It all began on New Year’s Eve. We left Cammeray Marina on the morning of January 30th and motor sailed around Middle Head to Athol Bay – The destination for fireworks viewing in the Harbour. There were already many boats anchored, but we were early enough to snag a good spot near all our friends. We set the anchor hard and then put all the fenders out.
Strangely enough, after a night without issue, the next afternoon Hydroquest was touching the sailboat behind us. Or it was touching her? By that point there was so much chain laid out on the sea floor, different amounts for everyone, who knows what was happening down there. Regardless – we moved Hydroquest to anchor in another very tight spot… Not an easy task with everyone watching and hoping we didn’t get too close to them.
Late afternoon on NYE, we decided to initiate a BC-inspired ‘dinghy raft up party’. Okestern, Ninita, and us dressed up (seriously – the most formal we’ve been in years – white collared shirts and ties for the guys and black dresses for the girls. Barefoot, of course) and jumped in our dinghies with beers and music and beckoned for other dinghies to join us.
Twenty minutes and twenty-five more dinghies later, we had a giant flotilla! Then, much to our chagrin, the Police boat showed up.
All the spectator yachts watching our infamous raft up were laughing at the prospect of seeing our party broken up. But – the Police boat joined on to the end of the raft up for a couple of minutes (I think they wished they could stay longer) and then sent us floating on our way.
Needless to say – the fireworks were incredible. The whole experience of ‘bumper boats’ was completely worthwhile.
Late morning on January 1st we moved Hydroquest over to Blackwattle Bay, aka the international yacht anchorage. It’s a fantastic location in the city, but unfortunately the holding is very poor. In fact – we had to rush back from downtown one afternoon after a phone call from Nina and Ola who were onboard:
Ninita: “Hi guys, did you re-anchor Hydroquest before you left?”
Us: “Uhh, no…. “
Ninita: “She’s in the middle of the channel.”
Us: “Uh, what?!”
It goes down on the records as the ONLY time we’ve ever dragged anchor with our Manson Supreme. It took us – no joke – seven times to reset the anchor in Rozelle Bay just around the corner (we normally set it on the first attempt). We snagged big rocks, old cables, plastic bags and other garbage.
When we were FINALLY secure in about 3 ft of water under the keel at low tide, we had a visit from the Maritime Police. The designated anchoring spots are marked with yellow buoys and yes, we were just outside them. The designated area was completely full and too shallow for us.
It took another two (friendly) visits from the Maritime Police for us to finally move. And since we need to leave Hydroquest for a little while, we realized that a mooring ball was going to be absolutely necessary. Fifteen phone calls later, we secured the last available commercial mooring in the entire Harbour.
The sob story continues: We went to pick up the mooring and ‘plop!’ Will’s iphone dropped out of his jacket pocket and into the drink. No more iphone. Then we rowed the dinghy to shore and the paddle broke. No more paddle. Then we went into town and walked across the street and were apprehended by the Police, again. Luckily, no ticket for jaywalking was issued.
So – now we’re in Melbourne, VIC. We were just getting into too much trouble in NSW.
Australian Open starts today!!