Sunday, October 19, 2008

Phoctober Day 2 (Or Sunday in da City)

Second Phoctober Post: Today Adam and I went back for our repeat of the unproductive whale watch tour in August. If you don't see a whale, you can go back for free. Northern migration is over. The big boofer hump backed whales move north to Harvey Bay in Queensland to warm up, calve and frolic then head back south to Antarctica in October/November. They hug the coast to avoid Orca and shark attacks on their young.

Adam and I this time took ginger extract rather than Travel Calm which made us totally trippy last time and headed out in quite a swell. Not as choppy as before but boy that boat was rising and falling like the Dow Jones! It's a four hour sojourn through the harbour and beyond the heads into open ocean. Today it was boaties day. The harbour was jam packed with pleasure craft, tour boats, sailing races, jet boats and hoons in wannabe speed boats. We identified at least five different kinds of yachts competing for goodness knows what in a spinnaker raising wind and a few ending up in the drink. So here's our glorious 30 degree spring day in arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I'm not precious about Australia, it's just another country, but the harbour? Totally awesome! You can click for various bouts of bigness.

SO Sydney, popping into Circular key, one of the regular ferries in green and gold and a cruise charter longship exchanging greetings and that gorgeous lady in the background is of course the Sydney Opera House

This little Lady dwarfed the skyline . . Rhapsody of the Sea . . just popping in of for the day trippers (the big rectangular thing on the back is a rock climbing wall!)

Pulled into Circular Quay, the main ferry terminal to pick up others. Jet Boat boy was waiting for punters who feel comfortable in purple dry suits . . I'm sure he drives a Subaru Impreza!

Little boats were capsizing all over the place . . .these guys had about 4 attempts to right their skiff!

Fort Denison, "Pinchgut" to the locals was built to dissuade Russian would-be invaders during the Crimean War . . um the Russian's weren't coming. Never been there but it's on your travel agenda Notsoanonymous!

Many prefer to watch from a cliffside vantage point. There are cliff walks on both sides of the harbour and beyond . .

Look at all those tourists crowding onto Bondi beach . .possibly the most overrated beach in the world next to Copa Cabana . . . but you all wanna go there!

Then a little spurt and a brown bit!

Then a little tantalising glimpse . .we were pitching so hard on a 1.5metre swell (look at the horizon) that staying steady meant one hand on the bars and single handed camera work.) These dudes were 500metres away . .they're BIG

Something interesting down there . . .six week old calf needs a breather.

Baby fluke . . there was a very shy but enormous mum who insisted on holding her breath longer than the younglings so I missed her big breach and flap thanks to the selfish little cow who jumped up in front of me. There were three but so hard to see. Mum, a juvenile 6 year old and a tiny calf . . .Ok nothing like the gorgeous breach shots of Southern Right's that AV has on Absolute Vanilla (seriously if you like whales she's got some amazing shots) but I put my camera down for a while to look (and hang on) rather than just photograph.

Travelling back through the heads there was a swag of seaplanes heading north.
How the rich and famous go home from Catelinas Restaurant at Rushcutter's bay or Doyles at Watson's Bay . . nice flight home after a slow lunch!

Back at Darling Harbour and the thunder clouds were rolling in while the sun still shone from the west. Centrepoint tower gleamed gold . . .I like this shot and if you make it larger, you might just be able to see Egyptian Ibis in the palm trees (dirty smelly honkers - hate 'em)

One of the fountains at Darling Harbour, when we rushed over to King Street Wharf there were children paddling in the stream. Adam commented that we have to fence any pool deeper than 400cm but for some reason kids can splosh around in this. We were running late so no time for happy snaps. Darling harbour is a weird place. There's an Imac theatre, convention centre (the Motor Show was on) and one half is decidedly westy and appeals to the working class. The other side - lovely restaurants and Monaco boats. Today the Dragon Races were on which are great and really colourful but I was saving memory and we were running late so I didn't snap 'em.

We needed food and a toilet. The signs were pretty but of no use . . so we succumbed to MacDonalds (they have clean loos) and ate our Big Macs on the steps outside.

Bloody seagulls are big around here . . .and they go 'honk' not 'mine'


Lehners in France said...

Phoctober!!! I love it!!! And what wonderful photos. I am so glad you saw the whales at last. Thanks for posting the photos, it's made my Sunday. Debs x

Kath Lockett said...

Great pics, Baino. The Centrepoint tower shot is brilliant - you should sell it to 'em.

Like the idea of Phoctober too - sounds very naughty!

Grannymar said...

I could almost feel the swell!

Was that really a seagull????

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Gorgeous Sydney pics, Bains! And that big bird, isn't that a sacred ibis??? So glad you finally got to see the whales! Amazing experience, isn't it.

Now, you're probably going to hate me... doddled off to snap the pingus (penguins) and tootling along the coast, no more than 15 mins from home, there were whales. No schlepping to Hermanus in future, False Bay was full of them. Got down onto the rocks and watched them playing - no more than 200 meters from me - totally awesome. Haven't checked the pics yet, about to do so now, but hoping for some goodies. If so, they'll go up on the blog later. And then, if not whales, it will be penguins. It's been another hellish day in Africa...

Ces said...

I am going to New Zealand and Australia.

How much money do I have to have in order to overcome the age requirement for immigrating to Australia?

Moon said...

Brilliant !!, what a great trip, love all the photos, but the whale tale, perfect ! The other phtos bring back some wonderful Syndey memories... and I agree, Bondi is a nothing place for me !

Miladysa said...

Fascinating photographs Baino!

My line of thought is the same as Ces - how much dosh to qualify?

Miladysa said...

BTW - That seagull's bloody weird looking.

Ropi said...

Well I am not sure if I go to Australia one day I will be watching whales. I have bad relation with ships.

Nick said...

Can't wait to go back. I didn't realise there were cliff walks around the harbour. Will have to find them. Must say I prefer Coogee to Bondi.

Don't Bug Me! said...

I am not a big city fan, but as far as cities goes, Sydney definitely ranks up there for me.
As far as countries go, Australia is something special - I could go back and visit over and over again. Oh, wait a minute, I have!
Love the whale shots. As you know, Mr. DBM and I are travelling South America at the moment. We are heading to Brazil next, but then down the coast of Argentina to Patagonia - hopefully we will see some whales along the way, and I am definitely going to find me some penguins!
PS Hated Bondi Beach - everyone kept laughing at my sock line tan! Well, who would want sunburnt feet!?!

ian said...

Hi Baino,

Why did you need the toilet at Ronald's when you travelled out and back through the 'heads'? ;-)

Megan said...

I'm glad the whales showed up for you! Great shots (even one-handed).

What is a hoon?

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Glad you got to see the whales this time around - loved photo of centre point tower and the seagul lol *!*

Baino said...

Yep it was a thrill Deb but no shenanigins or breaching unfortunately. Gorgeous day though and there's always something different to see on the harbour.

Nothing naughty about Phoctober Kath, it's all in the pronunciation! The Centrepoint one was my fave have to admit.

Granny Mar of cours not. Seagulls look the same the world over, it's a smelly Egyptian Ibis! Just as annoying!

AV I'm very jealous. I'll really have to wonder up to Harvey Bay or down Kath's way in South Australia, they seem to prefer them as playgrounds, they're just passing through in Sydney. We did have a big brown fur seal turn up and check us out but my pics were too fuzzy to publish.

Ces, you need to be under 45, have a job to come to or be sponsored by a resident or a prospective employer . . unless you're a legitimate refugee then we put you in a detention centre for 'processing'!

I guess because Bondi is so iconic, everyone at least wants to 'see' it for themselves. Personally I prefer the northern surf beaches - I'm definately not a city person but it's hard not to love it on a clear 30 degree day!

Miladysa, get famous, get a book deal and we'll bring you over to receive your Miles Franklin award! Gratis!

Ropi Travel Calm if you want a trippy ride. Ginger Root if you want to stay awake! You'd have been barfing over the side for sure! It's only rough outside the heads, the harbour is generally pretty sheltered.

Nick you can walk from Vaucluse to Bondi and Tamarama or on the other side through West Head or from the Spit to Mosman. I've never done it though it's a day's work and I prefer mucking about on boats!

DBM - you'll have the trip of a lifetime. I'd love to see Patagonia or even the Galapagos Islands. Bondi appears to be full of tourists with bad tans or raging sunburn. It's the beach with the most surf rescues in Australia!

Ian its Sunday aren't you supposed to be 'reverent' today! Heads indeed! For the record, I didn't need a pee . . I don't do public loos!

Megan a 'hoon' is a young, driver of those souped up little cars with boom boxes that screech around the streets showing off.

"Tsup!" Bimbimbie. Hate those things, he was after Adam's chips and kept 'honking' at us before walking away in disdain!

Anonymous said...

Great photos. Made me feel once again fortunate and grateful for living here. I have to say I felt it when I first visited, I remember thinking to myself, I love it! I could live here.
11 years later... I love it, I can live here forever. :)
Awesome photos!

laughingwolf said...

neat pics baino...

don't understand whale behavior - you say they hug the coast so orcas and sharks won't attack their young, but both are a LOT smaller than are the humpers, and orcas, at least, are just as intelligent... what gives?

or is there a pact to let the young grow? kinda like 'farming'?

Baino said...

Thanks Gaye, I was disappointed with the quality of the whale ones but hey, I can always go and steal AV's! The harbour makes it. I still get a thrill when I drive over the bridge and a pang of disappointment when I get stuck in the tunnel lane instead.

Wuffa, the orcas go for the young calves (sharks aren't fussy) which aren't much bigger than a shark or a seal by the time they come back from Harvey bay. Orcas were common 'assistant's' to the whaling community in southern NSW helping whalers to corral migrating whales in return for a go at their tongue would you believe. I should post the story of "Old Tom" one of these days.

Does seem a little canibalistic eh?

Ernest de Cugnac said...

wow, you do a better job than the aussie tourist board. If I didn't already live in a fabulous country I'd be making tracks.

Quickroute said...

great photos - damn I miss the place!

Baino said...

It's easy to take good shots with a good subject Ernest but I wouldn't be moving over here too soon, you're in a sensational part of the world.

Quickie so are you! At least you know exactly what I'm on about!

Thriftcriminal said...

That's a seagul? Jesus, it looks like an unsavoury egyptian god!

Baino said...

Thrifty . . everything's bigger out here! You should see the spider on my bathroom mirror! They're smelly old ibis and they honk and poo like dogs and pinch yer chips! True tho . .Thoth had the head of an Ibis.

steph said...

Grannymar got confused 'cos we don't have seagulls in Ireland...

we have 'shitehawks' ;-)

Great shots, Baino

btw You must have the bladder of a camel!

Taffy's Mum said...

Great Pics Baino
I have visited Sydney 5 times so far and am determined to visit again and again.

Note to self - must get saving for my next trip down under!

Miladysa said...

hee hee - if only! *grin*

Baino said...

Steph, I just have an aversion to public loos! Last record was 14 hours! I was busting by the time I got home (good pelvic floor hehe)

Hello Taffy's Mum, welcome over. It's a fun project but I'm only posting on Sundays due to time constraints. Nothing like the city on a sunny day (sadly it's pouring here today)

Miladysay, don't underestimate yourself!