At the relatively civilised hour of 6 a.m. we approached the harbour of Sydney from the south and turned towards the entrance on a north-west heading in order to give our compulsory pilot a nice lee from the swell. Sunrise was 6:26, so a perfect time to enter this beautiful natural harbour and savour the sights as we transited through to White Bay Cruise terminal. No Circular Quay this time, it was occupied by the Pacific Dawn, this had entered 30 minutes before us and was conducting a ‘turn round’; disembarking guests and then embarking for another cruise.
A turn into the buoyed ‘western’ channel and the sun began to illuminate the higher skyscrapers in the city. Our decks were packed with guests, enjoying hot coffee or tea, accompanied by fresh pastries from our bakers.
Past fort Denison where, 150 years ago, a gibbet, with a hanged man swinging from it, welcomed sailors, a forewarning of the penalty for miscreants should they be caught. No such sight for our guests this morning though 😯
At this point, Karen ‘borrowed’ the camera and these shots are hers.
Karen, I and Hazel planned a trip ashore and after I had completed some paperwork, off we set. Since I had last used this terminal, a ferry service had started, taking us from a pontoon just astern of the Amsterdam to wharf 6 of the Circular Quay terminus. A lovely, picturesque journey across the harbour and an opportunity for some photos.
I’ll wager you’re all wondering, “did he get the camera”? Well it was the primary reason I was going ashore, could I avoid my camera disappearing? It was a just crusade and, I have to tell you, a successful one, YEAH!! Having looked at various cameras, Karen is now the proud possessor of a Canon 700D, a Canon because it will take my numerous lenses. A good deal, especially as we can claim the 10% tax back, when we arrive in our last Australian port, Darwin. A walkabout Sydney for the afternoon, taking in the sights, all the while Karen’s camera busy and to round off a lovely afternoon, sitting outside at one of many waterside restaurants enjoying a glass of wonderful Australian red wine.
Our 2nd day, was spent meeting and greeting our VIPs and the ever-present paperwork involved in my position. A familiar friend had docked astern of us, the “Pacific Eden”, known to us as the “Statendam”. Now transferred to P&O Australia, she home-ports in Sydney. She sails an hour before us and as she passes, some photos for you.
We sail at 6 p.m., retracing our inward route, under the Bridge and passed the Circular Quay berth, this time the “Explorer of the Seas” is alongside.
We are now at sea, (it’s the 12th here now), making for Mooloolaba to the north of Brisbane. There is a ‘however’ though, the forecast looks as if conditions will not be conducive for tendering at Mooloolaba and as I write, I am busy looking for alternatives, possibly Brisbane itself, we shall see,,,,watch this space 😎