Escaping to Middle Harbour


After a long day dealing with the hot weather we were the very happy recipients of some most generous local kindness. Graham, the owner of the Swan 51 next door kindly drove us to exchange a gas bottle and reprovision. All with door to door service and so much kindness, thanks Graham, we hope to offer the same generosity to you should you visit Port Phillip Bay!
We watched the twilights that evening from the yacht club deck and met a family who only visit the yacht club once a year but who have a family tradition of coming down to watch the twilight racers, examining the boats as they leave, then placing their interfamily bets. Wonderful to see! They enjoyed a family dinner which must have easily spanned four generations and had a grand evening speculating! No sheep farms lost, but lots of fun!
The very strong southerly was booting Fling under her stern and making life uncomfortable so we moved to another pen, again with Graham’s assistance and support. It’s great to be in a marina which is all about sailing and sailors, as opposed to the many which are not affiliated with an active sailing group and are thus, just a ‘marina facility’.
Craving quietness we retreated the next day to the upper reaches of Middle Harbour.
Here after waiting to scoot under the opening bridge we sailed past enormous and impossibly placed waterfront mansions and in the blink of an eye we turned the corner to the greatest respite one could ever have from Sydney Harbour.
Bantry Bay is completely surrounded by Garrigal Nationsl Park. From even the midst of the eight public moorings you can see no houses, and hear only cicadas and birds calling.
In fact the only sound you might crave is the gentle and predictable sound of ‘Mr Vittoria’, the newspaper and coffee boatman who visits at eight am and four pm. Coffees and papers in the morning and ice creams and soft drinks in the afternoon. All is good in paradise!
I’m sure I have read somewhere that Bantry Bay became isolated from the public because of the raucous parties held there during the late 1920’s, but don’t quote me on that. It just might have been because this was the site that the government decided was a safe place to store munitions during the last two centuries.To this day it is forbidden to walk on the western shore, yet somehow the national trust has manged to re-roof several of the buildings!
After leaving Bantry Bay we headed across to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia where we spent a day relaxing over lunch on the deck (a tradition for us) and catching up with our beautiful niece Nicole and her partner Scott for dinner. Happily they live a mere 800m from the CYCA!
We enjoyed a grand dinner, much credit to Scott who just seems to have the knack with pork crackling, then wandered back home through the park to Fling.
This morning the weather looked ok, sounded ok, but was in fact cold and rainy, and as ever, on the nose. We left the heads with two warships accompanying us, as we did two years ago. (Do they not trust us I wonder?) By the time we were off Coogee Beach the weather had improved, the sea and sky sparkling.
The naval vessels headed out to sea and we headed a short 21 nm down the coast to Gunnamatta Bay. Currently enjoying a mooring and watching tomorrow’s weather to decide if we should enjoy this lovely inlet some more or set sail south once again.

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