We’ve left Port Cygnet early about 7:30am with the goal of navigating up the Huon River to Franklin. If you look at our tracking map you can see the Franklin is on the quite narrow northern end of the Huon River and with a 2 metre draft that is as far as we feel we can comfortably go.
The journey up to Port Huon was lovely with a North West wind about 10 – 15 knots of wind. Just before Port Huon the West side of the river is very shallow and we can see logs sticking out of the water with birds perched upon as a warning. Our Cruising Tassie book again proving valuable telling us where it’s shallow and the best route to navigate.
Port Huon is a tiny place in Hospital Bay and at the back of the Bay is the Kermandi marina.
We arrived here at about 10:30 dropped anchor to wait for the raising tide to head up the river. Once anchored you cannot see the marina as its hidden around a corner. We jumped in the dinghy to go take a look.
You have to go white close to land to navigate the red and green markers into the marina, really glad we are not taking Nashira through here. But once inside there are plenty yachts that have successfully made it through so it must be okay.
We buzzed around looking for a place to tie up. The Marina is private and we cannot get through the locked gate. we found the public jetty but it is not conducive to climbing up so we give up and head back to Nashira. Nothing much there to see by the looks of it.
By 12 noon we pulled up anchor after waiting for the 10 minute rain storm to finish (Tassie weather is never boring) and start our journey up the Huon to Franklin. The instructions in Cruising Tasmania are VERY specific. Keep the pile and red marker to port passing the Port Huon wharf and keep to the western shore until you enter Crowthers Bay, you have at least 4 meters. Oh Yay!
Once in Crowthers Bay look for the green pile in the middle keep this to starboard. there are 3 starboard hand green piles. The shallowest point is just East of the 3rd green pile. DONT TAKE ANY SHORTCUTS! Okay! At the 3rd Green pile we had 2.2 meters of water and are very close to the shore. I thought Kermandie was close!
Next go through the gate (between red and green pile) now head for a red pile marking the end of a mud island off Heriots point.
The Instructions continue like this and are perfect. We passed another yacht leaving the channel and they were on full alert. We commented that it is a little stressful which they agreed emphatically.
I liked the instructions, “Head for a conspicuous clump of trees on Jacksons Pt. on the West Bank about 1M away. Once you reach these trees you will see two or three moored boats ahead. If you continue on a course towards them, you will assuredly run aground….” Okay we wont do that!
We see Franklin!!
We were not able to continue further up North as a Rowing regatta was taking place and the river closed past this point. We get to explore Franklin and see the regatta, bonus! As we dinghy ashore you really notice how brown the water is from tannin. When dropping the anchor I couldn’t see it two feet down. It is really dark.
Franklin was the first colonial settlement in the Huon Valley. It retained its importance as a commercial centre, river port and centre of sporting and cultural activities until the 2nd world war.
Evan was keen to visit the Wooden Boat Centre. We went on a tour guided by Harry a great story teller who taught us how to make Clinker and Carvel style boats and took us through the workings of the centre which is presently a boat building school. You can still do a diploma of boat building today which takes 18 months or you can pay about $10k and build your own dinghy out of Huon Pine. The centre smells wonderful. You are allowed to touch and look and watch… very happy.
[Circular wood image is how they build timber Mast]
We visited the Chandlery and bought some more chain to attach a second anchor then walked around the little town, grabbed some lunch before heading back to Nashira.
I am going to start a collection of unusual letterboxes in Australia, if you see any in your wanderings please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will start a letter box page! Here is the first one:
We decided to head back today and work our way down the Huon to Randalls Bay, this will get us closer to Recherche Bay which is the jump point to head to Port Davey. I want to make one comment about the journey from Franklin back to Port Huon and that is going in reverse down the channel looks totally different to coming North. It was just as nerve racking looking for markers. It brings home the fact that your perspective changes so radically based upon the point you are viewing from. Hmmm….. this is an analogy to life I think.
We made it to Randalls Bay by 6:30pm. A nice bay very sheltered from the wind and only notice a slight swell. Feeling really sleepy and going to bed early. One leg closer to Port Davey.
Kelly & Evan