Home' Afloat : AFLOAT February 2015 Contents Take monthly with water February 2015 7
Letter of the month
The Editor ’s choice for letter of the month will
receive a 28" Yachtsman’s Waterproof Bag.
Made from tough double
coated PVC fabric with
seams sewn and tape
welded the Burke bag is
This month’s prize goes to
from Cammeray NSW.
Got Something to Say?
PO BOX 709 WILLOUGHBY 2068
web forum: www.afloat.com.au
Please keep your letters short. Letters longer than 250 words are
liable to sub-editing at the Editor ’s discretion.
REDUCE YOUR BOATING COSTS
Every day we see “FREE” berthing, “FREE” antifouling,
“FREE” moorings. We all know that nothing is “FREE”.
We offer good old fashioned “SERVICE” with the same
good old fashioned “PRICES”.
Established for over 70 years our marina offers sheltered
berths and moorings, big slipways, mechanical and
shipwright services at competitive prices. Berths from
$450/month (up to 23ft) and $1,350/month (up to 60ft).
Do-it-yourself weekend slipping is available.
www.balmainmarina.com.au MOB: 0438 002 918
Catch 22 on an Eve of
New Year’s madness
We’ve been afloat for New Year’s Eve in Sydney maybe 18
to 20 times. It’s always a big evening, albeit sometimes a tad
stressful for the guy behind the wheel. But this year something
Our customary plan is to arrive at the main harbour around
3pm and anchor just outside the exclusion zone. We usually have
guests aboard and leave after the 9pm fireworks, getting home
in time to watch the midnight show on TV. Anchoring next to
the exclusion zone provides a front-row seat but involves slightly
deeper water, and you need to be careful a wind change doesn’t
swing you to overhang the zone, in which case you will rightly
be moved along.
Imaging our surprise this year when, safely anchored just
outside the exclusion zone, a Marine Rescue patrol boat came
along and told us to move.
“But we’re not protruding into the zone!” we protested.
“Doesn’t matter,” they replied. “ We’re leaving a channel just
next to the exclusion zone so the people leaving at 9pm have
a clear exit.”
“But we’re leaving at 9pm, so we won’t be here when you
want it clear.”
“Doesn’t matter – we don’t want any boats within 20m of the
This set us thinking. If the exclusion zone is somewhere you
shouldn’t be, then what is the zone just outside the exclusion
zone where you also shouldn’t be?
We moved, and spent the next hour or so watching the Marine
Rescue boat go up and down the line asking people to move,
with a steady stream of new boats replacing the ones they’d
just moved on.
Eventually they gave up and boats anchored wherever they
liked, except in the exclusion zone. Business as usual like any
other year, except we’d had to re-anchor for no good reason.
But, hey, that’s ok – all part of the pantomime that plays out on
New Year’s Eve.
We then watched a large cat anchor directly in the middle
of the ferry access channel to Taronga Zoo. This should be
interesting, we thought. A patrol boat duly came along, and from
what we could hear, the interloper just told them to go away. This
happened a few more times, culminating in a tactical response
vessel bristling with men in black turning up, who were told,
“I’ve already been given a ticket!” ... a nd so they went away too!
Is this really true, that on NYE you can anchor in the middle
of a channel and all you need do is master the use of the word
“NO!” when heavily armed officials tell you to move?
To add insult to injury, when we departed the 9pm show, the
promised access channel was clearly not available so we felt
the reasonable thing to do was travel just inside the exclusion
zone, right next to the lit buoys. We’d not gone far at all before
we were swooped upon.
The rather aggressive patrol boat told us the only safe place
for us to be travelling was between all the tightly anchored
boats. Apparently being 10m inside the exclusion zone (a vast
area of complete emptiness) posed an unacceptable threat to
The idea of an exit channel at 9pm is laudable, even though
it fell short on delivery this year. But here’s my solution:
a) purchase a thousand additional illuminated buoys, and lay
a marked trail indicating the “exclusion zone pre-exclusion-
zone exclusion zone”.
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