Up the creek with a paddle!

We have just spent the most relaxing few days in Broken Bay in the company of our dear friend Sue. This is a large inlet 31 miles north of Sydney Harbour. It was discovered and named by James Cook in 1770.  This drowned valley estuary has its origin at the confluence of Pittwater, Brisbane Water and the Hawkesbury. The three arms are flooded rivers formed at a time when the sea level was much lower than it is at present.

These calm waters are a popular boating area. Going up the arms and tributaries, particularly westward up the Cowan and Smiths Creeks, as we chose to do, demands constant tacking if you are sailing… and those who know us realise we are too lazy for that sort of behaviour!


The start of the Hawkesbury

So we did a great impersonation of a motor boat, and for the five days we were there we explored right up some narrow creeks, finding hideaways, surrounded by the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The creeks are really deep – in places 15 to 20 meters right to the edges. They wind their way through the Australian bush, with tall sandstone escarpments and angophora trees that grow literally out of the rocks with pink or grey gnarly trunks. You don’t anchor in these parts; you pick up one of the many moorings provided by the National Park Service. And at this time of year, during the week, there is plenty of choice and no crowd. It would be awfully busy in summer! Beyond the moorings, you can sometimes keep going further by dinghy or kayak.

It was peaceful, very relaxing, and we very much enjoyed this break with Sue. Waking up to the sounds of forest birds was quite soothing. Sea eagles and whistling kites were frequent visitors, oh and ‘dinghy devils’ as terns or seagulls perching there get called. 

We dropped Sue back at Patonga and with a strong SW due on Thursday, we spent the day at Pearl Beach, a beautiful protected bay just on the outside of Broken Bay: deep, safe for anchoring and sheltered in the strong wind. We are underway again today; our next stop is Swansea, Lake Macquarie, some 37 miles north.

Here is a gallery of our favourite shots. As always click on the first image to displays in full screen slide show. 



20 thoughts on “Up the creek with a paddle!

  1. Fab photos! I’d love to cruise that crick until I could go no further. And I see why the island is called Lion!

  2. These places are so beautiful! Time to enjoy the view without waves of moving swells! Have fun my friends! 🙂

    • Hello HJ – it is as a lovely break and a welcome change of pace. We are sailing again today… beautiful, but really cold when you start at dawn!

    • Hi Maree! It really was scenic. And yes a few hot days were a shock to the system: high 20s and 33 on the last day! Back to more normal spring weather today: 8 degrees when we left this morning at 5.30am and still rugged up as we sail. It’s getting easier as we get further north.

  3. Now that’s more like it. Relaxed, enjoying wonderful scenery and warmth (even if only for a couple of days) and exploring. Keep it up.

  4. Glad to see you enjoying my former country. Used to know every rock and creek. Wonderful photos. Will look out for you in Port Macquarie if you are heading this way.

    • Hi Meredith! Nice to hear from you! It was lovely to have a break up the creeks! At Swansea now and will keep heading north. We will be making a stop at Port so might see you on the Hastings!

  5. Great post, I have sent it on to a couple of friends. So pleased the Inverter is working and you are getting fresh water.

  6. What a stunning place to motor in to. Starting to warm up as well by the looks of it. What a life you two have.

    • Hi Phil – it has been a bit traumatic but we are slowly getting used to it. The weather patterns in winter are very different to what we’ve been accustomed to. But things are on the improve!

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