Preparing to depart
27 April 2008 | Hobart
I have been waiting for a rainy day in Hobart to update the blog but the weather has been fantastic. So even though it is sunny today I thought I had better get this done.
Over the past few weeks we have been bringing the boat to a standard that I am happy with to cross the Tasman Sea, I have ordered new storm sails, had the mast and rigging checked out, and a modification to the mast that I have been planning to have done for ages. I am just awaiting final delivery of some safety items expected next week and then are able to set off on the next leg. We have been watching the weather patterns to see whats happening in the Tasman. It is possible to track high pressure systems from South Africa moving towards Australia and into the Tasman Sea. We intend to pick a large high pressure cell as it approaches Tasmania and set off then, this will give us 4-5 days of good weather, after that we will have to handle whatever comes our way. As we have weather information gathering systems on our boat there should be no surprises. It is getting toward the end of the time at which it is prudent to cross the Tasman, and if we don't get the weather pattern we are after we may have to change our plans and maybe travel north to Queensland. Keep your eye on the blog over the next couple of weeks to find out what we will do.
In between bouts of boat work including a week of sanding and painting the coach house roof, we have been doing the things we like ie biking and walking. the biking came to a halt for a few days when Jean had her bike stolen one night from the yacht club even though it was chained to a pole. She wasn't too upset as she now has a new one that is a better fit. We are keeping the bikes on the boat now and hopefully they will be safe there. The new bike came with clip in pedals which Jean has not used before and promptly changed after she fell off at the traffic lights because she couldn't release her feet from the pedals.
We had a visit from our niece Caroline for a long weekend and showed her the sights of Hobart - Mount Wellington, Salamanca Market, Cascade brewery etc. Not being one for visiting markets I decided to take a ride on my bike, I didn't start off with the intention of riding up the 1270 metres of Mount Wellington but that is where I ended up. The ride down was much easier even though I had a couple of punctures.
On another day we visited the Hobart botanical gardens where Jean met her hero Peter Cundall from the ABC TVs Gardening Australia show. For the non watchers of this programme and our English readers, Peter is an 82 yr old Mancunian who has been in Australia for years but has the strongest Lancashire accent you can imagine. He is a cult figure with the grey gardening brigade. The Australian Percy Thrower. When Jean said we were from Rawtenstall he said " I know that place, it's the posh end". I think his memory must be playing tricks on him because it certainly is not posh.
One day last week we went on a bike ride come hike, we rode half way up Mt Wellington and hiked some of the trails in the park. I took some photos of what must be the most comfortable bus shelter in the world, (see the gallery). On the way down the mountain I was determined to do some off road riding, instead of following the main road back we took a trail that went roughly in the right direction and to cut a long story short we got totally lost, its amazing how far down hill you can go without realising you are going in the wrong direction. Instead of taking 30 - 40 mins to get back it took us 3 hrs, it was dark and started raining, I wasn't very popular that night (or the next for that matter). Hobart is great for hiking and biking with numerous tracks in easy reach of the city. Next time I will take some of the marked ones.
Hope everyone is keeping well and that you are enjoying my efforts at writing this blog. Please keep the comments coming they are much appreciated.
Finally in the words of Peter Cundall
"...And that I'm afraid to say, is your bloomin lot for the week."
Dave and Jean