We woke up ready to explore Deal today. We dinghied over to Bundeena to circumnavigate the Island first. Impressive rock formations and beautiful coves are visible around the island. The lighthouse was hard to see in many locations and it made us wonder how useful it was in its day.
Sailing all the way around to the jetty we visited the day before we dropped anchor and made our way ashore noticing that the Cape Baron Geese and Wallabies don’t seem to be afraid of visitors. Kinda cool.
We walked up a clear marked path, went past the Telstra Chair ( the only place on the island with reception (3g) and up to the caretakers cottage.
The current caretakers Fiona and Mick met us outside the cottage (Lovely people who took a generous amount of their time answering all of our questions). Caretakers are volunteers who stay for a 3 month period, bring all their own food, take care of the grounds and help visitors. This couple is presently here with one of their daughters Ali and it is their second stint at caretaking. They love it and it shows. The place is pristine clean and beautiful.
They advised us to hike up to the Barn Hill lookout (about 15 minute hike with steep bit at the top) and see the Splendid Dover Lookout (about 10 minutes off the main path). Both were worth the effort. But I have to say I liked the Barn hill lookout the best, the view is out of this world. I have to come up with more creative words, Its boring saying everything is beautiful all the time, but it really is quite splendid here.
Evan put his new knee to the test (called: Very Good Knee) and it worked fantastically coming downhill. Frank has just had a knee reconstruction as well, except his is not metal and he was able to handle the hike just fine.
Once back at the caretakers cottage we shared a beer and stories with Fiona, Mick and Ali. It was cool hearing about their adventures and why they chose to become caretakers. It was also wonderful taking a break in the shade and breeze. Fiona very kindly gave us some vegies from their garden which Frank was MOST impressed with as he had been complaining that his foods stocks are too low and he must now eat food that he doesn’t like. i.e tinned tuna.
We decided to high tail it out of there at about 5pm as a NE wind was really starting to pick up. You don’t want to be caught in the Murray pass with wind against tide as you can find yourself in 5 – 7 meter waves at either end of the pass.
On the way down the path we stopped at the Telstra chair and made a call to Tas Marine Radio letting them know we are all okay and will contact them when we finally make it down the east coast of Tassie. As for now we are getting ready to hunker down as tonight it is forecast with 20-25 knot NE swinging to NW with storms predicted and tomorrow will be an all day 25 knot gusting to 35 knot SW.
Back on Bundeena we motored our way to Garden Cove encountering growing waves of about 3 meters. Hoping that Nashira was okay Frank noted he could see us on AIS in the cove so all good so far.
We rounded the corner to our cove and found Nashira rocking and rolling quite heavily. We stayed until Bundeena was safely anchored and jumped in the dinghy to see how Nashira fared in our absence.
It took a bit to get onboard but finally aboard safely we took stock. Only the water filter below took a dive to the floor and fell apart. Otherwise all was good.
We decided to re-anchor, With the coming SW we were a bit too close to shore for comfort. Setting up our 2 anchors on the one chain (A method we read about on our last trip to Tassie) took some effort and with hindsight boy are we glad we did.
Our poor dinghy was stuck having to dance about in the water. We knew we couldn’t lift the it with the outboard on board and the wind was too high and water too rough to remove it safely. Instead we tethered the dinghy with a bungee type cord to reduce the stress when the dinghy line (painter) snapped tight. We watched the dinghy bouncing about uncomfortably and knew this wouldn’t last.
A wee while later we pulled the dinghy alongside Nashira hoping this would help protect it. An hour later we found the dinghy seat had fallen down and was floating in water being smashed from side to side. Knowing that it would be lost if we left it I volunteered to get in and bail it out and hand Evan the seat. We carefully brought the dinghy back behind Nashira and I got in. That was an adventure itself. I was able to bail the water out and while Evan pulled me back to Nashira I handed him the seat. To get out safely Evan yelled “Grab my hand! “ He literally pulled me out of the dinghy and to safety with one swift movement while the world was wildly rocking. Felt like something out of a James bond movie.
The wind continued to blow from the NE. A great whopping thunder and lightning storm ensued. It’s now about 11pm and we are sitting upstairs hoping the 2 anchors would hold, hoping we weren’t going to be hit by lightening and hoping the wind would abate so we could get the dinghy up.
I learned something: I expected that when the wind changed directions that it would reduce in speed. The wind never reduced in strength. The storm passed, the wind changed to NW but it continued to blew its guts out. The dinghy flipped over twice. I don’t know how long it was upside down with drowned outboard the first time. We feared the worst, ruined outboard, lost oars that were velcro’d inside. We were able to flip it back over both times by sitting on the transom together and literally pulling the dinghy up and turning it over. The second time Evan found the oars still intact and managed to pull them out. We found it worked better for the dinghy to be pulled in close to Nashira with the ladder in the water which kept it from going under Nashira with the bouncing.
The wind changed to SW, it never abated. It did however reduce the seas as we were anchored relatively close to shore.
Again fear that the anchor might drag kept us awake so we took hourly turns monitoring the situation and anchor alarm, This went on until 5am give or take a bit before we both decided the anchors were holding fine and got a bit of sleep.
At 9am both awake, the sun shining, wind blowing 25+ knots gusting to mid 30’s we have settled in for a honking windy day.
What price Paradise?
We have been stuck on Nashira all day. Finally getting the outboard off the dinghy and the dinghy lifted. Evan took to fixing the outboard. It was exciting to hear it roar to life after using wd40 (CRC) type stuff and removing and cleaning the spark plug. So happy about that!!!
He also emptied the water that had gotten into a front locker and fixed the jib tack shackle that I had found broken last night during deck checking.
We have cooked a huge breakfast of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, fresh tomatos and lettuce (from the Deal garden) and talked to Frank on Bundeena about our next travel plans.
The plan is to leave here by midnight tonight, we will still have wind from SSE at 15+ knots and travel down to Flinders Island, Heading down the east of the island and picking up a NE (if the weather cooperates) to shoot us down the east coast to Tribunna for fuel and to hide from a bit of yicky weather that will pick up on Saturday afternoon.
We are opting for a bit of discomfort to start in hope of getting to safety before the next big blow.
Lets see how we do.