07 January 2011
Saturday, January 8, 3:30 pm
Although last night was very challenging and quite uncomfortable, it is over, and we have found our way into safe haven. Entering Schouten Passage at dawn (the best time to enter a harbour) all went very still, so still in fact that we could not even sail, but drift. The engine had overheated again, and was shut down.
We are anchored, as of this morning, in 40 feet of clear water over sand. Sky and water blue, stuttered white clouds high, and radio reports of 25 or 30 knots still blowing out of the north. A white sand beach and unspoiled vegetation, warm air, and Endra went for a swim, and to wash her hair. It's hot, and all the warm layers of last night are slowly peeled off.
Coming in, the waves were in a rush ahead of our boat - seas littered with whitecaps and streaked with foam, dark and driven by the wind, winds driven, in turn, by the sun; the pink granite cliffs awesome, beautiful, formidable. Dolphins accompanied us. A break in the cliffs opens, widens, and becomes Schouten Passage, a broad entry to Freycinet Peninsula and Shouten Island - one of the most beautiful places in Tasmania.
You think you are almost home. You think, after all the thousands of sea miles, that things will be easier now. You think you've passed your test. Then nature comes on and says, keep your wits about you - because you could still blow it! Lives are still in your hands. And now the wind reaches 30 knots and stays there!
The southerly change predicted tonight means we will have to change our anchorage, to Morey's Bay, by the island. It also means we can sail up to Wineglass Bay tomorrow.