05 March 2007

Little Manley Harbor

Anchored at Little Manley Harbor
North Sydney Bay
New South Wales, Australia

This should be our last entry from Sydney Harbor. We are planning on leaving in the morning for a 20 mile trip north to Broken Bay, where we had stopped when heading South in December. The last time we were in Broken Bay we only stopped at the Royal Motor Yacht Club to hide from a storm. This time we are hoping to spend a week there exploring.

We spent the last 3 days anchored off the right off the beach of downtown Manly, located on the north end of Sydney Bay. Manly is really a great stop. All we have to do is run the dinghy ashore, wheel it by all the sun bathers, and then we are right down town! Manly is a beach town and has one of the best beaches in Australia. There are lots of surfers, shops, and restaurants. The best part is that there are several great grocery stores just one block from where the dinghy is. So Amy has made several trips back and forth loading Sandpiper up for the trip north.

We met a lot of really great people as well! We met Wendy, who is friends of Ion and Heidi from SV Chaitanya. We sailed to Mexico with with SV Chaitanya, and they have since sold their boat and moved to Oregon. Wendy took us for a drive in her car and gave us a great tour of the beaches north of here. She also took us to a great indoor farmers market where we loaded as much up as we could carry. Amy was in heaven.

We also met some really nice people in a bar, and some of their friends took us out to hear a really loud band. Also, we got to hang out with our friends from SV Blue Sky. They had rented a car and driven over from our old marina in Woolwich to spend a day with us hanging out on the beach.

We drove up to the "Diggers' Retired Services League" and had a really cheap dinner with lots of cold drinks! The RSL's here are something we have discovered since Bundaberg. They are named "Returned Services League", but anybody can be a member for $5.00 a year, which then lets you into any RSL you want! The Diggers RSL here in Manley is HUGE... 3 stories tall. There is a large gym on the first floor that has a large pool, saunas, workout facilities, and hot showers. The second floor is mostly for gambling with hundreds of slot machines (called Pokies), and all other kinds of betting and gambling. There is also a restaurant that has a large menu and really cheap dinners.

We spent the day today doing laundry and shopping as we do not know when we will be this close to a grocery store again. A big southerly blew through today, putting our stern to the beach. So we motored over here to Little Manley Bay to find a lee for the night. One thing about the weather here, when the Southerlies blow through, the weather gets crazy! Lots of lightning, wind, and rain, which we have right now as this is being typed.

Tom and Amy

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