It’s so nice to travel to a new place, where we’ve never gone before, yet already have friends there. Friends can help give us the information we need to get our bearings and get settled. But, even better, we have a much better chance to interact with people and get to know the place in a rich and pleasant way. On our way down to Sydney, we sometimes pulled into ports where the weather allowed us, and we had no time to organize to meet up with anyone. We barely learned anything about the places, and were basically alone with little people interaction.
Before we arrived in Sydney, I mentioned we had someone help take photos of our boat entering the Harbour. Alan is a retired resident in the area who is not only a sailor, but also has been a loyal reader of my Google Earth Blog for many years. Yesterday, he came down to the bay where we are anchored and we picked him up on the dinghy and gave him a tour of Tahina. He then guided us on the dinghy to the Sydney Fish Market and showed us all the wonderful seafood available. He told us about various Aussie delicacies and we ordered some big platters of fresh seafood and ate them right there at the market. Fantastic! See a few photos below:
Here in the anchorage, we met the crew of s/v Allikat (an Aussie catamaran) who were kind enough to give us a bunch of tips on the area and even helped us get our rubbish to the nearby marina that they have access to. They also invited to take us ashore sometime if we need without having to leave our dinghy on the shore.
In the afternoon yesterday, we were invited over by our friends on s/v Callisto who we had last visited with in New Caledonia. They are moored about a mile west of us in a very nice spot with a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We had a very enjoyable afternoon tea, even though it was raining outside, and caught up on our travels the last couple of months. Since they had been here for a month, they had all sorts of valuable information on getting around Sydney. A 1-week “rail” pass can be bought for about $40 that lets you use the ferries, buses, and trains as many times as you like. What a great way to get around!
Our Google partner has also been helpful. The folks at the Google Sydney office have been giving us tips on getting set up in Sydney as well. And, our old friends Google Earth and Google Maps have also been a big help in scouting out the area.
Yesterday, we also got an E-mail from another cruiser who we have heard about, but never met. They are a boat with kids called s/v Totem. They read on the blog we were in town, and let us know there is a Christmas Eve dinner party going on at a marina in town – with an open invitation to cruisers. Sounds like fun!