Monday, 6 August 2012

Pittwater: Cowan Creek and Bobbin Head anchorage

Right at the very end of the journey inland through the Ku Ring Gai National park at the top of Cowan Creek is Bobbin head.  We enjoyed a calm and tranquil journey under motor intending to stay a night on either the public moorings or on anchor at the end of the inlet next to Empire Marina.  We stayed three eventually as it was so relaxing.

Tiki is in the distance on this photo which is taken from the road bridge facing north.  The public pontoon is in the foreground.
There are two 24 hour stay moorings in this area and they were both empty.  We were in the week after Easter and the regular moorings provided in bays along Cowan Creek were on the whole free and the river very peaceful.

The shore here has picnic and barbeque areas and a national park office where we picked up maps for the trails in the local area.  There are plenty of walks to choose from.  We took one or two that went inland and spent an energetic day working our way through the forest tracks. 

The marina is convenient to the anchorage area and moorings and has a pleasant cafe for finishing off a walk with a coffee and snacks. There is also a fuel pontoon where we topped up with diesel and petrol. 

Pittwater: The Basin / Coasters Retreat moorings

Coasters retreat, and also called the basin by some is a popular anchorage that is entirely taken over by club moorings.  We visited several times over the March and April period and enjoyed some late summer weather as well as some small storms that came through. If you are cruising then you will likely end up having to tie up on a mooring here as there is little room to anchor in the bay.  At most times it is pretty quiet and at busy times you may be asked to move to another mooring if the club owners turn up.
Looking inshore from the mooring area towards the beach on the north. 
It is popular with good reason.  The tidal 'basin' inshore is a great place to relax and go for a swim, we made it for an end of season warm weekend in May.  Also the national park campsite provides some facilities behind the beach that include toilets and barbeques.  There is a small charge,  a few dollars, to use the facilities and a warden will appear on busy periods as you land on the beach. There are many tracks and paths into the national park that are worth exploring.  The coastal fringe is so interesting in this area it is easy to forget the region is an amazing national park as well.
The bay from the north shore beach.  the local ferry lands here regularly and the beach gets busy on the weekends as it is sheltered, warm and clean. 
Looking out to the north from the bay towards Barrenjoey Head
This is taken from just inside the basin entrance which is netted off, stopping sharks and boats entering.  

The basin from the campsite

Friday, 3 August 2012

Pittwater: Brooklyn anchorages

We headed up to Brooklyn to pick up a friend and have a look around the small town and marina at the north end of our navigable waterway. For sail boats the rail bridge stops any travel further up the river.  

There are three courtesy moorings available in the channel, just north of the northerly cardinal 424 shown on the map - and of course they were taken when we arrived so we anchored just to the north of them as marked on the map.  The moorings are the 24hr stay national parks moorings and as elsewhere the stay tends to get stretched out in some cases until conscience, more travel or authority provides a motivation to move.  On the anchor we managed to get out of the main tidal current in just enough water for our 1.7m draught, it was springs.  However the southerly gusting wind sent us dancing around beam on and bum to wind against the outgoing tide and although we held well enough it would need settled weather for me to stay the night – well stay and sleep well without numerous anchor checks around the turn of tide. 
We also moved around to the south of the small peninsular into Dead Hose Bay.  Maybe it should be Dead Horse Bay yet Navionics says ‘Hose’ so that's how it stays.  There are numerous moorings all along the shore here and it looks as if there is no room when viewed from the channel. There is and after moving close to the beach we found plenty of space for several yachts to anchor.  The water is deeper than the chart suggested and on the anchor marked we ended up with 2.5m below datum and with plenty of sticky mud hanging on to the anchor and chain when we hauled it up.  To the south of us was also plenty of room to stay in deeper water and weather that does not leave you on a lee shore. 

We tendered around from here into Parsley bay  just to the north where the public pontoons are convenient for locking the tender up for a visit to Brooklyn.  The Marina in town has fuel and water, beer, pay showers and laundrette and it is possible to visit and tie up if there is space.  The town has convenience stores, pleasant cafes and restaurants and pub for hanging out and some basic provisions.


Much as we wanted to stay a while longer the southerly winds were heading in so we  headed off down to to the southern bays for a few days.