Exploring Sydney by boat..there is just nothing like it!
Although we missed the New Year Spectacular as in the fireworks off the Bridge this year due to family committments, we will be there for the 2015 New Year!
January/February in Sydney was just sensational for a few reasons. The weather had settled and we had no thunderstorms, just a few windy days. Most people had returned to work so there were only a few yachts moving around, most of which were international visitors. Maritime appparently were a little slack, so moorings of course were overused in the sense that yachts were staying on them for more than their allowed time. This was not a problem as there are many to go round!
All in all, there are so may fabulous anchorages around Sydney Harbour, not to mention the amazing Middle Harbour, Pittwater and Cowan Creek. Once out of the main harbour you are free from ferries and commercial traffic and its hard to believe you are anchored in the middle of such a metropolis! We were in Northbridge Marina for a while ...the courtesy dinghy's that you row are fabulous....watch out for the penguins!!
Public transport is excellent and it is so easy to get around! From the water, there are ferries, trains and busses which all run to the city centre and around. We first did the whole tour of the Harbour by ferry! It is really worth it.
For provisioning, Blackwattle Bay is close to a major shopping area, Birkenhead has a Coles and shopping complex just behind the Marina (or anchorage), Northbridge in Middle Harbour has access to a good shopping centre once you walk up the hill, and Mona Vale is a small bus ride from the dinghy dock at Church Point. This is also a great walk. We did get very fit as there are so many fabulous hikes and its very hilly!!
There are so many moorings around in terms of courtesy moorings and in Pittwater, you can use the moorings in the Bays like Morning Bay and Coaster's Retreat as long as you stay with the boat in case the owner comes along. Moorings and anchorages a plenty up Cowan Creek....which is in a National Park. maritime NSW has all the lastest info on moorings and locals are always a great source!
Sydney is not expensive if you know where to look and ask around!
Australia Day celebrations on the harbour were great fun, especially since it was Peter's brother John's (visiting from the UK) birthday!
We really enjoyed seeing Captain Cook's Endeavour again as she was built in Fremantle and we were on the water sharing her launching! She has sailed to the UK and around, tracing Cook's Voyages.
The new A380 QANTAS Airbus did a spectacular fly pass 3 times across the Bridge...not a newbie pilot flying that one! It was all a case of national pride for us and a welcome home to Australia!
We had a family visit, sailing around the harbour
and enjoying a sensational land tour up to the Blue Mountains around Katoomba. None of us had ever been up there and one thing is for sure, we have some exploring to do in Australia!! We did not do this place justice as it has a high WOW factor! Amazing hikes! We were first worried about the bushfires (me more than anyone else!) but it just so happened that our week was clouded in for most of the time. The upside was some sensational walks in the cool weather! We did get a little peak at the vista when the weather cleared a little! The 3 Sisters would have ot be one of the most photographed scenes in Australia.
Familial traits are interesting. John on the far right is Peter's oldest sibling and of course Peter is the baby of the family. They have not spent a lot of time together due to age difference and geography, but they are just so alike!! Even to the extent they both always carry a hanky! Mannerisms and humour....its all there. We laughed much!! How wonderful for them to share such a special time together. Peter's sister, Ann is on the far left. Next year we will go to Europe to do some of the canals ...Danube with them. A boating family of course!!
With inclement weather comes the freedom from crowds! Always an up side!
For those cruisers who do not come to Australia, having seen a lot of the world, we know you would be missing out!!