I am a lucky, lucky girl. My meeting S&A in Argentina led me to an unforgettable Tasmanian adventure in December and last Saturday I was treated to a day of fun around the Sydney Harbor thanks to my favorite Australian couple. S&A were in Sydney for a long weekend and their friend Sue, whom they also met in Argentina/Antarctica, invited them AND me out on her sailing boat. Of course I jumped at the chance to have this Sydney experience.
I had to be up and out early to get to Sue’s place in Balmain by 9AM. I picked up a bottle of wine and some fruit the night before, but I stopped at Croissant D’or to get pastries and cookies before heading over. On a side note, I’m happy to say that I’ve taken enough ferries, buses, and trains to feel comfortable around Sydney now. Two ladies asked me for directions last week and I was able to answer them correctly! I remember when that happened to me in Buenos Aires; it made me feel like I’m part of the city, like a local. It felt good.
By sheer coincidence I ran into A when I got off the bus in Birchgrove so Sue drove us to her place. Her three story house was right on the water and oh boy, was it fantastic!
Our main sail is up (I helped a little) and we’re out! Off in the distance is Sydney Central.
Approaching the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge!
We are sailing right under the bridge!
Yay! Other side of the bridge now near Circular Quay and the Opera House. I probably had a really silly grin on my face the entire time.
Captain Sue and my fab friend A.
Left, Fort Denison.
S and his mate C working hard…
For this beauty.
We’d sailed past Nielsen Park and Watson’s Bay, all the way over to Manly’s North Head, to Store Beach. Sue told us that this beach can only be reached from water. It was a lovely little nook. After a nice swim, it was time to eat. We had some gorgeous dips and bubblies (sparkling Shiraz and sparkling Pinot Noir), yummy lunch, with more wine (a Rose and a Semillon), followed by dessert.
Croissant D’or’s duck shaped meringues, coconut macaroons, and almond cookies. Adriano Zumbo’s macarons, I mean zumbarons (trademark).
Around 4:30 we decided to start heading back home… so that we could continue having fun into the evening.
We docked, sorted ourselves out, and we got ourselves on the 6:30 ferry over to Cockatoo Island from Birchgrove.
There were quite a few people camping out on the island.
There were huge rusted out machinery everywhere.
“Dog-Leg Tunnel,” also known as Stores Tunnel, was built during WWII as an air-raid shelter but Cockatoo Island was never attacked.
These facilities were used to build ships until 1991 when they found asbestos. The Island was abandoned for decades but was re-opened to the public about 5 years ago. Read more about Cockatoo Island here. They just recently stopped giving guided tours of the island but I think you can still do a self-guided audio tour.
And amidst all that, you have this Island Bar where Sydneysiders chill out and dance away. Well, that is until 9PM when the bar closes. Sue had on her island/Hawaiian shirt, and were greeted by her neighbors and friends when we arrived. We spent a few very relaxing hours chatting away under the twinkle lights and big beach umbrellas. The friendly staff at the bar went around telling everyone when to get ready for the ferry that came every hour; we made sure we caught the 8:50 ferry out.
I couldn’t have ordered a better day in Sydney. I know I said this already but I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
Cockatoo Island: www.cockatooisland.gov.au
Croissant D’or: 117 Macleay, Potts Point
Adriano Zumbo: Multiple locations including Balmain, Manly, Rozelle, Pyrmont, Waverly