Port Stephens to Sydney


Unlike the life I use to live, where the weather did not impact my day to day decisions, weather is an important variable in a cruising yachtys life. Strong winds and winds coming from where I want to go are obviously avoided, that is when I find a well-protected anchorage, read a book and/or catch up on the blog (or worst case scenario, get the figures together for the Tax Returns).

We had 3 days of tail winds post Sydney, then a small 2 and half day weather window appeared in the weather forecast, to get us around the bottom SE corner of Oz. The next easterly weather pattern was 6 days away, which was cutting it too fine, if Lisa was to make her flight back to the UK. So Eden (on the southern NSW’s coast) was a Hi-Bye. Then Melbourne was a flurry of activity as Lisa and I cramming in as much as possible in her last week in Oz.

The above is probably another one of my feeble excuses, for the fact that this post is a month late.

At the end of the lost blog we were safely anchored in a sandy patch off Port Stephens, well sheltered from the southerly front that went through that night.

The next morning was sunny, so we took Albert ashore for an explorePort Stephens has a very beachside holiday location feel to itthe locals are very laidback and welcomed a chat

there were a few big goannas (lace monitors) prowling around looking for scrapsIt was a perfect day for a walk across to the surf beach

Back on the boat, a couple of penguins chasing schools of bait fish where fun to watch. But too fast to photograph. Not so the pod of dolphins feeding around us

after a few days the wind swung from a southerly to a northerly, so we could continue our journey southbound

We left at first light to cover the 80 miles to PittwaterThe breeze picked up to 20-25kts, from aft of the beam, which made for a quick run to Pittwater.

The number of boats moored in Pittwater far excided my wildest expectation We initially tried to find a spot to anchor close to Newport, but gave up and went over to Morning BayA small racing yacht had wrapped it’s spinnaker around it’s forestay a few times and could not get it downHe was zig zagging amongst the moored boats, trying to get the spinnaker untangled, coming very close to running into the side of Logic at speed

I was pleased when I saw the spinnaker blow out (they would not have been)and the rescue boat could tow them out of mooring fieldThere was a massive weather front coming through with  a heap of wind and rain, which made the decision to go around to American Bay, with it’s great protected anchorage an easy decision to make. 

We stopped off, on the way out of Pittwater at “The Basin”A great place for a walk, a swim and getting close to the very tame swamp wallabiesand then is was around the corner and into American BayThere was a waterfall on the left side of the escarpment in front of Logic, so we took the SUPs in, to do the walk up to itthere was a feeling of being home, bushwalking with Eucalyptus trees againa short walk/climb and we where at the top of the waterfallThat night the heavens opened and the water catchment that I had added to the sumbrella  shade covers, had the water tanks fullThe next day was still too windy to continue our journey south, so we took Albert around to Refuge BayThis area is very pretty, with its craggy bluffs and eucalyptus trees,  the cicadas making their noises and the sea eagles whistling By now the wind had died down, and more importantly the swell had decreased, so we where underway to cover the last 15miles to Sydney.

going past the crazily expensive ocean view mansions of Newporta few hours later and we rounded North Head to see the high rises of SydneyI had a strong feeling of achievement taking my own boat past The Sydney Opera House for the first time

under the bridge was Luna ParkThere was a (free) anchorage behind Darling Harbour

We where running low on fruit and veg, so we took Albert over to the Sydney Fish Market jettyfor a Fruit and Veg shopWhen we went past the Opera House I send a “show-off” text to my daughters. To have a very exciting reply from my youngest, Phoebe, that she was in Sydney, with work and did we want to catch up for dinner. It was Chinese New Year, which had a lot of decorations around Circular Quay, so we agreed on meeting there. We Alberted to the dingy dock and Ubered it to Circular Quay, to meet up with Phoebe.the Chinese New Year decorations made the Circular Quay experience very memorable.

after dinner the decorations where even more spectacular

the Harbour Bridge was all lit upthe forecast is for the next 3 days of northerlies, then southerlies as far out as the forecasts go out, so we will be leaving Sydney 20hrs after we arrived.