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I must go down to the sea
Most southern street in Australia
Lesley and Phil
03/13/2012, Recherche Bay

Today started with a beautiful morning and continued in that vein. We had a gentle down wind sail to Recherché Bay under sunny skies, arriving just before lunch, to find a really beautiful bay. This is a relatively major camping area but with limited facilities - water and toilet only - and so we are sharing the area with a number of campers. Cockle Creek is just delightful - a sandy bottom creek with lovely clear pale green water. There is a sign just near Cockle Creek that claims the road in as the southernmost street in Australia. We went on a very interesting walk this afternoon to Fisher's Point which took us along the beach, over some rocks and through a mossy cool forest. Time now for a shower, and preparation for tomorrow when we will leave here at 4am for the 70 nautical mile trip "around the corner" to Port Davey. At some point tomorrow we will turn our faces north towards home, although we have a lot more holiday to go. We are very much looking forward to the two west coast destinations and hope that the promise of all the crushing guides holds true. No more photos until I can get the laptop charged up again which will be at least 5 days away.

03/22/2012 | Gary & Debbie Marks
Hi Lesley and Phil. Have really been enjoying your blog and photos. You have been having a wonderful trip. We are really looking forward to when your back in contact and what your adventures have been and places seen over the last 10 days or so. Hope all has gone well venturing along the West coast. Happy sailing. Gary and Deb.
South to Southport

We left Cygnet and continued our way south down the D'Entrecasteaux Channel to Southport. A lovely few hours to get here on a beam reach, with very little swell, with warm sunshine, and some music playing. The scenery was lovely. Phil had the fishing line out trawling behind us, and thought he was about to land a very large fish, only to discover that a seal who had been lolling around in the water behind us had chomped onto his lure and chewed the whole thing off his line. The poor seal probably has a bit of a sore mouth, but when we looked back, he was still lolling around not looking too distressed. They are funny to see in the water, lying on their sides waving one flipper in the air, just lounging around. So we are here tonight and then off to the last port of call on the south east coast, Recherche, tomorrow. From there, the plan is to leave early Wednesday morning for Port Davey on the west coast. We don't expect to have internet access there, so there may not be another blog update for about 5-7 days until we get to Strachan.

Winners are grinners

After a very peaceful night in Peppermint Bay, we nipped up to have a look at Kettering, a well known fishing village and harbour with lots of permanent moorings. It is also where the Bruny Island ferry terminus is located. It is a busy place and probably not one in which cruisers would particularly enjoy. We did not seem to find much in the way of shops, contrary to the information in our cruising guide. We decided to take a trip up the Huon River, and unfortunately ended up having an uncomfortable afternoon sailing into the wind. We were glad to get to an anchorage in Surges Bay. After a short walk, we got some mussels from the shore for our pre-dinner nibbles. Cooked them up in garlic and chilli. We were surprised though to find little crabs co-existing inside some of the mussels. The next day we sailed to Cygnet, which is up the top of Port Cygnet, still part of the Huon River. It turned out that the sailing club there was holding a regatta which had attracted a large number of competitors from other areas. There were many boats anchored in the Port and here we had our first experience of anchoring in a tight spot, with spectators. We had to have a couple of gos before we got it right but at least we have our hand signals worked out so that there was no yelling from the bow to the helm. After walking into town for some supplies and diesel (and it was a very scenic walk too), we decided that we would talk back into town again and have a meal at the pub. On the way, we dropped into the sailing club for a drink where it was all action as the post regatta BBQ and presentations were on. We got talking to some locals and ended up staying for the BBQ. It was quite enjoyable as the club had a very nice atmosphere. After dinner, there was the usual fund raising raffle and we bought some tickets to support their club. The prize was a cruise for two from Hobart to Peppermint Bay with a meal included. Not much use to us should we win it we thought, but we discussed how great it would be to win it and give to our good friend who lives in Hobart. Imagine our surprise when the raffle was drawn and they called out our name! We rowed back to our boat and with much excitement rang Alison to tell her the good news.

03/31/2012 | Alison
It was a lovely surprise. We're looking forward to the trip and the meal. Thanks!!!
Peppermint Bay
Lesley and Phil
03/12/2012, D'Entrecasteaux Channel

After restocking, repairing the sail, washing and visiting friends in Hobart, we left to cross Storm Bay and start travelling south down the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. There was very little wind so we had a day of motoring. Our initial intention had been to stop in Barnes Bay which is reputed to be the most delightful sheltered bay in the southern hemisphere. It looked quite nice but we decided to keep going and picked up a public mooring in Peppermint Bay. What a pretty spot it turned out to be. We were very surprised that on the first night of a long week end, were the only cruising boat in the bay. We were lucky enough to be able to see the Marine Discovery Centre which is normally only open to the public on Wednesday's, but the guy on duty had caught a 1 metre gummy shark that afternoon and was keen to show it to someone. It was certainly very active in the tank, and seemed to be almost trying to climb out. We watched the daylight disappear from the cockpit and had a very peaceful night.

Half way around
Lesley and Phil
03/07/2012, Hobart

A cold early start at 4.30am set us on our way to Hobart. There was a slight hitch in getting the mainsail hoisted in that the clip on the halyard (the tope that hauls up the mainsail) came undone and the halyard ended up at the top of the mast, with the mainsail still down. Never mind - we used the headsail only until there was enough light when we used another halyard (topping lift) to hoist the main. As planned, we short cut the Tasman Peninsula by going through the Marion Narrows and the Denison Canal (man-made). This was an interesting experience. The narrows is funnily enough a narrow entrance to a large bay that leads to the canal, and the sandbars at this entrance shift regularly. We had the latest information sheet and mud map from Marine and Safety Tasmania, which allowed us to make an uneventful crossing into the bay. We passed the small town of Dunnalley which is nestled in among some very pretty hills (see photo). Then we had to call up the bridgemaster on the radio so that he could open the swing bridge at the far end of the canal. Would you believe there is even a traffic light at the entrance of the canal to let boats know when the bridge is open - you can't see it at that point as it is around the corner. We then spent the afternoon sailing across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River into Hobart - a landmark in our trip as we consider this our half way point. We are tied up at the Bellerive Yacht Club and are feeling somewhat strange to be in a city after having been in some quite remote places over the last few weeks. Thanks to everyone for your messages - it is great to receive them. Also if you haven't discovered it yet, I have set up a couple of albums of selected photos in our gallery which you should be able to access by clicking the gallery link on the right hand side of the blog page.

Lesley and Phil
03/06/2012, Chinaman's Bay, Maria Island

The weather, not us. We are at anchor in Chinamen's Bay, Maria Island, just off the Tasman Peninsula. We came here from Triabunna, a small fishing town at the top of Spring Bay where we had spent the night on a marina. The town had quite a community feel as it was very tidy, had memorials to the fishermen, a community arts centre, and a community shed. It had a bit of interesting history in that there is a small island nearby called Dead Island where the early settlers buried the dead. One of the gravestones has an inscription written in the early 1800's which we though quite sobering:
"Remember me as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you will be
Remember death and eternity."

The cruising guide recommended the local hotel for a meal so we followed this advice and each had a lovely seafood dinner.
Although only a short sail from Triabunna, we left early this morning in calm conditions so that we would arrive before the forecast 20-30 knots. The wind came in and it started to rain just as we were anchoring so good timing. It has been raining on and off for most of the day, and gusty winds to 28 knots and it is quite chilly, being a southerly. In between the patches of rain, Phil caught about 8 flathead in quick succession, most of which were too small to keep, but we have enough legal ones for dinner tonight. The sea and ocean gulls became quite interested in our boat when Phil was filleting the fish, making a fair racket. We have been snug for the afternoon, cooking (a curry) for another day, listening to music, planning our next passage, knitting (Lesley, not Philip) and playing board games.
Tomorrow (early again), we will go to Hobart (Bellerive Yacht Club) via the Marion Narrows and Denison Canal, which short cuts the Tasman Peninsula. Unfortunately, the weather has chewed up some of our time, and so we will not be able to fit in Fortescue Bay and Port Arthur as we had hoped. Further, we have noticed a tear in our smaller headsail which we will need to get repaired before too much longer. So we have arranged with a local sailmaker to get the repair job done over Thursday and Friday. While we are waiting for this, we will catch up with friends who live near Hobart. Once the sail is repaired we will be ready for the next stage - the D'Entrecasteaux Channel for which we are hoping to be joined by friends from Melbourne.

03/06/2012 | GAYLE TOUT
Hello Lesley and Phil, Love reading your blog and glad that you added the photos. The one with the storm clouds is amazing. The weather seems to be making your adventures interesting! By the sounds of it you might have your jumper finished by the time you get back. Safe travels and look forward to the next installment. Gayle & Bruce

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