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

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!

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.

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.)

Sea Shepherd leaves Sydney Harbour

The Sea Shepherd vessel, with its formidable camouflage paint, on its way out of Sydney Harbour on a stunning sunny Friday afternoon.

By June 27, 2011 Blog Comments Off

Dutch 15 year-old solo circumnavigator Laura Dekker arrives in Tahiti

Laura Dekker is on a quest to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world. She departed the Mediterranean in August 2010, sailing a route across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and west across  the Pacific to French Polynesia.

Unlike our Jessica Watson, Dekker is in no hurry and is cruising along and stopping off at the various ports.  She has until Sept. 20, 2012, her 17th birthday, to complete her voyage.

Dekker hopes to be in Australia in November.

By May 2, 2011 Blog Comments Off

TSS Currajong on Sydney Harbour

Tony Nusco, who is imployed by Maritime Services, has spent more than three decades mapping the harbour floor, making sure shipping lanes are clear for the giant cruise ships as well as commercial and navy vessels.

Mr Nusco and his team of three from Sydney Ports have all but completed the first three-dimensional digital map of the hidden depths of the harbour using a ”multibeam echo sounder” system, bought by the NSW government for $750,000.

The system fires 512 sonar rays to the bottom, building up an intricate picture of the harbour floor.

The picture that has emerged includes six significant shipwrecks and a number of mysterious holes that plunge 20 metres deeper than the level of the harbour floor.

One such hole, 45 metres deep, is located less than 10 metres offshore from Balls Head at Waverton on the northern side of the harbour, west of the Harbour Bridge.

The deepest part of the shipping channel is just west of the bridge, off Dawes Point, to a depth of 40 metres.

East of the bridge, off Bradleys Head, lies the harbour’s biggest and most intact wreck, the TSS Currajong, a collier that was sunk in 1910 after being hit by the Cairns-bound SS Wyreema, a 6000-tonne passenger liner.

The Currajong lies in about 30 metres of water right in the middle of the shipping lane.

”Countless water craft pass straight over the top of the Currajong every year and many would probably have no idea what is below them,” said Mr Nusco on his hydro surveyor launch. ”It was lucky for us and for Sydney that the Currajong was sunk in one of the deepest parts of the harbour.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/secrets-plumbed-on-harbour-floor-20110430-1e1xf.html#ixzz1LBIc4JFj

By May 2, 2011 Blog Comments Off

HMAS Adelaide Scuttled after delay by dolphins

HMAS Adelaide was scuttled on Wednesday (April 12 2011) by controlled charges on board the vessel. Time ran out for the “No Ship Action Group”, trying to stop the scuttling of HMAS Adelaide off Avoca Beach, after failing in their court action bids. However, in an ironic twist, the scuttling was delayed by over an hour, as a pod of dophins playing in the area, got too close to the sinking zone.  Divers are delighted, and local Dive Shops report strong interest in dives on the wreck.

HMAS Adelaide last sail before becoming marine reef

HMAS Adelaide left Sydney Harbour on Monday under tow on its way up the coast to Avoca beach.  The ex-Navy Ship will be scuttled on Wednesday off Avoca beach to become a marine reef – to promote bioversity and fish habitat.  The Ship was decommissioned at Pyrmont Wharf over several years, stripping it off dangerous elements such as oil and lead.

But- not everyone thinks this is a good idea.  The “No Ships Action Group” has been fighting this idea for several years including appeals and injunctions  to NSW Ombudsman, even the new Premier Barry O’Farrell.