Sydney Harbour has some delightfully wild little coves that rival anchorages in the Whitsunday’s. I’d forgotten what an extensive cruising ground it is – with Pittwater, Port Jackson, Botany Bay and Port Hacking, all only a few hours sail apart it has protected waters and easy ocean cruises between ports.
Tim and Finn have joined me for a few days of exploring Sydney Harbour and first stop is Spring Cove, which is the first bay inside North Head. Back in the eighties when I used to sail here with Whitey on our ferro sloop Toorali, we regulary anchored here off Quarantine Beach – where foreign boats used to be quarantined until they were approved healthy. The three beaches here in Spring Cove are off the beaten track – even though there’s a road to here, there’s no parking so the beaches are used mostly by boaties.
The passage from Pittwater was very demanding of the crew – particularly Finn. Here he is hard at work…
We’re to meet Tim’s cousin Jenny who will be camping on Cockatoo Island – it used to be a naval dockyard but is now heritage listed and you can camp there while exploring the old buildings, cranes, dry docks and slipways that are all still pretty much as the day it was shut down. Getting to Cockatoo Island fortunately delivered the mandatory been-there, done-that photos with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Five long blasts from a big ship’s horn is enough to remind us that its about to claim its right-of-way, ready or not. The official description is “four or more blasts” meaning, your intentions are not clear. The extra blast added for emphasis, just as you would season a conversation with ‘bloody’ or to add emphasis without additional meaning. They did not agree with our course. Here is the ship in question, together with attendent tugs.
Cockatoo Island offers berths for visiting boats at $35 per night. But Current Sunshine is to big for the 7m length and 10m height limit. We docked against the side of the outer dock – which was a fine place to be. But the bureacracy would not agree. Rather than take our $35 to remain tied up there they stuck to some obscure rules – so we went to anchor off Birkenhead point while the dock remained empty.