Lisa Blair first female to circumnavigate Antarctica in a sailing yacht

Our newest Australian hero, Lisa Blair recently completed the first female solo sailing, un-assisted, non-stop navigation around Antarctica. The 184 day epic sailing journey, commenced from Albany (WA), sailing around Antarctica below 45 degrees, and then back to Albany.

Lisa is a well known and respected professional yacht charter skipper on Sydney Harbour.

Lisa selected a 50ft “Open 50” design yacht that she especially fitted out to handle the rugged sea conditions, and thermal insulation to survive in extreme cold. She also fitted state of the art communications systems to assist her safety. Her vessel was renamed to Climate Action Now to highlight the need to look after our beautiful natural assets.

Lisa battled many adversities to achieve this amazing feat. Firstly, the vision and drive to pull together sponsors, and source and fit out the yacht on Sydney Harbour. She then sailed to Albany, where the journey would officially commence.

During the voyage itself, she was belted by every element of nature – huge seas, massive winds, snow, hail, and of course freezing cold. Then, she over came some demoralizing set backs. After several knock downs (when the wind throws the boat onto it’s side, her vessel suffered significant damage and was de-masted and damaged some deck fittings. She set up a jury rig and limped back to South Africa. After 8 weeks of repairs, Lisa set sail again, and after 184 days, she successfully circumnavigated Antarctica, then returned back to Albany on July 21, 2017. The rest is in the history books..

She records on her regular BLOGs that trip was hard and dangerous. But on top of the physical stresses, was the constant sleep depravation and the loneliness of solo yacht sailing.

By overcoming all these challenges, Lisa is officially our first female solo yacht sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica. Well done Lisa..!

If you would like the experience of a lifetime and travel to Antarctica by sea for yourself, you could consider taking an antarctica cruise and follow in the footsteps of the great, intrepid explorers of the past.

6 Great Occasions to Rent a Boat in Sydney

How ever you look at it, Sydney Harbour is one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. This unique mix of urban and maritime just begs to be explored by boat — even the Opera House looks like a sailing ship! View the city and its coastline from a whole new perspective with a luxury yacht or boat hire Sydney.

Whether you are an old salt or you are just finding your sea legs, Sydney has boat hire options for every level and every occasion. From chartering your own boat to fully guided tours, exploring the harbour and Sydney’s coves and beaches is something you should do at least once in a lifetime.

Hiring a luxury boat, catamaran or yacht in Sydney can be a great way to mark a special occasion, creating truly unforgettable memories for you and your loved ones. Here are just a few events that may merit a boat or yacht rental in Sydney:

Birthdays

From raucous birthday bashes to intimate gatherings with just a few friends, this is a great way to spend an evening or even an entire day. Cruise serene inlets as you sip a chilled white and take in your surroundings, or dance the night away on Sydney Harbour, it really is up to you. At Eastcoast Sailing we offer a range of personalised birthday cruise options that can be tailored exactly to your requirements. Entertainment, drinks and food can all be laid on, so you can concentrate on enjoying your special day.

Hens & Bucks Parties

Your final chance to party it up with the girls (or the lads)! While our hens and bucks outings are different in many ways they do have one thing in common — fun, and lot’s of it. For a hen’s party you could opt for a daytime cruise on a beautiful yacht with some friends with plenty wines and nibbles, or if you are a night owl you could dance the night away as our DJ spins the tunes and our hunky male staff serve up the drinks.

For grooms to be we like to take a more hands on approach. By day you can cruise the harbour as you and your mates knock back a few cold ones and help with the handling of the yacht or catamaran. If you’re super-competitive, we can even arrange a regatta where you race your friends around a sailing course in Sydney Harbour. And, of course, we also have plenty of night-time options for your big night out with the lads.

Honeymoons

When the vows are said and done, it’s time for some alone time with your new spouse. No doubt you and your loved one will be jetting off to some exotic location, but if you want to top or tail your honeymoon with something a little bit special, a night or two exploring the beaches and coves of Sydney Harbour might be just the thing for you.

We pull out all the stops to create a romantic and unforgettable experience. Explore the coastline by day, cruise around the harbour at twilight, then weigh anchor and enjoy a candlelit dinner in a serene and secluded cove. Romance really doesn’t get much better than this.

Overnight boat hire is also perfect for anniversaries, St. Valentine’s Day or simply when you want to treat that special person in your life.

Corporate Events

Whether you want to wow a client or give your team a day out to remember, hiring a yacht in Sydney is sure to get the results you are looking for. Enjoy a gourmet business lunch on the harbour or treat a customer to the stunning views of Sydney at night with an evening cruise. We guarantee they will be impressed.

Sydney boat hire can also do wonders for your employees. Team building sailing tours allow your employees to work together, build bonds and partake in fun events such as regattas, treasure hunts and even sailing lessons. They will emerge from the day relaxed, rejuvenated and with a renewed sense of purpose.East Coast Sailing Boat Charter

Ring in The New Year

People travel from all over the world to ring in the New Year in Sydney, and for good reason. Not only does it give you a chance to start the party before almost everyone else in the world, the fireworks display is simply spectacular. It almost goes without saying that the best place to experience the Sydney countdown is from the harbour. Not only does it allow you to enjoy the full scale of the display, the reflections of the fireworks off the water offers a whole new element to the show. You won’t see anything like it anywhere else. Seats fill up quickly for this one, so book your place as early as possible.

Just for The Fun of It

When you think about it, do you really need a special occasion to hire a boat in Sydney? Whether you are Sydneysider or just in town for a few days, hiring a boat, catamaran or yacht is a wonderful way to spend a day or an evening and can be surprisingly affordable. If you want a Sydney day tour with a difference or you are simply wondering what to do next weekend, hiring a boat in Sydney might be just the ticket. And if you really catch the bug, we have a range of sailing courses from beginner to advanced so you can be sailing your own boat within just a few weeks.

At Eastcoast Sailing, we are committed to renting and chartering the highest quality luxury boats, yachts and catamarans to our private and corporate customers. Whatever the occasion, we will pull out all the stops to make it a day you won’t forget. Contact us today to find out how we can make your next event something special.

Waterside Restaurants to Visit with Boat Hire in Sydney

There is an amazing line-up of waterfront restaurants in Sydney – many along the shores of the famed Sydney Harbour. This is one of the most popular dining destinations in all of Australia, and people who have taken advantage of catamaran hire in Sydney can easily access some of the best restaurants in the city without even having to deal with traffic.

In this post, we’re highlighting four of Sydney’s acclaimed waterside restaurants:

Doyles on the Beach

Doyles has become a household name for seafood in Sydney, with many branches now in operation. This restaurant at Watson Bay was the original, and it first opened its doors in 1885. Today, the fifth generation of Doyles looks after this family owned and operated restaurant. This is some of the freshest, finest seafood available in Sydney, which – combined with the seaside views – makes this a popular place for celebrities visiting Sydney to dine. The menu features many exquisite choices but is by no means pretentious. Down-to-earth dishes such as Doyles Own Fish and Chips and Surf and Turf remain perennial favourites. But you can also splash out on much more extravagant fare, such as the Doyles Fisherman’s Platter (for two or three diners). Doyles on the Beach is an ideal sailing destination from Circular Quay, though you can arrive here from many other destinations as well. Just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time, tables are often available at weekends and on holidays.

Catalina

Many consider this to be the premier waterside restaurant in the Eastern Suburbs. It’s extremely popular, with patrons arriving by car, yacht or even seaplane. Judy and Michael McMahon opened Catalina’s doors in 1994, and it remains a family owned and operated business more than two decades later. Catalina is famous for its incredible views over Rose Bay, along with its highly acclaimed wine list. The speciality here is seafood, including Glacier Bay 51 toothfish and crispy skin Cone Bay barramundi. They also serve a few bold French classics, such as pig’s head with sauce gribiche. And for an added bit of atmosphere, there’s a squadron of pelicans that frequent this location.

Doyles on the Wharf

Another favourite Doyles destination, this branch takes its name from the King Street Wharf. This branch is located at the Fisherman’s Wharf, right over the sparkling waters of Watson’s Bay. This outlet is a decidedly toned-down version of the Doyles dining experience, as they specifically offer takeaway items. With that in mind, the menu is much more affordable – ideal for people who have taken advantage of yacht hire in Sydney and are in the mood for a quick bite to eat. There’s also an on-site bistro with alfresco seating, so you can either order your seafood and enjoy or take it back to your boat and continue your outing. Given Doyles’ reputation for serving some of the freshest seafood in Sydney, there’s plenty to appreciate about the available fare.

Quay

Quay provides diners with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. It’s a regular award-winner in Sydney’s dining circles, and patrons rave about their signature dish, the XO Sea. For this culinary creation, Chef Peter Gilmore specially selects five different seafood items, and seasons them with a Chinese XO sauce. Another dish – the snow egg – was actually featured on Master Chef. This is a relatively pricey restaurant, but the experience of dining with these views over the glittering waters of Circle Quay certainly justify the expense.

The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

This gem of a seaside restaurant is located above the Sydney Rower’s Club – a lively area with people often seen training in boats out on the harbour. The main dining room boasts all glass walls, ensuring expansive views. The service here is truly impressive, and the wait staff have a habit of slipping in and out again without the least interruption to your dining experience. Specialities include fresh-shucked oysters, Claire de lunes, potato blini and Angassi flats.

Bennelong

Located near the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong has one of the best views of any restaurant in the world. It’s an undeniably beautiful place to enjoy an evening, with four separate dining areas:

  • The main restaurant on the lower level
  • ‘Cured and Cultured’ – casual dining with a view of the chefs working on the central level
  • A bar area that is ideal for pre- and post-show drinks and spectacular views of the harbour
  • A semi-private chef’s table with seating for up to ten diners in a custom-designed kitchen

This is a lovely place to eat, and nothing feels quite as extravagant as taking advantage of catamaran charter in Sydney, pulling into Sydney Harbour and mooring your boat next to Bennelong Point for a bit of fine dining by the sea.

Contact Eastcoast Sailing today to arrange yacht hire in Sydney and visit any of these seaside restaurants in style.

Top Things to Do in Sydney Harbour

Iconic Sydney Harbour is the heart and soul of the city in so many ways. Combining the immense natural beauty of the local landscape with the city’s architecture, especially the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the harbour is the perfect playground for locals and visitors alike all year round.

Eastcoast Sailing, as one of the foremost boat, yacht and catamaran hire companies in Sydney, we can help you to experience first-hand the beauty and excitement of Sydney Harbour on a cruise. You will take in the most beautiful sights, along with scenery and lessor know places that many people miss out on. If you’re planning on visiting this beautiful part of the world, take a cruise with us to get the very best views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Here are some of the top things to do in Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Walks

Middle Head walks – One of the most popular parts of Sydney Harbour among nature lovers, Sydney Harbour National Park was created to protect the foreshore and islands around the harbour and enable everyone to enjoy the fantastic foreshore walks and swimming spots that have made this national park a must-visit destination while in Sydney.

The area is rich in history as well as natural beauty, with Aboriginal sites, military fortifications, including the famous 1801 Forts, convict-built buildings and a heritage lighthouse some of the many historical places of interest that can be visited while bushwalking. Plus visiting all the beautiful beaches like Cobblers Beach, Clifton Gardens, Balmoral Beach, Oblisk Bay, and Whiting Beach / Athol Bay, by charter yacht.

There are also many scenic places of note in the park, with the harbour’s astounding coastline which creates a natural lookout that stretches as far as the eye can see, providing jaw-dropping views that attract visitors the world over. Middle Head is one of the best spots provides spectacular views extending all the way to the Middle Harbour, Manly and the Eastern Suburbs.

Spit Bridge to Manly – Probably Sydney’s best harbour side walk. It takes in fabulous views on Chinamans Beach, Balmoral, Middle / North and South Heads as you walk around stunning beaches, and bush tracks. Passing from Clontarf, you walk past Castle Rock where dozens of boats (including Eastcoast Sailing !) will be at day anchor and enjoying a swim to the beach. Past Grotto point and Dobroyd Head, to Forty Casket’s beach and then onto Manly Cove.

Woolloomooloo to Darling Harbour – Tick off all the major Sydney Harbour icons on this walk. Starting in Woolloomooloo, walk around the beautiful Mrs Macquarie Chair, named after the wife of the first Governor Macquarie. Fort Denison is located just off this point. Keep walking around the lovely Botanical Gardens, to the Sydney Opera House, and onto Circular Quay. Keep following the shore line through the Rocks takes you right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then stroll past all the historical piers, will bring you to Sydney’s newest foreshore development of Barangaroo. Finally, the walk progresses onto King St Wharf and Darling Harbour.

If you’d like to cruise past these unique locations, call us to arrange a Sydney yacht rental with Eastcoast Sailing on a lovely yacht of your selection.

Sydney Harbour Islands

Cockatoo Island – Many Sydney locals and visitors to the city spend time on Cockatoo Island, the only island in Sydney Harbour that offers accommodation. But that’s not all that makes it such a unique place to visit while in Sydney.

The Island used to be a penal settlement to prevent overcrowding and its later establishment as a shipbuilding base (for over 150 years) before the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust assumed control of it and it became the tourist attraction it is today. For those thinking of staying the night, camping is something to consider, with Lonely Planet billing it as “one of the world’s most spectacularly located campsites”. You are highly likely to see some of the marine wildlife on the way too! So much so that some people choose to sail here specifically for the wildlife, just like they would go whale watching california, the key difference is that they also get to visit these beautiful islands!

Fort Denison – Directly opposite the Sydney Opera House, this island has had a chequered history. Known as “Pinchgut”, it was for a time a tough penal facility. It has also served as a fortified defence battery for Sydney Cover in the early years of settlement. Now you can arrange trips to visit and even have lunch at the restaurant there.

Shark Island – A gorgeous island located off Rose Bay. 360 degrees views of Sydney Harbour. Shark Island has been used as an animal quarantine area and naval storage depot. The island is now a recreational reserve, with picnic shelters, a gazebo, and large grassy areas. Access to the island requires reservations, as the island can only cater for up to 500 people at any one time. The island can also be booked for private functions.

Clarke Island – This small island is located near Darling Point in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. With 360 degrees of Sydney Harbour, it is used for recreational activities. The island was named after Lieutenant Ralph Clark from the First Fleet. Apparently he attempted to grow a vegetable garden with limited success. Access to the island requires booking.

If you’d like to sail around these islands, and others, call us to arrange a Sydney yacht rental with Eastcoast Sailing on a lovely yacht of your selection.

We have a broad selection of yachts for you to select from, including luxury yachts, classic yachts and racing yachts, all of which are immaculately maintained and available for hire throughout the year, enabling you to experience the beauty of Sydney Harbour and it’s islands.

Sydney Harbour Beaches

The city and its harbour are also home to some amazing beaches which many people don’t get a chance to visit. If you’re planning to arrange a catamaran rental to tour Sydney Harbour in the summer, you may like to visit the following beaches on your cruise with Eastcoast Sailing.

Quarantine Beach – What a stunning sandy Sydney Harbour beach. As the name infers, this was originally a quarantine station for early immigrants and goods into the Sydney settlement. There is a lovely resort converted from the old quarantine residents. A quality restaurant and a museum are located on the wharf into the crystal blue waters.

Balmoral Beach – Not one, but two great sandy beaches for swimming and sunbaking. Balmoral beach on located on the north side of Middle Head. Close by are several quality cafes and restaurants. Balmoral also has some lovely walking tracks.

Nielsen Park – One of the most popular beaches in the harbour and not without good reason as there really is so much to like about it. With a sandy beach, clear water and a beautiful rocky area to explore it has so much to offer visitors, plus it has a café and walks.

Parsley Bay – The perfect beachside picnic spot, Parsley Bay has lovely soft sand and clear water that’s perfect for swimmers of all ages set among a picturesque, postcard-perfect natural setting. And like Nielsen’s Park, it’s netted off, making it very popular among families and swimmers. In summer, there’s no place better to dive from the bow of a yacht rental into the waters of Sydney Harbour.

As one of the leading boat charter companies operating in Sydney Harbour, Eastcoast Sailing can help you plan the perfect day on the water visiting these beautiful beaches, islands, national parks and more. To find out more about the skippered boat catamaran and yacht charters, and the unique places you can visit around Sydney Harbour, please contact the team today.

Australia Day 2017 Events on Sydney Harbour

Join in the Australia Day festivities – 26 January, on Sydney Harbour with your own Australia Day boat hire. There is plenty of fun and action scheduled on the Harbour through out the day and evening.

Eastcoast Sailing can provide a range of skippered yacht charters and catamaran rentals as well as fun party boats to take you up close to the action.

What’s On ?

  • Great Sydney Swim: 8.30am, Farm Cove
  • Ferrython: 1045 – 1130, Sydney Harbour
  • Tug and Yacht Ballet: 1205 – 1250, between the Harbour Bridge and Opera House
  • Australia Day Harbour Parade: 1245 – 1415, Sydney Harbour
  • Red Beret Stunt Planes: 1230 – 1400, Sydney Harbour skies
  • Tall Ships Race : 1300 – 1330, East Sydney Harbour
  • 181st Australia Day Sailing Regatta : 1330 – 1430, East Sydney Harbour
  • Cruising Concerts: 1215-1700, Central Harbour, and Athol Bay
  • Darling Harbour Fireworks Spectacular: 8.45pm, Darling Harbour

World’s 4th largest ship to make Sydney Harbour home

Sydney welcomed the world’s 4th largest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, into Port Jackson. Her Operator, Royal Caribbean announced that Sydney will be her new home port. This behemoth has a length of more than three football fields, weighing 167,800 tonnes and featuring 18 decks.

This vessel can serve over 4900 guests  plus 1500 crew.

“Her two-day visit to Sydney is expected to inject over $3.3 million in passenger spend alone, while her maiden Australian season is expected to inject more than $35 million into the national economy,” the company statement reads. The ship will visits ports in the South Pacific including around Australia and New Zealand.

We had many of our charter boats cruise by Circular Quay to check out this Ovation of the Seas, a sight that dwarfed the Opera House.

Fun in the sun with the Yacht Social Club

Each year “Have your heard events” book our boats for this fantastic get together. The best way to see the Harbour and catch up with friends.

THE YACHT SOCIAL CLUB

yacht hire

RETURNS SUMMER 16/17

 “Sydney Harbour is our playground”

The Yacht Social Club is a series of exclusive events. With each event we aim to bring you sun, sea, yachts, an awesome crowd and the best local DJs dishing out the perfect soundtrack. All of this against the backdrop of the iconic Sydney Harbour.

 You choose your crew, book your yacht and prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience.

Have You Heard Presents… The Yacht Social Club. 

Worth checking out and the best way to enjoy one of our boats!

 

We had to let you know about MV Birchgrove Luxury Charter Boat

Here at Eastcoast Sailing we have many boats to suit your needs, we are very proud to introduce MV Birchgrove Luxury Charter Boat.  MV Birchgrove is a 50ft hi-tec Windy Triton Cruiser. The only vessel of its type in Australia; its award winning design offers guests the ultimate cruising experience with luxurious appointments throughout. Below the decks is state of the art power plant and equipment capable of taking guests on a exhilarating ride on Sydney Harbour through to overnight accommodation with fully appointed bathrooms, air conditioning, Foxtel, WIFI and Bose entertainment systems.

Escape the hustle and bustle and treat yourself to a day in paradise! Experience what it feels like to cruise the harbour in style.  MV Birchgrove every detail is tailored to your liking.

Seal Returns to the Opera House and she’s got a pup

The Sydney Seal first caught people’s attention in 2014 when she spent a few days soaking up the sun and gathering adoring fans on the Opera house VIP steps.  The New Zealand fur seal has returned a year later with a little seal pup.

The pup takes after mum when it comes to adorable sun-baking displays and a propensity to nap in the middle of the day.  The city’s most famous squatter first turned up at the landmark in October 2014,  returning last year and now, for the third year in a row.

A number of seals have been seen around the eastern side of the harbour this year a sign that the waterway is also in good condition.  The two enjoyed the warm winter’s day, occasionally sliding back in to the water to cool off before returning to the warmth of the concrete stairs.

Social media users have rejoiced over the return of the famed ‘Sydney Seal’.   A spokesperson for NSW Environment and Heritage said it was common for seals to ‘haul out’, where they voluntarily leave the water for a short period of time especially during the winter months.

 

Sun sets on Sydney International Boat Show for 2016

Well the sun has set on the Sydney International Boat Show for 2016.  Most agents report very healthy interest in new boat sales.  And several claim they achieved solid order books this year.

Eastcoast Sailing, always a keen participant at the boat show, noticed some wonderful trends in the fantastic fleet of boats displayed at Darling Harbour.

  1. Smarter more spacious layouts.  Thanks CAD/CAM & ergonomics..  The layouts on many boats is clever, useful and practical.
  2. There is definitely a lift in the levels of luxury offered across all ranges of boats and yachts.  There are very few basic or austere boats presented any more.  This luxury inherently comes with higher price tags.
  3. The Catamaran category continuing it’s surge in popularity / growth.  Very popular for their stability, size and comfort.  Not to forget lazing on the front trampolines in sun off a lovely Sydney Harbour beach.
  4. The jaw dropping top end end large luxury cruisers continue to be stunningly presented.  We have a couple of problems here :  there is no way I would let my kids climb about with wet sandy feet on my stunning parquetry floors.  Second, we can’t afford the multi-million dollar price tag – in fact we can’t even afford the the fuel.  Some with 2 x 5,000 l tanks – my quick maths has this at $18,000 for fuel !!

Anyway, another excellent 2016 Sydney International Boat Show, and some truly spectacular yachts and cruisers.  If you haven’t got a lazy million dollars to buy a new boat, give us a call and we can arrange a lovely luxury charter boat for you on the Harbour…