Friday, January 27, 2006

 

Hobart


We motored up the Derwent River in very hazy conditions. Hobart is a very beautiful city, overlooking the Derwent River and has the most amazing backdrop Mt. Wellington which is very imposing and can be seen from every vantage point in Hobart. It is a beautiful mountain often in cloud, Mt Wellington changes colour often during the day giving us a different aspect each time we see it.

Paul phoned find out where we were to moor and we were lucky to obtain a berth for free at Kings Pier Marina, right near Constitution Dock where Chris and Lilly, Retour, Tinacria are moored. Lloyd Clark (whom we met in Orford) gave us this contact-thank you Lloyd. We have obtained a key from the Port Tower (see great view in the photosfrom the tower) for a fee of fifty dollars deposit (refundable). The showers and laundry facilities are excellent and clean. Lloyd also kindly gave us the use of a car during our stay which we have used to provision, travel and see the top of Mt Wellington and go further afield as far as Queenstown.
We also did the walk to Nelson Falls, shuch a lovley walk and the water fall looked spectacular ( if you click on the photo then you will see a small movie of the falls).

Peter who owned the pen come and introduced himself and came to dinner one night with his lovely wife Sue. It was a great night and lovely to meet these lovely generous people. Thanks Lilly for the great recipe-yummy.

Kings Pier is right near the CBD and have a two minute walk to be in the centre of the City. We have met some lovely people, a cruiser from new Zealand-heading around the west coast-so may meet them on the way and Greg-a sailor and ABC radio presenter in Hobart who took us for a drive and a drink at the Royal Tasmania Yacht Club and has helped us with contacts re fuel, etc.

We loved being so close to the city and the bustle but will be glad to go sailing to the peace and quiet as well. Constitution Dock is constantly changing with boats coming and going, all are rafted up and on constant view to the public-rather like a fish bowl. Cartref came in later on and told us of the fabulous sights on the west coast-they surfived and had a lovely time so now it is our turn. Angela and Robert from INDALI, whom have spent the winter on their boat (they dont recommend it-too cold), arrived back from a visit to WA and we all went to the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club for a roast dinner luncheon. It was good to have a table of Western Australians together again.

The Salamanca markets are huge and have a variety of items for sale from vegetables to leather hats, all amazing and good entertainment.

Keith (Barrunner) with Leith and Karolyne, Chris and Tricia (Murphy's Law) from Orford invited us for a day out on the water and lunch at Maria Island so we drove to Orford from Hobart and had another day in paradise with great company, food and the best weather anyone could wish for. We had a bit much to drink so we camped at Keiths house in a REAL bed (lovely-I could stretch out and not touch the walls) and left the next morning back to Hobart. It will be sad to leave these lovely people, we really enjoy thier company. Chris and Tricia also took us out to lunch at the Boathouse another fabulous day-thanks guys. Also thanks for bringing Paul's hat back from Orford for him-it is greatly appreciated.

Paul went for a check up and found his blood pressure was very high and the doctor said as he could not be monitored (due to us sailing the west coast) that it best he go on tablets. I will have to stop nagging him. We have purchased a heart monitor machine to keep an eye on him.

Hobart is a very special place in our hearts but if we do not get moving soon, I feel that we will never move as we are having such a great time. The weather has deteriorated so have decided to explore the D'Entrecasteaux Channel for a while until it improves enough to head around to Port Davey-the locals say wait for the weather and bolt-do not stop, no not go slow go for it until you are safely in the harbour.

Monday, January 23, 2006

 

Tasman Peninsular


Leaving early morning from Port Arthur ( guess what NO WIND!) so motored with Azure on the horizon in front of us. We rounded Cape Raoul and continued up the coast to Parsons Bay. Azure continued on to Hobart and we heard them talking to Michelle from Trinacria, she was flying out in a couple of hours so would miss them and us. Tibia and Trinacria had travelled from CYCSA (Adelaide) to Hobart via the west coast.

Parsons Bay
Parsons Bay was beautiful with fish farms on the portside on entry. They had large cages similar to those we had seen in Port Lincoln. The townsite is Nubeena and has a pharmacy, bakery, Post Office, and little corner deli. We went ashore for a pie and paper, deciding to head around the corner to Lime Bay to anchor.

Lime Bay
Leaving Parsons Bay we stopped just off Yellow Cliff to drift and fish, catching a fine haul of flathead for dinner. Sashimi for entre and fried fish for the main. The weather and swell was calm, the calm before the storm, so motored pass Sloping Island to Lime Point as there were gale force winds expected. Having set the anchor to ensure it was secure, half way through the night we found ourselves bouncing off the bottom so pulled anchor and moved futher out (of course there was no moon, it was raining and the wind had rising substantially by then) but the anchor took again and we held until morning when the wind abated.

Plunkett Point
Pulling ourselves out of bed the next morning to fine calm seas and the sun out we headed off to Plunkett Point where there was Coal Mine Penal Settlement ruins to explore. It was quite shallow so we anchored a fair way off shore and took the tender it. The ruins cover quite a large area and are very well marked. We saw the coal mines, the soldiers quarters, the convict quarters and much more, it was well marked and had great information placed for us to read. The surroundings are stunningly beautiful and well worth a visit. As it was not the place we wished to stay the night we pulled anchor (I get sick of flaking the anchor chain on these short stops as it is my job-must learn not to complain!) and headed towards Little Norfolk Bay.

Little Norfolk Bay
A delightful bay-they have great cruising grounds here in Tasmania and this is no exception, anchoring next to the township of Taranna. Not much in the townsite, a restraunt and fruitier. The restraunt is one of the top six in Tasmania and called Mussel Boys, so had a cappacinno. The scenery again is stunning and we were well protected for a lovely nights sleep.

Pittwater
Pulling the anchor, we were glad for the anchor wash point Paul had installed as it was very muddy and needed to be washed down before going in our anchor locker. Motoring (no wind) we went to look up the various bays and round the islands on the way to Pittwater. Stopping to drift fish again we caught another good feed of flathead for dinner.

We discussed heading down towards Hobart, but as the wind picked up to a strong 10-15 knot southerly went where the wind took us north to Pittwater. We put the Asymetric up and got caught trying to take it down when the wind increased to 25 knts. We tore the cover and broke the ring, nothing that is not fixable-Paul loves that sail.

Entering Pittwater was interesting as it is quite shallow we navigated on depth sounder. Anchoring off Lewisham. We did not go ashore but stayed in and watched TV for the night.

Mary Ann Bay
Australia Day we headed off to Hobart we averaged 5 knots motoring (no wind again) with a flat sea. It was very hazy and there were lots of boats out, dingies fishing, people surfing more activity on the water than we had seen in a long time. Heading around Iron Pot lighthouse there was Hobart spread before us. We had planned to arrive Friday and decided to anchor outside in MaryAnn Bay to head up the Derwent River early morning. The bay was full of day sailors enjoying the holiday. The bay was empty except for us by twilight and we had the bay to ourselves. Guess what-about 12 midnight the wind came us from the NE making us move to a more protected spot (in the dark and the cold) around the corner to Gibson Point we we crached into bed.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

 

Port Arthur


Stunningly beautiful and eerie at the same time. We sailed around the south eastern most point between Cape Pillar and Tasman Island with little wind and a big 2 metre swell. The cliffs along the coastline are most impressive and one that we definitely do not want to be near in a big sea.

Entering Port Arthur the seas smoothed and the sun came out, the entrance had magnificant views and we sailed right into the heart of Port Arthur-Mason Cove with the ruins as our backdrop. We had the chance to tour the site and we were absolutely floored with the beauty and historical importance of this site. It was also amazing to discover that the massacre happened ten years ago (1996) and there is a stunning memorial pool for our reflections upon this dreadful occurance.

We explored the area finding that Port Arthur townsite is more a holiday village and provisions are not available. After a day we moved further up the river to fish and spend a night away from a public site. Unfortunately the fish did not want to play so we had steak that night.

We were leaving the next morning with Azure at 6am hoping to head into more sheltered waters as there were gale wind warnings with a low crossing the SE of Tasmania.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

 

Canoe Bay


What a beautiful spot. Leaving early morning (the wind had shifted and we were sitting in very low water ) so headed off to Fortescue Bay, very hazy conditions and big 2 meter seas. We wanted to miss the predicted 2-4 metres predicted.

Winds (on the nose again!) -this was getting predictable we motor sailed along an impressive coastline. The entrance to Fortescue Bay is difficult to see but C-Maps showed the way.

Entering the Bay we had bullets from the cliffs and as we pulled our sails down the swell carried us in. We missed kelp and saw a tiny bay behind a submerged wreck. Anchoring behind the wreck gave us protected anchorage. The bay is beautiful with large trees right down to the waterline.

Chris and Lilly and us wnet on the walk to Cape Huay to see the lanterns (predicted 4 hour walk) -we got half way before Tracy said that this was enough. Picnic lunch and then walk home to the dingy.

Pauil caught herring tonight for dinner tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

 

Maria Island


Leaving Orford on a reasonable wind (abeit slightly on the nose) 10-20 knots-it increased to 35 knots with seas rising past Lachlan Island. Overcast conditions really changed the ideallic day we saw just the other day. Anchoring a fair distance off Chinamans Beach we stayed aboard while the wind gusts continued to ensure our anchor had held.

The next day took the dingy ashore to Chinaman's Beach treking over to see Riedle Bay and the Tasman Sea. Feeling brave and glad to be off the boat I talked Paul into walking to Haunted Bay (a 2 hour trip). It was a long and tiring walk (nearly killed me) but the view was beautiful. On arriving back the sun was out.

Caught three flathead for dinner tonight.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

 

Prosser Bay / Orford


We decided to stay another night at Bryans Bay after hearing the Retour was turning up and wanted to say hello. With perfect NE winds we anchored tight into the corner overnight. Early morning the wind swung to SW making the anchorage vey uncomfortable so at 5.30 we pulled anchor with lots of other boats to head across to Morey's Bay for protection. Waiting for the wind to change to the predicted NW we headed off in a strong wind warning for Triabunna.

The wind was strong 20-25 knots gusting to 35 knots, we motor sailed and had the genoa up as well. Nearing the fascinating Lle des Phoques island(see photos) the lower fuel tank ran out-so taking about 2-3 mintues to drop some fuel from the upper tank and bleed the air out with 35 knot winds as the island came nearer thankfully the motor came to life.

As the winds became more consistent we reefed the genoa to number three until the winds subsided. As we neared the entrance to Triabunna the wind swung to SW-on the nose so we headed into Prosser Bay to anchor and have a much needed sleep.

Terrance J was the sail on the horizon we saw behind us-they tore their main sail on the way over. Calling in on them later that afternoon we offered to get fish and chips from the township of Orford (pop. 400). Travelling in on our tender up the river we called out to some revellers on a beautiful power boat called "Bar Runner" if we could tie up on their jetty. Asking directions to the fish and chip shop, the owner handed over his car keys and told us the directions. Finding the car - a mercedes (oh la la) we drove in style and picked up our meals. Having a few drinks with Keith and others on Bar Runner our way back. We were invited to go fishing with them near Maria Island with them.

Arriving back at our boat Janelle and Michael (Terrance J) came over and we enjoyed our fish and chips and wine in company. All heading off to bed early-this sailing is very tiring (or are we getting older?).

We have been told by the locals that water supplies in Triabunna suitable for drinking-are best at the sailing club or where the tugs moor is the best water-the other water supplies are marginal and have quite an after taste.

Leaving at 1pm Bar Runner collected Paul and I from Cockatoo II on a beautiful sunny day with Karolyne, Leith, Wayne and Keith heading to the southern end of Maria Island. Karolyne set a cracking pace catching most of the flathead, there were also a lot of red gurney(a mallot was the best way to deal with this fish) as well-most horrible looking fish and quite poisonous.

Later called into Chinaman's Bay to have lunch- entree -gurney and flathead sashimi (yum). Lunch-Keith cooked a delicious meal of flathead whilst looking over the white white beach and blue waters in this pristine bay.

Arriving back to Prosser Bay -Bar Runner tethered to Cockatoo II (not often a powerboat does that to a yacht) until the tide rose enough to get into the river. All came abosrd Cockatoo II for avo drinks. We had a great day. Paul was blown away travelling at 40knots and I think secretly he now has "the need for speed!" He will get over it I am sure.

Monday night we were kindly offered (with Chris and Lilly) to attend dinner at Keiths place. We did borrow Keiths car to travel to Triabunna to provision and check the post at the Post Office, having a beer at the Spring Bay Hotel with Ken from Dolphin III who we saw in the marina at Triabunna.

Dinner was a very swish affair with lobster, abalone, Roast Pork salads, cold meats and lots and lots of drinks. The people who we met on Bar Runner(whom are now friends) were all there. IT was so lovely to be in a beautiful house, overlooking the bay, with great company it made me quite homesick for friends back home. It was quite sad to say farewell, get back into our little dingy heading out across the bay at 11.30pm-thank goodness for Chris and Lilly lighting our way (I had forgotten to pack our torch).

Early morning (very, very early-who gets up that early??) saw a delivery of four lobster -thanks guys! (two went to Azure-Chris and Lilly) and a call from Chris and Trish going out to fish with thier dog Milly. Sailing off to Maria Island soon after-it felt sad to go but we will see them and keep on touch.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

 

Bryans Corner

Reluctantly pulling ourselves away from beautiful Wineglass Bay, recognising that we had a destination (Swansea) and a deadline to stick to in order that the kids could catch the bus to Hobart. Heading off through Schouten Passage we saw Dolphin III ahead of us so pulled into Crocketts Bay. Another lovely bay, full of boats and with white, white sand. We can see the bottom very clearly.

After a coffee and some catching up, Dolphin III kindly gave us some abalone which we cooked up to celebrate Tamara's 18th birthday on board Cockatoo II.

The weather changing direction we headed off over the other side to Bryan's corner, another delightful Bay with clear water and white sand, to sit out the winds. Heading out eventually to Cole's Bay so the kids could explore what that had to offer-coffee shops, newsagency, etc -retail therapy. A huge cruise boat anchored also in the bay.

About lunchtime we headed off to anchor just off Swanswick so that we could have a picnic lunch. Launching the tender we all hopped aboard and headed up the river-big sandbank so towed it over the sandbank - narrow channel and a lot of weed out of the channel plus there was not a lot to see or places to pull ashore so we ate our picnic in the boat before heading back to the boat. The winds picking up we headed off to Swansea to anchor for the night, but Azure called up and stated that it had turned an easterly and was very uncomfortable so all headed back to Cole's Bay.

Anchoring in Cole's Bay started off okay but the swell built up makjing it very uncomfortable. We moved early morning (pitch black) to the other side of the bay which was more protected. Leaving about 5.30 at first light to Swansea. All of us felt very ill with the swell and once anchored could not wait to get ashore.

Having coffee and breakfast we waited for the bus where Tracy and Paul said a tearful farewell to Samantha and Tamara as they boarded the bus to Hobart. We will miss them dreadfully and wish they could stay but realise that they are grownup and all have their own lives now.

Setting the sails we headed back to Bryans corner to meet up with Azure. We are currently sitting out a SW before heading off to our next destination-Orford. We will keep you all informed.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

 

Wineglass Bay


Paul's 49th birthday -awaking at 4.30am he got a few mumbled happy birthdays as we pulled away from the wharf to travel down the river. Paul had marked the specific track in on Sea Max and was following it as closely as he could (he was very rusty-way out but had improved by the time we needed.) We passed over a very shallow blimp and got promptly stuck. With Azure closely following behind and then backing off quickly. (I always tell Paul that travelling at 7 knots into shallow parts does not help the situation!) The options were to remain there for two hours waiting for the tide to rise or rev the motor and get off (Paul-the motor rev god -chose the latter). Altering our course just slightly off the red line we negotiated our way around the blimp and safely entered into the big ocean again. The bottom of our keel cleaned again.

The wind was in our favour (even though slightly on the nose and very light 10-15 knots) and we made good speed. On the horizon we saw quite a number of large white sails, the Sydney Hobart yachts on their way home. Passing Waubs Bay, which we almost pulled into until the wind changed more favourably -it was up to then turning on the nose, we had a huge pod of dolphins -wave surfing dolphins-in our bow for a long time. After 11 hours of motor sailing we pulled into the most beautiful bay we have seen for a long time. Tracy was glad we got there safely as she had forgotten to lock a draw and it had come out breaking the wood cover and she had also broken the water maker (the guage had popped out when she dialled up the pressure-Paul had sinces fixed it) and was wondering what the third thing would be when we anchored.

The entry in was majestic, huge mountains, granite drops and blue, blue water with a stunning white beach at the very end. We had arrive safely at Wineglass Bay (other cruisers had told us that this was one of the best spots and not to miss it-they were right.) We anchored and had Chris and Lilly on board for a birthday feast-made more enjoyable by Chris and Lilly giving Paul his birthday present (OYSTERS) and a homemade carrot cake-his favourite. Samantha and Tamara gave Paul a cardigan (oldies jumper) and a scratchie and we recieved a call from Danielle along with other wishing him well via phone and email.

It is so peaceful and beautiful here, we are sharing the anchorage with five other yachts but it is such a big bay that it doesn't matter. We went for a long long walk today and had a long long afternoon nap. Even the girls said it was beautiful and worth doing all those long passages to get here. We have extended their time here until the 13th, so we can get them to Swansea to catch a bus to Hobart, stay overnight and then flyout the next day. Tamara will spend her 18th birthday with us and have to catchup with friends later.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

 

St Helen's


Spending the night at Swan Island rocking and rolling with the swell and wind we left Swan Island at 2am in the morning. The wind was between 5-15 knots and we motor sailed. Near Eddystone Point the wind dropped, Dolphin III was anchored there last night but we saw their sail ahead of us on the horizon, they had left at 3.30am on thier way to Wineglass Bay. Our average speed was 4.9 knots during the trip.

We were going to anchor at Skeleton Bay but with the prefect conditions decided to enter into George's Bay over St Helen's Bar.

The anchorage guide states " A significant number of vessels have been lost over the years whilst entering George's Bay and great caution should be used if there is any lift or break on the bar", our other book states " The bar at the entrance to George's Bay is unpredicatable and should not be attempted under unfavorable conditions." We contacted the St Helen's marine rescue asking for an escort over and into George's Bay. We were so glad we did as it was quite tricky navigating the shallow sections. The Marine Rescue guys had a new boat and were extremely friendly and accomodating escorting us both (Azure and us) right into and up to the town wharf.

The river is beautiful and the township is pretty. The girls are enjoying a bit of retail therapy in the numerous shops available. It is very touristy with a large number of coffee shopps outnumbering the retail outlets. A large IGA foodstore offers a wide variety of supplies.

We have also joined the Tasmanian Library Service as there is a lovely library here. Our membership means that we can use every library in Tasmania and return items to any library.

We anticipate waiting out gale force winds here at St Helen's - heading off Thursday(over that bar again! YIPES!)

Oh by the way Tracy and Samantha won at Canasta this time.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

 

Swan Island


Arrived at Swan Island at 2.30pm. It was a lovely sail as the wind was behind us and blowing 25 to 35 kts. We ran the Genoa only and our max sustained speed was 8.6 kts although we had a tide running with us as well.

The beaches are white and very pristine. There is a swell so we are not going ashore-also it is quite cold. We anchored in a very protected spot-I have renamed it bundie city, as there are some large rocks we did not notice when we came it, it was only as the tide started falling that they exposed themsleves. The anchorage guide said there was one rock and lots of weed, so we assumed the dark bottom was weed (never assume anything). We eventually moved to a more sandier spot as we were rubbing against the rocks.

Paul and Tamara slaughtered Tracy and Samanatha at Canasta tonight, there will be another challenge later this week.