Sow and Pigs [56]

Travails and Travels of Madeline

By Maddie Noonan

It was just a normal day of kayaking out from little Manly Beach. The wind in my hair, the waves splashing over me, sitting on the back hatch of dad’s kayak!

I had my flippers with me as usual and my wetsuit on.

Today’s trip was around Sydney harbour, just looking at things like lighthouses and it’s beaches. We stopped for my favourites, shells (which is another story), and met different people about, as you do.

We were making for the Opera House, to the little ‘Man of War’ beach but we didn’t have enough time, all because of one small stop on the way, the ‘Sow and Pigs!’

The ‘Sow and Pigs,’ is the lowest island, usually awash and over grown by seaweed and other types of scratchy, hard, sea things. At high tide the island is under water and at low tide the island appears again! You can’t miss it because it’s in the middle of the harbour entrance nearer to South Head. Never the less, a few ships have sailed up on it, you know, and disappeared under the waves. It’s a full stop sort of place when you don’t see it. Dad wasn’t game to paddle across it, with the surf and all. This was really the highlight of the adventure! First I put on my flippers and hopped off the kayak, next I was towed close enough to the island so dad wouldn’t get beached and then I swam in.

I managed to stand up for a few seconds and walk about, it’s quite difficult in flippers. Someone in the bible did this in bare feet on water and apparently calmed the waters too. I couldn’t repeat this act of course. My karma isn’t that sophisticated. When a huge wave swept me off my feet, I fell on my knees and it really hurt. At this point I realised I was no one special, I stood up with great difficulty in the crashing waves and called for dad. I was really scared by this point because I didn’t want to fall and hurt myself again. I was all over the place in the rough. As soon as the photo was taken, I swam off the island and crawled back onto the kayak. I felt better then.

When I was home in bed that night, I thought of what I had done and achieved today. Anyway, how many of your friends get to stand on the bottom of Sydney harbour! The Opera house can wait another day.