We’ve arrived on a pirate ship, moored out in the bay on a crimson sea, under a magenta sky…
OK, so perhaps I have tweaked the colour, but this is how it looked in our imaginations!
It’s a lovely weekend here. A long weekend, for Easter, and the weather forecast is completely wrong, so we have sunshine and clear skies (mostly). With very little planned, we’ve decided to take our small boys on an expedition to North Head, a former gun emplacement and observation post, which has, you guessed it, tunnels! We set out with our water bottle and our camera, and not much else.
We burn off some energy sliding down the hill on cardboard boxes. Guess who the biggest kid is?
We explore, led by Conal who races to the top of the hill – and disappears! The rest of the expedition follows, post-haste, to discover stunning views and darkest caverns. Luckily we have torches – Zac’s one is especially good as it has little flowers all around it which shine on the walls. Once again, we’re reminded not to typecast our boys. Zac is normally the ‘leaper’. The phrase “heedless they” seems to have been coined for him. The assumption is that he is ‘braver’ than Conal, more adventurous, the leader. Conal is the first one down the hill on the cardboard, and throws himself into the darkest tunnels, curious to see what might be lurking in the shadows. Zac hangs back, holds my hand, doesn’t much like the dark.
We ramble up and down the hills, through the long grass, feeling like Livingstone and Stanley:
Stanley, Livingstone and a native porter!
On our way back to the car, we find a steep passageway leading to smugglers’ caves, overgrown with tree roots and overhanging mildewed rocks. We can’t resist the chance to explore further…
Then the boys discover the other end to one of their tunnels. We peered out through this small hole in the rock wall earlier and thought about climbing out. Now they think about climbing in!
Is it a dragon?
And finally, our intrepid explorers perch up on a cannon and check that our pirate ship hasn’t been blown out of the water.
The rain has held off, we’re all footsore and weary in a good way and armed with nothing more than our imaginations, have spent a wonderful afternoon. Pirates, smugglers, dragons, cannons and soldiers. What more could two 5-year old boys ask for in one day?
The ship's boy, comfortable on his cannon viewing platform.