Sailing from Australia
My first Australian went sailing on the York River with his wife’s family. Sean Ironmonger said that one of the stereotypes is that Americans asked if he knew the late Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. “They can’t believe I never met him, so sometimes I just say, ‘Aye, we drink at the pub now and then.’” In any event, they won the Farthest to Travel Award, 10,471 miles.
People ask, “Is there much competition between Australia and New Zealand?” “In cricket and soccer, yes there is. Otherwise we get along, like the United States does with Canada. But if you detect a British accent and want to ask which country they’re from, always ask if they’re from New Zealand. If they are, they’re very proud. If they’re from Australia, they’ll simply correct you because we don’t care one way or the other about New Zealand. They’re more touchy than we are.”
On the all-important issue of sailing, Sean said, “We won the America’s Cup in 1983.” He was gracious enough to avoid mentioning it was the first time the U.S. had lost since the race started in 1851. We’re still touchy about that. Check out the video below of another Australian couple, who have been sailing around the world.
Sailing to Retirement
Debbie and Ken Johnson are looking to retired to Tidewater after years of living in Connecticut. She asked how much snow we got last year. “Two inches,” I replied. “We got 100 inches,” she said. “We’ve got to get out of there. We have a long driveway, and shoveling it is killing him.”
Off to College (Sailing from Australia)
Amy and Randy Bennett turned their vacation to Williamsburg into a working trip by taking their younger daughter Jillian on an admissions tour to the College of William & Mary. Earlier they saw the University of Richmond and next is St. John’s College in Annapolis.
They talked about it while sailing the York River off Yorktown. “I found the tour at William & Mary to be informative yet humorous,” Jillian said. “She ended up telling us why she chose William & Mary and how that worked out now that she’s graduating.”
“St. John’s is unique for building the entire curriculum around the Great Books series,” Amy said. “Students get immersed in their subjects by reading about their origin first-hand in language, mathematics and science.”
Shannon O’Bryan got to talking about teaching second grade why sailing off Yorktown with her boyfriend Anthony. Certainly she said it didn’t do much to prepare her for her own two children. “The kids in class are different. They come from different parents. It’s a different setting, school. I’m not their parent. It’s all really different.”
Soon we saw dolphins run with the boat, circling and diving for 15 minutes before disappearing altogether. Later we saw a US Navy warship head upriver to transit a swing bridge. It was all pretty breathtaking.
Let’s Go Sailing from Australia
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