Alarm clock went off at 5:00am, it is still too dark to see. Got busy around Nashira getting ready to depart for Port Davey. Quite anxious actually, we have heard so many stories about the Southern Ocean, size of swell and weather that we don’t know what to expect really. It’s the unknown again. Left Recherché Bay at 6am with plenty of light to navigate visually around Kelly rocks and the kelp beds off Fishers Pt. One Yacht left just ahead of us, yeah! company. After 30 minutes we noted another 3 yachts behind us! A flotilla!
Checked in with Tas Maritime at 7am and chuckled as 3 other vessels checked in immediately afterwards all heading to Port Davey.
So far the weather is mild and beautiful. Can see weather building in the distance behind us. So far mostly a W breeze supposed to swing around to SE later this morning.
We round South East Cape! woohoo! Now for the 40M journey W to South West Cape. The landscape is rough and craggy with tall rocky mountains. Wilderness untouched and battered by the seas. About 2/3rds the way across the rocks jut out of the ocean like they were thrown there as an afterthought. Incredible formations make up a series of islands that we navigate through. We can see Dewitt Island (Big Witch) on our starboard, the round and flat islands in front and Maatsuyker island and Flat Witch just beyond. There is another Mewstone Rocks off to our far Port side. beautiful…… Several have flora that must be able to handle intense winds and some are bare rock.
[Old man of the sea – looks like his head with a blanket wrapped around shoulders]
Coming up from the East I can see the Old Man of the Sea in the Round Island! Evan thinks it looks more like a gorilla. Nashira sailed between Flat Witch and Big Witch Islands toward South West Cape. The weather is ever increasing and 2 of the yachts behind us are no longer visible. We round the South West Cape and head N. The wind having finally, if but a bit late, changed to SE so is on our backside pushing us up. Happily we have lost the SE swell and now only have to deal with the SW swell at about 3 meters and 10 second interval it is gentle.
[Evan working the headsail in a following wind]
Seeing the East Pyramids we are close to Port Davey. Weather is almost upon us, we can still see one yacht behind us and are preparing for a squall. Decided to keep Big Caroline island to our starboard and head straight for Breaksea Islands to miss the potential dangers of several rocks and islands in case visibility reduces substantially.
[Big Caroline is the island on the left, Pyramids on the right]
[East Pyramid Islands]
Rain starts, we lose the yacht behind us for a few moments and thats it. The sun shines on Breaksea island as if to say “Hey come this way”. We navigate around the southern end and the water is calm. Breaksea lives up to its name!
We sailed a short distance further to Brambles Cove and have hidden on the East side of Sarah Island to shelter from further SE/SW winds.
WOOHOO we have made it to Port Davey. Its beer, cheese and crackers and relax time. We won out over the anxiety we had for this leg of our journey. We feel both elated and relieved. Surrounded by mountains so quiet and majestic our radio is not sending or receiving either. hmm…. hope the vhf radio is okay. Sent satellite emails to Tas Maritime and to family to let them know we have arrived safely. For now going to enjoy the quiet.
Kelly & Evan