Our plane was older than me, or Jennifer whose Birthday we were celebrating. It was a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver. The Beaver is one of the most famous sea planes in the world and looks just like something that Biggles or the Saint would pilot on a wicked scrape against the dastardly Jerries.
We took off from Rose Bay after a safety briefing provided by the pilot which consisted of ensuring we had our lifejackets on the right way up (I, for the record, didn’t).
Now the combination of sea and plane brings together two things that my stomach does not best like. Taxiing out on the Harbour into the face of a stiff breeze saw us sloshing about in a minorly alarming fashion. But as soon as we started getting on some speed as we went for take-off things smoothed out. Then after a quick burst of power we were airborne and heading up the Harbour. Perhaps the best thing about the seaplane was that we were never very high up and so the view of Sydney and then the Northern Beaches was stunning. We even flew over some whales as we left the Harbour behind us.
Soon we turned inland and started our descent. Seemingly within moments we were below the level of the Eucalyptus-covered ridges alongside the river. And then we were floating again after a landing so smooth we didn’t even know it had happened.
We had a glorious lunch at the Cottage Point Inn sitting right by the water and watching the world sail, motor or kayak by.
While the lunch was just great there was a niggling doubt in the back of my mind about a big lunch followed by a flight in a small plane. In fact the flight back was even smoother than the flight out, which, thanks to the prevailing winds is apparently not unusual. We circled the Harbour a couple of times and then had a final adrenaline rush when we made a 90-degree turn standing on our wingtip to align ourselves for landing.
A stunning day out in Sydney.