Later we had a boat with an in-board motor and in my early teens was often able to use the boat to go down the Styx river, over a lagoon, then across the Waimakariri River, near the mouth, to a camping ground where we would buy ice creams then return back to our holiday camping site. A journey which I'm sure no parent would allow their child do today!
Given that background it's not surprising that of the four in my family, 3 of us had yachts -- I am the odd one out! However I have sailed on their yachts, and in recent years have sailed on a Dutch yacht in the Mediterranean for a week and best of all, 6-weeks sailing from Brisbane to Cairns - through the Great Barrier Reef - on Hatty, a French ketch. And during which time I did two dangerous things (of the many stupid and dangerous things I've done in my life)
On board were the owner/captain Michele Hatty from Lyon, me, and my-at-the-time French-Candaian lover. It was during this blue water sailing that I did one of the very stupid, potentialy dangerous, things in my life. But first here is a picture of me on board.
And here's Hatty, moored off Michelmas Cay, and where we stayed overnight - once all the tourist boats, out to see the reef, had gone: we stayed on on the boat, not the cay of course!
It was while Hatty was moored - in a different site - and Michel and Adrien were diving, that I did one stupid thing.
I was snorkeling around the Zephyr-like dingy a long way away from Hatty. Well, I hate to confess, but I couldn't get back into the rubber-like boat, and decided to would swim back to the safety of the ketch. I was past the point of no return when I suddenly, fearfully, thought, "there are sharks in this water!" well yes you are right, I made it back safely or I wouldnt be writing this.
And what was 'the stupidest thing I've done? just look at this photo:
It's Adrien and I being towed by Hatty in those same waters! How do you fish? You put bait on a line and drag it through water: I won't do this in shark-infested waters ever again!