Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tigers in the City

Our final week in Port Hacking was filled with boat jobs, shopping and time with family. A number of the boat jobs were as a result of the warmer climes we are in now. Fans were fitted to all cabins, a water pump to help cool the fridge and also a new battery bank to replace the old dead one and also up our storage capacity. There were myriad other little maintenance jobs as well but the list of those never diminishes!! The kids kept busy fishing from the dock and playing with cousins in between the odd bout of school work.  Prior to leaving Hobart I remember saying to Em that it must be easier to leave port when you are living aboard and don't have to do so much. After nearly 4 weeks in Port Hacking and a very hectic few days to get ready to leave I can now say I was very wrong!!

D'Arcy keeps busy trying to catch the elusive Marina Bream
The Cousins see us off
Farewell to the Bundeena Ferry

With a mixture of sadness and excitement we left Port Hacking and had a great short sail up into Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour proper. We even gave the spinnaker a short run as we left Port Hacking. Ava was sad to leave her cousins but glad to be away from the elusive Marina Bream that swam all around her and D'Arcy's bait but never took a hook! It was fantastic to see the Sydney beaches go past and then to sail in through the heads. We anchored in Athol Bay, right below Taronga Zoo and with amazing views of the Harbour Bridge, City, Fort Denison and Opera House. Sydney Harbour is nautical mayhem to the Tassie yachtie and we are adjusting to constant boat wake, people anchoring on top of us and really big and fast vessels of all kinds. We haven't seen any cheaper looking cruising boats thus far, lots of bright stainless steel and white hulls though!! All pretty exciting to watch though as ferries, warships, racing yachts and super yachts all sail past.

Sailing North to Port Jackson

Into Port Jackson
In the Harbour
Expectation builds
It was quite surreal watching the sunset behind the Harbour Bridge while various gibbons, lions, seals and elephants bellowed from the hill above in the zoo. The girls were pretty excited by the time they went to bed. The next day we took the dinghy ashore and had a fantastic day at the zoo that kicked off with a cable car ride to the top. Highlights were the amazing bird show, the seal show and a whole range of exotic animals including Sumatran Tigers, Orang Utan and Giraffe. Although the animals are caged, the enclosures seem great and the zoo pushes a fantastic conservation message. Amazing to be able to anchor just below the zoo in the middle of Sydney Harbour with a nice sandy swimming beach just off the bow.

Our first Sydney harbour anchorage and sunset

View from the cable car, that's Aratika 2 anchored below.

Sumatran Tiger

Understandably tricky to fit all this guy in the photo! 

A swim to cool off at the end of a busy day at the zoo
We're off for a cruise around the opera house, bridge and Fort Denison this morning and will then make our way up to Manly for a few days while it blows Southerly and we catch up with friends. 

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