Sydney boaters are among the beneficiaries of global warming. During a winter that really wasn't, many of us have been letting it all hang out. The bays in upper Middle Harbour have resembled floating dormitories, while Spring Cove has been thronged by day. And there are some new hot spots, with the shoreline upstream of Chinamans Beach popular for those dodging the prevailing westerlies. It's been a boating kaleidoscope, with paddlers and paddleboarders out in force, sailors racing around the cans, fishers tangling with Aussie salmon from the boiling schools around the Heads, and the big end of town out. Book your boat's annual service before the slipways fill up and the mechanics are flat out.
Seal of approval
Boaters aren't the only ones enjoying the balmy weather — two New Zealand fur seals have been soaking up the sun at Cannae Point. Passing boaters were given a wave before the bigger of the two decided to catch up on some sleep atop a sandstone gibber. Seals aren't uncommon in Sydney Harbour, with specimens sometimes roaming west of the Harbour Bridge, but the west-facing beaches around Spring Cove seem to be a favourite spot.
Common sense has prevailed and boats won't be banned from anchoring off Manly West or Quarantine beaches due to the supposed damage we inflict on seagrass. Instead, five new seagrass-friendly courtesy moorings will be installed west of Manly Wharf, with a further three at Quarantine to help protect the marine vegetation. The new moorings will be installed before the boating season as a community service to boaters and in response to the concerns raised by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries about prop damage to seagrass. Boaters will be able to tie up to any of the moorings for up to 24 hours.
Maritimo goes OS
With a favourable exchange rate and overseas markets on the move, Australian boat builders finally have something to be chipper about. Luxury-cruiser maker Maritimo is gearing up for a full program of boat shows in Europe and the US. Its award-winning M58 cruising motoryacht will be on display at the prestigious Cannes International Boat Show, while other models will be at the Tampa show, South Lake Union Seattle show, Norwalk exhibition and the Fort Lauderdale event in October. Feedback from the dealers is said to be the best in years.