Saturday, January 23, 2010

North Harbour Snorkelling

I forgot to post these photos from a late afternoon snorkelling trip we recently took on the rocks half way between Fairlight beach and the Manly Boatshed.

You can see Lucey Blue in the background (just to the right of the houseboat). The headland behind that is part of Dobroyd Head (and is National Park), and the gap to the left of the headland is looking straight out through the Sydney Harbour Heads. It is a lovely place to be....but it does get a bit bumpy when the swell is from the east.

We all went in at first...

But the kids gave up after a short while and went back to play with the dogs (and their walkers) on the little beach.

Nick and I saw...

something fishy

a Flounder...

...a Gobi...or something that looks like one...

hmmmmm, stripey fish

double hmmmmmm, silver fish

and something squishy...

If you know what this is, please do has me intrigued. It was about 10 cm diameter, perhaps a little more and looked like it was just rolling about on the bottom in the weeds. I saw at least three of them...and no, it wasn't me just swimming in circles and seeing the same one again and again ;-).

We saw something curly...

...and something girly

We saw something rusty...

...and something that had once been trusty

...should we upgrade?

Who would have thought there'd be so much sea life in a small Sydney Harbour bay, full of moored boats?

The kids needed a recuperation lie down when we got back to Lucey Blue!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Quarantine Bay

We decided to head down to Rushcutter's Bay early this morning and fill up with fuel and water, and pump the sullage too. The trip went pretty smoothly, and we managed to get in and out of the VERY densely populated bay without incident. We even saw Ichi Ban there...although she was looking a little the worse for wear...missing the top of her mast...

We then motored back up the harbour and decided that since it was such a beautiful day, we would stop at Quarantine Bay and have a swim:

A photo of the postcard from Quarantine Bay Station, or QStation as they call it now.

Check out how clear that water is...pretty good for Sydney Harbour water eh?

Like our pretty new Australian flag? We should be flying it from the aft of Lucey Blue but we don't have anywhere to hang it there right I put it up the mast instead (poor yachting flag etiquette...but you get that ;-). We still have the Leesburg Virginia (USA) painted on the transom most people probably think we are from the US. We will eventually get the Leesburg Va. bit changed to Batemans Bay...

Nick decided he would scrub a hull or two.

Emily had fun floating about on the Sunberg

After our swim we went ashore to have a look around. When we looked at Lucey Blue a Police launch was towing a motor cruiser into the bay. A little later the Port Authority tug showed up too. This photo looks like we are in BIG trouble...

We wandered into the Quarantine Station area, looking for a snack, and ended up in the trendy Boilerhouse Restaurant...where we had icea cream and drinks in style (I was surprised they even served us, being barefooted, sandy and clad in wet swimmers)...but they did! The ice cream and sorbet was delicious, and I hope we can go back there some time for a full meal...

Speaking of restaurants...if you are ever in search of a children friendly Chinese restaurant in Balgowlah that serves good steamed gow gees...try Ying Wah...the food is good, and they even give you silver service

On the way back to our Fairlight mooring from Quarantine we passed the Parasail boat, so I got a shot of it.

I'd love to do this some time, it looks like great fun. We can often hear the people screaming from our mooring (they scream especially loudly when they get dunked in the harbour :-).

We are still on the Fairlight mooring, and will be until next week now. We decided it was such a pretty spot, and close to lots of nice swimming beaches (good since tomorrow is supposed to be 39 degrees UGH). Can't wait for Australia Day...I stocked up on Australian flag we can 'dress' up on the big day.

Hope you have a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fairlight, Manly and the zoo...

Long time no chat! We've just been moseying about here at beautiful Fairlight and Manly.

Back to the was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S., and Nick cooked it beautifully (lightly floured and covered in bread crumbs) :

We had it with baked potatoes and steamed snow peas. Even Oscar partook...his was raw though and he had no snow peas or potatoes:

I've also been meaning to show you a picture of one of the under-bunk lockers (in the port-side forward cabin) that Emily refers to as FOODWORLD:

Very funny, because it is so true, and this photo was taken AFTER we had been using it for two weeks. It was food universe before that ;-).

On Sunday morning we all hiked in to Manly and up the Corso to the surf beach, where Nick and the kids went for a swim. Neither of them wanted to get out of the water (hence Ryan's ever-so-happy face):

Nick's parents came to visit and stay with us on Monday the kids had a sleepover:

It worked, in the beginning, then there were 'HE/SHE HIT ME' dramas in the middle of the night, at which point Emily came in to sleep with me, and Nick went to sleep with Ryan.

You might be able to see in the photo that there is a panel of the blue stuff missing in Emily's room. We are going to make her a cork board to cover it up, and now every time we take a photo she says 'can I have a copy for my corkboard?'. We are definitely going to need a bigger corkboard.

We went over to Store Beach (next to Quarantine) on Tuesday...but I didn't get any photos over there.

We also did a bit of craft with Grandma...and these fashion statement, pipe cleaner reading glasses are what we made:

Yesterday we went to the zoo in the afternoon:

I wouldn't have minded being this fellow...he looks so content.

All that glitters is not gold!

Little Penguins (aka Fairy Penguins) from below. I also saw a Little Penguin just off Lucey Blue while we were on the Fairlight mooring on Monday afternoon. It was such a lovely surprise. He was way to quick for me to photograph though.

This elephant was so hot in the sun, the kids couldn't sit on him for long.

We sat and looked out over this vista while munching ice creams...beautiful (the ice creams and the vista)!

Emily and friend...

Seriously considered leaving them in there (the old elephant pavilion...which you can now wander through). I had my face up to the bars and was taking photos of them from the outside when a lone tourist came up to see what animal I was looking should have seen the look on his face when he saw my kids! I told him that they might bite so he shouldn't stick his fingers in...but he was too busy laughing and looking around for the candid camera team.

So cute, munching on grapes.

Later today or tomorrow we will head around to a new mooring at The Spit.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back to Sydney Harbour...

Just thought I'd show you this shot of me (well, the back of my head actually...I'm not Cousin It...most days at any rate), blogging in the wild (America Bay)...

We've moored in America Bay for five nights now (and once in Refuge Bay), and we have never had mobile phone coverage, or Telstra USB modem coverage inside the bay...but today, for some reason...we have coverage...if you sit on the steps at the stern...on the port side.

Also thought you'd get a kick out of this shot of Ryan...apparently his bed is not to his liking...and he'd prefer to sleep on the teensy weeny seat in his room instead...

(pretty mean of me snapping the flash in his face in the middle of the night huh? But he didn't wake up...not even when Nick picked him up and returned him to his 'real' bed).

We left America Bay at 7:30 am and motored back to Sydney. We put the fishing line out, just in case, and sat back to enjoy the ride.

While Ryan was busy amusing himself with a book in the saloon...

Nick and Emily went forward and were hanging their heads over the edge of the you do...apparently...

Suddenly Nick was pointing and trying to get my attention. He'd just seen two fairy penguins in the water! Shortly thereafter, we noticed a fish on our line. It was a Bonito, about 2 kg.

Nick put it in a bucket and passed it to me, while he dealt with the fishing line. I put the bucket down and was admiring the big teeth on the fish, when it started jumping wildly, and jumped right out of the bucket and into the cockpit, where it proceeded to flap about on the floor. I started screaming, and Nick had to run for a hammer, and deal with him :-(....Eeeeeeeew.....can you tell I've never lived on a farm?

Nick then filleted it on the stern is very useful, having so much room back there.

About 30 minutes later, the line started reeling out again, and in came another Bonito...this one about 3 kg in size...

....the kids took turns investigating this one closely...

That was the end of our fishing luck for the day, so we motored on in to Sydney Harbour (we only just got back in time too...I was feeling pretty green around the gills by the time we got back...despite the relatively calm day).

We motored back to our little mooring off Fairlight beach...only our mooring wasn't there!!! It wasn't a case of someone else taking it, it just was nowhere to be found. So we called the Manly Boatshed, and the organised someone to come and dive for it, and re-attach a buoy.

So while we were waiting for that to happen we went and anchored off Manly Beach, with Delwood Beach just to the side of us. The bottom was mud and weeds, so the anchor held well. We went ashore in the dinghy and had lunch at the Bavarian Bier Cafe on the ferry wharf...Yummy! Then we went for a walk up the Corso.

We are now back in Fairlight, the buoy having been replaced...and we are all looking forward to a meal of fresh Bonito!

Hope you are having a nice weekend too.