Day 46 – Port Arthur to Maria Island – 20 Mar 2017

This morning is predominantly grey with blue patches and a bit of sunshine  The sunrise is eerily beautiful in our little bay.    We are nicely sheltered from S winds and can see the water dancing lively just outside our little bay.

Here we are actually ready to leave by 7:30am!  Everything stowed and a fond farewell to the occupants of Sea Echo II, we are on our way.

This morning we will be passing between Tasman Island and Tasman Peninsula.  The weather is slowly getting darker.  We cant see the top of Tasman Island for the clouds.  Rehab a catamaran is spotted ahead of us making path for Tasman Island also.

The closer we get my anxiety is increasing,  it is dark and ominous.   I’m worried that the 20 knot SE which on us now is going to make the passage rough over the 7 metre deep section between the island and the peninsula.   Evan ever cheerful said “don’t worry, she’ll be right”.  His cheery attitude bolstered my bravery.

The passage is stunning,  the cliff walls shrouded in cloud are close, rugged and dark.  Sailing through with mainsail only so we can see everything is similar to being on a Disneyland ride.  Scary, exhilarating, fully committed and going for it!     
[right: Old delivery receiving station on Tasman Island]

We made it out the other side and woohoo!! I am so glad we did this.   The excitement calms down and we are here in a normal grey drab cloudy day.

Wow! Would not have missed that for the world.  Later on Evan had me read an article in Feb 2017 Cruising Helmsman which helped me to understand that many feel anxious when pushing against their fears.

“You cannot let fear creep in and make itself cosy, kicking back in a lounge chair with its slippers on.  You have to fight very hard to evict it.

It does not matter if you hide in a cabin under a doona, hugging the life out of your favourite teddy bear.  It doesn’t matter that when you are on deck your heart is shaking and the butterflies threaten to explode out of your stomach.  All that matters is that you know how to keep going.

The empowerment and self satisfaction you will feel after defeating your demons is indescribable. If you confront your fear head on you will be rewarded.  The magic of the ocean mesmerising you, her beauty stealing your heart and turning the blood in your veins to salt water, is experienced by a select few. Meanwhile all your worries drift away in the current.

It is only for the ones who dare to lose sight of the shore.“  by Lahnee Kai  “Heading into the unknown”

On the not so good side, our steering is making noise again.  Sounds like whale song when turning to port.  Not the best as the noise is grating and the steering a bit harder.  We push on though as favourable SE winds pushed us quickly up to Maria Island and we arrived at Darlington Bay about 3:15pm.   For this leg we averaged over 7 knots!  We are getting a bit of sunshine now which is appreciated.

We took the dinghy ashore and explored the old penitentiary township converted to barrack like accommodation, camping and historical area with extensive hiking maintained by Parks and Wildlife.    There seems to be many tourist boats that roar up to the jetty dropping off explorers.    The campground is quite busy with what seems like school kids on an excursion.   The birdlife here is quite different with many endemic breeds walking around careless of the human traffic.  Wombats and one wallaby is also hanging around fearless.   Tomorrow I may take the time to do a bush walk while Evan is hard at work.

[Left: Cape Barron Geese, Right: another type of goose :-D]

When the sun drops below the horizon the temperature drops quickly and the mosquitoes come out in force!  We raced back to Nashira, danced around shaking any hidden mozzies off of our clothing and dived below deck.  Sliding the washboard into place and putting fly-screens into the kitchen and bathroom windows we are ready to hide for the night with a good salmon dinner and a mozzie free sleep,  hopefully.

😀 Kelly & Evan

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