Rolling down the waves
Dolphins of course
We needed to refuel and headed to Kettering marina. And the pub. Fantastic carvings. Neptune watches over us as does his offsider, the little mermaid.
January14,2011, Barnes Bay, Bruny island
The exceedingly damp easterly flow continued at Port Arthur and the gale warnings kept coming for all Tasmanian waters. NE gales building ahead of a front on Friday with winds shifting to WNW. Not a good wind direction to sail at 290M towards Hobart. Accordingly we departed Port Arthur Thursday into 30-40kt initially around Cape Raoul. Once into Storm Bay we suffered a similar fate to our 2005 Hobart race - large patches of light wind in the lee of the land. However, this time we could turn on the motor! Once past Wedge Bay, we were fully exposed and raced off toward the top of Bruny island under our nice new staysail and triple reefed main in 30+ kts wind. The top of the island was turned and we ran down the D'Entrecastaux channel to anchor in Barnes Bay in company with a varied collection of cruising vessels including one couple (Phil and Linda) who have just sailed over from NZ in their kauri ketch "Windora" for the wooden boat show next month. Tonight we are going to Kettering marina. This will be the first time we set foot on Tasmanian mainland. The classic yacht is in Barnes Bay (Quarantine Bay). The last picture is of the Oyster 65 "Miss Molly" in Port Arthur, being delivered south for her owners' summer cruising. We met the crew, Jeff and Meryl, at Eden originally. The other pix are Storm Bay of course.
January11,2011, Port Arthur
"Patches of sea fog" became a prevalent line in the coastal waters forecast but the wind remained in the east so Diomedea headed south once more. We passed Mingara on the same track as we approached Cape Surville and then made a course for Cape Hauy. The cape is astonishing up close and personal. The pre-eminent features are the jagged dolerite spikes of the Lanterns seen in the photos. The cloud played across the vertiginous face rising from the 100metre depths at its base. Patches of lichen gave colour to relieve the eyes as we gazed into the clefts holding the Candlestick and other formations. No sooner had we doubled the cape than the sea fog decided to sock in. Visibility nil and the wind is all over the place in the now familiar spin cycle of near-cliff ocean. Our initial plan had been to pass between Cape Pillar and Tasman island. The cockpit debate raged for a while. The passage is only 5 metres deep and no more than 0.25nm wide. We have never been through before. An easterly swell is pressing into it as is the wind. The fog remains. Despite the presence of daylight and a good radar overlay the crew of Diomedea is not up for this one. Tasman island is rounded unseen to starboard at 43 degree 15'S. The course is shaped for Port Arthur in light airs and light seas.
January11,2011, Maria island
Well, its not all beer and skittles. The weather changes as it does in Tassie and so we set out for Maria island in light easterly flow. Past the sea lion colony of the Ile de Phoques and then onto the Il du Nord just off Maria island itself. The sea lions can be seen, heard and smelt. The anchorage is in the "deep hole" (6m - the rest of the bay is 3.2m!) of Chinaman's Bay. Rain. The cloud base is trying to visit our deck. We have sundowners with John and Sue from "Aurielle" a beautiful example of an Adams 54 footer. The new day brings no improvement so the plans for walking are shelved.