Sunday, January 21, 2007


Sydney NSW

16 February
Sugarloaf to Spit Bridge
Waiting on bridge mooring for battery charger to arrive and say farewell to Texas Lady. On our way to Hawkesbury.

11 February
Spring Cove to Spit Bridge and Sugarloaf
Rainy, lumpy seas. Motored and picked up courtesy bouy near Spit Bridge waiting for bridge to open.

Bridge opened at 11.30, rain very heavy, visibility down to about 100m and two boats are in front can hardly see the. Picked up mooring at Sugarloaf instead of anchoring.

9 February
Rozelle Bay to Spring Cove
Motor sailed. Hot day, lots of boats out in bay. Kids jumping off the wall. Anchored in this lovely bay.

6 February
Took train to North Sydney to collect mail and pick up new camera (waterproof).

5 February
Balls Head Bay to Roselle Bay
Anchored opposite the Maritime Police Office where we then contacted Rory O’Hara. Then heading into the city to our favorite Chinese bakery and saw a movie called “De Ja vue” before heading back to the boat.

4 February
Tambourine Bay to Balls Head Bay
I took the helm down the river and low and behold what did I see but a water plane taxiing towards me!!! Paul what should I do, give way or what-why does this happen to me. Anyway he did go in front of me and took of amongst the yachts on the harbor. I was glad he was in the air.

We met David and Simone who have a four year old and a three month old on board. Lovely couple.

3 February
Blackwattle Bay to Tambourine Bay
Departed and had a look around Balls Head Bay only two yachts anchored and then we headed up Lane Cove River to Tambourine Bay, we had been invited to Peter and Rene Whalley’s home for dinner, a shower and a bed. The river is reasonably shallow right up the river, so we anchored near St Ignatius College in 2.2 meters the boys are all out rowing and there are beautiful old homes right down to the rivers edge.

We walked to Peters place and were glad for a cold beer. Dinner was delightful, Savannah a delightful two year old and the new three week old, Klye, a beautiful bundle of joy which I got to hold and cuddle. It was lovely to sleep in a real bed where I could stretch out and not touch the walls and have a hot shower where I did not need to ration the water. Bliss.

1 February
Middle Harbor to Blackwattle Bay
Waited for washing machine technician, Paul ended up fixing it himself as it was just a loose pulley and belt. The anchor took a couple of goes before it took and I took dingy across to meet Denise from YPRL who is in Sydney for the Library Online Conference.

31 January
Spring Cove to Middle Harbor

Motored back and took bridge courtesy mooring overnight.

30 January
Middle Harbor to Spring Cove
Doug and Mary Barber “Cartref” were in Sydney for a few days and called in to say hi. Cartref is in Launceston. We met in Manly, had a beer in the pub and a lovely BBQ dinner aboard Cockatoo.

28 January
Sugarloaf Bay to Middle Harbor Yacht Club

Picked up mooring at the Middle Harbor Yacht Club after filling up with water again. The bridge was busy with lots of boats returning after the long weekend.

26 January-Australia Day

We boarded Texas Lady invited by David and Terry to participate in the Australia Day fancy dress competition as “Priscilla”. They got second. Everyone was dressed in wigs, red lipsticks, and Australian flags. It was a busy day, hundreds of boats on the harbor, tall ships, a ferry race, what a buzz. It was lovely to be out there and not have to be on watch. I got very sun burnt.

22 January
We pulled anchor and headed back to Pearl bay where we picked up a mooring. Rose and Malcolm are leaving so farewells were said. Paul took them to shore in the dingy-he was to work on Texas Lady again.

I stayed onboard and polished the stainless steel. The mooring dragged so took the boat back to Sugarloaf by myself!!

Rose and Malcolm gave an update of their travels they were going two – three kms per hour along the M3 freeway, they were then halfway and had to stop at the local hall as the road was blocked north and south due to the bushfires, looking like they may have to stop overnight. Later that day they said they got through okay, what an adventure for them.

21 January
Took off at 8.30am down the harbour and the marine officer passed by us and waved to Paul as if to say thanks. We took a trip down as far as we could into Darling Harbour past the Pacific Princess and explored a few bays heading under the bridge and past the Opera House and down near the navy ships before heading back to Middle Harbour. We tied up at Texas Lady's berth so Paul and Malcolm could take the fuel cans into to be filled and refuel the yacht. Rose and I stayed on board (it was 30+ outside very very hot) we plugged into power and ran the aircon. Refueled we untied and headed under the Spit Bridge back to Sugarloaf bay where Rose and I swam with Coco ending with a few wines and a meal and then watching a DVD before retiring to bed. The barometer is falling -we are expecting rain tomorrow-a relief. There a bushfires at Newcastle and the M3 is closed. Rose and Malcolm are due to head back home tomorrow.

20 January
Took off late morning through the Spit Bridge and wandered past the Opera House and under the Harbour bridge where we saw Maritime Police (one person) trying to collect a heap of wood in the Bay. Paul (my hero) leapt of the yacht into the dingy to give the tall blonde police woman a hand and I steered the boat in circles awaiting his return. We then headed under the Anzac bridge and anchored in Blackwattle Bay. It was very very hot so we turned on the aircon for a bit and at 5pm headed off to China town in the City for a meal with Malcolm and Rose. It was a lovely evening walking into town where we ate Chinese and wandered back to the Broadway shopping centre to discover that Liquorland no longer had discount fuel vouchers. On return we took the yacht across to the Fisherman’s wharf and filled with water having long showers before reanchoring and retiring to bed.

19 January
Motored to Bantry Bay where we picked up a public mooring. There were lots of boats and it was previously a Department of Mines explosives storage site. The old buildings are now heritage listed. Rang mum for her birthday. It was lovely to talk to her and hear how well she sounds. "Texas Lady" rang as they had a problem so Paul and Malcolm headed off in the dingy to assist and Rose and I sat and talked and then had an afternoon kip. Later that afternoon Paul rang and said that the yacht was to go back to Sugarloaf so Rose and I dropped the mooring lines and motored back to Sugarloaf and anchored (took me two goes). We had another lovely BBQ and enjoyed the evening ambiance. Paul was feeding the ducks and wanted Coco to be watching the ducks so we put her on the backboard, a duck flapped its wings and she bolted back into the cockpit. So I grabbed her and put her on the backboard with me so she would feel more protected. Another duck flapped its wings Coco went back four steps and fell into the water off the duckboard and we had to rescue her. Poor thing I do not thing she will be out watch cat (dog) but she is great company. The weather has been warm and sunny. There is no wind in the mornings but it comes up in the afternoon staying until about 7pm and then dropping right off.

18 January
Malcolm and Rose rang informing us they were due today for a couple of days. We had been expecting them and were looking forward to some company on board. It was great to see them again and I am enjoying female company. After they came on board we headed back to Sugarloaf Bay (obviously it is our favorite anchorage) where we had a BBQ and caught up on the news. We also had a game of "Uno".

17 January
We waited for "Platinum" to come back after their overnight stay at Bald Head where we met at the Spit Bridge transferring the five old batteries onto their yacht. We had a cuppa before they headed further down the coast. It would be a good trip with a stiff NE wind. I did the washing and hung it out with lots of pegs so it did not fly away. I removed it again and hung it inside about 5pm as the wind was getting stronger. Tonight David from "Texas Lady" took us out to dinner to a delightful restaurant with John, Suzie and other friends. We had a beautiful meal made better by great company. We did not get back to the boat until well after 12 midnight.

16 January
Pulled anchor early morning as Paul is working on "Texas lady" today and we have a number of little jobs to do. Fill with water; pick batteries and battery charger up. It was interesting picking the batteries up, we put all four batteries in the dingy plus three adults as well. This meant that the dingy was quite low down to the waterline. Paul put the batteries in and all fitted fine (in fact they were smaller so we had more storage-which I promptly claimed).

15 January
We pulled anchor, and took a mooring in Pearl Bay near the Spit Bridge. We were meeting Di, Ross, Ken and Richard on their new yacht "Platinum". They were sailing it back to Melbourne. We shared a bottle of champagne to celebrate their arrival. They followed us back to Sugarloaf Bay where we had a BBQ on board Cockatoo and caught up on news.

13/14 January
Met David, Suzie and John on "Texas Lady", Paul did some computer work on board and we were fed lunch, dinner and lots of wine. It was a beautiful hot night, the next day I took their kayak out for a paddle. A lovely two days in beautiful surroundings and with lovely company.

12 January Tamara's birthday
Arose early morning (8am-not that early really) pulled anchor and headed off to Middle Harbour. We motored as the wind was on the nose. The harbour was busy with ferries and boats. Reaching the Spit Bridge we took a mooring waiting half hour for the bridge opening. About ten yachts went through-the bridge had stop lights, we waited for the green light for us to pass through. Exploring this lovely part of the harbour we dropped anchor in Sugarloaf Bay North Arm. This bay is quiet and peaceful not many houses, and we are surrounded by bush. Kookaburras and birds chorusing in the background. We fed the ducks and were surprised with the number of fish contending for the bread. I put a line in but only one nibble (smart fish). A hot hot day we put up the shades and sat and enjoyed the scenery. There are three other boats in this area. Paul put Coco in the water and she had to climb back up the stairs. She was not impressed. Later that evening Paul put Coco on the dingy and pushed it out. Coco took an almighty leap and missed the backboard-she fell in again and had to climb back up. Rang Tamara for her 19th birthday. Miss the girls dreadfully. Rang Samantha who is half way through her course and moving into her unit Tuesday. Danielle we also talked to, David is going to regas their airconditioner tomorrow.

11 January
Paul picked up new battery charger. We then went to Broadway shopping centre to the doctor so Paul could renew his script. All done we shouted ourselves a coffee and walked back to the boat. We had dinner aboard "Shellac" with Bruce and Diana and Patrick and ended up playing cards. A lovely night.

7/8/9/10 January
Just lazing around, one day we went into the city and collected our mail-we have found a delicious Chinese bakery in China town so when there for lunch. Also checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art.

6 January
Paul went Sky Diving you can view the video of the jump here Arose at 5.00am, took the dingy across where we walked into the city to catch the 6am bus to the Skydiving site about a hours drive east of Sydney, I had a Tandem jump from 14 thousand feet it was fantastic and very exhilarating, jumping out of a perfectly good plane was different I must say but the free fall and then the glide into the landing was absolutely fantastic.

5 January Paul's 50th birthday
Paul collected our Christmas present (a new 81cm Samsung HD TV with an inbuilt HD Tuner) which was delivered to the marina at Gladesville. It was a beautiful sunny day and we motored back to Blackwattle Bay as we had to be in the city at 6am to get a bus to the skydiving site. Yes the girls and I had gone in together to purchase a tandem skydive for Paul tomorrow.

4 January
Motored down harbour where we explored the various inlets along the way, going under the Tarban Creek Bridge turning around. Just past the Galesville Bridge we picked up a mooring opposite the Gladesville Marina. We took the dingy across to meet Des who owns the sales yard which sold Cockatoo to us. We were on his mooring. That afternoon we took the dingy further up the harbour and explored. We met another Fremantle boat "Rambling Rose" and its owner having a cuppa on board.

3 January
Decided to re-anchor as we were hitting the boundary buoy, took us three tries to get the anchor in the right spot. Tracy had an interview for a job at 11am so we walked into the city, and I had a coffee whilst Tracy went in. We will wait to hear the outcome. We then wandered through China town on the way back. A lazy day and we hung the washing, which was still wet, out in between rain showers. Had Richard and Trish over from "Aphrodite" for a cuppa. We will head on up the harbour tomorrow.

2 January
Rained all morning so we did computer work, read, and paperwork. Sun came out in the afternoon. We are heading over to the Fish Markets this evening to fill up with water. (it costs $2.50 per hour during the day to moor there). We did a couple of loads of washing so it was late after we re topped up the water tanks and re anchored in Blackwattle Bay.

1 January 2007 New Years Day
Dropping James and Richard off we motored back to Blackwattle Bay where we unloaded cargo and people hitting the sack soon after. That evening Rosalie and John from "Northern Star" came over for a cuppa. It rained heavily during the evening.

31 December New Years Eve
Arising at 5am we took the boat across to Bradley's Head near Taronga Park Zoo so we could secure a good vantage point to watch the fireworks. There was only one other boat on the river and no wind, the water was like a mirror. The day was sunny but rain was predicted later in the evening. Boats arrived during the day and the harbour was very congested. We moved because boats were anchoring too close. We picked up James, Margaret Kilby and son Marcus and friends Susan, Richard and their children. We had a delicious dinner, with champagne and waited for the fireworks to begin. The display did not disappoint, and the weather was perfect, the predicted rain did not appear. After midnight we all headed off to bed. There were bodies everywhere, in the cockpit, on the floor, but all survive the evening.

30 December
Samantha's plane departs at 6.05am. So took the dingy across to the Fish Markets at 4.30, caught a taxi to the Central train station and then a train to the Domestic airport. It was sad to see her go but she starts university on the 2 January so she has a lot to do when she gets to Brisbane. It was so good to have her with us over Christmas. We said goodbye than caught the train to the city and walked through the city early morning before anything was open (the only way to shop-window shopping). We shouted ourselves breakfast and read the paper before walking back to the yacht. We then had a little kip before making up the v-berth for guests tomorrow, for New Years Eve. We will leave early morning to get a good vantage point to see the Harbour Bridge before the other yachts arrive. It is the Harbour Bridge's 75th Anniversary so should be spectacular. We hope to get views of the bridge and the fireworks.

29 December
We had a rest day, it rained and we watched videos, talked played cards and enjoyed Samantha's company on her last day.

28 December
Took the dingy across to the Fish Markets and caught the train to the City and the monorail. We did the cultural tour, museum, war memorial, mint, art gallery, etc and then walked through the City Centre before heading back to Paddy's markets where we bought vegetables and Samantha bought a lovely dress.

27 December Middle Harbour to Blackwattle Bay
A beautiful sunny day, we pulled anchor and explored parts of the harbour. The ferries are huge and travel very fast, they have absolute right of way. We traveled under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House-WOW-we made it to Sydney. We anchored in Blackwattle Bay near the Sydney Fish Markets in a small mooring area with lots of other boats. Took the dingy across to the Fish Markets and caught the train to Darling Harbour, exploring before heading back to the yacht.

26 December - Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Picking up James Kilby and family and friends we left Spring Cove for Middle Harbour where we had breakfast, Paul cooked eggs on the BBQ before pulling anchor to head up the Harbour to watch the departure of the Sydney to Hobart Yachts at 1pm. We motor sailed, Paul did a great job negotiating the numerous boats on the harbour. There were all sorts of craft on the water, tall ships, cruisers, huge 100 foot yachts, small dinghies, kayaks, etc. We were told to drop our main sail at 12.00. The cannon sounded at 1pm and we saw the huge fleet move its way up the harbour. We had front row seats and what a view of the huge yachts departing through the Sydney heads. There were so many boats out the water that the water became almost white water with the propellers chewing the water up. What an exciting event and what a buzz to be part of it! Samantha felt ill but managed to enjoy the day as well. Leaving the choppy seas of the harbour we dropped anchor in Little Manly Bay and had lunch. After lunch James gave us a lift to Tracy's cousin’s home. We were having dinner with Phil Cox, Trish and there girls. It was a lovely dinner and we had a lovely time. Trish was recovering from an operation but looks like she is on the improve, so lovely of her to have us up at this time. It was good to catch up with family and for Samantha to meet her second cousins. We caught a taxi home (filling the dingy petrol tank on the way) arriving home at 11pm. Deciding to raise anchor and move to a more sheltered spot in Middle Harbour away from the ferry wash. The water was phosphorous and the moon bright so we had a lovely trip across.

25 December - Christmas Day Spring Cove
Christmas Day and what a beautiful sunny day. Samantha leapt into bed with us in the morning to exchange presents and then Paul and Samantha collected two young French men that Samantha had met in Queensland who were joining us for Christmas Lunch. We had lunch on the back deck watching the other yachts and the revelers on the beach. The boy’s left late afternoon and we had an early night.

24 December Botany Bay to Spring Cove-Port Jackson-15nm
Botany Bay proved too rocky for Samantha as she was feeling ill, also there was an oily smell in the air. So consensus was that we decided to head off to Sydney. The weather was overcast and it became to rain, wind was easterly but only 2-3 knots. So with the main up to halt the slop we headed off. Trip was fine and wet, there was thunder and lightening and visibility was not fantastic. We went through the Sydney heads with the clouds lifting and rain easing. The Sydney skyline was visible through clouds. We anchored off Spring Cove near Manly. Hard to believe we are actually here and in time to see the Sydney to Hobart depart. Christmas tomorrow so will be nice not to travel, we can sit and relax and enjoy the day and each others company.

A beautiful sunny day, we pulled anchor and explored parts of the harbour. The ferries are huge and travel very fast, they have absolute right of way. We traveled under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House-WOW-we made it to Sydney. We anchored in Blackwattle Bay near the Sydney Fish Markets in a small mooring area with lots of other boats. Took the dingy across to the Fish Markets and caught the train to Darling Harbour, exploring before heading back to the yacht.