Home on the Harbour

18th February 2014

"The time in the marina was excellent, and there’s a great community on the dock … "
— Brian Oldfield

Ever dreamed of living on a boat? Well, Brian Oldfield did it – at Victoria Harbour. Kiloran Hiscock chatted with him.

It was a few years ago now that Brian Oldfield was flipping through the back pages of the classifieds, looking at the vineyards and lavish properties and “all sorts of things you can’t afford” when something caught his eye – a beautiful 50-foot sailboat located all the way up on Magnetic Island, Queensland. Built in 2005, the boat was created from a design by John Alden, who had also designed a boat belonging to John F. Kennedy. Enticed by the idea of a change of lifestyle, he bought the boat and began a life on the water in Victoria Harbour. While Oldfield works as a neuroscientist and professor of physiology at Monash University, sailing has been a passion since he was a young kid. His stint living on the boat lasted nine months.

Looking back on the experience now, he speaks of the warm community presence in the bay: “The time in the marina was excellent, and there’s a great community on the dock … it’s a nice environment.” When I asked Oldfield what appealed to him about Victoria Harbour in particular, he spoke of its proximity to the city. “Having a boat accessible to the bay and at the same time being a few minutes from the CBD is a pretty good situation … whether it’s San Francisco or Vancouver or Sydney or here, you’re rarely going to get this aspect where you can park your boat here, catch a tram and then be in the centre of the city in a few minutes.”

Oldfield has now regained his land legs, and lives not too far away from his former watery home in a Docklands apartment with his partner, Heather. He continues to sail regularly and looks back on the period of his life spent on Victoria Harbour fondly. “It was a reflective time.”

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