Friday, 6 January 2012

Skywatch - Geography maketh the man

We are an open, welcoming, friendly bunch, we who live in this city by the sea. And how would we be otherwise, with scenes like this at our doorstep. Not for us the continuous pall of grey mist, and early close to days which greet others. I wonder if we acknowledge it enough: our debt to this drowned valley.

Elizabeth Farrelly, writing in the SMH this morning argued:
A good harbour, like a good city, relies on connectivity. The water is great. In Sydney's case, the topography is also great. That's nature.

But what makes nature into a great harbour is culture. It's the transitional fringe, the incremental embroidery of wharfs, slipways, seawalls, steps, cafes, platforms, boathouses, chandleries, shipwrights, moorings and (if you really must) marinas that make a harbour. Sydney Harbour has a grand tradition of this stuff - working, industrial harbour furniture much of it, but also the canvas dinghies, packet boats, watermen's wherries, tugs and fishers and coal lighters and wild 18-footers and container ships.

Both photos are of Watson's Bay: looking from it to the city; looking down into, and across it.

This is my contribution to the Skywatch Community.

23 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

These are very nice, love the shots.

Jo said...

Every time I visit your city through your blog, I wish I could visit! Jo

Gemma Wiseman said...

Stunning quote! The drowned valley that is Sydney is a precious pocket of beauty! Delightful water views!

HansHB said...

Lovely pictures!
I wish you a Happy Friday!

Carolyn Ford said...

i was just in Sydney a few weeks ago and agree with you, fully! what a wonderful place it is!

Dianne said...

I would love to be sitting on the sand right beside those upturned dingys looking out across the pretty bay with its blue skies overhead. You have captured a tranquil scene that draws me in and makes me want to pause a while.

Steffi said...

Wonderful photos for SWF!I wish I could be there too!I hope you had a good start into the new year and have a nice weekend!

wanderer said...

"this drowned valley" - how lovely.

As I understand it, Sydney harbour, or the greater Sydney basin rather, was once (long long ago) the mouth of a great Antarctic river, the sands of which are now Sydney sandstone.

Tina´s PicStory said...

great shot! :)

J Bar said...

It was a beautiful, clear day. Terrific shots, Julie.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

NixBlog said...

Wonderful shots, Julie. Nothing like a clear, fine day for showcasing the blue skies and seas of Sydney!

chubskulit said...

Beautifully captured!

Skywatch, have a nice weekend!

raf said...

Indeed, what a grand physical and cultural geography you have there in your drowned valley, Julie! Thanks for your part in sharing so many of its images and stories through Sydney Eye. It is always the harbor culture that I enjoy most and you cover it so well. Many thanks!

Peter said...

A view of Watson's Bay that I have not seen, I like the smh quote as well, one of the few op-ed writers of any worth.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

A great group of photos of the natural beauty and an endearing story of the bay's culture.

Wishing you the best in 2012..... Health and the happiness of new adventures!

Bises
Genie

Liza said...

Beautiful capture! Happy sky watching.

Skywatch

Jilly said...

Love the way you've framed that first shot. All idyllic of course but then Sydney IS.

Kay L. Davies said...

Just when I think I'll never get to Oz again, you do this to me. I can't resist a harbor.
Sigh.

Arija said...

I wonder, is Doyle's still in Watson's Bay? Love your shots.

Julie said...

Arja, yes Doyle's is still in Watson's Bay. It is a 'national treasure' and a thriving commercial venture. I posted a sunset shot from one of their table just before Christmas. See that lower jetty in the second photo? Walk (left) along that jetty and you are there! Gorgeous seafood, which requires a gorgeously deep pocket!

diane b said...

My daughter is lucky to travel by ferry to work and see these sights everyday. It sure is one of the prettiest harbours in the world.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I like the difference revealled by the two shots. Suggests something of the diversity of the harbour.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

you have a smorgasbord of fabulous photographic opportunities. I love the buzz of the city for a 'day-trip'