Sydney Jetboating

We enjoy another excellent breakfast and meet in the Piano bar at 10.00am. We head to Circular Quay and the jet boating that is booked to start at 11.00am.


One boy will not be allowed to take part-he didn’t return to his room until 11.50pm. It was quite worrying and we were about to call the police when he strolled in. He had been in a room with other lads and oblivious to the possible consequences of being awol.


At the meeting, a handful of boys are a couple of minutes late-it’s annoying and they’ll have to stay behind for 10 minutes after the others depart.


We set off at 10.15am (10.25am for latecomers) and arrive at the jet boating terminal at 10.30am. Disaster, Miss Smitham checks on our booking and is asked “Have you done the consent forms?” I’ve left them back at the hotel-she ‘legs it’ back to the hotel and collect them, she arrives back a little ‘hot, sweaty and flustered’ only to be told that they weren’t required and all that was needed was to list the students who are taking part and sign for them.


We are in 3 slots, leaving in 15 minute intervals from 11.00am and lasting for 30 minutes each. While we are waiting we walk 100 metres to the steps of the Opera House and take individual and group photos with the harbour bridge and the Opera House in the background. It is an absolutely fantastic morning, temperatures are a little below the 19C predicted for later in the day and we are surrounded by iconic buildings, the harbour with some fantastic apartments and other residences and the central city of Sydney where their are countless buildings 60 to 70 storeys tall.


I have always felt that Sydney is the best city I have visited and as I look around, the vista confirms that feeling. What’s remarkable to me is that the walk from the Menzies hotel to Circular Quay is through the busy financial district of Sydney with its many high rise buildings and yet as you walk, there are less pedestrians than if you were walking in Oxford Street in Swansea. The only downside at the moment is that they are installing a new tram network through the area which means there is quite a lot of building work taking place. Nevertheless, I reflect on how lucky we are to be here.


We go back to the jet boating and have our 30 minute rides-well I say we, all did apart from myself because I’m a scaredy cat. My excuse is that someone needs to look after the bags as they tell us we can’t take valuables, cameras etc. on board because they may get wet and damaged. Some have waterproof GoPros and they are not allowed either-we expect that that is because they’ll sell us their own videos. I shouldn’t be so cynical. When we are all finished they give us videos of each boat free of charge. They can be viewed on the website, as Mr Long, who is spending an unbelievable amount of time uploading videos and photos has done so. He is incredibly skilled on the use of IT and is using those skills to keep all back at home visually updated on our experiences and progress-he’s doing a great job which I know is much appreciated back at home. I will look forward to viewing all of his handiwork when I return and have time to do so.


The jet-boating is really well received by everyone, although they all get soaked. Afterwards we go back to the hotel we go back to the hotel to dry off and change and meet in the Piano Bar at 2.15pm ready to travel to our next set of games. Before we left we had the Donkey of the Day vote.


As usual, there were no shortage of contenders:

Chloe Weatherley was uncertain of the directions and saw a taxi stop close by, as it did so, she asked the ‘fare’ who was getting into the taxi the directions. As a visitor to the area he didn’t have a clue. The taxi driver helped her out though.


Sam Cambriani caused some of his friends to snigger When he asked, “Do Koala bears have wings?” “Only if you’ve discovered a new species.” was the response he received.


Millie Steadman was nominated for talking too much-her mum and dad seconded the nomination.


Joe Bright had nearly caused an international incident when he sat down on a chair in his host’s house-he broke the chair. Thank goodness Mr Mason didn’t sit on it!!!


Sam Williams fancies himself as a bit of an Anthony Joshua and was shadow boxing-what he didn’t realise was that there was a plate of glass in front of him and he punched the glass. Luckily the boys said, “Sam couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag.” and no damage was done.


Ryan Hughes was playing Fifa against his host Will O’Donoghue. They were standing up and as things got tense, Ryan bent forward and inadvertently let out a ‘ripsnorter’. His host was unsurprisingly speechless-the incident did not go unnoticed by his partner Joe Whitehorn.


When the votes were counted Millie with 1 vote and Chloe with 2 votes were supported, but the rest of the votes were distributed evenly between Sam and Ryan (28 each) and the award was honourably shared.


The teams then travel to separate venues for their games. The girls go to Barker College and the boys go to St. Ignatious’ College or River view as it’s also known. It is a school on an impressive 20 acre site, and as we travel around it later on it’s easy to see why it’s called Riverview. The school is located about 50 metres above the river. It’s a fantastic location-many of the pupils come to school by ferry which docks below the school.


Russell the head of rugby at the school meets us and opens up the changing rooms. I ask him about the school. They have 250 boys in each year and all are expected to take part in sport and play for a school team. In the ‘open’ age group (our years 12 and 13) they have 9 rugby teams and 10 football teams. They also have school teams in Afl and other sports. Our 1st XV are to play their 3rd XV and our under 16s are playing their ‘B’ team. They have 7 teams at under 16.


In the grounds of the school, they have 6 rugby and 4 football pitches. In the pavilion, where we have the post match reception, there is a photograph of the main school pitch, with a crowd of 17,000 watching them play in one of the Sydney schools cup finals-I bet the Ospreys would give their ‘right arm’ for a crowd that size.


The game kicks off, but I only see 10 minutes as at that point, there is clearly concern on the field that a serious injury had occurred with players from both sides gathered around a player left prostrate on the floor. Mr Thomas is attending to Ben Brown on the touchline, so I get on to the field as soon as I can.


When I arrive, it’s easy to see what the injury is. David Carpanini is lying on his stomach and a look down at his left leg shows that his knee cap is dislocated and has moved to around the side of his knee. Unbelievably, David is showing no sign of pain. Later on one of the nurses described him as ‘stoic’.


As David can’t be moved and with light due to fade by 6pm, the game is moved to an adjacent pitch while I wait for the nurse to come down to the field from the school’s infirmary. Several minutes later, two nurses arrive. They speak to David who remains calm.
“We are going to turn you on to your side quite quickly, do you think that that would be O.K?
“Yes, fine.” said David.
They flip David over and remarkably his knee cap slips straight back into place.


One of the nurses goes to collect the infirmary buggy and uses it to transport the three of us to the infirmary. David receives fantastic treatment. The physiotherapist arrives to assess the damage, fits a leg brace and advises him on what to do.


In the meantime, the nurses, after making me a (well deserved!) cup of tea, rings the top knee consultant in the Sydney area, professor Justin Roe. Luckily for us his son attends the school and the nurse tells me that he had treated both of her sons’ knee injuries. They make an appointment for David to see him tomorrow-wow! His appointment is at 3.50pm and he should attend 20 minutes before that to have the knee x-rayed.


David and I re-join the group at the post match receptions. Both games had been fiercely contested and we’d come out on top in the end thanks mainly to our defensive effort, that was fuelled by the strengthening bond that develops between a group when they are on tour. Match reports can be seen elsewhere.


After a ‘sausage sizzler’ and speeches and presentations we wait for our coach to take us back to the hotel. Unsurprisingly it arrives just over 40 minutes late having been booked for 6pm. Whilst we are waiting for the bus, fantastic news filters through to us. Both the netball and hockey teams had won. This was a tour breaking new ground, and here was another first, the first time the sports teams had all won on the same day. This was the 33rd occasion of a block fixture.


Once the bus arrives, we head back to the Menzies keen to hear details of the girls games. However, when we arrive we find Miss Rushworth and Miss Smitham very subdued. The two teams had played at different venues and after the netball game had finished the girls had had to wait an hour and a half for the coach to arrive to take them back to the reception. The inability of Australian coach companies to stick to pick up times is becoming increasingly frustrating and on this occasion meant the girls were tired and cold and then missed the reception back at the school.


The group have some free time to get something to eat in the restaurants around the hotel or in Circular Quay if they prefer. They are in their rooms by 11pm and checked in by staff.

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Comments ( 1 )
  1. Carole Egan

    Fantastic footage of jet boating thank you to all the teachers for keeping us up to date with all the activities and matches as well as having to look after our little cherubs.

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