On Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River, having enjoyed Hobart’s wharf area and the edges of Salamanca and Battery Point, I continued walking along Short Beach at the beginning of Sandy Bay, past public toilets at 8.20am, towards the Sandy Bay Rowing Club and then along Marrieville Esplanade.
At 8.28am I reached the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and remembered my first Hobart job many years ago. The photo below shows the entrance to this complex.
A friend waitressed in the Club restaurant and I went to see if I could get a similar job. I had no experience in hospitality but, full of unsubstantiated confidence, I approached the head chef. He told me that without experience he could not give me a job. I stood my ground and said that until I had worked in a job I wouldn’t have experience and therefore the only way I could get experience would be if he hired me. And he did. As a washer of dishes and all the kitchen wares. Eventually I was allowed to place the lettuce on plates, then make the salads, then cook the potato chips and fried rice in large pots, and finally I reached the heights of being permitted to cook steaks for customers. After many months the head chef recalled his first meeting with me and how (I forget the word he used but its meaning was clearly something like) pushy, stubborn, strong willed and unable to take no for an answer I was, and it was my approach which inclined him to give me a go. It certainly helped to pay the rent and I was very grateful. I remain grateful because I learnt a lot about human nature in that hot kitchen where pressure turned people into animals.
But back to my Stage 11 walk.
A couple of minutes later I was walking past the Derwent Sailing Squadron buildings and could see yachts everywhere in and out of the water. Past the Squadron buildings, in the distance, the tall building indicated Wrest Point Hotel was not far away and I knew I would walk past it a little later.
In the distance, slightly inland on my right, the many buildings of the University of Tasmania cascaded down the hill; part of the slope of Mount Nelson.
A car drove past and the driver waved and smiled at me. Once friend Ma was out of her car, she explained that with her husband she was about to put their yacht into the water (after its recent debarnacling – if there is such a word) and enjoy a sail along the Derwent. “Would I like to stay and watch?’ she asked. I wanted to stay focused on my walk in case weather might not be suitable on other days, and declined with some inner hesitation. What a great offer. Maybe another time I can say yes. Perhaps a sail??? Who knows.
The opportunity to continue walking close to the foreshore came to an abrupt stop and it was clear private houses owned the area at the back of their houses to water level. So I took a path to Sandy Bay Road, arriving at 8.35am.