On a buoy in Cammeray
Thursday 10th December 2015
We slept well for the rest of the night, and this morning waited for the Water Police, opposite whose Headquarters we were anchored, to come and move us on. But they did not appear, so we stayed where we were while we explored where to go next. We had been in touch with Cammeray Marina way back in September, enquiring about renting a buoy for December, but they would not commit to a booking, and put us on the waiting list saying they would not know if they would have a vacancy until nearer the time. Well, now was the time, so I gave them a ring. They were pretty full, they said, but would ring us back in a couple of hours to let us know if they could squeeze us in. We decided to wait to hear from them, and if they couldn’t find us either a buoy or a berth, we would go to Balls Head Bay on the North shore to anchor. This was definitely second best choice as it is open to the South and some more southerly winds were due, but we hoped it would have more swinging room than here.
We hadn’t heard anything back from them by 11:30, and knew that we would have to start making our way to their marina by midday if we were to catch the last daylight opening of the Spit Bridge, so gave them a call. “Sorry”, they said, “haven’t had time to look at it yet”. I explained about the bridge opening times, and they said, “Sorry, maybe tomorrow”. Balls Head Bay it is then. No sooner was the anchor up than the phone rang. It was Cammeray Marina telling us to head for the bridge as they had a buoy for us.
So off we went back out into the harbour, under the bridge, past the Opera House, around Bradley’s Head and between Middle and South Heads, from where we could see the open ocean again. Then we hung a left around Middle Head and into Middle Harbour.
A well-kept tug joined us as we went under the bridge. Looking back at Luna Park from under the bridge – the sky heavy.
We passed again the distinctive light at Bradley’s Head. Nick taking a break from behind the camera to pose in front of one.
As we headed towards Spit Bridge we realised we had made such good time that we might even make the 13:15 opening, so Steve upped the revs a bit and we held our breath as we went over the shallows, but never had less than 2 metres under the keel.
We saw the traffic stop at the bridge and then it lifted, and we saw boats begin to make their way through, but we still had 2 or 3 minutes left before we got there. Then they were all through, and we expected it to lower, so started to look for where the waiting buoys were, before realising the bridge operator was standing out on the bridge watching us and clearly waiting for us to go through. What a lovely chap! We gave him a wave and called out our thanks as we slipped through, and he waited long enough to smile and wave back before disappearing into his control room and lowering the bridge.
The Spit Bridge closing behind us. Traffic on the move again – sorry for the wait guys!
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at Cammeray Marina, where we were shown to our buoy and were soon tied up. We breathed a big sigh of relief to be in a sheltered spot where the buoys appear to be well-spaced with sufficient swinging room between the boats. Now we can explore the city without worrying about the boat.