We had a great view of the bridge and opera house, but the e-ticket vantage point for the fireworks is by all accounts Farm Cove on the city side of the harbour. We hemmed. We hawed. The consensus was that we were fine where we were, but in my mind we didn’t spend 4-1/2 years and nearly 25,000 nautical miles to stop just short of the goal line. So we up-anchored and motored over to Farm Cove, circled a little to get our bearings and dropped the hook. Picture perfect!
The crew busied ourselves stringing together the courtesy flags of all the countries we visited so far so we could dress ship for the occasion, and as the Cove filled up with all manner of boats we spent the day taking selfies and warning off any boat that we felt was attempting to anchor too close. In the end we figured our US ensign and our string of international flags earned us enough respect that most boats stayed well clear. Thank goodness because it really got tight in there!
The afternoon brought an air show. We — and the rest of the spectator fleet — were convinced the pilot was going to fly under the bridge but on every pass he pulled up and we could hear the collective sigh of disappointment.
As the sun went down the music from ashore and the anchorage cranked up, and anticipation on Escape Velocity went up to 11. At 9pm there was a preliminary “kids fireworks” followed by a lighted boat parade.
Finally, the main event, the culmination of years of planning, learning, voyaging and perseverance to bring us to this moment, to this legendary fireworks display. I only snapped a few shots because I wanted to burn the images into my memory instead of looking at the tiny picture on the camera. It was spectacular, as advertised, and way too short. I could have watched for an hour.
Afterwards, after the champagne toast, after the hugs and squeals of delight, the mayhem began in earnest as most of the boats anchored near us sorted out their tangled lines and headed home. We kept vigil in case anyone strayed too close, but we were safe and eventually Farm Cove was calm again.
It’s 2017 and we’re still here. Who could have imagined back in 1969 that we’d live this long? Life just keeps getting better all the time.
You can watch the video on YouTube here.