After a slow start on yet another glorious sunny morning we readied Nashira for a sail up the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. We were not sure where we would get to today and proceeded north to Southport. Leaving Recherche Bay there are a number of shallow reefs and rocky islets one has to avoid. Easiest way to navigate through them is to head directly east out of the bay until the obelisk on Sterile Island is in line with the Cape Bruny lighthouse. When in transit turn northwards on a course to leave Acteon island to starboard.
Once past these obstacles is a straight forward sail up to Southport. We went to the Deephole Bay anchorage which is off Elliot Beach and where the Ida Bay Railway ends. This is where a jetty used to be for the loading of the limestone onto barges to be taken north. The railway is now a tourist train the runs during the summer months.
[Top row: entering Southport, Bottom row: Ida Bay Railway]
Whilst anchoring here the prop started making some strange noises. Thinking there might be some weed wrapped around the prop I got the GoPro camera out and after attaching some weights and string lowered it over the side to see if there was a problem. Sure enough as you can see on the video weed is wrapped around the blades.
Oh well now I have to get into the water which is a little chilly this time of year in southern Tasmania. Not knowing how tough the weed might be to get off and wanting to play it safe we readied the Hookah dive compressor and hose which allows me to breath underwater.
The water was not as cold as I had expected and the weed came off remarkably easily. So all in all I was only in the water for a couple of minutes. With a hot shower on the back step as a reward and then a hot cup of tea life was back to normal and we could resume our cruise north.
The next stop was Port Esperance and the township of Dover. This is a beautiful little town situated at the end of the port. It was blowing 15-20 knots from the south west and as anchoring can be tricky near town we elected to put Nashira on one of the Port Esperance Sailing Club (PESC) moorings which are the smaller yellow buoys to the north of the jetty which is full of fishing boats.
Once on the mooring which had a serviced 3/2016 tag on it we felt quite secure and ok to leave Nashira and go to the Dover RSL Club for dinner and a few cleansing ales. Then to bed for an early night.
[Dover RSL club view]
DAY37 – Dover
So Friday dawned yet another nice day and we made a trip by foot to the Supermarket which is about 1km from the jetty. We stocked up on a few essentials and more non-essentials before getting back to Nashira and declaring this day to be a lay day. We would not sail anywhere and spend the day updating the blog site, Evan would catch up on some outstanding items for work.
[Blogging Office and Port Esperance Sailing Club]
Also we had read that the Port Esperance Sailing Club, whose mooring we were using, opens the bar at 1700 on Fridays. It was suggested in one of the cruising guides to make a donation for the use of the moorings. We did this and had a few drinks whilst discussing the fluctuating fortunes of Dover and its surrounds. Originally a timber town it was then fishing and mussels until some poor practices of the salmon fish farms ruined the mussels.
So now it relies on hosting many of the cray fishing fleet and tourism for income. I think the tourism side is still to come as the pub burnt down some years ago and has not been rebuilt. Speaking with one resident who had moved from Melbourne to Dover 50 years ago the town has not been the same since the pub went. Apparently they used to have great music and people would come from around the district to have a good time.
Now many of the shops in the main street have closed down or are up for sale and the IGA supermarket is a bit further out in a small shopping complex. Few cafes and shops remaining in the old main street are very mixed businesses with very part-time opening hours. We can recommend the pizzas from the Post Office though.
[left: Horses must be able to read in Dover, right: Sheesh In Sydney we only have ‘No-Smoking’ areas]
Wandering back to Nashira the evening is beginning to get cool and we know that tomorrow might be another Webasto heater morning.