[Not a spelling mistake – Harbor in Australia, New Zealand, England etc is spelled Harbour, along with colour, neighbour etc]
Thanks go out to Matt Hayes with Sydney by Sail who provided a sailboat for my wife, 8 month old daughter and myself to have a grand sailing tour of the Sydney harbor this past week. Sydney by sail is a very successful charter fleet out of Darling harbour in downtown Sydney. Their specialty is corporate day charters and corporate regatta races, but they also charter out to individuals wanting to soak up the sites of Sydney from the water.
The experience of sailing on the Sydney Harbour is not to be missed by anyone. Sailing under the Sydney harbor bridge and then right past the Sydney Opera house is one of those events that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. The Opera house deserves every bit of awe that has been bestowed upon it and throughout the harbour the familiar sight of the shell design of the opera house can be seen.
What we also where able to obtain on this 8-12 knot breeze and cloudless day was an extensive photo shoot of the ATONS (Aids to Navigation) used by the IALA-A system.
The International Association of Lighthouse Authorities– A system is used in all parts of the world except the American Continent and Japan who use the IALA-B system. Under the IALA-B system most are familiar with the phrase RED – RIGHT- RETURNING.
Well RED- RIGHT – RETURNING doesn’t apply in the IALA-A system. As one leaves Darling Harbour and begins to follow the channel out towards the sea Red ATONS are kept on the right and Green on the left. (Opposite of IALA-B). It’s not confusing, it’s just opposite, right? Or is it left?
We also photographed some stunning lighthouse ATONS seen here below. And we even saw two cardinal marks – one telling us to stay south of it and the other to stay west.
On top of all that was an excellent opportunity to photo the rich and perhaps famous homes right on the waters edge in the harbour.
These homes where magnificent. Many were obviously built in the 60’s and 70’s and most have been recently renovated. These homes command a stunning view of the happenings in the harbour.
Sydney harbour is a very busy harbour with ferry boats constantly crossing our paths. Cruise ships often visit and there is literally thousands of sailboats moored up in coves all over.
On a busy Friday afternnon, (as I experienced on my last sailing visit to Sydney a few years ago) you literally have to dodge other sailboats every couple of hundred feet. A friend once racing in the Harbour had 3 collisions on he same day. Here is a pic of even a seaplane taking off in the harbour. Do you remember who has right of way over a seaplane?
So you’ve got to have your wits about you and you’d better be versed up on lights and rules of right of way. See the FREE NauticEd rules of right of way clinic.
Thanks again Matt Hayes and Sydney by Sail for an excellent sailing experience on the Sydney Harbour.