The morning after a bachelor/bachelorette parties is not necessarily the ideal time to go sailing for 4 hours, but we arose bright and early on Friday morning for our rescheduled trip! The boat, called The Katrina (above at left), was captained by Tony of the Australian Spirit Sailing Company and docked at Darling Harbour. Because it was an unscheduled trip, we were the only passengers aboard and received a private whale watching tour.
Tony was a fantastic tour guide and very knowledgeable about whales. He pleasantly chatted with us while steering the ship to the open ocean just outside of the harbour.
The above photo at top right shows the conditions of the morning- a very dark, gray, fog-like atmosphere cloaked the city. Tony explained that it was heavy smoke caused by bushfires. Not great “weather” for taking photos! Luckily, bracketing saved the day and the different exposures HDR photography picked up the gorgeous views.
Above: Another comparison of an original photo and the wonders of post-processing.
We passed by this lovely view of a lighthouse on a cliff right before we hit the open ocean. By this point, the sea air and sunshine felt great and the bushfire smoke had cleared.
We sailed around the ocean for a long while searching for a whale blasting a breath out of their blowhole. I had been whale watching in Boston as a girl, but since this was Jonathan’s first time, I really wanted to see some for him! Above is our first glimpse of a humpback whale from a distance- a nice big breath and a bit of a dorsal fin. Unfortunately we were pretty far away and by the time the small boat arrived in the area, the whale was gone.
We continued to scan the ocean surface intently and finally gave up and sailed away when Jonathan caught a glimpse of a whale breaching very high out of the water at the spot we had just been. By that time we had sailed pretty far away, but it was still a neat sight!
Ravenous after our sail, we walked to the Sydney Fish Market for lunch. Unlike the Seattle Fish Market, the Sydney one seems to be more of a functioning fish market for local restaurants- aside from one small building, they don’t cater to the public. And they certainly don’t clean up for the sake of being a tourist destination, as you can see from the photos above. It was really neat to get “an insiders” view!
Upon visiting De Costi Seafood, I knew that I needed to try the oysters, but Jonathan had declared himself not a fan of oysters prior to our arrival. To his disappointment, the two types that appealed to me could only be purchased in a minimum of 6, so he was recruited to help out.
Again, being a working fish market, there were not any tables nor any area to eat these oysters . . . so we stood in the parking lot amongst the cars and slurped them down. They were delicious enough to convince Jonathan that he might not dislike them after all!
I enjoyed the sign at Claudio’s Seafood (top, left)- how many people had thought they could sample the shrimp before the sign needed to be displayed?? We resisted the temptation and brought home some of their seafood sauce, instead.
After getting ourselves gussied up, we traveled to John and Terri’s Chinese Dinner Reception with “Chinese ritualistic flourishes.” The Marigold was a gorgeous venue, but I had forgotten my camera flash and so many of the photos were dark and unfortunately the Canon 6D is very noisy in low lighting. I converted the photos to black and white in order to focus more on the subject and less on my lack of flash.
Dinner was delicious and the speeches, especially the one given by the father of the bride, were very touching. It was a fantastic evening and a wonderful prelude to the wedding the following evening.