in the water. Enjoy the warm summer down under. Up here where I am it’s cold winter now.

  38. Wow the boat looks so nice! We have a friend who just bought a boat, but haven’t took a look inside. I wonder how it’s like… 🙂 The seafood platter on the ocean. Sounds like a perfect summer afternoon!

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