Position: 33 52.35 S 151 11.12 E
While in Wollongong, Kate had been busy tidying up some loose ends so that she can continue the cruising lifestyle. It seems at this stage that she has not been entirely put off by our experiences. She has now sold her car and disposed of some furniture and other effects, and we have both caught up with our Wollongong friends. Last Sunday was the Wollongong Yacht Club’s lady’s skipper’s race so Kate volunteered to ‘skipper’ for Sienna who was lacking a female crew member. I went along for the ride. With Kate at the helm, Sienna got off to an excellent start in the light airs and soon took the lead and continued opening it for most of the race. We crossed the line first and took out both line honours and a win on handicap. Well done Kate, though it must be admitted that Sienna’s owner, Adam, had a bit to play in our win as the tactician.
Sunday was also the last day of university study for semester one for me so, with the final essay submitted, I have been keen to be on our way again. Winds were at last favourable on Thursday afternoon but we had to wait until evening to get away as Kate had one last chore to attend to – a dental appointment. While she was in town, I stowed the dinghy and secured Sylph for sea. At 1720 Kate was ready to be collected. I let go the mooring line and motored to the public jetty where Kate jumped over the bow as I did a touch and go. We backed out, turned around, motored clear of the harbour and set sail. Winds were initially light but as we opened the coast they soon freshened into a steady 15 knots from the west. I nice beam reach, smooth seas and minimal swell had Sylph speeding along at six plus knots. It proved to be an excellent sail and we entered Sydney Heads at 0115 this morning. Two tacks took us into Hunters Bay where we handed sail and motored the last few hundred meters to pick up a public mooring off Rocky Point, then turned in for what remained of the night.
This morning, while Kate cooked brunch, I hoisted the mainsail, let go the mooring and sailed out of Hunters Bay and up Sydney Harbour. The continuing fresh westerly had us tacking up Sylph’s old sailing grounds, the harbour upon which she was launched some 59 years ago. As we passed close by the Opera House we noticed an ABC news van, a police launch patrolling the area, and the flags on the Harbour bridge at half-mast. In this day and age of instant communication we soon worked out that the occasion was the memorial service for one of Australia’s icons, the former Prime Minister Bob Hawke. We mentally paused for a moment of respect to a man of pragmatic vision, but continued sailing as we did so.
We passed under the Harbour Bridge at a little after 1300. Here, as usual, the wind abandoned us. So it was down sail and on motor for the rest of the way to Blackwattle Bay where we came to anchor at 1350. Tonight we plan on heading into the city to catch Sydney’s Vivid Light Festival.
All is well.