Day 8 + 9 – Crossing Bass Strait

Sunset Bass Strait

We made it to Babel Island!  Woohoo!!!!!  When we arrived honestly all we had on our mind was eat and sleep, but I will get to that soon.

Day 8

Leaving Eden was easy, calm seas and almost no wind.  Nashira motored and motor sailed for most of 18 hours.  Geez this is easy,  Bass Strait isn’t that scary.   Evan and I took turns on the helm, 3 hours on, 3 hours off with an additional 30 minutes between shifts to work together and update map coordinates, share stories and cups of tea.  I realised if I was able to sleep 2 out of three hours that I would get 8 hours sleep over a 24 hour period.  Great!

Sunset Bass Strait
Evan at the Helm
Evan at the Helm

Our AIS system (VESPER XP8000) worked a treat.  We could easily see boating traffic and in particular big ships movement, their direction, speed and destination so it was very easy to stay out of their way if necessary

Raymarine c70 Chart Plotter
Raymarine c70 Chart Plotter

Shipping Channel ships

Shipping Channel Bass Strait

Then the wind started…..

About 5pm, slowly at first, with the head-sail unfurled and main hoisted it was a beautiful motor sail.  The wind increased and the motor was turned off, wonderful.  I went downstairs to have a turn at napping.  At 10pm my nap time over I came upstairs, it is dark and Evan is battling with the glare of the chart plotter.  The wind is really starting to howl along (25 knots) and the waves are increasing (feels like about 1.5mtrs).  The swell and sea waves feel like they are coming from the South which is great as the Auto pilot (Steady Eddy) is purring along and handling it just fine.  We did furl the head-sail a bit and reefed the main one section.

I took over for Evan and he was able to get abit of sleep.  Nashira felt very balanced and we whisked along at about 6 knots give or take a bit.  The wind increased about midnight.  We are getting gusts over 30+ knots.   Evan cut his ‘time-off’ short and we furled the head-sail a bit more and reefed the main quite abit. That was the end to getting much sleep.  We still did watches but only had short breaks not wanting to leave the other for extended periods.   The waves were increasing to about 2 to 2.5 meters (at a guess) and we were slamming into waves with regularity.  This continued RELENTLESSLY until we reached Babel Island at approx 4pm the next day.

Babel Island
Finally Babel Island
Cat and Storehouse island
Cat and Storehouse island adjacent to Babel on the East

Thinking East of Flinders Island would give us some protection from the wind was incorrect.  The waves continued until we anchored right up against the shore below Babel on the East of Flinder’s island.  The wind has not stopped though!!  Its now approximately 5pm, we have the anchor down and we’ve stopped for the day.

At this point we were both over it!  Exhausted, Hungry.  I thought it would be nice to walk to Hobart instead of sail!

We ate some of our Jamie Oliver Stew and went to bed at about 5:30pm


1.  Its not so scary losing sight of land.

2. Don’t ever get cocky or think this is gonna be easy.  Take things as they come and be prepared for anything.  The Bass Strait is the Big water and things change.

3. Travacalm natural (based on Ginger) really worked!!  I don’t normally feel seasick but it does happen occasionally.  This stuff saved my bacon.

Travacalm Natural
Travacalm Natural Ginger

4. Allow plenty of time. Being our first over-nighter it was good to stop early (at Babel) instead of pushing all the way to Wineglass bay.


Reflecting:  We are at Babel Island!  We made it across the Bass Strait!!  Yippee – Happier now that we have had 13 hours sleep!

I woke up at midnight to turn the anchor light on.  Evan had already done it.  He is such a champ.   I put a boom preventor on to stop the boom swinging from side to side and making noise, I promptly went back to bed.

This is where we are:

(the long beach “Sellars Beach” runs along the East side of Flinders Island and end of video is Babel Island – Spot the people?)

It is beautiful in a rugged, desolate sort of way.

Today we have looked over the charts and checked the weather forecasts for wind and waves over the next few days.  We are planning on leaving here and heading to Wineglass bay tomorrow morning 5am.  It should take about 22 hours give or take.

We’ve also done some chores, cleaning Nashira up on the inside, looking to make sure she is dry, checking the engine oil etc.  Evan has done some work for work,  Oh and we have tried doing some washing with Soap Berries!

Soap Berries
Soap Berries

They lather up!  but they are berries and totally natural.  Evan thinks they did a reasonable job, the clothes are are hanging up now.

I would love to eventually have all environmentally friendly cleaning stuff on-board.  I would love any constructive comments you have or know of for cleaning with natural products.   We currently use tea tree oil and vinegar to clean surfaces and Kin Kin Eco dish-washing liquid and soap berries so far.

Other than that it is a day to relax!  maybe even read a book.

Till Tomorrow


Kelly & Evan






  1. Dorothy and Max

    Hi Evan and Kelly,
    You are now well and truly on your way. Sounds like all is going well. Hope the cake is still good. Stay safe and we look forward to hearing all about it at the first available cruising division meeting. Shall I pencil you into the calender?
    Love Max and Dorothy

    1. Kelly

      Lol!! The cake is almost gone. about a 100mm square is left

  2. Debbie and Byron

    Hi Evan and Kelly,
    Just been reading through all your exploits so far. What a wonderful adventure for you both! So excited for you. Enjoy, relax and take it all in. Stay safe.
    Byron, Deb and Aaron

    1. Kelly & Evan

      Big Hug! xoxo

  3. Ram

    Kelly & Evan,
    (and Nashira)

    Congrats. It sure is a great achievement.

    Whole family is following your progress.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Ram & Praba

    1. Kelly & Evan

      HI Ram, Thank you! It is great to hear from you and know you are there.

  4. Jean & Noel

    Hello intrepid sailors……so glad you are champions of the seas. Glad I wasn’t there! But “no pain, no gain” so you’ve done well. We are enjoying your adventure. I go to hospital Monday 6:30am😨. Noel is a bit better….we hope.🤗 Where is Chris? Greg took the ferry across on Thursday and had trouble staying in his bunk! Glad the ginger stuff worked! Smooth sailing ⛵️💕

    1. Kelly & Evan

      Hi Jean, I have everything crossed that Monday goes well, you two deserve a long spell with holidays, fun and great health. Chris contacted us via satellite phone, he and Ben are fine. They missed Babel island by 15nm’s and decided to go onto Wineglass Bay. We heard them on TasMaritime radio this morning they had gotten to Fortesque Bay and were heading to Hobart today.

  5. Stan

    30 knot wind gusts sounds pretty exciting. Hope it is a little calmer the rest of the way.

    1. Kelly

      Hi Stan, generally we are okay with 30 knots as long as the seas aren’t too big, this time it was the relentlessness of the wind that got to me. Every time we go out we manage to learn something new, some new skill or at the least be less afraid in some situations.

  6. M. Tolbert

    Evan and Kelly,
    I am just now getting caught up on your OLAAT Blog. It reads like a great book, I can’t pull myself away! I am looking forward to sharing it with Connie. I also have so many questions…like; What was causing the steaming, overheat? Apparently there was more than the marine growth on the sail drive. Just had this same experience last Sunday on SF Bay but with no resolution about the cause.
    Fair winds, Mark

    1. Kelly & Evan

      Hey Welcome aboard Mark! Re: the steaming, Initially found air bubbles in the line just past the raw water strainer. Evan looked for any connections which could be sucking in air and found a one way value before the strainer that was leaking and also found the salt water pump in the galley sink connected to this line (before the one way valve) was sucking water out of the raw water strainer. So looks like the one way valve is stuffed. We sealed the leaking one way valve and have turned off the galley pump until this can be fixed. Evan also dived below and cleaned out the leg as there was some growth. Water flows more freely now and the steam has reduced substantially. We get to add a couple more things to the to-do list on next maintenance day!!

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