Leaving Bobbin Head

Goodbye Bobbin Head and Sydney

As the season changes and wisps of fall fill the air it is time to pack up and follow the summer. In the southern hemisphere that means going north. We will leave Bobbin Head and make our way up the coast back to Brisbane, a short 400 mile trip.

The stay at Bobbin Head has been wonderful. This remote setting, pristine wilderness, endless waterways make this area unique. Empire Marina is located at the far reaches of the national park and is a state of the art, modern, well run marina. The staff has been exceptional in their kindness, assistance and interest in my stay.

Located at Empire Marina are service companies for every boat maintenance need; a very qualified marine electronics company, Fleet Marine, an all around shipwright of the highest quality, APS Marine, a canvas man, J and J Trimming, and an excellent Marine Mechanic, Total Quality Marine Engineering. I used all of these services and found them all to be of top quality. For more information on the fine marina see; http://www.empiremarinas.com.au

Also located at Bobbin Head is my old friend and business associate, Mark Halvorsen. Mark has been the Selene representative in Australia since the start. Selene is well represented here and it was good to back in Selene country.

There is a wonderful restaurant at the site and a very nice lounge with laundry facilities and even a big screen TV. My neighbor, Terry, can be found watching the horse races daily in the lounge.

There is a “good ol boys” club here that reminds me of any marina at home. Each day a group of the boat owners have tea,(it would be coffee at home) and sit and chew the fat. It is good to see the world is a small place where ol’ boys and boats come together.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the kayaking opportunities here, from the boat I can go to the end of two mystical water ways to the creeks at their source. The waterways are lined with interesting rock formations, exotic vegetation and the constant calling of tropical birds. No other sounds can be heard and often the silence is deafening.

I have found the same joy in the many “tracks” that wind through the forest. I can go up the side of the two water ways along the jungle like shore. One track forms loop up the ridge, another climbs to the top of a close by mountain. I have not tired of the scenery and have seen wild Cockatoos, 6ft lizards, one 7ft snake, and have been serenaded by the whispery call of the Kookaburra.

The Hawkesbury River is the source of these ancient fingers of water. Miles of unspoiled forest border the intricate waterway system. Often you can find an anchorage and be the only boat there or you can join many boats in a more popular area.

All this is just a 45 minute drive from the booming metropolis of Sydney. This rare gem should not be missed by any cruiser.

Serenity, peace, beauty and isolation are always sought by cruisers but we also like to whoop it up in the big city. Sydney is a gem of a city, full modern, incredibly well laid out and sporting a full complement of activities for the cruiser.

We engulfed ourselves in the all the big event, the Sydney Hobart Race, New Years Eve and Australia Day, Sydney knows how to party! I found a great anchorage right in the center of town yet well protected and calm. Black Wattle Bay gave access to the famous Sydney Fish Market, the trendy Darling Harbor, and the handy rail system. We could be in the CBD (Aussie for downtown) or the intriguing China Town in minutes. Sydney is like Seattle, it is a quilt of small unique neighborhoods.

The time here has been fantastic and I will cherish it always, but dreams of diving the Great Barrier Reef fill my head—off to another adventure!