Friday, October 4, 2013

Sydney - International Fleet Review

All over Sydney there are flags all over the city advertising the International Fleet Review. It marks the 100 year anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy's fleet entered Sydney Harbour for a Review.

Marianne and I decided to go to the South Head at the entrance to the Harbour to watch about a dozen tall sailing ships enter the Harbour. We had been in Sydney for about ten days, all of which had been sunny and hot, but this day was cloudy with a strong threat of rain. Instead of taking the ferry we took a bus out to Watsons Bay and this was the view out to sea.

Back in 2010 Marianne and I went to Watsons Bay on the ferry but we could not get to the nearby  cliffs because somebody had jumped and the Police had the area cordoned off.

There are signs offering help to potential jumpers and even a free phone.

View Larger Map

Camp Cove Beach on the way to the South Head.

Path to the South Head. It's only a few hundred yards from the ferry to the South Head, perhaps half a mile.

Old cannon.

The Navy still controls most of the headland and has a base named HMAS Watson. As we approached, a helicopter arrived and made a dreadful din for quite some time. After about 30 minutes it flew off. I was amazed that the camera was able to 'stop the motion' of the whirring blades.

The walk is not too steep and would be quite pleasant on a nice day.

We don't think this boat was one of the tall ships but was leaving the Harbour to greet the incoming ships.

It's quite a view from up here. The Hornby Lighthouse is on the left.

Old gun emplacement.

Part of the welcoming armada.

It was very helpful to have the 24x zoom on the camera to get these photos.

The toilet roll building at Manly from a different angle.

There was not much wind at all so the water was relatively calm.

The forecast had predicted that the rain would arrive in the afternoon but it started sooner than expected in the form of small hail.

The yellow vessel is a fire boat equipped with pumps to shower great quantities of water onto fires.

There were quite a few people but not as many as I expected. This was the first rainy looking day since we arrived in Sydney.

The parade was due to start at 11 am and that is when the rain started to really come down. Everybody was talking about 'Murphy's law'. I had forgotten to bring my small orange umbrella so we huddled under a small tree.

The first ship enters the Harbour. Unfortunately the ships were much closer to the North Head so they looked quite tiny from where we were standing. This was the STS Young Endeavour

The fire boat in action leading the way.

This is the replica of the Endeavour that Captain Cook used when he sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770. It was second in the queue.

The Hornby Lighthouse, constructed in 1858.

Suddenly there was a huge clap of thunder so we scurried off to this old lookout shelter which was already crammed with people. 

Because there was no wind the ships could not use their sails which was disappointing.

One of the Manly ferries made a detour to get in on the action.

This photo gives you more idea of the width of the entrance to the Harbour. It's about a mile wide.

Eventually the rain stopped and some blue sky appeared to the south.

One of the old houses near the light house. I presume the keepers lived there.

Yet another gun emplacement.

Most of the fleet was now in the Harbour so we started to walk back to Watsons Bay.

It was pouring in the city. It is amazing how well these photos turned out. Most of the ship photos used the 24x zoom and then needed some digital enhancement to get rid of the fog and gloom. We were disappointed that of all days, this one should be spoiled by the rain, but we were glad we made the effort to go. It was definitely memorable.

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