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HomeLifestyleFarewell old friend: our love for Manly ferries paints a pretty picture

Farewell old friend: our love for Manly ferries paints a pretty picture

“It was a beautiful trip on the Queenscliff. Her gentle hum and the ease with which she handled the swell across The Heads was like poetry,” explains local artist Kirsty Gautheron.

Kirsty was invited by Captain Rob Hawthorne to ride at the helm on Tuesday, a day before the Manly Ferry ‘Queenscliff’ was to officially retire after almost 40 years on the Manly route. An exciting ride for an artist in love with our gentle giants of the harbour.

The Queenscliff by Kirsty Gautheron

“The 30 minute crossing provides a very welcome pause in the day that can only be considered good for your health! Not everything in this life needs to be fast,” says Kirsty.

Kirsty’s love for ferries will be on show with her upcoming solo exhibition of paintings in mid November at Gallery 109 in Manly, details via @kirstygautheron, and in a group exhibition with @thebrushartists in early November.

“It is hard to believe the Queenscliff has been retired, being still well equipped to handle vast numbers of what could be well-spaced passengers and in, as I have seen on many occasion, a large and rough swell.

Kirsty Gautheron

“I will miss the graceful curves and the rhythmic hum of this ferry. I sincerely hope we keep the remaining two of this class, for the enjoyment of regular travellers and visitors, for many years to come.”

The view from the deck of Queenscliff’s last trip from Manly to Circular Quay on Wednesday, 13 October. Photo: Haig Gilchrist

Two of the ‘old girls’ are to be kept for weekends and public holidays but we are promised some form of exciting announcement regarding Queenscliff herself in coming weeks.  We are waiting to hear back from local resident and newly minted Transport Minister Rob Stokes on his feel for the Freshwater fleet, so stay tuned.

Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham staged a protest as part of the Save Manly Ferries campaign on Wednesday.

Thanks to torrential rain and an overtired toddler we missed the boat – quite literally – but our friends at Northern Beaches Advocate were on the wharf and captured the issue very well, you can read their coverage here.


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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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