12/22/2011, Manly Cove
We left Pittwater late this morning to head for Sydney. There was not a lot of wind but we did get a little push from it as we motored along.
Sydney Heads was an impressive sight as we approached the harbour that Captain Cook missed. He did not have the benefit of the skyscrapers of downtown Sydney in the background. Considering that San Francisco bay was discovered overland it was amazing that the early explorers of Australia managed to find this harbour from the sea. One version of the story I heard is that they actually learned of the harbor from Aboriginal people when the showed up to settle in Botany bay which is a few miles to the south.
We had very little swell as we motored in through the heads and were surprised to see how small the lighthouse on the south side looked. We had hiked out to it the last time we were in Sydney and it had seemed pretty big from that perspective.
We had planned to stop in Manly Cove for the night since we needed to get rid of trash and also needed to make a quick stop at a grocery store for fresh stuff.
Manly is now a trendy beach front community that faces into the bay on one side and out to the ocean on the other. Like many places around here it was named by our friend Captain Cook who was impressed with the physical stature of the naked aboriginal people he saw here. They struck him as very manly.
In light of the fact that the aboriginal people did not have clothes it seems a little ironic that you can pay $50 for a tee shirt in an aboriginal store these days.
We anchored right off the beach by the manly wharf and I dropped Shawn on the beach so he could make a run to the grocery store. I went back to the boat to continue the process of buttoning up things now that we are in port. It takes about an hour to put the main sail cover on, pull the boom off to the side so it does not cast a shadow on the solar panels, and coil up all the lines that we leave in the floor of the cockpit while we are on a passage.
Sydney harbour has an incredible ferry service that connects various parts of the city with frequent arrivals and departures. Large ferries arrive here in Manly ever 20 minutes or so, linger only long enough to disembark and load passengers and then head out again. The same ferry seems to be here every third time so after leaving here it travels to the circular Quay in the Central Business District and then over the Watson's Bay and back to Manly. There are also some faster catamaran ferries that arrive and depart frequently.
The picture for today's blog post is of the Manly wharf with one of the big ferries in the process of docking and a high speed cat docking on the other side of the wharf at the same time.
The beach where I dropped Shawn off has a chain link fence swim enclosure. We have been told that shark attacks are more common in the bay than on the ocean facing beaches.
We are both very excited about being in Sydney again. We have been invited on a catamaran for New Years eve to view the spectacular fireworks display in the bay and are really looking forward to that.
We took a few photos as we were sailing in today and Ill post those to a "Sydney Heads" gallery when I get a chance.
12/21/2011, Broken Bay
After a comfy night in America Bay we moved over to a cove off a bigger bay called Pittwater. We picked up another private mooring in a cove called Coaster's Refuge and spent another comfy night.
Before we left in the morning we had a visit from an Aussie named Scott who stopped by to provide us with all sorts of useful information about Sydney harbour.
12/20/2011, Broken Bay
We did the distance from Camden Haven to Broken Bay at the mouth of the Hawksbury river in one overnight hop.
We had quite a bit of wind for most of the passage and averaged over 8 kts most of the way. We had a lot of help from the current than runs south along this coast of Australia.
For most of the night we carried our staysail and a double reefed main. At times we saw gusts to 40 kts. Fortunately the wind was behind us.
We ended up drifting into Broken Bay as the wind lightened but it was not very scary since the entrance is over a mile and a half wide and there is no bar at this river entrance to cause swells to break.
We were looking for some peaceful place to anchor and took the advice our our friend Chris Harmston and picked up a mooring in Ameria Bay just past the point where the Hawksbury empties into the bay.
It was a very comfy location but we had no cell phone coverage and and very marginal internet. I felt like Captain Cook except he did not know enough to miss his internet.
The Bays around this area are full of private moorings but its OK to pick one up as long as you keep someone on the boat to move it if the moorings owner shows up and wants to use it. Most of the moorings in the Bays were empty so we did not worry about being booted off our mooring as it would be less than 50 yards to the next one.
Shawn worked on sanding the bowsprit and I changed the oil on the diesel.
We both needed a good nights sleep after the bouncy ride the night before.