Spring Sailing Charter – Sydney Harbour Hidden Beaches

Winters finally gone, and you are yearning for some sun rays around Sydney Harbour? Spring is a great time for a sailing cruise to some of those special Sydney Harbour beach hideaways.

We all know the famous beaches that we can drive to like Balmoral Beach, Nielson Park and Rose Bay. Beautiful yes – but not secluded and unique. Take a sailing yacht charter to some of the exclusive and stunning sandy harbour beaches.

Three hidden golden sandy beaches near the Quarantine Station near Manly are best accessed by boat. Quarantine Beach, Collins Beach and Store Beach – beautiful clear water beaches surrounded by lovely dense green vegetation. You wont believe you are in Sydney. Drop anchor, swim into the beach and enjoy lunch and a chilled wine on the yacht.

Another favorite Sydney Harbour cruise for Eastcoast Sailing is Castle Rock – again best accessible by beach. With the shallow waters here, chartering a shallow draft hire boat such as a catamaran, you can anchor in nice and close to the 2 beaches.

Across the water from Castle Rock is Chinamans beach – a huge expanse of sandy beach. And around the point from Castle Rock is Clontarf.

What about Cliftons Gardens – better known by sailors as Taylors Bay? Often over-looked by landlubbers, it has a real wow. There are some naval maritime exhibits on the northern side and a swimming enclosure on the Southern side. All surrounded by lovely bush, and a great outlook to the sailing yachts on Sydney Harbour.

Athol Bay – never heard of it ? Well it’s the sandy beach to the east from Taraonga Park Zoo. You will often see some stunning luxury motor boats and yachts at anchor here. From the beach you look out to the Sydney city skyline.

Finally in the east, we love Milk Beach. Again, off the beaten track, but easily accessible by boat anchored just off the shore.

Contact Eastcoast Sailing to plan your Sydney Harbour cruise – your private skippered yacht charter to discover some unique and exquisite Sydney Harbour beaches.

Enjoy the Eastcoast Sailing experience. 1300 883 023

Acrobatics on yachts comes to Sydney Harbour

Yachts and acrobatics ? An unlikely mix, but French couple Delphine Lechifflart and Franck Rabilier, and their daughters are performing acrobatics in Sydney on their yacht La Loupiote. Lechifflart said the performance blends circus, dance and theatre.

The couple use the mast, boom, rigging, spinnaker and other parts of their yacht in their shows, together with long strands of silk fabric. ”It’s definitely harder than in a theatre, because the boat is moving all the time,” Delphine says.

Lechifflart and Rabilier have been performing these nautical acrobatics for nine years around the world on their yacht. Their 2 daughters, aged 5 and 13 are now also part of the performance.
The family have been performing shows in Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Since 2004, the crew has travelled the world sharing this experience. Thousands have been awed and delighted in France and Portugal (2004/06), Morocco 2004/07, the French Caribbean (2007-2009), Canada, the United States, and Mexico (2007-2011), and French Polynesia (2013).

Here is a link to their website and youtube video clip. 

Historic Quarantine Station Family Fun Day

Quarantine Station at North Head was swarming with families young and old at yesterday’s Family Fun Day. The weather was superb, bringing crowds to soak up the history, sun , sand and ocean together in one magnificent location.

Manly was originally a quarantine station for migrant ships arriving in Sydney from the 1830s to 1984. Those ships with suspected contagious disease aboard had to off-load their passengers and crew at the quarantine station where they stayed for about 40 days before they were released (if they were deemed disease-free) to settle as Australian residents.

The North Head site was selected for the establishment of the quarantine station because it was the first safe anchorage point inside the Heads; it was sufficiently isolated and the presence of natural springs ensured a constant water supply to the inhabitants. Today, the historical site comprises of 65 buildings, several archaeological sites, and some spectacular vantage points to view the beautiful Sydney Harbour and native bushland.

Yesterday’s fun day offered activities such as exhibitions, talks, open buildings, native wildlife presentations, stalls, kids’ activities, tours and more.

Some of the event highlights included:
. Live Music
. Sausage Sizzle plus other food
. Quarantine Photographic Exhibitions
. University Of NSW Fine Arts Exhibition
. Sydney University “Stories from the Sandstone” Inscription Talks
. In Focus Movable Heritage Exhibition
. Author Felicity Pulman talks about her book “Ghost Boy”
. Author Gunilla Haglundh talks about her book “Manly Murders”
. Author Perry McIntyre talks about “Lady McNaughton: the first official Quarantine”
. All authors gave advice to hopeful writers on things like how to become a better editor
. Latitude 33 – bootcamp, zumba & boxing session
. Q Station Accommodation & Function Room Tour
. Open Buildings – visit the historic Quarantine Shower Block, Autoclaves & Hospital.
. Wildlife Encounters – native animal presentation
. Mural Painting
. Kayaking

Plenty of yachts and catamarans stopped by to see what all the fuss was about. A perfect place to drop anchor and take a swim or row into the beach at Qstation. It is an idyllic place to explore or relax and soak in both the historic buildings and the magnificent backdrop of Sydney harbour and surrounding National Park.

A Family Fun day enjoyed by many!

Nova 96.9 Wedding cruises with Eastcoast Sailing

Nova 96.9 popular DJ Wippa  and his beautiful fiancé , Lisa are getting married!

To celebrate the pending nuptials, Nova 96.9 have been throwing him a party and all of Sydney were invited to join in.

Eastcoast Sailing organised for Fitzy and Wippa , Lisa and a great group of listeners to cruise the Sydney waters on board on our of newest and

most popular motor vessels, MV Coast., a luxury twin deck catamaran  that offers bounteous space and excellent stability. The perfect boat for weddings, parties and anything! 

The weather couldn’t have been better with unseasonally warm temperatures hitting the 30’s. Perfect cruising weather. The jubilant group boarded at Homebush Bay and cruised up the Parramatta River in style. MV Coasts twin bows cut smoothly through the Harbour waters, sweeping under the Bridge and past the ever wondrous Opera House. The photo opportunities were endless.

Fitzy and Wippa and the group disembarked at Man o War Steps at the Opera House to then continue their celebrations at the Opera Bar.

Captain Mark said the group were an absolute pleasure and they are welcome aboard anytime.

Enjoy your final days of freedom Wippa.

All of us here at Eastcoast Sailing wish Wippa and Lisa a wonderful wedding day and future together!

For more information on MV Coast or any of our extensive range of motor vessels, yachts and catamarans please contact us.

Georgia – one of the world’s largest yachts enjoying Sydney Harbour

The luxury super yacht, “Georgia” is gracing our Sydney Harbour. Our boat charters have enjoyed cruising past this breath taking sloop – it is one of the largest sailing yachts in the world ! Her rust red hull, with white topsides and sky scraper masts creates an imposingly beautiful yacht.

Built by Alloy Yachts in 2000, and designed by Studio Scanu / Butch Design, GEORGIA is a 48m (159 ft) sloop . She can sail up to about 16 knots with comfort and stability. It is powered by a 1000HP cat engine. A very capable ocean cruising vessel…

Apparently it has four generous guest cabins, to accommodate 12 overnights guests in luxury, plus a crew of 7. The master suite is huge taking the full width of the boat. As you can (or can’t) imagine, it has every conceivable luxury, including a spa, bar, dining room, TV room / lounge room, etc. It also has lots of aquatic toys, including 21 foot tender capable of 35 + knots for 10 people. Of course, it has a gym to keep fit for those lazy ocean crossings..

A truly magnificent yacht under sail.

New Large Marinas slated for Sydney Harbour

There are several large marina developments slated for Sydney Harbour. Whilst the large Marina at Rose Bay has been taking most of the headlines, with wealthy proponents and vocal detractors, there are several lesser known proposals in (long!) process including Balls Head, Berrys Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

Balls Head

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing dilapidated coal-loader wharf complex on the western side of Waverton Peninsula. It is owned by Roads and Maritime Services (the Old NSW Maritime). The park and some of the buildings next to the Wharf have been upgraded, but let’s be frank it – the loader wharf is an eye sore, and off –limits to the public due to safety issues. So a re-development here is surely a good thing. But the North Sydney Council and a group of activists don’t think so. There seems to be an enpasse between the RMS & North Sydney Council as a road upgrade proposal has been rejected by council, until RMS submit further details on their Marina proposal. The 160m wharf is proposed to be re-developed for larger yachts and motor cruisers from 12m to 50m, suitable for commercial operations such as Yacht charters, motor cruiser charters and other commercial vessels.

Berrys Bay

There are plans to build a 92 berth marina at Berry Bay – a development proposal was approved by the previous NSW Labour government. Meriden Marinas were awarded the development for up vessels 30m, including a boat yard & car parking. This construction is now underway.

Blackwattle Bay

This area adjacent to the fish markets is sadly run down. It is well used by the larger commercial charter vessel operators. There has been a development proposal accepted by the NSW Maritime as far back as 2005, with several revisions in the interim, but to date no real construction work has progressed.

Rose Bay

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing marina, however much larger number and capacity of berths. There has been much debate in the public domain, especially with some of the original concepts proposing a massive super boat marina – fortunately, this is has been scaled back and is now under construction…

Point Piper / Elizabeth Bay

Like Rose Bay proposal there has been a strong resident pushback. This development has been previously approved by (the former) NSW Maritime. However, the future of this development proposal is clouded, and seems to have become a political item between City of Sydney and the Ministerial Office for Planning and Infrastructure.

Typically, these new Sydney Harbour Marina developments have good support from the boating fraternity, but some are aggressively opposed by residential activists, green lobbyists, and some councils. Sydney Harbour has been rightly claimed as a working harbour by successive governments. Further the Charter of the RMS is to promote a balanced safe access and use of the harbour. So, the “no new marina” position is simply untenable and short sighted, and the environment damage claims are usually misleading. Tasteful, well designed marinas can be beautifully integrated with the environment – think the lovely (old) Havorsens marina with fish sanctuary at Bobbin Head. Indeed, most boaties by nature absolutely love and care for a beautiful harbour. Equally though, massive new super marina proposals are too imposing and unattractive. A little constructive balance is all that is required. Good luck RMS..!

Sailing Regatta – Property Industry Foundation 2012

Another successful Sailing Regatta for the wonderful charity PIF on Friday 23 March 2012. Under stunning blue skies on Sydney Harbour, the regatta provided tight fun racing in various categories, appreciated by the large cruising spectator fleet.  Then afterwards at the “surfin’ safari beach party” at Middle Harbour Yacht Club for regatta awards, much solcialising and to debate which yacht had right of way..

The PIF Regatta is a fantasic sailing regatta on Sydney Harbour where a large number of companies from the property fraternity clamour onboard a large fleet of yachts to race, and to raise money for PIF.

PIF, the Property Industry Foundation charity raises funds to support homeless kids around Australia.  “This is our indusrtry working together to raise a million dollar difference to help solve a very important problem – youth homelessness.

Victor Hoog Antink, National Chariman, PIF.

On Sydney Harbour – 10 things the locals wont tell you

Are you about to go on holiday to Sydney? Or have you only just moved to Sydney after using a Sydney removalist company? Either way, you’re going to want to know where all the best places to go are. But this can often lead to over-crowded tourist areas that leave you in a queue for most of the day. This is why you’ll want to look for things to do that the locals won’t tell you about.

1. Discover secret harbour beaches accessible only by boat

Hire a skippered yacht and discover the hidden jewels of Sydney Harbour. There are a large number of sandy beaches draped by lush bushland around the harbour. Many of these beaches are only accessible by boat, or bush walking tracks. Hence, many of these special beaches & bays are unknown to tourists, and to many of the locals. On the north side near the old Quarantine Station on North Head, are several excellent beaches nested close to one other, called Collins, Quarantine and Store beach. Around Middle Harbour is Castle Rock (a favourite for boaties), and Obelisk Bay, Athol / Taronga Zoo beach on Middle Head. And in the East is Neilson Park and Hermitage Reserve. Spend a day on a yacht eating, drinking and lounging, then swim in crystal clear water into the beach.

2. Catch the Manly Ferry

One the best and cheapest (!) thing to do on Sydney Harbour is to catch the Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. You get a great view of the harbour passing iconic landmarks such as Fort Denison, Farm Cove, Taronga Park Zoo, Shark Island, Middle Head, passing the Sydney Heads, and over to Manly. Many tourists don’t realise the duality of Manly, it is both a beautiful harbour beach on one side, and a fabulous ocean beach on the other. Spend a day shopping around Manly, and enjoy the contrast of the surf beach and the inner harbour beaches.

3. Cruise the Harbour, Islands, Bays & Beaches

There are the usual large ferry operators carrying tourists by the hundreds, BUT a much more personal and fun way is to charter a yacht or catamaran. Your skipper will take you around many of the Harbour Islands and explain some interesting history. There are Shark and Clark Islands in the East, and Goat and Cockatoo Islands just west of the Harbour Bridge. On the North Shore are some lovely bays, including Kirribilli, Cremorne, and Mosman. And lastly, from the history file, there is Fort Denison and Garden Island near circular Quay, and the swathe of military ‘bunkers’ scattered around Middle Head.

4. Lunch on the Marina at Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a very exciting place for both tourists and locals. It is even more spectacular when you tie up to the marina, and order some great restaurant food and wine that many of the nearby establishments gladly deliver to your boat. You get a very different view of the excitement from your relative serenity of your boat watching the people stroll past and the amazing Sydney skyline. A cocktail at sunset on your boat on the marina is memorable.

5. Learn to Sail a Yacht

A fun way to see Sydney harbour is to sail it yourself !! A professional Skipper will teach you to Sail a Yacht, take the tiller and pull some lines as you learn. This is great fun for 2 to 8 people.

6. Overnight stay on a yacht

Imagine waking up to a sunrise with uninterrupted waterviews through to Sydney Heads – because you are on your own yacht ! The skipper quietly exits the yacht in the evening when the yacht is secured – the boat is all yours. This is great for a very romantic evening, or a special time with family & friends. Dinner and breakfast is organised. There are range of bays to drop anchor, but Balmoral Beach, Flat Rock Beach and Bantry Bay are a couple of favourites. This is better than a 6 star hotel !

7. Relax and Swim at Sydney’s finest harbour beaches

There a lots of beautiful beaches on Sydney harbour all offering there own magic. Some of our favourite beaches are Chinaman’s and Clontarf . If good food and coffee from the shore is a must, Balmoral, Manly and Neilson Park are the picks. But a tip for the other beaches, watch out for the coffee & ice-cream boats that come around in summer!

8. Tour of the wealthy Sydney waterfront mansions

Cruise around the gorgeous houses and mansions on the bays, beaches and cliffs. There are many sections of the harbour where you will appreciate the style and grandeur of some of Sydney finest homes. Three favourite cruising sections are (a) Watson Bay all the way to Garden Island, (b) Kirribilli (from Kirribilli House – the Prime Minister’s Sydney house) to Mosman through Neutral Bay and Cremorne, and (c) from Spit Bridge around through Seaforth through Beauty Point, Cremorne, and Castlecrag.

9. Sydney Fish Markets Marina

After cruising East Balmain, Pyrmont, and around the Big Boats marina at Roselle, tie up to the marina at Sydney Fish Markets. Check out the amazing selection of seafood at the Sydney Seafood Markets, and then order a fabulous lunch and wine from the markets.

10. Inner harbour and rivers

Done the Sydney Harbour cruise before? Then cruise away from the usual tourist areas, and explore the beautiful waterways around Lane Cove / Parramatta rivers, like Woolwich and Drummoyne. Around Middle Cove are some lovely serene bays including Bantry Bay and Sugarloaf Bay. The lush vegetation dispersed with lovely homes, beaches, cliffs and bays is truly memorable. You won’t believe you are still in Sydney.

copyright Eastcoast Sailing, October 2011

About Eastcoast Sailing :

Eastcoast Sailing provides skippered Yacht Charters and Sailing School on Sydney Harbour. Kylie Noble is the principle of Eastcoast Sailing, and regularly enjoys the delights of Sydney Harbour with her family and friends. Let Eastcoast Sailing help you enjoy Sydney Harbour from one of our luxury yachts.


+61 459 060 011 (outside Australia), 1300 883 023 (within Australia).

Laura Dekker – Youngest solo sailing navigation

Laura Dekker, the Dutch teen aged 16 years 4 months, completed the youngest solo sailing navigation of the earth by arriving in St Maarten in the Caribbean on the 20th January.

Whilst this incredible feat eclipses Jessica Watson’s age record of 16 years 11 months,  the manner is vastly different.  Jessica completed her epic voyage non-stop in 210 days.  Laura on the other hand, stopped frequently at various ports around the world, taking a leisurely 366 days.

Laura’s yacht is a 38ft sailing ketch, from Jeanneau called Guppy.   It’s quite beamy at 12.5 ft with a draft of over 6 ft.

All good stories have a villain. The Dutch social welfare organisation, Youth Care, mounted a series of challenges to block her solo sailing attempt, including court injunctions, citing her young age.  Eventually she succeeded in overcoming these hurdles to start her voyage. The experience clearly became acrimonious as she reflects bitterly in her blog on completing her adventure.  “afraid that Youth care wanted to lock me up..” , and “they will take me away from my father..”  An extract from her blog, is listed at the end of this Eastcoast Sailing blog.

The other intriguing part of the story is that Laura, whilst Dutch, was apparently “born on a yacht in New Zealand”…   The sailing gods have spoken…

Laura Dekker’s BLOG 18 January 2012

Reaching the end of my circumnavigation, I look back with joy at the adventures of the past year. I am also thinking hard, and trying to come to terms with the year prior to my voyage. The Dutch government was not kind to me. As a 13 year old girl, it was never my intention to be the center of world news. From the moment my plans became public, Youth Care and other government organizations tried to stop me. During the first court case, in August 2009, (even before Youth Care had ever seen me, or had spoken to me…), they asked the Judge to take me away from my father and to lock me up in a secure clinic! By doing this they tried to stop me from sailing. Another five court cases followed and another five times Youth Care asked the judge to lock me up. I only wanted to go sailing! Fortunately the judge never honored this terrible request. Over a period of 11 months, I was constantly afraid that Youth Care would lock me up. Also during this period, there were intimidating interviews with Youth Care workers. It was all a frightening and traumatic experience. So often these terrible memories come to me. I can’t ignore them. It is painful. Now, after sailing around the world, with difficult port approaches, storms, dangerous reefs, and the full responsibility of keeping myself and Guppy safe, I feel that the nightmares the Dutch government organizations put me through, were totally unfair. I think that the nightmares will follow me for the rest of my life… At sea, I feel comfortable and I come to rest. I especially enjoy the long passages over the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. I hear now that the Dutch government organizations have started causing problems again. I am seriously thinking about not returning to the Netherlands. Of course I will discuss this with my parents. We will make decisions carefully, such as finishing my high school education and making plans for my future. Last but not least, I would like to say that I realize my voyage would not have been possible without the support of all my fans from around the globe and my sponsors. I am very grateful to them and I would like to thank them all! I can’t be negative about the Netherlands, a country with so many good people. Because of my past experience with the Dutch government organizations, I have the feeling that it will be very difficult for me to return to the Netherlands. I will complete my solo circumnavigation on the island of Sint Maarten. I am sorry if I disappoint my Dutch fans. What a party it would have been if Hoek van Holland or IJmuiden had been my port of arrival…!!!.. Who knows, it might still happen one day…


Sydney to Hobart – yacht racing and the spectator fleet

The start of Sydney to Hobart 2011 Yacht Race was a stunning event  as usual.  The super maxis had the size and speed to lead the 86 yachts out of the Sydney Harbour.

The other excitment often over looked is the mahem, bravery, jockeying, and sometimes fear, is within the spectator fleet jostling

to a get a close vantage on the race, whilst avoiding each other, outside the race boundary as well as handling the white water chop and swells. The spectator fleet often numbers 5 to 10 times the number of racing yachts. Ranging from surf skis, to which the water police on the jet skis chased back to the shores, speed boats, sailing yachts, charter yachts, cruisers, ferries in all shapes and sizes. (btw – jet skis are illegal for all othe people on Sydney Harbour, except apparently the water police.)