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Showing posts from 2019

New Year's Eve

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We wanted to see the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney Harbour. The display has several sets of fireworks set off from barges in the harbour, and a centrepiece display set off from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.We gathered a lot of information about the best views and anchorages for watching the fireworks. Everyone told us how crowded it would be, which we expected, and how inexperienced lots of the other boats out there would be, which we also expected. The best approach would be to choose a spot a little deeper than novice boaters would feel comfortable anchoring in, and hopefully that would provide more space for us. We had made a plan to anchor in Athol Bay, with a view of the Bridge and the Opera House. As plans go, this one changed with the weather forecast. Strong southerly winds were going to be arriving a few hours before midnight, and Athol Bay would be too exposed.  Along with our friends on SV Tregoning and SV Silhouette, we chose to anchor in Farm Cove,…

Sydney to Hobart Race

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The Sydney to Hobart race is one of the world’s most famous yacht races. It starts in Sydney Harbour on December 26th each year and the boats race south over 1000 km to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. There were 170 boats entered this year, including five super maxis (custom designed racing yachts, in the range of 100 ft long). 

We’d heard from friends that watching the start from a boat in the harbour is amazing. The problem is that a very large number of boats do this so it can be extremely crowded, a little crazy and stressful. The city and the race committee do a great job setting the rules for spectator boats. There is a large “race boats only” area, zones where you must remain stationary and zones where all boat traffic must move in the same direction parallel to the race boats.
The race boats are divided into different classes, with the fastest ones starting first and the subsequent classes starting afterwards at five minute intervals. After lookin…

Sydney

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After enjoying Coasters Retreat for a few days, we motored further up Pittwater to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club to be on a dock to welcome our next set of guests. We hired a car to pick up our friend Tim and his two boys, Sam and Liam, and to do a big grocery store run. They had been diving at the Great Barrier Reef and planned to be with us for almost a week. 
The boys enjoyed some easy sailing, within the confines of Broken Bay, and some walks along the shore of Coasters Retreat where they saw wallabies and a number of birds. The weather was good for a nice day sail south to Sydney, so off we went. As we exited Broken Bay, we sailed by two local sailboat races, probably regular weekend events, but then we only saw a few boats for the next four hours.
We sailed into one of the most iconic destinations we’ve been to, Sydney Harbour. The harbour is quite large, with many bays and boat clubs. Our entrance to the harbour coincided with a fleet of large ocean sailboats finishing a rac…

Socializing with Fellow Sailors

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While we were in Coff's Harbour, we met Dale and Nanette on SV Laissez Faire and Duncan and Christine on SV One Mo Time. We were all heading south towards Sydney and we got together a few times to discuss weather and plans. It looked like we were going to have a nice sail south, so all three boats left Coff’s Harbour at about the same time...and motored! The wind that had been predicted didn’t appear! After 16 hours of motoring, we hoisted sail at about 3 AM for a broad reach. The winds were okay, but the large swells made it uncomfortable. The good news was there were a lot of dolphins! After about 6 hours of sailing, the wind died and the motor was back on! 
A few hours later, we anchored in Shoal Bay, in Nelson Bay, in Port Stephens (we still are not sure about place names here in Australia!). That night, while anchored, there was a brief thunder and lightning storm with a small amount of rain. In the morning we found a layer of black grime all over the boat. The rain had brough…

Sports and Smoke on the way to Sydney

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After our skiing friends left, we spent some time around Brisbane doing more boat jobs. The Rainman brand watermaker we purchased needed to be installed, with plumbing attachments for seawater and the freshwater produced, electrical attachments and a safe mounting location for all the pumps and other components.



The wood working around the sea berth was finally addressed  and we took delivery of our new genoa sail and solent sailbag.


All these jobs were finished in time to welcome our friend, Maryse, at the start of November. We welcomed Maryse to Australia with some kangaroo kebabs on the BBQ! Kangaroo meat.
Before leaving we went to check out the Lone Tree Koala Refuge and some Aboriginal drawings.