Sydney Harbour

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - November 2014

Before we arrived, we had heard and read many reports which gave a negative perception about cruising in Oz. but so far we have found the opposite and would say to anyone one being put off by these reports - think again. We've had a great welcome from the Ozzies and found some fabulous spots to cruise. So get the corks attached your hats and get over here! Our first month has been superb and we haven't even scratched the surface.

1 – 6 Nov: Since we arrived, there seems to have been a weather pattern of a few cool days then at least 2 very hot days each week, so temperatures have ranged from 21 – 37 degrees, but averaging very much on the hotter side – quite hard to acclimatise! But generally the weather has been great with a couple of occasional showers and evening thunderstorms. We had a bit of a hectic time in Sydney – we stayed anchored in Blackwattle Bay and spent several days biking around Sydney visiting the fish market, Circular Quay, botanic gardens, the maritime museum, the observatory and much more. Cycled over the harbour and Aztec (aka Madonna's Bra) bridges – well laid out cycle routes with separate lanes for bikes, pedestrians, traffic and trains (thank goodness!) Great views. Went to the observatory where the ball above the clock is raised and dropped at precisely 1 pm. This was used to provide a time calibration to shipping when time was essential for the calculation of longitude. Spent a day with an ex-colleague of Matt's – Ken and Paddy Heskett. Had lunch at Doyle's in Watson's Bay and then a trip to Bondi beach and the ‘Sculptures in the Sand' exhibition – unfortunately it was a bit of a rainy afternoon, but a good day out.

7 – 10 Nov: Little Manly bays and beaches. A great place on the inside of the harbour with several small bays to choose from depending on the wind direction. Had a walk up to North Head for great views over the harbour. Interesting little bay with free museum at quarantine bay – where immigrants were housed on arrival whilst they were checked for diseases – they took showers which had carbolic acid added to the water and the luggage was steamed in autoclaves to kill any infestations. Whilst in Manly, we got Matt's belated 60th birthday pressie – a SUP (stand up paddle board).

11 Nov: A good sail (about 20 miles up the coast) to Pittwater (also the entrance of Hawksberry river). A large area including the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase national park with many creeks with anchorages and great walks. You could spend months here in sheltered waters, only a short bus ride from Sydney's northern suburbs. There are literally hundreds of moorings in this area that can be picked up for free, though it gets busy at weekends or holiday periods. Spent some time in Palm beach on the Barrenjoey peninsular– known as ‘Palmie' to the Sydney-siders who have lovely beach front properties standing empty during the week. Walked up to Barrenjoey lighthouse and then across the peninsular through native Banksia forest from the ocean side to the inland side. Played golf (rather well for a change – well Matt did anyway!) for $15 at the ‘Palm Beach ' golf club.

14 – 29 Nov: Crossed to west side of Pittwater to 'The basin' (a great swimming spot with a net to keep out sharks and motorboats) then on to several different bays up Cowan creek in the national park, walking many of the trails through the bush, and managed to see wallabies, kangaroos, goannas, eagles, parrots etc. Met up with friends Heather and Jon on Evergreen, Jen and James on Dirona, Jan and Rich on Slip Away and made many new friends who will also be going down to Tasmania after New Year. So spent many pleasant evenings socialising and heard so many enticing tales of summer in Tassie and the winter season up on the barrier reef – think we may have to do our full 24 month sentence!

30 Nov: Running out of supplies so headed back to ‘Palmie' – met a local couple Hamish and Michelle, with a Beneteau 57 who came on board for drinks then kindly took us into Avalon the following day to stock up on supplies.

  Position on 30 November: S33.36.61 E151.19.249