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Archive for December, 2009

Sailing in Sai Kung

We got a call last weekend friends called with an offer to go sailing (it’s common here for people to own shares of a boat and have access to it every 3-5 weeks or so). I immediately wanted to but my husband was a bit more hesitant – not being very comfortable on boats/oceans. I explained sailing is very different from the rocky Hong Kong junks we’ve been on and assured him it would go well. He finally acquiesced and we decided to go.

The next morning we woke up, packed, and headed to Sai Kung via the MTR to meet them. Their boat was gorgeous and apparently is a part of Hong Kong sailing history – for exactly what I don’t remember – but I do know that it once was a part of the Jardine fleet (a big deal here). It was a wonderful day – breezy, not too cold or hot. A tiny hint of haze. We  sailed for a while, then anchored near a tiny inlet known as Whiskey beach, located on Kau Sai Chau Island (which is known for its public golf courses that requires a ferry to access). We ate pesto pasta, fruit and chips on the boat and then rowed an inflatable dingy to the beach. We spent about an hour there while the kids frolicked in and out of the water and pretended to be sand monsters.

It was about 3:30pm by the time we got back to the boat. The captain, a sinewy, elder local known as Mr.  Leung, was preparing to return to port. It was really special to see the beauty of Sai Kung by sailboat with just the wind propelling us. The kids had a great time playing and it was incredible to see how comfortable and at ease they were on the boat. We all had that great windswept feeling of being outdoors all day and exhausted – the closest feeling to a ski day I’ve had here in Hong Kong. I think F summed it up best – “it was wonderful and terrific!”

When we were back on the dock packing up, Mr. Leung would squirt the kids with the hose he used to clean the boat. They’d run away, laughing, and ask for more. While the adults pulled all the remaining stuff from the boat, we realized that the children were now only in their shirts and underpants, running up and down the docks. They all discarded their pants when they got too wet. We have this great image in our head of them walking back to the car together, chatting away, in their underpants, like it’s no big deal. Ah to be a kid again.

(Please note, the sailboat to the left is LIKE the one we were on.  The water was incredibly calm on the day we went sailing, unlike the choppy waves shown here. It really was a perfect sailing day).

Our advice: if offered the chance to sail in Hong Kong take it!

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