Back on the Sydney Harbour

My new job is with a company headquartered in Sydney, so I had the good fortune to return for a visit 3 months after leaving. 🙂

One of the first things I did was to schedule in time on the water. On the weekends, I went out paddling on the inner harbour, lousy spring weather be damned. And one morning before work, Laura, who had just returned to Sydney from a month back in Scotland, kindly arranged for a small crew of friends to go for a sunrise paddle, for old time’s sake.

Oh hello, glassy water.

Another glorious, peaceful morning on the water. Everytime Laura posts pictures like these on Facebook / Instagram, she gets bombarded with naysayers, claiming that we had to have photoshopped the pictures because no way Sydney Harbour is so flat and calm. Haha, that’s only cos they’re too clueless to enjoy the early dawn before the ferryboats stir up the water. 😉

Aw Sydney, I’m missing you already.

Fall has arrived

After what has seemed like an interminable but welcome summer, fall has arrived in Sydney. This week, the air has taken on a noticeable chill in the mornings when I head down to Lavender Bay to push off for our daily sunrise paddles.

This year has flown by.

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Easter Weekend on the Water

I take it as a compliment when people ask me what camera I use for my photos. After all, if they didn’t like them, they wouldn’t have bothered right? Still, there’s more to picture taking than a state of the art camera. And this past week, I’ve had the opportunity to practice what I preach.

I’d dropped my DSLR on the Coastal Walk the weekend before – boo – and while my camera’s at the shop, both Laura and Lisa kindly lent me their mirrorless cameras to use. They’re great nifty cameras, don’t get me wrong, and the photos thankfully have turned out such that I can’t tell at a glance which were taken with what cameras. Nonetheless, I miss my trusty camera, which I’m so used to, snapping pictures seem like a breeze.

Anyway, it was a lovely long Easter break spent on the water. Sunrise paddles every morning, and I managed 3 longer paddles during the day as well. A 31 km paddle on Friday, a 10 km paddle Sunday, and a 24 km paddle Monday. 😀

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I was furtively trying to signal to Laura to cut her briefing short so we could launch and catch most of that colour
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Lovely start to Easter Monday

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Love the golden-pink light

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Always fun to celebrate a birthday on the water

My happy place – floating on the Sydney Harbor

Our sunrise paddle customers always ask, do you get used to this view, seeing it every morning?

Not at all. It’s my happy place. Not gonna lie – it is difficult to get out of bed sometimes, to put on a cheery face and face the world. But without fail, as soon as I hit the water, I find my inner peace. And when we get excited and happy customers, I draw energy from them. By the time I pack up the kayaks and head off to work, I’m ready to take on the day.

Also, the harbor is different every morning. Sometimes the water is flat and glassy, sometimes choppy with white caps. Some days, we are lucky and the high clouds are painted vibrant hues of magenta and orange; other days the gloomy skies help our colorful kayaks pop out more in photos.

So everyday on the water, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be out there. Happily and thankfully, no, I won’t ever get used to this view.

Best Sunrise of 2018 to Date on the Sydney Harbor

We’ve not been able to go out on the water the past few days, no thanks to gusty winds of up to 45 km/h. While it was luxurious to be able to sleep in, it felt really sweet to be back out on the water this morning.

And what a sunrise to be greeted with too. We had high wispy clouds, so long before the sun even peeped out from the horizon, the sky was awash in splashes of indigo and pink. The waters were flat, and the air crisp.

My favorite time of day; my favorite kind of weather, of summer. Another morning to be grateful to be here.

A Christmas sunrise

We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier sunrise on Christmas Eve. Great clouds led to a long and sustained orange sky. Such a peaceful way to greet the morning.

After, Lisa, Jeff and I headed up to Manly for a Manly to Shelly swim. This time last year, we had just set as our 2017 goal to complete our first ocean swim, so this was a great way to wrap up the year.

No shark sightings this time, to our slight disappointment, though we did spot a stingray and a half dozen baby squid, which is always a treat.

Merry Christmas!

December 8 Sunrise Paddle

If the wind conditions aren’t insane, chances are, we are out on the water at sunrise, pretty much rain or shine.

This morning’s forecast was supposed to be clear skies, but we know how unreliable the forecast is. As it was, I could see the thick blanket of cloud float eastwards, over the top of the Opera House even as I drove down into Lavender Bay.

By the time I got to our launch point, the clouds were in place, and beginning to take on a pinkish hue. While Laura stayed behind with the rest of the guests, I sped off in front, hoping to grab some photos in case the color faded quickly. We were lucky though, and were treated to a long and gorgeously vibrant sunrise.

Happy summer. Gosh. Can’t believe we’re almost turning the page on 2017 already!

Rainy Day Forecast = Chance for Magic

We got back to Sydney late Sunday night from a fun wedding weekend in Melbourne. A bit too much indulging, which is tiring business! So a potential sleep-in thanks to the lousy weather forecast didn’t seem like a bad idea. But the weather has been playing up on us recently, so we decided to take a chance.

So glad we did. The color – while really brief, was spectacular.

As you can see, by the time the sun rose, all color had seeped out of the sky. Thank goodness for our lovely rainbow collection of kayaks though!

Spring Paddling in Sydney Harbour

The weather is warming up, as we march towards summer here in Australia. And the sunrises have been getting earlier by the day – though that means that I don’t have to rush to work after pack up. 😉

Here are some of my favorite shots, in no particular order, of our past few weeks paddling in my favorite harbor front in the world with Sydney by Kayak.

Surprise birthday cupcakes on the water
Everyone just loves to watch the magnificent cruise liners slip into harbor at sunrise

Surprise birthday paddles with Sydney by Kayak

I love paddling around Sydney Harbor Bridge and in front of the Opera House at sunrise. Before the ferries start, the water is flat, sometimes glossy and glassy. It is quiet, except for the sounds of our paddles slicing through the water, and the occasional peals of laughter and excitement as our groups of paddlers push their kayaks beyond Luna Park and drink in the view of the iconic Opera House glinting in the golden pink hues of the early morning rays.

What makes it even more special, is when paddlers arrange for surprise paddles for their friends / significant others. Sometimes, it takes a bit of coaxing to get them out of bed before 5am in the morning, especially when they have no idea what’s in store, but always, their faces light up when they come to the boat ramp and see the colourful row of kayaks at the water’s edge.

And that’s only part one of the surprise! Part two is when we pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and float peacefully in front of the Opera House. That’s when Laura sneakily lights candles on cupcakes and then skillfully maneuvers one-handed to the surprised paddler. 😀

Totally worth those early morning calls!