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Our first customers!  Jill and her crew celebrated her birthday with a sydney harbour lunch cruise. She brought with her 7 of her friends armed with great food, champagne and orange juice and a word game. It would be a fun day. We set off from Mort Bay at 10:30 and headed toward the Sydney harbour bridge. Jill and her friends enjoyed champagne and orange, pastries and a fabulous baked salmon fillet.  The rear cockpit gave good protection from the rain but as it got cooler the crew moved inside to the Galley table where brunch continued.

With the wind came the rain so Captain Stu turned Ellie and we headed upstream for calmer waters on the Paramatta River. Ellie’s shallow draft gave us great access to the river all the way West to the the communities of Newington and Ryde.The First Mate Jack was ready for any crisis.

We cruised under the Ryde bridge, Ellie’s main mast clearing the bottom of the bridge easily. This was a chance to tell stories about this unique area that is developing fast.

As we passed under the Ryde Bridge, past the Homebush Bay and Rhodes peninsular areas I shared how the land in this area of the Paramatta River and the use of it has changed dramatically since the early 1900’s. It was once a hub of international industry. Big industrial organisations including Union Carbide, Timbrol, Berger POaints, CSR Chemicals and others operated and thrived there. It was also the home of the Newington Armory and wharf, where gun powder and munitions we stored.

Now it is a thriving residential area.

Just don’t east the fish or swim in the river.  Decades of bad toxins are still feared present by authorities.



The Armory Cafe now occupies the Armory Wharf and there is an amazing children’s park and play area in this location. A fun place to explore aboard one of the best sydney harbour cruises.









Captain Stu turned Ellie around at the armoury basin and cruised East down river, back toward the harbour. Another detour was needed to find a calm spot. Captain Stu steered Ellie into the Lane Cove River and found a nice quiet mooring in Longueville, protected from the wind by Hunters Hill. Jill and her crew enjoyed a cheese and fruit platter and hot coffee.

Captain Stu returned to Mort Bay, Jill and her crew very pleased with their sydney harbour sightseeing experience and with the elegance and comfort of the Ellen R.