Thus concludes Chapter Sydney. Did you like it? I did. If you remember way back, I originally intended to spend the holidays in Sydney with Mom and Dad and then return to the Sunshine Coast. Three months later I am leaving Sydney to return to the Sunshine Coast - where I will meet up with my good friends Annette and Sara, and we will road trip from Brisbane to Melbourne.
But first things first. I quit my job yesterday! In a melodramatic, "I am leaving never to return" kind of way I said goodbye to my co-workers and thanked my boss for all the work (money) he has given me. I had been telling them I was leaving Sydney for the past three weeks now, so I think they were all glad to be rid of me, although there is a small chance I will get another few days of work with them when I am back down this way.
Yes, Sydney was good to me. I tend to love any city that has surf, and Sydney definitely delivered in the wave department. It also delivered in the night-life department, beach scene, art scene, tourist scene and on and on. There are tons of travelers and foreigners in the city, so I fit right in.
In reflection, I think Manly is my favorite part of Sydney. Geographically it is awesome because as it is at the northern point of the bay, the anchorage is nice and protected from the northerly winds. From the bay to the beach is an easy two block stroll past designer surf shops and swanky cafes. When the winds turn southerly it makes the waves at Manly hollow and fast, and although one has to dodge all the beginners, surf skis, paddleboards and angry locals, it is a damn good place to surf.
On the weekend you can find the local bars of Manly packed with good looking young people - backpackers and locals, tourists and transplants; everybody radiating the sun soaked up on the sand all day. I must admit there is a bit of a "bro" vibe in the bars, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to be taken to an open mic night on Thursday where everybody was not perfectly tanned with bleach blonde hair. I was impressed to find this little pocket of eclectic, poetry reading, didgeridoo playing group of people in the midst of the "RoxyBillabongHotelBarHighRentAndHighHeelsOnly" vibe of Manly, which I generally tend to ignore. It was refreshing.
Cool little pockets of funky bars and cafes, music and art scenes exist all over Sydney, and I must admit that I am a bit blind-sighted by my quest for surf and forget to explore more of the underground scenes. If you make it to Sydney I would highly recommend checking out Newtown, Surrey Hills and the northern beaches in addition to Manly and the Opera House.
Yes, the northern beaches is where we are now. Palm Beach is the northernmost point of the spit of land that makes Pittwater, where we are currently anchored. The plan is to weigh anchor at 05:00 tomorrow morning and head north towards Brisbane. It's hard to say when and where we will stop, as there are many nice bays and anchorages (and surf!) along the way.
It feels like one chapter is ending and another is beginning as we leave Sydney. I always get a bit anxious when we leave a place - particularly one we stay in for a long time and one I like so much - but such is the life of a salty sailor. It's actually pretty exciting to be on the go again, and the idea of meeting up with old friends as well as meeting new gets me stoked on the whole thing all over again.