Pt Arthur to Wineglass bay

Port Arthur to Wineglass Bay

When we woke up the next morning the world looked like a scene from “Lord of the Rings”. The cliffs around the coastline were shrouded with fog and swirling mist and Tasman Island looked like the Mountains of Mordor.

We eased into the day gradually and, after breakfast, Greg had another attempt at starting the generator. This time it did start. It may have been stale fuel that was the problem. The vacuuming got done then. Our ship must stay shipshape.

We lifted the anchor and continued to motor around the outside of Tasman Island. Although we have sailed between Tasman Is and Cape Pillar it was too misty and unclear to risk it this time, as we had heard stories of very steep waves and uncomfortable seas through the gap. We motored very close to this spectacular island though, and we took some wonderfully eerie photos. Tasman Light is one of the highest light houses in the world. There is a huge seal colony on the base of the island but we didn’t see the seals. We did see lots of wandering and shy albatrosses and a pair of white breasted sea eagles when we left Port Arthur. Tasman Island

By the time we were on the Eastern side of Tasman Island the mist cleared, the breeze strengthened slightly and we continued to motor to Fortescue Bay, where we anchored safely in Canoe Bay behind an old wreck. We took the dinghy for a look around the bay and then Greg started to fish for dinner while I made a loaf of bread. There were already two boats here but there was room for us all. We planned to rest here for a day or two to unwind from all our preparations and to ease into “cruising mode”.

We had wanted to go to Fortescue Bay for a long time. It was all that we had hoped it would be - a quiet haven, although if the weather had come from the east the swell would roll in there quite badly. While we were there Greg got the HF radio working and we made a successful test broadcast to Tascoast Radio at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

After two nights and no fish –we tried fishing but it was hopeless, we weighed anchor to head for Triabunna.

After we left the bay our phones went mad with messages form our family and friends wanting to know how it was going. We had been gone for three whole days. The next leg was a long one but we unfurled the headsail and not long after that we hoisted the main. The wind was fitful but we persevered. It was cold when the wind blew, sailing past Pirates Bay and the High Yellow Bluff. We saw lots of birds: gannets, albatrosses, cormorants, terns and penguins.

We managed to reach Triabunna before dusk after an incident with a mud bank.

The channel into Triabunna is narrow but well marked. The channel markers are on one side of the channel and it is well known that the mud banks move slightly over time. On one bend the mud had encroached into the channel further that we thought and we ended up stuck. After a few moments of frantic forward and backward motion with the engine it was obvious that we needed more help. It came in the form of a friendly local who had spent the day fishing with his family in his powerful motor boat. He towed us off in no time and we carefully followed him in to the harbour, with nothing but slight embarrassment to show from the adventure. We tied up next to a fishing boat and Greg began to work on the throttle linkages which had let us down again while trying to get off the mud.

We weren’t going to be there long, just long enough to stretch our legs and our stomachs on a pizza. There was a lot of diesel in the water and it was not very nice to smell while eating so we took Lupari out into Spring Bay and anchored there for the night. We ate our cool pizzas there. We were anchored not far from our friend’s boat, Kahana. As we were sending Mal and Roma a message we had one from them. They were at their home in Malacoota and Mal was recovering from an operation.

When we woke up the next day it was like being back on E berth at the Boat Club. There was not a breath of wind and there was no swell.We spent a few nights here because of poor weather. It was rainy and rough out at sea. It was very quiet here for a while.

The day we left Triabunna we woke up early and left Spring Bay in darkness. We had a long trip to our next destination, Wineglass Bay. At daybreak we were hoisting sails, preparing for a good trip across Great Oyster Bay to Freycinet Peninsular and Schouten Island. This is where we first saw what we were later to call “sea budgies” little birds that flew very close to the water and then dived into waves. I think they are common diving petrels but we had never seen them before and we were amused by the way they seemed to flop into the water. They were about the size of a budgie, hence the name.

The sailing was fun crossing Great Oyster Bay and Lupari was frolicking in the freshening wind. By the time we were nearing Schouten Island the swell had picked up too and rounding the island was becoming uncomfortable. As we were getting close to the rocks, the wind was unfavourable and waves were coming from 2 directions, south east and north east, we dropped the sails and motored. The swell was throwing the boat around a lot and I slipped and badly bruised my thigh and Greg started to feel very green again. He took some medication (Kwells work really well if taken early enough) and waited for them to take effect. They didn’t very well. Greg spent the afternoon curled up on deck trying to feel better. I was at the helm having a great time after recovering from my sore leg. As we neared Wineglass Bay and headed around the point the swell diminished and so did Greg’s seasickness, fortunately

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