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 race! It was all very exciting. Dina couldn’t really enjoy it as she was on the helm and boats seemed to be everywhere. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with lots of people out fishing, boating, and sailing. As we maneuvered further into the harbour, we passed near, or even through, another race, and another, and another. All interspersed with the numerous harbour ferries, some large and lumbering and some fast and zipping by. We expected to see lots of boats as we got to Sydney and we certainly did. This was the busiest place we’ve ever taken our boat. We shouldn’t have come in on a weekend.

About 20 minutes after coming into the harbour, we could see the famous Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It was an incredible sight! We’d come all the way from one corner of the Pacific to the opposite corner. 

First view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge

We were aiming for Blackwattle bay, close to the city centre, so we continued pasted the Opera House and under the bridge. We did find a moment or two for photos.

Tim, Malcolm, Dina, Sam and Liam in front of the Opera House
(crew shirts thanks to Stephanie!)

Our flag as we go under the Sydney Harbour bridge

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Tour boat

On our first day in Sydney, while Tim and the boys headed out to see some of the sights, we met our Australian friend, Jonathan, for lunch and to pick up the new paddleboard we had shipped to his house. It was nice to catch up with Jonathan and show him our boat, anchored in downtown Sydney. The following day was the last day of our visit with Tim, Sam and Liam, so we took a Sydney Ferry to the Taronga Zoo and had a great day before seeing them off.

The friends we met in Coff’s Harbour, Duncan and Christine from SV One Mo Time, live in downtown Sydney and have their boat moored in Lavender Bay, very close to Blackwattle Bay. They invited us on their boat for a tour of their harbour. On the day of our outing, the weather brought a lot of bushfire smoke into Sydney. That didn’t stop any of us and we soon found ourselves peering into the smoke trying to hear boat traffic that we could not see. We later found out that the Sydney Ferry service had been suspended due to poor visibility. 

Bad visibility in Sydney Harbour due to bushfire smoke
(onboard SV One Mo Time)

Duncan and Christine are quite familiar with the harbour and got us to a mooring ball at Quarantine Bay. We toured the historic Quarantine Station where we learned about migrant ships having to offload passengers and crew to be quarantined for suspected contagious diseases. The smoke cleared enough for Duncan and Christine to get us back to Good as Gold without difficulty. We arranged to meet again in a few days to attend a Climate Change rally at city hall.

Climate Change Rally
Climate Change Rally

We had more smoke-filled days, but none as bad as the day sailing in Sydney Harbour with Duncan and Christine. We took advantage of lovely, sunny, spring days to explore some of the amazing coastline in Sydney. This included the lovely Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk and taking Good as Gold to various bays within the harbour.

Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk

Bondi Beach

Good as Gold right in front of the Opera House
(screenshot of the Sydney Harbour Webcam)

About ten days after we arrived in Sydney, Alison and Randall, on SV Tregoning, also arrived. We sailed to another bay inside Sydney Harbour to meet them and waited for our first ever drawbridge. Duncan and Christine were out sailing in the harbour and joined us. We all discussed how to best observe the start of the Sydney to Hobart race and where to anchor, and when, for the New Years Eve fireworks.

Waiting for our turn through the drawbridge