Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2016 Contents 60 AFLOAT.com.au December 2016
ON THE WATER
with David Lockwood
BOATING HOLIDAYS IN SYDNEY
While terrestrial life gets busier, boating holidays still
rock to the languid, soporific rhythm of Mother Nature
and her organic orchestra. It’s that very promise that
has me writing this column from the dinette aboard our boat,
having just delivered it from Sydney to Pittwater, for a long
summer of boating.
I’ll admit to going live on Facebook and sharing a few fleeting
moments of the stroll-in-the-park 20nm passage that, in a fast
cruiser, takes about one hour. The ocean cruise along the Northern
Beaches from Sydney to Pittwater and vice versa is the proverbial
Pitt Street from now till after Easter. You are rarely a lone sailor.
I passed tinnies trolling The Heads, trailerboats fishing for
kingfish near Bluefish Point, a fast moving Marine Rescue boat
off Manly returning from a call-out, a whale-watching boat and a
humpback, several other motorcruisers, and some motor-sailing
keel yachts. And now I find myself parked at the friendliest
marina in Sydney.
The Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay is our base for
summer. We’ve been coming here before we had kids, as far back
as 30 years ago, our little minnows virtually learnt to swim in
the heated pool, and they’ve grown up netting jellyfish, catching
bream, drinking lemonades and messing about this home away
I have found no greater club marina and boating community in
my travels than RMYC Broken Bay. From the learn-to-sail classes
for the minnows and the mid-week and twilight yacht races, to
the game-fishing fleet, this a chummy club and community of
disparate boaters that comes together.
There’s an element of the resort and of a refuge at RMYC
Broken Bay. As the palms sway and the ice rattles in your glass
of lemonade, the yachts ride the northeaster with billowing
Family holiday beach fishing.
sail and sunset is spectacular. Although I’ve banged on about
this boating paradise ad nauseam, one never grows weary of a
Hawkesbur y holiday.
Two things make Pittwater unique: the lack of major
shipping traffic, large ferries, and commercial craft means this
is predominantly a recreational-only waterway and a very safe
one at that; while the entire western shore is given over to Ku-
ring-gai National Park. Think stunning scenery, think wildlife,
think peace and quiet.
The iconic Basin in Coaster’s Retreat offers family camping
and safe swimming; an array of clean beaches backed by national
park such as Towlers, Portuguese and Resolute beckon exploring
by tender; while you can mix it with the who’s-who at Palm
Beach in summer and buy one of the best hamburgers on the
The drowned valley of Cowan Creek is the jewel in the crown.
You will find it just around West Head, guarding the entrance
to Pittwater, and down through Broken Bay. Surrounded by
native bush, national park, aboriginal engravings, and towering
sandstone escarpments, the creek for a week is cathartic.
During long hot summer days, Broken Bay is a source of
play for our shore party. You have to pick the weather, but Pearl
Beach or Maitland Bay can be heavenly on the hook. With the
radio on a Central Coast station and three-day growth, you are
imbued by a coastal township vibe despite being minutes from
Then comes Brisbane Water beyond Brooklyn. While Cowan
Creek baths in the limelight, Berowra Waters is the unsung hero
tributary to the Hawkesbury River system. There are two long
creeks, some beaches, plenty of fishing bays, several camping
spots, an old orange orchard, five-star eateries and a marina.
The mud crabs are massive and the feasts on the swim platform
From secret freshwater swimming holes to fresh flathead fillets
cooked in the frying pan, the Hawkesbury is a boating Mecca.
As I write this at the marina, I’ve just met our new neighbours,
their kids and dog. The smell of garlic wafts from the bistro, as
boats rise and fall like ivory keys, the hooter howls for a yacht
race, and the family is on the way.
As sure as the cicadas will be calling and the sea eagles are
on the wing, fish and crabs will jump on, the days will be long, the
nights lost to sleep, and the family will be together for another
Hawkesbury holiday. The perspective makes you wonder if there
really is anything wrong in the world? Have a great Christmas
and holiday wherever you might train the bow. h
Hawkesbury River sunset.
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