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I must go down to the sea
The last farewell (28 march)
04/02/2012, Spain Bay, Port Davey

We spent our last day in this area in this pretty bay mainly so we could do the walk across to Stephens Bay which as written up in our cruise guide as a pleasant walk. It was a lovely day but the walk was not really pleasant being very wet, muddy, boggy and overgrown in parts. Stephens Bay was worth the walk. A wide sandy bay with rolling surf of 2-3 metres and some whale bones which were interesting. On return to the boat, we prepared ourselves for the long sail ahead to Strahan.

Sunny days are here again (27 march)
04/02/2012, Schooner Cove, Bathurst Channel

Things were not looking too promising when we woke up to a drizzling cold morning. However, by the time we reached our destination for the day, Schnooner Cove, the sun was out and we had everything on deck drying out. After lunch and a gorgeous hot shower, we explored the Cove which is very pretty, and includes an ochre cave which was quite interesting. We caught up with Roger and Val from Maluka, who we had met when we were first here, and enjoyed afternoon tea on their boat, followed by sundowners on Sandpiper. Lots of boats were on the move today, as everyone is making the most of the much improved weather, with some them including ourselves heading towards Port Davey for departure tomorrow. Strahan here were come at last!

More of the same (march 26)
04/02/2012, Moulter's Inlet, Bathurst Harbour



Another wet windy and cold day. Pity, because we have not been able to explore this inlet. It is quite amazing how we can pass a whole day on the boat fairly happily without doing much, but I don't think we could do it day in and day out. Phil had a few repair jobs and Lesley's knitting is so long that she finished the back of the jumper today and has started on the front. There was some excitement this afternoon when we got the forecast for Thursday as if it come to pass, we will be leaving here on Wed night to arrive in Strahan on Thursday. We have just over two weeks until Phil is due back at work, which we figure will be just enough time to see the Franklin River and make the trip home.

A typical weekend (24 and 25 march)
04/02/2012, Moulter's Inlet, Bathurst Harbour

Saturday is usually the day of chores, and Sunday is usually the day of rest. And so it was this weekend (well, almost). Thank goodness Saturday was a warmer day with less rain. We baked, cooked, cleaned and refuelled. After Lesley spending some time during the night working out how many meals we have left, we were lucky enough to be given some grocery items by Sam from the boat Schouten Pass. He is here as the support boat for a group of marine scientists from Hobart who are doing some sort of survey of marine life in Port Davey and it's entrance. However, the weather is too rough (too much swell) for them to do any more work so Sam tied up the boat at Meleleua Inlet and they flew back  to Hobart in the afternoon. Sam is a really genuine bloke and has been very helpful sharing their long range weather forecast with us, as well as local knowledge regarding anchorages, and the use of his sat phone last night. We went to see if we could find any nocturnal animals - our Saturday night out - as we were planning to leave the jetty on Sunday and be back at anchor.  

Sunday was yet another day of strong wind warning (20-30 knts) and a drizzly morning (more rain). We set off in the drizzle for Moulter's Inlet and arrived in time to drop anchor and have lunch. It is a pretty spot but unfortunately too windy, and a bit too cold, to be out and about in the dinghy. So another quiet afternoon playing scrabble. There is a glimmer of hope in this afternoon's updated forecast that we might be able to make a run for Strahan on Wednesday or Thursday.

A new yacht club (march 23)
04/02/2012, Clayton's Corner, Bathurst Channel

Well we have had horizontal rain on this trip, and now we have had horizontal hail. During the night last night, there were several heavy hail showers, and it has been hailing and raining on and off all day today. The maximum temperature in sandpiper's cabin was 10 degrees. The winds are still westerly and still blowing at 20 to 30 knots. We have had strong or gale wind warnings for the last 4 days and it is not over yet. It is very lucky for us that at the end of the jetty to which we are tied is a small house that once belonged to a local crayfisherman (Clyde Clayton) and which is now maintained by a group of volunteers for the use of yachties, fisherman, and bush walkers. We spent most of the day up there in front of the fire, drying clothes and playing scrabble. We also established the Clayton's Corner Yacht Club (CCYC) of which Phil is the Commodore. There is now a smart sign on the mantelpiece of the house, and a tin for membership fees which we hope will be put towards maintenance of the house (club rooms). In his foraging for firewood, Phil found a 4 metre Huon pine tree not 25 metres from the house. The weather situation is starting to get desparate.  It seems like we might be here for at least another 5 or 6 days before it would be reasonable to make a run for anywhere. The locals are saying that this is more like winter weather patterns and saying that it has not been like this at this time of the year for at least 8 years. Due to the generosity of one of the other boats, Lesley was able to call Reece tonight to let him know that we have not disappeared, and check all is ok at home. Being completely out of touch for this long is a bad feeling. It is now about 8.30 and the only thing left for us to get into bed and read to keep warm.

Running out of patience (22 march)
04/02/2012, Clatyon's Corner, Bathurst HArbour

Another fairly miserable day weather wise - wet, windy and cold - so a fair bit of moping around on the boat. In between showers, Phil did some minor repair work on the dinghy, and we went for a walk. Our spirits were not helped with the latest forecast which now includes Sunday - the day we were hoping we would get a chance to move on. But not the case. So we have a new challenge in keeping ourselves entertained and maintaining a sense of humour in the face of somewhat adverse conditions while we wait some more for a break in the weather.

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