Thoughts on the trip
04 September 2011 | Brisbane
Well it's a long way from Hobart to Brisbane (just a fraction under 1000 nautical miles), and we have to cross Bass Strait (a formidable body of water) before making our way half way up the East Coast. It's a bit scary but very exciting at the same time. I have a good crew, we're well prepared, but still the trip is a leap into the unknown. I guess, that's what makes it an adventure - an activity with an uncertain outcome...
The conventional wisdom is to wait on the north east shore of Tassie for a favourable weather window and then just go for it and head for the mainland. I have become a keen student of synoptic charts and have watched a series of low pressure systems drift from west to east. Winds circle lows in a clockwise direction, and so favourable southerly winds are generally found once the low has passed and before the next one approaches. Fortuantely, our course will take us east of the shallowest part of the strait and so the waves should be rounded rather than short and steep. We've timed the trip so that we set off a few days before the full moon, which will make for better visability at night - provided we have clear skies.
As I write this, I'm half watching a show about little penguins on Port Philip Bay. I expect that we'll see some amazing wildlife and scenery along the way. One challange will be to identify the birds, and to convince Pete that they're not all Shearwaters. ;-) We should also see the Humpbacks as they make their way back to Antartica for the summer.
Fishing, I hope, will be an important activity onboard. Tassie is a land of salmon and oysters, after all! I remember reading Jessica Watson's account of when she tried putting out a trolling line and caught a sea bird by mistake. She was quite upset and didn't fish any more for quite a while. Also, I have learnt that "unplanned tacks" can wrap fishing line around props and rudders very easily, so we will have to be diligent in managing the line.
Because our progress is determined by the vaguaries of the weather, it is not possible to have a firm itenary, however a broad outline has emerged:
7 Sep: Hans, Ian and Pete fly down and take delivery of Roama
9 Sep: Martin flies down and joins us
17 Sep: Martin leaves the boat and Burney joins us. Hopefully we will be in or near Sydney at this time. This will also be the day of Pete's 70th birthday!
26 Sep: Hans due back at work