by Scott Bevan
Why our Staff Love The Harbour:
It's easy to forget how The Harbour (and I'm using capitals here purposefully) is the very heart of all that is Sydney. This huge and beautiful feature brings focus and measure not just to the surrounding geography but to its people, adding much to the personality of the city.
Scott Bevan, a kayaking enthusiast, regularly takes many a journey close to and on these waters, investigating the secret history of every point and every inlet. Inspired by Peter Ackroyd's book on the Thames, Bevan uses the waterways as a prism to shine light on a thousand visions of Sydney, across its time and peoples. He shows us its wrecks and its ecosystems, and visits authors, artists, fisherman and sailors, stopping to chat with the rich and poor, those just passing through as well as the old stalwarts.
I can't imagine Peter Ackroyd in a canoe, but I feel that Scott Bevan has caught Sydney in a snapshot burst of shimmering afternoons that would surely make the British author envious. The Harbour is an affectionate but informative travelogue-meets-history-book, but it’s all the more rewarding because Bevan is a Sydneysider. If you are like me and think of Kenneth Slessor's Five Bells as you cross to Manly on the night ferry, you know the magic of this harbour. If you think of Barangaroo cooking her catch on her canoe on Blackwattle Bay, this book is for you. The myriad peoples and their interaction with this harbour are the core of this story, and Bevan is a most congenial guide who is informative and beautifully descriptive.
I've truly enjoyed dipping into this handsome volume over hot days this summer - I think you might too.
In the bestselling tradition of Peter Ackroyd's The Thames, a celebration of one of the world’s great waterways
Everyone knows Sydney Harbour. At least, we think we do.
Everyone can see the harbour, whether we have ever been to Sydney or not. By as little as a word or two, the harbour floats into our mind’s eye. The Bridge. The Opera House. Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. When we see those images, we feel a sense of belonging. No matter who we are or where we’re from, we see the harbour and we feel good.
In this beautiful, authoritative and meditative journey, Scott Bevan takes us from cove to cove, by kayak, yacht and barge to gather the harbour’s stories, past and present, from boat builders, ship captains and fishermen to artists, divers, historians and environmentalists, from signs of ancient life to the submarine invasion by the Japanese.
This is the ultimate story of Sydney Harbour a city’s heart and a country's soul..