Tuesday 8th December 2015
Distance run: 31 nmiles
It was with great excitement that we rounded Sydney’s North Head late this morning with an escort of dolphins playing around the bows, over 34,000 nautical miles having slipped beneath the keel of our beloved Scott-Free on the way. It was cloudy and grey, but nothing could spoil for us this wonderful moment as we steered ourselves between the two great headlands that are the Sydney Heads, past the Hornby lighthouse that stands like a stick of rock on the South Head, and around the ‘wedding cake’ lights of the East and West channels leading into the harbour.
Approaching Port Jackson, with the buildings of Sydney CBD in distance, we were joined by a pod of dolphins. What a welcome!
Approaching from the north, we rounded Sydney’s North Head first, and then shortly after the South Head.
Hornsby Lighthouse also known as South Head Lower Light. A ‘wedding cake’ lighthouse.
And then, the magical moment as we rounded Bradley’s Head, and first the Opera House and then the harbour bridge came into view.
The Sydney Opera House appears as we round the lighthouse at Bradley’s Head, and then the harbour bridge reveals itself.
Approaching the Opera House and the bridge – this is a no stopping zone, so we bimbled slowly along taking it all in.
Almost at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Luna Park fairground on the North Shore beyond the bridge.
Will we make it under? Nearly there... Phew! Made it!
And out the other side of the bridge, looking back at SOH. The stuff of dreams, made real. Who would have thought it? Not us!
Once under the bridge, we were lucky enough to find a courtesy mooring just along the north shore where we tied up for lunch. Then we were off again to find a spot to anchor for the night. As we crossed the channel over to the south shore, we passed in front of a pilot boat and had to speed up to get out of his way. He passed close behind us, but then turned around and was obviously heading back towards us. Uh oh! Are we in trouble? Not in the least – one of the guys had seen ‘Falmouth’ on our stern and they were heading back to see if we really had come from the UK! He was from Bristol and interested to hear of our travels. Then he welcomed us to Sydney, and off they went. The people here are so friendly, and it clearly rubs off on the Poms!
Safely past, the Pilot boat then did a 360 and headed back towards us. We thought we were in trouble!
No problem – just stopped for a chat with a fellow Pom!
We continued to the anchorages at Blackwattle and Rozelle which turned out to be very small, and after a bit of deliberation over whether there was in fact space for another boat, we decided to give it a go and dropped the anchor in Rozelle. Almost beneath the Anzac bridge and near to the fishmarket and the high rises of Darling Harbour, it wasn’t the most pleasant place we had ever anchored, but it is apparently convenient to get ashore and to the city centre. We’ll see how it goes – right now we are elated at being in Sydney and ready to see the sights!
(With thanks to Nick for his photographic contributions!)