Sydney Harbour

Let people know the beaut locations to sail and the great boat ramps you've found.
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Castle 610
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2075
Joined: Oct 26th, '06, 20:20

Sydney Harbour

Post by Castle 610 » Oct 8th, '09, 20:29

Over the Vic Sept school hols we went to Sydney Harbour and had a great time. As far as I am concerned, I cannot think of a better location for an easy going family sailing holiday.

We drove up from Melbourne and launched at Roseville bridge. I thought this was Tunks Park until a local pointed out Tunks Park. Roseville bridge launching is pretty good but you need some long ropes and a couple of helpers to avoid the rocks between the ramp and the pontoon. Ample parking though but you pay. You can buy a 5 day ticket for $35 which is what we did. Nearest toilet is 1.2km away. Overall seemed pretty relaxed for a Sunday arvo compared to St Kilda.

We stayed at the yacht club marina in Middle Harbour on the ocean side of Spit bridge. Good facilities with new toilets etc and 24 Hr key access. Not much in the way of shops nearby - eg 2km trek to buy milk. Overall very friendly. Sandy beach for kids to play on. Coffee nearby however!

First day Monday we did the big Harbour Bridge Opera House trip. Despite the warnings re sea traffic it was pretty relaxed and we were able to sail both directions without being run over by a ferry. No where to stop at Darling Harbour which is a real shame (unless you can drop you mast to get under piermont bridge) so we motored around to the fishmarkets. That was great. There is limited berthing but being a Monday there were no boats visiting so we tied up there for the whole afternoon for free. We caught the light rail into town and explored. Kids had a ball and it was all very relaxing (icecreams etc).

On the way back to Middle harbour the wind was on the nose so we had to tack a few times right up past the Opera House. Gentle breeze about 10knots. By the time we got back to base it was getting dark. Still did not get run over by Ferry. Middlle Harbour to the Bridge is about 10km so doable in about an hour or so.

Tuesday was a freshening Northerly and with visitors we went to Manly - about half an hour or so. Nowhere to tie up so we pulled up the keel and went straight in on the beach near Oceanworld. Lots of young mums and their toddlers. Spent the whole day there, our kids mucking around on the beach and in the blow-up boat while we stocked up on groceries at Manly Coles etc. Beach was perfectly protected due to N wind.

Wednesday was the dust storm and blowing like mad so we went to the Zoo.

Thursday we went back into Middle harbour, picked up another relative and then sailed over to Watson's bay. Very shifty wind. Cannot think of a time the boat had tacked without changing direction before. But Watson;s bay was sheltered so we pulled up on the beach again. More coffee, ice creams etc while the kids made sandcastles.

The wind picked up from the W on the return trip so we just sailed on the Jib. Very relaxing.

Friday we had to head off for other commitments but we did a bit more of an explore of Middle Harbour including a drift through Bantry Bay. Very nice but Middle Harbour is a bit of a pain for sailing with the wind being shifty etc. You are also locked in by the Spit Bridge.

As I said earlier, excellent spot for holiday, made easier by staying each night in a Marina which on a Castle feels less like roughing it. I was surprised not many people do this trip so I thought I would write it up for info sake.

regards

Stephen
Castle 650
Melb

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gazwald
Lakes & Bays Skipper
Posts: 459
Joined: Mar 10th, '09, 21:54
Location: Melbourne

Post by gazwald » Oct 9th, '09, 12:51

Stephen,

As an ex Sydneysider I would have to agree it is a great spot for a boat. I took my first voyages with trepidation regarding the traffic but apart from one time when I nearly got cleaned up by a ferry there were no real incidents (my fault - did a U turn under the Harbour Bridge without looking first, One horn signal you never want to hear from a bigger boat five short toots i.e. I've no idea what you are doing please make your intentions clear) I just always tried to plan ahead to stay in plenty of water and out of trouble.

As for middle harbour's shifty winds and the bridge I remember setting out many times from a mooring in Castlecrag and deciding to head upwind for an easy run home only to find that whilst we were enjoying lunch at anchor the wind would turn right around and we'd tack all the way home too. The Spit bridge as a rule is only closed when you want to go under it and only open when you want to go over it....

My advice to anyone is to get out there, it is a beautiful harbour and there are plenty of quiet spots you can retreat to if the traffic gets too intense but more likely you will not be able to resist to keep on sailing.

Brolga
CompetentCrew
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 13th, '09, 20:04
Location: Canberra

Post by Brolga » Jan 13th, '10, 10:21

Has anyone used the ramp at Rose Bay? I'm going up there in a few weeks and thought that it looked (from Google Earth) like a good spot to launch. I'm just throwing in my old Seafly dinghy to start with so depth is no problem.

Has anyone struck any issues or problems with this ramp?

Cheers.

Jax and Stu
Inshore Skipper
Posts: 161
Joined: May 7th, '09, 09:07
Location: Paynesville

Post by Jax and Stu » Jan 13th, '10, 18:12

Rose Bay ramp is a good ramp, parking can be a bit of a **** due to all the fishos launching there. We sailed from the CYCA in our Elliott 7 and launched at Rose Bay.
I agree that the Harbour is a great place to explore, even up the Parramatta River is good but the river cats make a hell of a ground swell.

And of course you can sail up to the Hawkesbury but that is another story....!!
Lofty.

Brolga
CompetentCrew
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 13th, '09, 20:04
Location: Canberra

Post by Brolga » Jan 13th, '10, 21:10

Thanks J&S. I'll try to beat the hook, line and sinker crowd to the carpark..... although with only a dinghy the sailing club next door may let me launch from there.

I'll pop a review on here as soon as I can.

Jax and Stu
Inshore Skipper
Posts: 161
Joined: May 7th, '09, 09:07
Location: Paynesville

Post by Jax and Stu » Jan 13th, '10, 22:41

Woolarra sailing club is the club, they have a good rigging area with a beach and a timber ramp. We sailed our 59er from there its a good spot.

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