After a few years of working hard, my parents were able to get a bank loan to buy our own home: a little cottage on the northern beaches.
Not only a house. They bought a boat too. It was a 12 foot tinnie with a 6 horsepower outboard motor. For the next few years, we spent most summer Sundays boating on Pittwater, exploring secluded little bays and having picnics on tiny little beaches that we had all to ourselves.
Once in a while, an irresistible urge to flirt with danger impelled my father to steer our tiny boat into the open sea. On one such adventure, the weather changed suddenly and the swell grew monstrous. I think my mother was terrified.
But she needn’t have worried. A couple of dolphins suddenly appeared beside our boat, as if they knew that we were in danger and that none of us had life jackets. Gently they guided us back to calmer waters and we got home safely.