02 January 2009

NYE 08

Happy New Year to you all!!!

Scott & I started thinking about what we were going to do for NYE way back in August. I started doing a little research on the 'net and of all the available options, we came up 2 that we really liked. To spend the evening on Fort Denison - an island in the middle of the harbour - or to find a NYE cruise onboard one of the hundreds of boats available. Fort Denison was difficult to find info on for NYE so I started looking for boats..... This is what I found.....

The James Craig is a 1874 Barque with 21 sails which is part of the Sydney Heritage Fleet. She's 230 feet long from flying jib boom to mizzen boom and has been lovingly restored. She's sailed around Cape Horn 23 times - so this one's not just for show!!!

Scott took the 31st off and I left work at midday. We decided to the drive through to St Leonards and park the car in the company office car park and then catch a train from there to the city. From central station we took a light rail (a cross between a tram and a bus) to Darling Harbour. There we hung out at a little Italian restaurant, had a cocktail & a light late lunch and watched all the crowds coming in and finding a good vantage point. One of the fireworks barges was situated in the centre of Darling Harbour, so it was a popular spot! The vibe in the city was electric! There was a huge stage on one end of Darling Harbour - floated on a pontoon - where they were doing soundchecks for the live music. And thousands and thousands of happy, excited people.

We were due to board the James Craig at 6.30pm at Wharf 7 - just a short walk from Darling Harbour.

1: The light rail station
2: The Italian restaurant

(click on the picture to enlarge)

Scott with a little kick starter....

The James Craig

Scott on the quayside

Absolutely no caption needed!!!

Sydney's big casino in the background - Star City

The Volendam - a small cruise ship

Waiting to board

Onboard with a glass of bubbly

As soon as a camera came out, someone standing close by would offer to take a photo of both/all people in the group. It was great & immediately got people talking to each other.

There was a band on the middle deck of the ship - just a 3 piece but they were great & the girl had a fabulous voice - I think they were called Venus.

We even had a wedding party on board - what a fabulous wedding reception!!!

This is The Blue Room - the same boat we were on for Scott's company Xmas party.

Looking to the city centre from Wharf 7

Because our grand old lady is rather big and heavy, she's not quite as nippy in the water most motorised boats. She has on board engines but she doesn't have the quick steering that could get us out of trouble if need be. So we had the Fern Bay tug at our side the whole evening. Every now and then she'd just give us a nudge to keep us facing facing the right way while we were at anchor.

One of the waiters who kept our glasses constantly topped up with lovely pink bubbly

Another of the waiters and you'll also notice a table to the left with some tapas. We didn't want for anything on this cruise!

The last of the suns rays hitting the mast & rigging

A fireboat in the distance showing off

And there's the bridge in the distance

The sun sinking over McMohan's Point

Our Captain's First Mate

Going.... going....

One of the 6 fireworks barges which were dotted around the harbour.

The 5000kg of pyrotechnics cost $5million and consisted of 11,000 shells, 10,000 shooting comets & 100,000 individual effects shot off from 6 barges, the tops of 9 city buildings & the Harbour Bridge. They used 60km of cable and the whole lot was controlled by two laptops. Absolutely incredible!

Just a few of the 1,5 million people who lined Sydney Harbour for the show. That's more than London, Paris & New York!!!

Martie getting a top up - not the first & certainly not the last!

Harbour Bridge through the rigging

The Aboriginal flag flown between the masts of a yacht

Click on this one to enlarge. Taken from under the bridge looking across at Luna Park - there are thousands of people across there.

The setting sun was reflecting on this building's windows making them look like mirrors

People massed at the foot of the Opera House with the Lord Mayor's Party going on inside.

The rigging/scaffolding of the Bridges lit centerpiece (see further on). They've been busy erecting this for the past 6 or so weeks.

More people at the Rocks

That's not the sun - it's a building reflecting the sun! I thought it was pretty cool!

X marks the spot where we dropped anchor for sundowners and to wait for the 9pm family fireworks. (click on the picture to enlarge)

These are some great people we met on the night - The Three E's (Emily, Eva, Elly) and Martie.
With the Harbour Bridge in the background...

And the Opera House in the background...

Location..... location.....


This is a superyacht! It's the La Masquerade. The 180 foot $94 million luxury yacht is owned by English industrialist Sir Robert Ogden. This beauty costs between $3 million & $6 million a year to run!!! It's got a massive marble bathroom with a jacuzzi, two on board chefs and all the cabinetry is finished with gilt gold leaf (okay, that's a little excessive!). Talk about luxury!

Sunset over the city. I liked the reflections on the water..... There was plenty more to come!

Thousands more people..... Some of these people had been camping out since the day before for these prime spots. Now this is why we opted to do our NYE in style!

Taking the helm...

Scott & Martie

The crescent moon & the first star appear

The 9pm Family Fireworks begin....

And the lights are lit!!!

Harbour Of Light Parade
Following the 9pm Family Fireworks, the fantastic Harbour of Light Parade begins. 55 vessels will make their way around a 15km ciruit on Sydney Harbour. Ships will feature illuminated emblems representing the 2008 Sydney New Year's Eve theme - 'Creation' glittering on either their hulls or masts. The Parade will be led by the James Craig and will include Tall Ships, Sydney's Heritage Fleet, commercial charters and Sydney Ferries.
(taken from City of Sydney's website)

This is what the James Craig looked like last year - this year our lights were yellow.

DH: Darling Harbour W7: Wharf 7 HB: Harbour Bridge OP: Opera House X: Where we dropped anchor before & after the Harbour of Light Parade. The red line shows the route of the Harbour of Light Parade (Click on the image to enlarge)

And the harbour is lit up - not only the bridge but the 54 other boats who are lining up to follow us around the harbour

The gang with one of our waiters

Past the Opera House

Oh, and dinner was served below decks - yummy buffet. We had a quick bite and then scooched back up on deck

Da Booieees!

This was a REAL hit!!! Scott bought this little LED mouthpiece - think of a gumguard with a lights behind the teeth. The bride especially loved this & Scott had to give up his toy for a while so the bride could go & freak her new husband out! You can see more of Scott in action on the dancefloor in the video below

She went downhill after this.......

Mini ice creams for desert

And then it was 2009.......



This is a video we made on the night

I wish I could describe to you how massive the sound is from the roar of 1,5 million people cheering when the fireworks was over. This was truly an experience of a lifetime!!!

Just a few of the pics which didn't come out as intended..... but look stunning all the same!

Happy New Year to all our family and friends. Thank you all for your love and support - especially over this past roller coaster of a year. I'll just leave you with a message I received from Geoff & Pearl which I think was so lovely. Scott and I both wish the same for all of you....

We wish you enough....
We wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

We wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
We wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
We wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
We wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
We wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
We wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Mands & Scott


Elly Stone said...

Scott, Mandy thank you both for a sensational NYE. The 3 E's and Marty will not forget it for a very long time....well, not sure Eva remembers it, but the photo's you took will no doubt help jogg her memory! :)
Wishing you a year full of magic!

Uta Higgs said...


Anonymous said...

What a way to see the old out and the new in.
Am sure it was worth "die eina pyn koppe" the next day.
Fantastic photos.

Love Dad & Cavell

Carol Markusse said...

*sigh* What a way to see in a new year you 2!!! Looks like loads of fun. We were all in bed asleep by 8 LMAO!!! Happy New Year you guys, hope 2009 and brings you many happy memories and dreams come true xxxxx

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic experience, what the hell are you going to do next year. I can see why Scott turned down the invitation to the Mayors party. Who wants to party at the Opera house when you can party and cruise with food and booze a plenty, and park under the bridge.
Great Blogg
Dad and Hermit

Janke Nussey said...

WOW! It looks absolutely awesome! Definately a NYE of a lifetime. Well done (once again) on the forward planning - wish I can get my act together with that more!

Marc Nussey said...

Way cool! Can't say much more than that!