Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pittwater and Cowan Creek

wallaby camping out
Ten years ago while anchored on Sydney's Lane Cove River, we met kayakers Debbie and Leah who were enjoying an afternoon on the water.  A shared interest in music and in being on the water led us to keep in touch in the intervening years.  When we embarked on a voyage to Australia Pittwater - their home cruising ground - was penned into our list of ports-of-call. It's conveniently just north of Sydney.

Debbie and Di's yacht Ella
Coaster's Retreat, our first stop in Pittwater, made us feel like we were truly in Australia as wallabies grazed lazily on the shore surrounding the anchorage.  The next morning, we drifted a few miles south to Towler's Bay where Debbie and her boating partner Di arrived to raft up to us with their pretty yacht Ella. What a charming way to meet again after ten years - two boats in a shared anchorage! Leah joined the four of us for a delightful dinner of fine food, wine, reminiscing and catching-up.

Larry and Debbie

After breakfast, Debbie and Ella returned to moorings at the head of Pittwater while Traversay III with Di on board travelled three hours up to Bobbin Head at the furthest reach of Cowan Creek.  Cowan Creek, an extension of Broken Bay, kept getting narrower and narrower with the green hills surrounding it seemingly growing higher and higher until we rounded the last bend where a cluster of yachts and launches announced the Bobbin Head Marina. This was the closest road access to Turramurra where Deb and Leah live and would allow us to visit them.

Debbie and Leah's chickens
Dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys (live) and more good food and drink followed ... even a jazz club in the city with Deb's son Oli on drums and daughter-in-law Emma on piano.

Kuring-Gai Park Headquarters
As the weekend drew to a close, we got to thinking about all the remote bays we had seen during our trip up Cowan Creek.  The shores of Cowan Creek make up Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, a wild oasis nestled in the northern suburbs of Sydney.  The whole area is a spider web of bush trails.
Larry in the park

We chose Waratah Bay for its free public moorings and one hour (the shortest available) bush walk up to a suburban rail station for a Sydney visit.  The uphill to the hilltop rail station was wearing in the heat and the tides were a challenge to dinghy landing and launch but we persevered and had a fun day in the city.  There was even a meter long lizard (but no snakes) to see on the way up the hill! Some boat chores and a walk through a mangrove swamp rounded out the week.

Now the weekend approaches again and we will head back to Bobbin Head for more socializing.

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