26 February 2007

Sugarloaf Bay

On Mooring Buoy, Sugarloaf Bay, Middle Harbor
Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia

It is true! Sandpiper has been unshackled from the pier. We have left Woolwich Marina after being tied up since 17-Dec, living large with all the power and water we could consume.

We took a one hour trip to the north end of Sydney Harbor, through a draw bridge, and grabbed a mooring buoy here in Sugarloaf Bay. If you Google Map it, you can see where we are holed up. There is not much here except really nice houses along the shoreline.

We decided to come here because there is a big storm rolling through tonight and this little bay has a good protection from southerly winds, They are supposed to be over 30 knots tonight.

Sydney Bay is really cool. There are little rivers and harbors everywhere, and lots of places to explore. We grabbed a mooring buoy that was free amongst other boats. I am sure belongs to someone, but in Australia, you can grab any free mooring buoy that is open as long as you are ready to move when the owners show up.

It is nice to be back out. We have fixed many items while at the Woolwich Marina. Right before we left, we were able to trade a case of beer for a spinnaker pole. That should make our downwind sailing much easier. You got to love Australia! This item was going to cost us over $1000 dollars in the U.S.

Other items we fixed... we are getting our Pactor modem repaired. We have not been able to send email from the boat since Bundaberg. It turns out that the only guy that could fix this outside of the U.S. lives right here in Sydney.

We had Sandpiper hauled out while we were in Tasmania. The boatyard in Woolwich did a really good job. They not only put on new bottom paint, but they waxed the hull and applied "Prop Kill" epoxy to the propeller so nothing will grow on it. So we will no longer have to keep diving on it to scrub it clean.

Also, we had tons of problems with our new generator that we installed before leaving the U.S. We wrote the company telling them all the problems we were having. So they mailed us all the new parts for free!

We also have been hauling solar panels around, stowed below decks, for the last 2 years. We finally found a way to mount them inexpensively on to Sandpiper's railings. So we should be making all kinds of power thanks to the nice big hole on the ozone layer down here.

Team Sandpiper's current plans are to slowly creep up Australia's east coast, exploring as many harbors as possible. We cannot go too far north yet because it is still cyclone season up there. Our goal is to be in Darwin by July. So we should have lots of time to explore along the way.

We have been trying to get our photos caught up. But we have limited Internet access. So please stay tuned and we will get them all labeled and posted as soon as we can.

Tom and Amy

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