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