I have always said that the best part of rowing is when you are not rowing. It’s those moments before you hop in the boat, when you haven’t warmed up yet and all you can think about is the stroke of genius you had in wearing your ugg boots to training. Its the ripples the boat makes as you place it in the water that seem to go on forever. It’s the feeling of calm exhaustion walking home after an erg session before most of the city has even begun to stir.
I haven’t rowed for two years now, but every now and then I cox for the Sydney Uni Women’s Rowing club that row out of their shed on Blackwattle Bay. The bay is not exactly the glamour of Sydney. It is home to a few rusty boats and appears to be the spawning ground for the infamous Fish Market Seagulls . During the day you wouldn’t look twice at the place – the water is murky, the sounds are industrial and the only buildings in sight are cold and corporate. Blackwattle Bay is the white bread of Sydney Harbour.
Every morning, however, White-Bread-Bay transforms. It only lasts for a few seconds between 6:15am and 6:16am, when the crew are immersed in a piece, but I can never quite grasp the beauty of the bay in that moment. Almost as soon as you have seen it, it’s gone, and a part of you will always wonder whether it was ever there at all. Or maybe you are the only person who ever paid enough attention to see, and that’s enough to keep you coming back.