Elevation - World Adventures

An occasional blog covering our world circumnavigation.

04 February 2019 | Bantry Bay, NSW
15 January 2019 | Woolloomooloo, Australia
12 January 2019 | SCG, Australia
11 January 2019 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
31 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
30 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
26 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
25 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
18 December 2018 | Pittwater NSW, Australia
17 December 2018 | Newcastle, NSW Australia
12 December 2018 | Newcastle, NSW Australia
03 December 2018 | Redcliffe, Queensland
30 November 2018 | Fraser Island, Queensland
26 November 2018 | Bundaberg, Queensland
13 November 2018 | Bundaberg, Qld
04 November 2018 | Bundaberg QLD
27 October 2018 | Bundaberg, Qld
26 October 2018 | Pacific
25 October 2018 | Pacific
24 October 2018 | Pacific

Beautiful Bantry Bay

04 February 2019 | Bantry Bay, NSW
There is something surreal about sitting on a mooring in the midst of native bushland just a few kilometres away from the centre of Sydney's bustling CBD. Bantry Bay, the sole remaining undeveloped cove in Sydney Harbour, is the centrepiece of the 2202 hectare Garigal National Park. Estimated to have been occupied for tens of thousands of years before European settlement, the park is home to over 100 recorded sites of the Guringai people including shelters, cave art, rock engravings, an abundance of middens and several tool sharpening grinding grooves. The traditional owners were coastal dwellers; the most famous being Bungaree, the first Aboriginal to be recorded in print as Australian. Bungaree accompanied Matthew Flinders onboard HMS Norfolk in 1798 acting as interpreter, guide and negotiator whilst Flinders completed a coastal survey of the NSW coast. He rejoined Flinders for the 1801-1803 HMS Investigator coastal exploration, providing diplomatic, interpretive and survival skill services as the expedition completed a full circumnavigation of Australia. Flinders was very much a fan of Bungaree, and his memoirs note his "good disposition and open and manly conduct", his bravery and his ability to defuse potential conflict situations with other Aboriginal peoples as they made their way around the continent.

Garigal forms part of a very important wildlife corridor spanning from Sydney Harbour out to the Blue Mountains. It's home to an amazing array of native animals, including the tiger quoll, the southern brown bandicoot and the eastern water dragon. There are stunning sandstone cliffs heavily forested with scribbly and red gum, grass trees, banksia, Australian tea tree and even the occasional stand of cycads. It's not old growth - the area was extensively logged in the 1800's - but it does provide a snapshot of how this whole area would have looked prior to colonial settlement. Today, you can follow the Timber Getters track from the National Park wharf to Seaforth Oval, a steep if short hike which provides amazing views of Bantry Bay below.

Gazetted as a public recreation area in 1879, Bantry Bay quickly became a popular daytrip and weekend destination known locally as "The Pleasure Gardens". By the start of the 20th Century it boasted a dance hall, picnic ground, a dining area and several summer gazebos and was serviced by the Balmain New Ferry. The seclusion led to the resumption of the land in 1906 for a government run explosives battery - despite an enormous public outcry - and the complex remained operational until 1974. The battery was mostly run as a commercial operation and stored explosives used for such projects as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the cities underground tunnels and railway system and the Newcastle Highway as well as servicing the NSW mining industry. During WW2, it was commandeered by the Allied Forces and used as a munition's depot for the war in the Pacific. Following its closure, the land was incorporated into the Davidson State Recreation Area. The NSW Government agreed to repair the complex however with contamination from lead and zinc, to date only one building has received any attention. There are eight public moorings in the bay provided through the very impressive NSW Road and Marine Services courtesy mooring scheme however other than a small public toilet block at the Timber Getters picnic spot on the eastern side of the bay, there are no other facilities.

We'd been informed by some local cruisers that Bantry Bay is a bull shark breeding site and that a number of attacks, including two fatalities, had occurred over the years. No swimming here then! Luckily the very pretty, clear water Flat Rock Beach is just a dinghy ride away should we need to cool off.

We are loving the serenity of the bay and each morning we are woken by the raucous laughter of the resident kookaburra choir. As we enjoy our first morning cuppa, the air explodes with the whip-crack duet calls of the eastern whip bird, a small, slim and black crested avian. As we consider breakfast options, the air reverberates with the cacophonous shrieks of cheeky sulphur crested cockatoos. Throughout the day assorted fish break the surface from time to time, silver gulls wheeling overhead endeavouring to share in whatever delicacies the fish are attracted to. On one very still, very hot Sydney afternoon we were amazed to see a metre long dragon swimming across the bay; we later spied a lone little penguin bobbing happily along the surface. As dusk arrives, we once again become the audience for the native birds, the kookaburras always being the last to sing the sun behind the western clifftop. It's a glorious reminder of the stunning natural beauty of our Lucky Country.

All well onboard.

A Wander around Woolloomooloo

15 January 2019 | Woolloomooloo, Australia
Just a few kilometres walk from the CYCA is the inner city harbourside suburb of Woollomooloo. Today it is a very upmarket location, but once, it was a sacred site and hunting ground for the Gadigal people. Gifted to the NSW colony's commissary-general, John Palmer in 1793, its fertile land was cleared for farming and Palmer dubbed his homestead "Woolloomooloo House" in deference to the Gadigal's name for the area, which is believed to mean "place of plenty".

The suburb's impossible-to-spell name has long captured the imagination, and understandably has been the subject of many a ditty. Children were encouraged to commit it to memory through this old spelling rhyme

Near Sydney Town there's a place of renown,
Which is well known to you, it's called Woolloomooloo,
It's easy to say, I know very well,
But Woolloomooloo is not easy to spell.
Double U double O double L double O M double O L double O
Now make that a feature, and I'll be the teacher,
Let everyone here have a go.

Of course, being Australia, most people just get around the problem by calling it the 'Loo.

With our marina job list completed, we took a stroll through the very well patronised Rushcutters Park and leafy, restaurant filled Elizabeth Bay. We made our way down the 113 sandstone steps of the McIlhone Stairs, built in 1904 and once called the "Stairs of Doom" for both the walkway connecting the exclusive settlement of Potts Point with the early 20th century slums of Woolloomooloo and for the nighttime sexual encounters offered on the steps and landings by local prostitutes. Interestingly, the stanchions of the stairs were used as a drop off and pick up point by 1960s Russian Embassy worker and spy Ivan Skripov who was arrested by ASIO in 1962. We strolled along Cowper Wharf Road, pausing to look over the home ported fleet at HMAS Kuttabul. There has been a naval presence here since the 1850's and today Fleet Base East occupies the bay. Nearby is the famed Harry's Cafe De Wheels, home of the iconic pie floater (aka Harry's Tiger) , which has been serving sailors, soldiers, cabbies, police, firemen and night owls since 1938.

Next, we checked out the redeveloped and heritage listed Finger Wharf. Owned by NSW Maritime, it was initially constructed in the early 1900's to berth shipping used in wool export and is the longest timber piled wharf in the world. Today it's the inner harbour 's fashionable address for luxury residential apartments, restaurants, a marina complex and the Ovolo Hotel. It's the perfect location for the contemporary Sculpture on the Wharf 2018-2019 exhibition and we happily checked out the amazing works positioned all around the area. My personal favourite was the very striking "Emerging Dragon" piece by Mike Van Dam, created from 4000m of 4mm 316 marine quality stainless steel chain. Just stunning! If you happen to be in Sydney before the end of March, add the exhibition to your "to do" list.

All artily impressed onboard.

Cricket, Culture and Crazes

12 January 2019 | SCG, Australia
We love cricket and we've really privileged to have been able to observe it in its many formats at so many different and varied locations across the globe as we've circumnavigated. How opportune to discover that the first One Day International match between Australia and India was scheduled to be played in Sydney - a perfect reason to both visit the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the first time, and see our country's players in action.

With Opal cards in hand, we hopped the ferry from Darling Point to Circular Quay where we picked up the 373 bus for the 20 minute trip through the city and out to the SCG. One of the oldest and most prestigious sporting venues in Australia, the ground was established on a section of the second Sydney Common in 1851 when colonial troops levelled, graded, grassed and prepared the area for an inaugural Army summer competition. As other recreational locations were resumed across a growing Sydney for both commercial and residential use, many clubs amalgamated and relocated to the then "Garrison Ground". By the 1870s, administration of the ground was passed on to the newly established NSW Cricket Association and the name changed to the Association Ground. Two grandstands were built in readiness for the first England V Australia Test Series of 1882 and by 1896, the ground was rebranded as the SCG, boasting a further 3 stands plus two public grassed mounds, known as "The Hill" and "Paddington Hill". Today, the entire ground is filled with a series of stands, the only heritage structures remaining being the 1886 "Members Pavilion" and the 1896 "Ladies Stand". We made our way to our under cover seats in the Victor Trumper Stand, ideally located directly in front of the wicket at the southern end of the ground and settled in for the day/night action to come.

It's been some time since we have been in a confined location with a horde of others (our overseas matches have all been at much more intimate venues) and for us, there was a degree of culture shock as we waited for the commencement of play and then throughout the game itself. First, we found ourselves in the middle of "Selfie Land" - thousands of individuals all busily snapping away with their smart phones in all manner of poses across obviously strategic locations within the ground. Of particular intrigue were the many young men taking self portraits, checking their screens, fixing their hair and then taking more shots in pursuit of that perfect social media image. Next we learned of "The Floss", an arm and hip swinging dance routine which apparantly was a 2017 viral phenomenon, as the SCG's pre-match on ground presenter encouraged the crowd to demonstrate their abilities. The traditional coin toss, won by Australia, was followed by a moving "Welcome to Country" ceremony then reditions of both ours and India's National Anthems rang out across the stadium.

The game got underway and we got our introduction to the "Swami Army", India's passionate, musical, loud, colourful and enthusiastic answer to the British "Barmy Army". These cricket loving folk certainly raised the energy levels of the stands and for most of the afternoon, there was a continuous Mexican wave rippling around the ground. Given a score of 288 to beat and having to overcome the loss of three quick wickets, the Indian batsmen took every opportunity to smash out 4's and 6's. The Swamis exploded and we felt like extras in a lively Bollywood movie as they fist pumped, danced, played drums, blew whistles and chanted. Victory however, went to the determined Aussie team!

One disconcerting trend we have noticed is the proliferation of uninspiring, banal and vacuous conversations happily trotted out for all to hear in public. We had the unfortunate experience yesterday of having to endure hours of three self proclaimed professional 30 something ladies who spent their entire time at the SCG talking across each other about a whole raft of featureless and interminable topics. When did communication become so dumbed down that sentences now all seem start with So and what is with the active overuse of the word Like? An example - "So I like met up with like a couple of friends and we like decided to like head to blah blah blah for drinks". It's just such a slow death of our beautiful English language. These girls were so involved with their own so called conversations that their understanding of the game in front of them was limited to watching the big screen replays after each big hit, each magnificent piece of fielding and each wicket taken ... they would have been better placed to have met at someones home to talk over the top of the telecast of the game!

1st ODI over, and we joined the remaining 37,995 throng exiting the stadium. Kudos to the NSW Transport Authority for their efficient programming of shuttle buses to Central which managed to move the crowd as quickly as possible. We picked up a taxi outside the station for a backstreets trip back to CYCA. We loved the adventure, we loved the excitement of the game and we really enjoyed the opportunity to see the SCG. Our preference, however, is still far away from the madding crowd - give us blue ocean, deserted white sand beaches and the opportunity to converse with like minded people anytime!

All well onboard.

Some Sydney Harbour Time

11 January 2019 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
We're well into the second week of January and thoroughly enjoying our Sydney Harbour experiences ... there is so much to see and do! After all the magic and sparkle of New Years Eve, the first day of 2019 dawned bright and sunny. It was Dale and Kellie's last day onboard and as they were keen to see more of Port Jackson, we pulled our pick and headed out towards the Heads straight after breakfast. After a quick sightseeing stop at Watsons Bay, we decided that Manly would be an ideal location given the forecast northerlies. No chance of jagging one of the five courtesy moorings on a public holiday, however there was plenty of anchoring room just off the Manly wharf. Once dug in, we dropped the tender and headed ashore for lunch at The Bavarian, a German tap house and restaurant which was buzzing. From there, we took a leisurely stroll along The Corso, originally built as a wooden boardwalk in 1854-55 by Henry Gilbert Smith, the early developer of the town. An odd sort of moniker - it was actually named in honour of the Via del Corso of Rome, Smith's favourite promenade in Italy. The route follows the traditional track worn across the sand spit between Manly Cove and Ocean Beach by the Kay-ye-my mob, a clan of the Guringai people. How interesting to learn that the area was named by Captain Arthur Phillip in honour of this tribe after he encountered them whaling in the cove - Phillips remarking that "their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place".

Since the early 19th century, Manly has been an incredibly popular seaside holiday resort; it's the place where restrictions on daylight bathing were first challenged in Australia and going by the hordes of people on the beach on NY Day, it is still a very popular swimming, surfing and sunbathing spot. Not the type of deserted, sandy beaches we are used to! Our friends headed off on the ferry to then fly home; we decided to spend a few days enjoying the ambience of the anchorage - we even managed to catch up with David and Pattie from SV This Way Up, who we had last seen in Kota Kinabalu. Good water clarity offered the opportunity for Paul to do a little cleaning on the hull .... although the water temperature is unseasonably cool at < 20 degrees due to the Coriolis Effect (just need a couple of good southerly blows to bring it back up to average summer temps of 22-25). Overall, Sydney weather has been somewhat crazy - we copped a massive thunderstorm prior to Christmas, with one monster hailstone actually piercing a small hole in our bimini clears; January's rainfall is way up on average; there have been a couple of days with thick sea fog; and we've even experienced the phenomenon of "mammatus cloud", the cellular pouch shapes caused by cold air sinking and forming unusual udder or mammary shapes (had to Google that!) We've also had some amazingly stunning days with clear skies and sunshine; it's been a total mixed bag.

After Manly, we headed back to Blackwattle Bay for a couple of days where we caught up with our new Brissy buddies on SV Joule. We're now enjoying the hospitality of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia; the legendary hosts of the Sydney to Hobart offer reciprocal rights to us as members of the Fremantle Sailing Club. With a great location, marina and clubhouse, it's a fabulous place to do a couple of maintenance jobs and a perfect base for a few days of tourist activity. We've caught up with Tony Buizen, one of our boatbuilders, and his lovely wife Vicki and we've finally met up in person with David Henry, a fellow Buizen owner (Sweet Chariot) and world circumnavigator.

All well onboard.


31 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
Guests onboard, drinks chilled, party food shared - what a sensational night we have had! Even an early evening Sydney thunderstorm couldn't dampen the excitement .... although it did test out a number of skippers anchoring skills! The 2100 kiddies show set the scene and as we counted down from 10-Happy New Year at midnight, the sky erupted with tonnes of beautifully choreographed, amazingly vibrant bursts of sparkle and pop!

Another bucket list goal achieved .... all mesmerised onboard.

Farewell 2018 .... Happy New Year!

30 December 2018 | Sydney Harbour, Australia
It's early morning on Sydney Harbour and the city's waterways are coming to life as commuter ferries begin to ply their trade. We are sitting on anchor at Athol Cove; our claim staked for tonight's magnificent New Years Eve fireworks spectacular. We have a sensational view of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and we know that it's totally worth living through two days of constant vessel wash to fulfil the opportunity to see in the New Year in such a memorable way. Of course, the deployment of our flopper stopper is helping to minimise the rocking and rolling while also discouraging anyone anchoring too closely on our starboard side! There's a great party atmosphere and everyone around us is conscientious, friendly and co-operative; nevertheless we are armed with every fender on board ..... just in case.

Counting down to the Southern Hemispheres most technologically advanced pyrotechnics show, viewed by more than a billion people across the globe annually, presents a perfect opportunity to reflect on the last twelve months of Team Carter. 2018 has been a sensational year in so many ways. Highlights, in order, include our tour of NZ, sharing some very special moments with our friend Annie, especially our trip on the Tranzalpine across the Southern Alps in perfect, snowy conditions. NZ was a delight, blessing us with friends old and new and some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Fiji was full of unexpected treasure - warm and happy islanders, beautiful bays and beaches with great swimming and snorkelling and of course, having the opportunity to drift along with the mantas. Kava, however, is not to our taste! Vanuatu charmed us with her welcoming ways, her unique and diverse peoples, her culture and her entertaining language. We were so happy to share time with our new friend Charlie and his lovely family and am sure we will be telling the "Elevation electric toilet" story at our individual gatherings for years to come. New Caledonia was sheer fab French chic, stunning scenery and gorgeous lagoon anchorages - the picture postcard prettiness of Ile de Pins forming a magnificent memory of this French Pacific paradise. Returning to our Lucky Country onboard our beautiful girl was made seamless through our participation in the Down Under Go West Rally (which we highly recommend to anyone sailing to Australia) and travelling down the east coast a new and interesting experience. Completing our world circumnavigation on 18/12/18 filled us both with enormous pride, joy and satisfaction and we've been overwhelmed with the many congratulatory messages we've received from friends and followers all across the planet. Winning a storytelling competition and being published in a sailing anthology and two magazines were thrilling literary experiences, certainly providing the impetus to continue to grow my skill as a writer, wordsmith and blogger.

There were, of course lowlights - loosing my father, without being given the opportunity to say goodbye, was incredibly sad. Other blah moments were mechanical and while inconvenient, were fixable. Sleeping in our mostly trusty, but one time broken down, Kiwi Volvo wagon in the caravan park at Wanaka during the first cold snap of the NZ year was definitely something we don't wish to repeat!

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of my family's migration to Australia after arriving by sea onboard the Castel Felice. I'm so delighted to still have contact with school mates made in that first Aussie year; it is truly a blessing and a privilege to have friends for a half century! One of these, Lewis, was able to offer help by way of delivering parts to Danish sailing friends, Kurt and Gitte, who were stuck with boat problems in Bali. The cosmic serendipity that occurs in life is totally amazing! Another friend, Kim, recently gave my my new mantra .... My Life Is A Bucket List, which it is - earnt through tenacity, commitment, dedication and of course, the wonderful and loving teamworking relationship Paul and I have. My New Years message was going to be smile often, think positively, give thanks, laugh loudly, love others, dream big ..... I'd now like to add make your life a bucket list!

Peace love and happiness in 2019.
Vessel Name: Elevation
Vessel Make/Model: Buizen 48 Mark II
Hailing Port: Fremantle, Western Australia
Crew: Paul & Jill
After deciding to live our dream of sailing the world, one day at a time, we left home in April 2010. Since then, we've cruised the West Australian coast, the Kimberley, Northern Territory to Darwin, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. [...]
Extra: When we're at sea, we are contactable via a slow speed Email service we access through our HF radio. If you wish to touch base, send a message to vnw5919@sailmail.com. No photos or attachments though, as they won't transmit!
Home Page: http://nococonuts.wix.com/sv-elevation
Elevation's Photos - Main
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Created 11 April 2018
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Created 10 April 2018
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Days 1-4 of Our 2 Island Road Trip
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Created 25 March 2018
A few snaps of our recent road trip with friends Paul and Heather
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Created 1 February 2018
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Created 12 April 2017
A Day Trip to Kingstown
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Created 21 May 2016
A Day Out on the Coast
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Created 16 June 2006