Tasmania

3. Feb till 31. Mar. We had a wonderful time with great anchorages, meeting so many people afloat and ashore and great boating facilities.

Places visited:

Tamar River, West Arm

Tamar River Sailing Club

road trip to :

Wooden Boat Show, Lake St Clair, Strahan, Cradle Mountian, Launceston

Freycinet Peninsular

Schouten Island

Cape Pilar

Cape Raoul

Kingston

Bruny Island

Port Esperance/Dover

Snug

Royal Hobart

more Bruny Island

Cygnet

Port Houn

Franklin & Houn River

road trip to: Tasman Peninsular, Strathgordon, Lake Pedder, lots of other places

more Cygnet

Recherche Bay

Port Davey

Bathurst Harbour

Maatsuyker Island

Kettering

Prince of Wales, Hobart

Dunalley Canal

and a blistering trip in 30kn beam reach to Eden, NSW.

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Bass Straight and King Island

Leaving South Australia (after staying much longer than anticipated) we first called in at Robe for some catch ups with friends and some racing with the sailing club out on the bay. Deepened the entrance by ploughing through a sandbank on the way in.

Next overnight sail was to Portland, Vic and then to Port Fairy. Portland is great with easy entrance, great and cheap marina and good provisions. Port Fairy is a historical port where you lay alongside old bluestone quays in the river. Very pretty.

Sailing down into Bass Straight we got confronted with the tides sweeping though the straight which are quite confusing at times. So after almost a day sailing we where not quite sure were we would end up. However some fancy Weather-routing on OpenCPN suggested instead of Apollo Bay we could go straight south, motor some miles, and then fetch SW winds the next afternoon and sail into King Island before the next low. It even worked out.

King Island has a harbour at the main town of Currie which suffers from a little bit of surge but is actually quite good in Easterly Winds and a harbour on the other side in the old mining town of Grassy which is very well protected. This is where we sat out the next couple strong wind days on a massive MAST mooring. Main activity in King Island is of course to visit the King Island Cheese Dairy – so after hitching across the island (and back) we went though a free cheese tasting of 40+ cheeses and purchased about another 5kg of various cheeses for about 1/5 of the price you pay elsewhere. Cheezus. Gleefull constipation for weeks.

Investigator Straight, Kangaroo Island and Adelaide.

Coming out from the Yorke Peninsular and into the Investigator Straight we now got into Carol’s Territory. All of the Eyre Peninsular, West Coast of SA and Spencer Gulf gets worked by Gerry the VHF Radio Operator from Tumby Bay – if you are on passage you can log on to him via repeater ch 21 and then he checks in with you in the morning and in the afternoon – gives you weather, maps your position and has a chat. A really great service and a faboulus commitment. Anyway, rounding the corner we then recived Carol from American River – who of course already heard about us.

A few miles south brought us to Althorpe Island where we anchored in a faboulus spot under the cliffs and went to the the old lighthouse at the top of the island.

Had little incident on the way back as Claire decided on skinny dipping and a frisky sealion came over to investigate. She escaped his advances by not much and hid behind the dinghy, which stopped the sealion as he was got confused i think by the human (me) rolling around the beach laughing.

Next stops where Kangaroo Beach, Maeres Tail, Emu Bay and finally Island Beach (first non rolly anchorage) where we spent New Year.

A few days later my friend Rowan from Perth came over and we rented a car for a couple days and discovered the island by road + had nice sailing trips down to American River and the Winery at The Bay of Shoals.

A great Day run from the Bay of Shoals brought us to Adelaide, into the Port River and to the Royal Yacht Squadron where we enjoyed great hospitality, all the victualling we could fit into the boat and lots of social times.

Spencer Gulf and the Joseph Banks Group

After spending a few days in Port Lincoln it was decided to spend Christmas here too but as it was a few days till then, we decided to go a couple of days to the Banks Group, just 20 or so nmi out of Port Lincoln.

A light southerly wind brought us to Langton Island where friendly Seals came out for a swim

Another couple miles brought us to the lagoon at Reevesby Island where we anchored in good shelter for a couple days, watched the full moon rise, went for walks around the island and visited the old homestead.

Come Christmas Eve, we ambled back to Port Lincoln, anchored in front of the yacht club again and had a delightful Christmas with Claires Friends

After a couple days we went on again, first to Thistle Island, then past Wedge and anchored in Pandalowie to wait easterly winds (which never materialized). Had a delightful time in the spencer gulf with mainly light winds and no seas – a pretty good change after the south coast of WA & SA !

Storm Petrel out.

Coffin Bay to Port Lincoln

A homecoming for Claire, who is excited to show Joe the West (best) coast of SA.

10 very relaxing days spent on a mooring in Coffin Bay included : coast walks, razorfishing, some boat repair works (and prepping a friend’s house demolition), baking, mucking out (and about) in dinghies, sewing, catching Tommy Ruffs (Herring for Westralians) and catching family and friends. Glimpses of warm sun boosted the overcast mood for some during this time. Generosity of our special people, and new local acquaintances, allowed for hot showers, use of a car to provision and visit Lincoln, and learn how to fillet gummy shark.

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A break in the weather came so we cast off from the perfect shelter of Coffins. Thus ensued a long day with mixed-bag of weather/seas to round the peninsula to Avoid Bay. It seemed as if each change in heading around Pt Sir Isaac brought with it a sail and outfit change: from drizzle on the foulies, to becalmed suntanning and cool drinks, then beating into short seas and watching the thunder clouds. My stomach dropped as Joe dropped metres with the bow off the waves. Made it to Avoid on dusk, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior spotted around the islands in the distance. Ever grateful to theeee crayfishing community for another loan of a mooring during a short night of blinding electrical storms.

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Sunshine became a more consistent feature after a queasy start in this gorgeous part of the Coffin Bay National Park, and set sail towards the Lincoln National Park. Headland weaving, island spotting, trailing seas and wind abaft the beam – we were all beaming with the excitement of visiting new places, being underway, and shaking off shoddy weather. Two nights in dreamy Memory Cove – resident seal and pup, beachcombing, rocky headland walk, sweet-smelling bush, SUP-ing, and a chance to dry out the contents of prematurely-deemed “dry lockers”. The unAvoidable spanking spared noone – passport, all clothes bar one ugg boot, rehydrated dehydrated veg, and some electronics.

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Nature-soaked heart topped up, off we toddled for a textbook, mostly-downwind passage into Port Lincoln – close to many peoples’ hearts. Entering fabled fishing waters I was hopeful, but we have arrived all the way in to the town foreshore and I still haven’t caught anything of note since leaving Perth!

Storm Petrel hardened up around Cape Donington and enjoyed a fresh beat dodging fish farms and into Boston Bay.

Anchored before the yacht club, drink in hand, I look ashore at fond memories from a new seaward perspective.

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Streaky Bay to Coffin Bay

After just a day in Streaky Bay we unfortunately had to move on as southerly winds where forecasted for the next week and we where keen to meet some friends in coffin bay and port lincoln.

The forecasted north-easterly winds didn’t eventuate sadly so after a good night of sail to we did diesel a lot of the way. Lots of Dolphins played around the boat however.

It wasn’t until midnight until we arrived in Coffin Bay proper and we where a little bit nervous about the 1.5m shallow entrance, but arriving at high tide everything was good and all charts on the entrance where pretty much spot on. So if there is 0.3m tide the entrance with a 1.8m draft boat is fine.

The late hour say us anchoring somewhere behind the bar and we moved into Coffin Bay proper the next morning. We gave Smithy from Coffin Bay Slipway a call to enquire about the town anchorage and he couldnt have been nicer. He guided us into the Anchorage (Navionics charts are wrong for this area) and even organized a mooring for us ! Give him a call if you thinking about coming to coffin bay, he is the man !

I attached a picture of our track into Coffin Bay – one can continue on past the town jetty and anchor further west in the bay, however the passage behind goat island is shallow (as opposed to the charts). Coffin Bay is a superbly spot, protected from all winds and and a great spot to hang out for a couple days or to leave their boat for a longer time.