Sydney is surrounded by water bodies from all sides…Oops, let me put it this way -Water bodies have left few strays of land where Sydney thrives. Sydney is an exceptional city and perfect for tourists looking for peace, adventure and vicinity towards nature.
It was a bright sunny Sunday morning and as usual, I was preparing a cup of tea to start my day – a mandatory morning ritual-can’t go without my cup of Tea. My husband approached me and asked – “How about trying the new snorkeling kit? Let’s go to Manly. Bish had purchased a new snorkeling gear last weekend and was super excited to explore the ocean. However, my reason of excitement was different – A) I am new to Sydney and am currently in the “Search-Explore” mode. I am a big time beach fan B) I had heard that ferries take you to Manly. So in spark of the moment, I immediately nodded as if this was the only chance I could ever get to go to Manly (super excited me).
All ready with our proper gears and prepped up with sunscreen and hats on, we left for the nearby train station. I was super excited for my ferry ride that we had to catch from the Circular Quay station. We reached the station and tapped in our Opal cards (used for public travel across Sydney) and reached Circular Quay. From here we took a transfer for Ferry services. As we made our way to the wharf, I was overwhelmed with joy to see a mighty cruise ship named “Carnival Spirit” moored. It was a 14-15 storied ship adorned with lifeboats from all the sides. The start was definitely breathtaking.
We waited for our ferry. After 5-6 minutes, a double decker ferry arrived. It was pretty and the crew welcomed us in. People wanted to gush in just to reserve their seats. But, who cared!! I just wanted to stand on the front deck capturing every single splash and every single experience. So I went to the first floor and took my position in the front deck with curious eyes. Our ferry started with a sudden jerk thrusting all the water around it into white bubbles.
The ride was truly scenic. I could see the Opera house standing along with the harbour bridge. Waves splashed against the ferry pushing us away from the city skyline. We crossed a fort that my husband informed served dinner only on bookings. Small sailing boats, OZ water bikes sailed here and there in the open ocean. I peeped to look below the ferry. The white milky waters splashed as if they were anticipating in my happiness. We started facing some rough waves because the bay opened up to the ocean making the ferry a little unstable. It was a 30min sail to the Manly beach covering 11.5kms.
We reached the beach. It looked so raw; turquoise blue water splashing against the sun giving it a sheen. We got into the beach and now my husband looked for a safe place for snorkeling. We finally decided to snorkel at the cabbage tree bay which is supposed to be an aquatic reserve that aims to protect marine life. I was excited and wanted to see some marine life especially Nemo .
The cabbage tree bay was a km walk along the ocean line. As I was binging on my Yogurberry, I could see many people enjoying the hot summer beach. So we put on our proper snorkel gears and dived into the ocean (Sydney waters are always so cold- even in summers). I am not a great swimmer so I kept myself off from the deep ocean lines. I floated taking my husband’s help and I could see some aquatic plants, few corals and the beach floor which seemed to be composed of broken shells and golden sand; so untouched from the human hands. I could see a school of zebra fishes (I prefer to call them so because of the black strips they have on their white bodies). I also followed a big fat pink fish which led to shoal of yellow fishes. This moment is still so fresh in my mind.
After this amazing experience, both of us were silent for at least a minute. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.
Me and Bish were so hungry and now Chat Thai (authentic Thai restaurant) came to our rescue. Must say, Thai spices taste so great. On our way back, we took another ferry. While on the way, the captain of our ferry announced that “Carnival Spirit” is leaving the wharf and hence we had to wait for her departure. Wao!! That was the same mighty ship I saw when we entered the deck. We had to wait and as I was enjoying the beauty of the transparent blue ocean, Carnival Spirit crossed us with thousands of passengers bidding us good -bye. It so good to sway hands to these passengers-reminded me of my school days where we used to bid good bye to all the buses and cars that crossed our school-bus.
After the Carnival Spirit crossed us, the ferry made its way through the clear waters to the Circular Key. It was indeed a great day spent and I bagged a new experience of lifetime. However, my search for Nemo would still continue …
Ferry to Manly –
Casual Tees – Calvin Klein
Hot Pants – Zara
Flip Flops – Tangerine Toes
Sunnies – Rubi