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Archive for the 'Botony Bay … N.S.W., Australia' Category



Set off from Sydney Harbour for Botany Bay, about 15 miles (as the crow flies …23 miles to sail) south of Sydney.  It seemed to have been a substantially longer journey, however, by the time I eventually picked up a tug mooring about 150 metres from the northern Mascot Airstrip, (there are two airstrips and one isn’t allowed closer than 80 metres), the centre of Sydney seemed just over the northern land lot.

* Mascot International Airport, Sydney, Australia ...*

I have always had a fascination with flight, which no doubt led me to learn to fly while I was living in Carnarvon.  After no more than 13 hours solo flight it finally caught up with me … I was clearly not born to fly after all, so I decided to leave flying to my cousin, Colin Marks who is pretty good at it.

But the fascination had never left me and this is what led me to tie up so close to the busiest airport in Australia.  Landing aircraft and departing aircraft were doing their thing just 200 metres or so from Tsunami … deafening but very interesting.  Not a good night for sleeping, although there is a curfew at the airport between midnight and 06:00am, when jet aircraft are not allowed any movement in or out. 

* Qantas at Mascot Airport, Sydney, Australia *


Mid morning the following day I sailed around to the southern airstrip which specialises in the larger International 747 etc aircraft.  Again I would have been no further than 200 metres from the landing aircraft!  Makes you think how easy it would be for a terrorist to shoot a plane down, being allowed so close to the strip?  The authorities will be all agog one day when it happens!!



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Melanie and John left Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport around 07:00; 7th January ’05 … I’ll never forget it as it meant an early rise to get them to the airport in time.  That’s what Dad’s are for!   I’m certain they had a great break in Sydney and I’m equally certain, despite living onboard Tsunami, it cost them quite a lot of $$$$’s! 

* John and Melanie ... Opera House, Sydney, Australia *

 They did the typical tourist thing of seeing as much of Sydney as possible, but added to this was the regular occupation of savouring the culinary delights of Chinatown, Spanish and Indian restaurants and what you can buy in the fish markets.   John is a supreme seafood chef (comes from skippering a fishing trawler and having to cook to survive) and cooked us many great meals.  Ingredients were high quality seafood from the Sydney fish markets (we were anchored only 500 metres from them.) For our New Years day fare, John mentioned he had bought 4 mud crabs and in a weak moment paid $170 for them!!  Something like $40/Kilo?  Mud crabs a great delicacy and it was worth it … (says he who didn’t shell out the $170.00)!)  Then came the prawns, scallops, oysters, etc.  Fortunately, Joe and Judy (friends of Melanie and John from Albany, Western Australia) subsidised the cost of that day’s seafood.  What a great treat!

* John with a large piece of art at the Olympic Stadium, Sydney. *

* Joe, Judy, Melanie and John at Darling Harbour, a `Fun/Restaurant Centre' close to the CBD of Sydney ... and Roselle Bay where Tsunami was anchored. *

Life onboard Tsunami seemed to calm down considerably after the departure of my guests.  All I had to do was to catch up on several loose ends. 

  1. Repair the electric anchor winch (as described previously.)
  2. Pick up a retrieval line and floats I left in Sale (Victoria) on the way across Australia (the supplier took the blame for this and mailed them to my friends in Pittwater.)
  3. Have the Yamaha Outboard given its first service. (Must mention here a new slant on marketing I have learnt in Sydney.  I priced an outboard motor in Perth before coming across; a 3 hp Yamaha would cost me $960.  Didn’t have the room, so decided to buy one in Sydney.  Went to a Yamaha Dealer in Mona Vale, Sydney, who priced the same model motor at $785.  Great I thought and did the deal!!  When lifting the motor into the Merc the salesman mentioned the first service was due at 10 hours – “Great”, I said.   “I assume that’s included?”  … “Negative”, said the salesman, “that will cost you $130!”     Somewhat taken aback, I said “So the real price I have paid for this motor is $785 plus $130, equalling $915?”  No comment from the salesman!  One could feel conned but I decided not to get TOOOOOO upset!  I am in Sydney!)
  4.  Have an ID name made for the stern of the yacht.  Cost $50 cash! 
  5. Get front brake pads for the Merc replaced, as the warning siren (part of the Mercedes safety system) kept screaming in my ear every time I touched the brakes.  Merc Dealer quotes $400.00 (too much!).  Had an individual mechanic specialising in European makes do it for $300.  Thought the extra $100 was better staying in my account!
  6. Buy a combination `life jacket/deck harness’.  This little number is a safety device for when at sea and has an inflatable mechanism which, if one should find oneself overboard into the H2O, is fitted with a small compressed air bottle … and on pulling a line attached to the bottle; it will inflate the jacket and therefore keep your head above water.  The second feature is a harness, which is a heavy duty system of webbing sown into the jacket, with a large stainless steel buckle located at the front of the jacket about level with one’s belly button.  One then attaches a two metre tether to this buckle (tether has two short arms at the other end, each with a substantial snap hook attached, with a large snap-hook to attach to the harness) and if it is absolutely necessary in a bad storm, you can still venture onto the deck, snap hooking your tether to the boat as you move along the deck.  The end result is to be attached to the boat if the boat should toss you overboard in very rough seas!  Cost $279.  Naughty Lloyd has not used it once … but, there will come a time?) 

As I do not have paper Navigation Charts for the Australian coastline (because they cost approx. $3,000 and because they are all accessible on computer) I have been researching a series of books containing miniature naval charts which some smart person has compiled.  (One book $61.00.)  The one which I need for this leg of my journey is out-of-print but I have another book researched and printed by another smart man by the name of Alan Lucas.  This is great for the cruising sailor, with most Australian yachtsmen having a copy onboard.  There are many such periodicals offered for travel along the East Coast of Australia and I think I have all I am going to need! 

Finally, it seemed time to deposit my wagon for storage with Sister Shirley and Merv at Windellama, N.S.W., roughly 100 Km east of Canberra and I spent a very pleasant two nights with them and their grandchildren Liam and Keira.  Merv then offered to drive me back to Sydney and I finally cast off from my land-mobile.  

* Sister Shirley and one of her woolly family! *

It seemed my exit from Sydney was overdue as it was January 20th 2005.  And I was getting stale with the City and my anchorage.  The incentive to leave Sydney, knowing I would be back many times … came from the curiosity and need, to experience sailing Tsunami in the open sea.  After all, that’s where I planned to spend a great deal of time whilst cruising the east coast of Australia.  So, this journey to Eden and back was a training run for me and the Seawind 1000. 




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