Binalong to Babel Is
As we crossed the Bay of Fires the next day we thought about what to do next. We knew there were anchorages both to the north and to the south of Eddystone Point, the north-east tip of Tasmania, so we decided to head there with the intention to anchor there for the night before crossing the nororious Bank's Strait. Where we chose to anchor depended on the weather, both anchorages were quite open roadstead anchorages and not particularly sheltered. But we had a brilliant sail across the Bay of Fires and reached Eddystone point in the middle of the afternoon.
(Passing Eddystone Lighthouse)Eddystone Point
When we rounded the point we could see land, and as the wind was favourable and Lupari was sailing well we decided to keep going and cross Banks Strait. It was a great trip across the strait. Darkness fell as we sailed up the coast of Clarke Is and Cape Barren Is.
There were many interesting lights in the darkness and, again we were grateful for our radar to help us determine how far they were away from us. Some of them were fishing boats with their incredibly bright work lights, others were warning and navigation beacons. We passed the passage into Lady Barron but we decided that we did not have enough local knowledge to go in there in the dark (We didn't have any) so we continued sailing up the coast. We anchored just south of Babel Island, at Sellars Beach, at about 4:30 in the morning. This is another open roadstead anchorage off an ocean beach which could be quite dangerous, but the wind had eased and it was quite calm here until we woke later that day.
This was the nearest thing to an overnight sail we had had. We were very proud of ourselves and aware of our luck with the weather conditions.
While crossing Banks Strait we were in radio contact with Tamar Sea Rescue, which was very comforting. We appreciated the regular 4 hourly communication with the very professional radio operator. The knowledge that someone knew where we were, and if conditions changed we knew that there was someone that could call for help. The radio operators from the coast radio stations around Southern and Eastern Tasmania have been wonderful in our sailing trips around Tasmania. They deliver a fantastic service that we have not found repeated anywhere else in our travels.