New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour


What better place to see in the New Year than Sydney Harbour? We departed Newcastle at 0400 hours and after sucessfully dodging one departing ship, four tugs and one incoming ship made our way to Sydney, 67 nm south. The sail proved to be a one tack wonder with the wind staying a consistent 10-15 knots off the port bow all day. We passed the fleet of cruising yachts heading from Pittwater to Lake Macquarie during the morning and entered Sydney Harbour at 1700hrs. We stopped overnight at Middle Harbour Yacht Club then headed off first thing in the morning to secure an anchorage under Bradleys Head. Rounding the head we were met with a view of wall to wall yachts! Undaunted Andrew entered the anchoring zone and we soon found a patch big enough to anchor in. We anchored just in front of Zefr, a yacht we had last seen in Coffs Harbour. After catching up with Anna and Gary we returned to Fling to ready her for our guests. In the early afternoon Andrew collected Ted and Jan from the ferry and we settled in to enjoy the evening. Amazingly many more yachts arrived during the afternoon and the anchoring, dragging and reanchoring techniques provided constant entertainment. A very large motor launch next to us kept everyone in line by using his horn to advise when to slow down or move off. A vessel further behind us used his stabilisers to create his own buffer zone and a young teenager whose parents had left him alone on their yacht dragged onto another yacht who kindly held him unntil he could be freed and reanchored. In general people were very cooperative which was a good thing as the northerly wind had freshened to the low twenties and there would have easily been three hundred yachts crowded into the small bay.
At twilight the entertainment began with a daredevil stunt plane zipping around the bridge and harbour. The nine pm fireworks came and went then all of a sudden it was midnight and the sky and bridge lit up. Five separate sites fired identical fireworks, the city buildings fired others off their roofs and the famous waterfall fireworks off the bridge provided the finale. Spectacular!
In the morning we took our guests on a tour of the harbour then headed down the harbour for a late lunch. Tonight finds us tied up at Birkenhead Point Marina exhausted but pleased we made the effort to get to Sydney in time to see in 2013.

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