Imarried into the family of Harold Holt, the only Prime Minister Australia has ever lost and never found again. A few summers ago, hours after landing in Sydney from the US, I found myself caught in a rip at Bondi Beach with Harold’s niece and my mother-in-law, Sue.
I’m not a strong swimmer and was heavily pregnant at the time, and we both instinctively did the exact opposite of what we knew to be best practice: we screamed, we flailed, we desperately tried to swim to shore. All-in-all exhausting ourselves with little results to show for our effort.
As panic set in and we drifted further out to sea, the editor in me couldn’t help but ponder the headlines that might follow such a disappearance: “The Holt Curse”, perhaps?
It was a surfer who eventually spotted us and pushed us back to shore. Hours earlier I’d been soaring over this section of coast in a Qantas A380. Now here I was, powerfully and somewhat ungracefully spat back out onto the sand. I was safe and I was salty and I was home.
Australian beaches: beautiful, powerful, terrifying, exhilarating. We couldn’t resist dedicating an issue to one of our most beloved geographical features at their most majestic time of year.
Enjoy the issue,