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Sydney: The trials, tribulations and rewards of Sydney Harbour

24 July 2012 David Ritchard

Whales on Sydney Harbour

"Whales on Sydney Harbour"

Photo by:
whalewatchingsydney.net

Ferries who insist on utilising their rights. Tourist jet boats that actually have no rights, but still cause great noise and disturbance. Big stink boats, whose owners, having just bought their first boat, also got a complimentary frontal lobotomy in the deal. These are just part of the wash creating environment of Sydney Harbour.


All of these distractions can be very daunting, especially to the newcomer to the "puddle". Yet despite all of this, it is the location of the largest Etchells Fleet in Australia and there is pressure to secure places for even more boats.


In this vein it was my pleasure to be on board "Fred", a boat new to Sydney Fleet racing, being skippered by Phil Bennett and his crew of David Smithers on the Harbour on Thursday July 12, to help them get familiar with the boat and sails.


After a couple of hours on the peaceful weekday waters of the Harbour, and whilst passing Kirribilli House on the way back to the Club, we were surrounded by a pod of not less than 30 dolphins. They accompanied us for about ten minutes, diving under the boat, rolling over and giving the boat their marvellous staring eye look. No doubt contemplating what a great looking boat the Etchells is.


As has been heavily reported in the press on and after Tuesday July 17, the Harbour also hosted a Southern Right Whale after calving. It is these calm pleasures that make the Harbour the place it is, allowing the summer weekend madness to be put behind us and to come back, time and again.



David Ritchard









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