Australia Update BRisbane to Tasmania



We've been having a great time in Australia since our landfall in Brisbane in October. For whatever reason, blogging hasn't been happening, so it's been several months since a post. Therefore this will be a brief update, short on text, long on photos, to try to bring us up to date. We'll just hit on some of the highlights of the past 4 months......


BRAVO hanging with the big boys!!!! He blocked a bit of our view when he showed up!!!

Really enjoyed this city. Lots to see, and the water taxi's on the river made getting around a snap.

Cuteness alert .........

The koala sanctuary was a unique treat !!!

The Koala sanctuary also had a great raptor flying exhibit. Though a bit sad to see the beautiful birds in captivity, they are all rescue birds which are being rehabbed when possible, before release back to the wild.

After a couple of weeks enjoying Brisbane, we headed south to Newcastle, where we booked BRAVO into the marina for our annual quick trip to Seattle for visits with family and friends, and spending the Thanksgiving holiday with the Hawken gang. Always a treat!!!

Thanksgiving with good friends.......sweet as!!!

Down to Sydney

After return to Oz, we headed down to the Pittwater area, north of Sydney for a rendezvous with good mates Graham and Diane aboard s/y Maunie of Ardwall. Spent some fun times with them and friend Kerry (of s/y Sel Citron fame) hiking, sailing, and exploring the little bays and anchorages in this beautiful area.

Had a great Christmas dinner aboard Maunie, before heading into Sydney harbor to watch the start of the annual Sydney Hobart Race on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

Australians take their prawns seriously!!!
Kerry, our prawn maven, spearheaded the dinner bbq efforts!
A fantastic Aussie Christmas table aboard Maunie (thanks to Cindi, Diane, and Kerry for modeling services, Graham was in the wine cellar)
Maunie looking good

As always, the Australian wildlife doesn't disappoint!!!

BRAVO moored next to a seaplane on the next mooring
Ah, Christmas means it's summertime down under.....still a hard concept to get used to
But we're trying!!!!
Annual dog / owner swimming race is a big damn deal in Pittwater!!!
Pete's espresso tug was a welcome visitor in the anchorage !!!

Sydney / Hobart Race Start

Had a great vantage from the top of North Head, looking down on Sydney Harbor. Though there wasn't a huge amount of wind, the race always attracts some of the largest race boats in the world, and it was amazing to watch.

The big 100 footers jockey for the start line. Here is Comanche, Black Jack, and Wild Oats XI
Tight quarters among the spectator fleet !!!
And they're off !!!
Black Jack
Comanche LDV

Shortly after the start, Wild Oats XI was on port tack and fouled right-of-way starboard tack boat Comanche, tacking too close, causing Comanche to alter course to avoid a collision. Tight racing on these boats at the start, even with nearly 700 miles of racing to go. (Comanche finished in Hobart shortly behind Wild Oats. But as a result of the foul, she was given a 1 hour penalty, enough to award Comanche the victory). This sequence shows the action.....

Check out guy up the mast just before Wild Oats' altercation.....not sure what was wrong, but he went up and back down in a flash!

And here's a bit of boat porn for the sailors out there.....After the race, Comanche was docked next to us in Blackwattle Bay, so we couldn't resist dinghying over for a few photos. It is amazing how big and powerful these boats are, especially up close! Comanche's downwind sail area is over 11,000 s.f., or 1/4 of an acre!

Beam of over 25 feet, she's nicknamed "the aircraft carrier"!!!
Now THAT'S a turnbuckle!!!


We had a great time exploring a few different anchorages in and around Sydney harbor, doing lots of walks, some boat projects, and a fair bit of playing urban tourist. Here we are anchored in Blackwattle Bay, right at the Sydney Fishmarket.

Sydney's Architecture

Sydney's a terrific city, and we had fun checking out some of the world class architecture. The city seems to support good design, as evidenced by projects by a host of internationally acclaimed "star-chitects" such as Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, often selected by international competitions, such as the one held for the design of the Opera House.

Old and new, there are nice buildings throughout the city

And, of course, there's that Opera House. What a stunner, designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, starting in 1957 when Utzon was selected by international competition.

HAPPY NEW YEARS - Sydney Style !!!

Along with Graham, Diane, and Kerry aboard Maunie, we anchored in Farm Cove, right next to the Opera House for the annual fireworks extravaganza. Arriving at 7am on New Years eve, the anchorage was already filling up. By mid morning, it was bumper to bumper, and by evening, it was more like bumper cars! A 20 knot wind was blowing all day, causing boats to drag anchor into one another, and after a beer or ten, things got interesting!!! But good fun had by all, and the show, launched at 7 sites throughout the harbor, was phenomenal!!!

These guys got their anchor chains hopelessly tangled.
Dragging boats provided good spectator actions for these two. Nice outfit !!!
Cindi, Diane, Kerry, and Graham with some New Years Eve prawns aboard Maunie
Acrobatic air show before the main event

And it lived up to ALL of the hype, and then some!!!

After some boat work (repairs to rigging and heater) and waiting for a good weather window, we finally left the mainland for our four day sail south to Tasmania. It was a reasonable passage. The Bass Strait was fairly well behaved, though a major washing machine at times. Could've had a bit more breeze, but you really need to be careful what you wish for around here!!! Let's end this post here, and save the Tasmanian adventures for the next blog post.....Cheers all from southern Tasmania.


Created with images by Jon Tyson - "Good news is coming"

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