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Old 11-20-2018, 11:58 AM   #1
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Sydney Harbour - why didn't I cruise it ?

As some of the members here may know, I had the great pleasure of spending three months of autumn 2018 exploring the Hawkesbury River, Brisbane water and Pittwater - all within the glorious Ku-ring-gai Chase national park to the immediate north of Sydney.
I was asked did I motor around Sydney harbour? My immediate answer was 'not in my wildest dreams' why? Well perhaps it is not quite as busy as other water based cities like New York etc, but the water traffic is unrelenting - not just the ferries but well, take a look for your self

https://youtu.be/O3y8NDGT1Xg
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:05 PM   #2
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But that is the busiest spot! There are lots of little tucked away bays, and there is always Middle Harbour as well.
I like Cowan better though.
Cheers,
Richard
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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That's busy?

Hmmmmmm.

I'm going to (for once) zip it.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:49 PM   #4
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After 8 years on Sydney Harbour we voted with our feet(flippers?) and moved to the Broken Bay/Hawkesbury/Pittwater waters, 20NM N of Sydney Heads. Sydney is a busy port and waterway generally,less of a working harbour than it was but large cruise ships are gradually reversing that.
Apart from ships, ferry traffic,harbour cruise ferries,sailboat racing fleets,high speed tourist boats performing 360 deg spins to scare the pax, there are the 40ft + fast cruisers operated by idiots creating massive wash. Of these, the Tsunami 45 Butt Dragger Mk3 model, is a worst example.
And there are anchoring restrictions and competition for the few good anchoring areas. As D.Duck44 notes, much of Middle Harbour,(which is not "the middle of the harbour" but a more remote extension of it)is a delight. In fact, it`s nice because it resembles Cowan Waters, which are part of the Broken Bay/Hawkesbury system.
In the end, after a close and fast overtaking Tsunami 45 delivered green water into the cockpit,we made the move. I completely understand the reluctance of bogranjac1 to "enjoy" Sydney Harbour.
Menzies,feel free to unzip if you like.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:11 PM   #5
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I completely understand your choice to give it a miss, bogranjac.

It would be interesting, but I'd prefer to see it from a ferry with someone else at the helm. Piloting would be too stressful for me.

Others may feel more comfortable. Its all a matter of what you get used to. As with anything, if it you do it often enough it becomes the norm.
I'd prefer to deal with wild weather and rough seas than boat traffic coming from all directions. Its a bit more predictable.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #6
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.... Its all a matter of what you get used to. As with anything, if it you do it often enough it becomes the norm.
I'd prefer to deal with wild weather and rough seas than boat traffic coming from all directions. Its a bit more predictable.
Years ago I raced a sailboat on Saturdays on Sydney Harbour with RSYS(Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron) There were 3-4 other Clubs running races at the same time, using the same areas of the harbour,but with different rounding marks and courses,often intersecting.And there were ferries with right of way over pretty much everything.
At the time I was working flat out as a lawyer,and work intruded heavily into every aspect of life.I used skippering my racing sailboat as a distraction, if I allowed myself to be distracted by thoughts of work we would very likely hit something. So I used the pressure of racing to distract myself from the pressure of work. Odd, but it worked,and it helped.
Tangentially,I was at the CYCA(it runs the Sydney-Hobart race) on Wednesday, dining with friends visiting from San Francisco, one of whom is President of Encinal YC in Alameda and was exchanging burgees with the CYCA Commodore. Their twilights racing fleet had just been hit by a 50 knot squall, boats had gone aground out of control,one hit a foreshore seawall, there had been knockdowns, even a 360 rollover, in what is seen as a highly protected harbour. At one point the Commodore excused himself after a report an Epirb was activated. Sydney Harbour can be a surprising and interesting place to go boating, but give me Broken Bay/Hawkesbury any day.
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:16 AM   #7
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bogranjac1. Silly you You missed the most beautiful harbor in the world white sand beaches at Barmoral bush land past The Spit Bridge. sit back in 4 meters of water off Tronga Park with fairy penguins on the rocks. Travel up Parramatta River beautiful little places to hide for a week . Weekends get busy but early morning mid week you have it to yourself and a few ferries . Sorry cant convince me I lived on and around the harbor all my life and nothing can compare.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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Hmmm...
1) Fern Bay anchoring madness on New Years Eve.
2) Biggest sworling mass of boats I've ever seen for the Start of the Sydney-Hobart race.
3)Not one, but two awesome nude beaches you can anchor off.
4) ALL of these delights were absolutely free of charge.

Sydney won the "best harbor in the world" award in our books.
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:37 PM   #9
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I`ve not seen fairy penguins (aka little blue penguins) near the foreshore below Taronga Zoo known as Athol Bight, but I have seen and heard them often in the Store Beach area, closer to the "Heads", the entrance to the harbour from the ocean.
I don`t much like "rubbishing" Sydney Harbour, it is indeed a beautiful place and one of the safest most commodious harbours in the world, but it gets "loved to death".
Our last visit to Athol Bight with beach walk, was a thoroughly negative experience. We picked up enough broken glass, plastic, and other rubbish to fill 3 shopping bags(the kind "Colesworths" used provide) which we took back to our boat for later proper disposal.The plastic bags we used were readily found on the beach. We removed as much rubbish as we could, but certainly not all of it, and it`s not the first time we saw that kind of mess at Athol.
When we go ashore, wherever that may be, we will remove foreshore rubbish. Finding some is inevitable, but our Athol Bight experience was the worst by far.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
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Just spent a lovely long weekend on the Hawkesbury on a hire 33' motor cruiser. Not having been before, it was amazing. Weekdays was fine, but by the weekend the place was (relatively) packed going up to Cottage Point and beyond. The harbour on weekdays would probably be worse though than Hawkesbury on the weekend.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:32 PM   #11
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Just spent a lovely long weekend on the Hawkesbury on a hire 33' motor cruiser. Not having been before, it was amazing. Weekdays was fine, but by the weekend the place was (relatively) packed going up to Cottage Point and beyond. The harbour on weekdays would probably be worse though than Hawkesbury on the weekend.
Glad you enjoyed it. Where did you hire the boat?
It`s doable weekends, but magic midweek when there are few boats. I took some San Francisco visitors(sailboaters) to Cottage Point for lunch(the cafe, not the $$$ restaurant), they talked about moving here for the waterways they were seeing. Places like Smiths Creek esp.Stingray Bay,Jerusalem Bay and Pinta Bay off it, Castle Lagoon, are an absolute delight. We`re having work done at Cottage Point Boatshed right now.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:02 AM   #12
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Hired from Ripples at Brooklyn. Wallowed like a pig - should have been inboard instead of speed-limited outboard. Max we saw as 7kn with tide.
Spent two days at Pinta Bay while the winds howled - Sydney airport shutdown 2 runways due to wind gusting at 80kph, and it was coming down Jerusalem Bay pretty hard! Then a day and a half at Cotton Tree Bay. I’ll post some photos for the world when I can.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:01 PM   #13
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That's busy?

Hmmmmmm.

I'm going to (for once) zip it.
Those who find it busy seem to be Australians who boat in other parts of the country. It's like he person from Oneonta, Alabama finds Birmingham while to someone from New York it's a slow, un-congested small town.

I saw Sydney Harbour from land years ago, ate in a seafood restaurant overlooking it while on a business trip there. Definitely on my list of places to see by water one day.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:00 PM   #14
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bogranjac1. Silly you You missed the most beautiful harbor in the world white sand beaches at Barmoral bush land past The Spit Bridge. sit back in 4 meters of water off Tronga Park with fairy penguins on the rocks. Travel up Parramatta River beautiful little places to hide for a week . Weekends get busy but early morning mid week you have it to yourself and a few ferries . Sorry cant convince me I lived on and around the harbor all my life and nothing can compare.
Gaston,
Shame you had to have your boat moored 40 kms away in the Hawkesbury river system if Sydney harbour was such a placid anchorage.
P.S. I wasn't so 'silly you'. I did cruise most of the harbour but in the total comfort of the various harbour ferries and routes while avoiding getting the milk rolled out of my coffee.
Sorry to see your selling Barenjoey.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:59 AM   #15
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Those who find it busy seem to be Australians who boat in other parts of the country. It's like he person from Oneonta, Alabama finds Birmingham while to someone from New York it's a slow, un-congested small town.....
To be fair, I go boating 20 miles north of Sydney Harbour, having previously boated on Sydney Harbour and moved off it because it was congested and many of the users were ill mannered oafs.

Sydney has a population approaching 5 million; it has spread north south and west,like an octopus. Even for a New Yorker,I doubt it`s validly seen as "a slow uncongested small town".
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:15 PM   #16
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As one who is still moored in Middle Harbour and hasn't escaped to the Hawkesbury permanently but do go to visit, I am still able to find places like Sugarloaf, Roseville river and Bantry Bay to escape to or even up the Harbour and under Anzac Bridge into Blackwattle Bay to visit the fish markets.
As others have said mid-week is the best time to travel and when you are retired as we are, every day is a Saturday anyway Sydney Harbour still has its attractions IMHO.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:38 AM   #17
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So I have ‘Beluga’ down in Sydney, moored at The Spit, for New Years Eve. We made the trip from Brisbane two weeks ago.

New Years Eve will be an ‘adventure’!

Last week out on Sydney Harbour for 4 out of 5 days was busy (esp Wednesday afternoon was VERY busy, the sailing/racing afternoon...). As the skipper it is tiring by the end of each day. Vastly different to my usual stomping ground in Moreton Bay off Brisbane.

But the water in Sydney harbour is lovely, and the ‘busy-ness’ has its own attractions.

Am in the Hawkesbury from 1 Jan for a month or two of R&R before heading back to Brisbane...

H.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:54 AM   #18
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So I have ‘Beluga’ down in Sydney, moored at The Spit, for New Years Eve. We made the trip from Brisbane two weeks ago.
New Years Eve will be an ‘adventure’! ...H.
Welcome!. I hope you discovered the quiet Middle Harbour area of which Rebel posted. You`ll find Broken Bay similar, and imho,several levels nicer, though it may be busy in January school hols. Larger boats, some too large for the National Parks Moorings, often anchor in Yeomans Bay.
Try Whitworths for a copy of "Cruising Guide to the Hawkesbury.."by J&J Powell. Possibly out of print or not being updated, but still very useful for a one month visit.
The pick area for the fireworks is Athol Bight at the eastern end,but it gets busy++ There are other good spots, we`ve been in Farm Cove several times. Bring your patience, both for the long wait before and between the 9pm and midnight fireworks, and for the behavior of some others. In fact watching the behavior of others can even fill in the time, but really, most of the "neighbours" are there to enjoy,and add to the sociability of the night .
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:46 PM   #19
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When watching the fireworks we park off Taronga Zoo arriving around 9am in 13 metres of water, put out plenty of scope, then sit down and watch the fun for the rest of the day as others arrive. We generally put fenders either side of the boat as you never know when somebody will drag. The entertainment is enormous as there is usually a bit of a breeze, and a fair amount of wake from ferries and craft passing but with so much going on around you as boats look for space and slowly over the day the bays get filled in it is colourful entertaining and there is a clear shot all the way to the Harbour Bridge. We generally stay anchored there until next morning as it is pandemoneon as people up-anchor to go home, and once the last ferry has gone past around 2am quite peaceful. Our tradition then is to go round to Blackwattle Bay and dingy into the fish markets for a great seafood lunch. You used to be able to moor up at the markets but the authorities in their wisdom?? no longer allow that so anchoring off is the option. A great couple of days while enjoying Sydney Harbour. We wont be there this year but we will be on the boat for 3 months mid February on and plan a trip to the Pittwater and the Hawkesbury so maybe able to catch up with some of you if there is anybody around then.


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Old 12-09-2018, 01:09 AM   #20
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Thanks Bruce and JJ.

As suggested, i plan to anchor somewhere off Bradley’s Head on the morning of the 31st, fenders down both sides, and see what happens!!

I actually did this trip in 2014/2015 just after I bought ‘Beluga’ and before I really knew the boat or anything much about it (having come from a Quintrex 530 Freedom Sport...).

Anyway, feel much better equipped this time around. And ‘Beluga’ is stabilised now and I feel on top of most of the systems.

Yes Bruce, I got up near Roseville the other day, it’s lovely there. Hawkesbury is better, of course. Have a berth at Akuna Bay for two months starting 1 Jan. Used to go there as a 12 y/o in 1982 with my parents, they rented the now defunct ‘Skipper-a-Clipper’ 34s. That must be where I got my boat addiction from!

Now, if only I didn’t have to go to work between now and say 28 Feb 2019...

H.
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