Well for starters plans changed and we opted to leave at 4am to work with an updated weather forecast. Evan and I went to bed at 9pm and woke at 3am to get ready. We had to pull up our double anchor which we knew was going to be an effort. All in all it wasn’t too bad. The second anchor had gotten caught up in its lifting rope and needed some unwinding but that was all. We find it much more convenient than setting two anchors on separate rodes (chains) especially in this circumstance it would have wound the two chains to an impossibility of recovering.
So dressed and ready to go at 4am we followed Bundeena out of the bay in the dark. Soon the moon appeared with Jupiter. The stars were spectacular. You know what the milky way looks like right? Well the whole sky looks like this at times here. So many stars, so dark. An astronomers heaven I bet!!
Today I didn’t take many photos, mostly because it started out dark then I couldn’t be bothered as it felt like the next 35 hours were going to be not very photo worthy being too far away from land and all.
The winds have dropped dramatically this morning compared to yesterday. Still SW as we headed to North Flinders. Near the island Frank called to discuss going down the west side of Flinders instead.
We made the decision to follow as we hadn’t gone that way before and it would be interesting to see the other side of the island. As a broad comparison the East side is desert, sand dunes, beach looking while the west side is mountainous, trees and darker landscape. There are plenty of rocks and small islands to avoid as we navigate south.
Mid-morning the wind changed to ENE and picked up to 15-20 knots approx. and we had a honking sail down the coast. Bundeena really got into her rhythm and with her sails full up she FLEW. She was way way way ahead of us going great guns. We were so happy to see Frank stretching his wings and could imagine him smiling. As the day progressed and the winds increased we both reefed our sails.
The next challenge was navigating Banks Strait. We have heard war stories of crossing with the tide flowing against the wind which we thought would be the case for us. I don’t know if we were just super tired or what but when we got there the wind was an Easterly and the tide was coming in so while that was good and would help keep the waves down, both were effectively against us and effective at slowing us down. It was a long slog but we finally made it to Swan Island.
Evan navigated from Swan Island to Eddistone Point while I went downstairs and cooked Green curry chicken with mashed potato’s & sweet potato and green beans from the Deal Island garden. Fiona if you are reading this, I just want to say thank you again. The beans, tomato’s and lettuce are fantastic! Garden grown vegies taste so much better than store bought.
After dinner we started evening watches and I had first sleep. We tootled down the coast with a lovely trailing NNE breeze, sails bat-winged. By mid-morning we were approaching Freycinet National Park, past Wine Glass Bay and going through Schouten passage. The landscape reminds me why I love sailing as we do. It is majestic, big, colourful and reminds me that we live on a beautiful planet that we should do all we can to take care of for our future.
Aiming for Triabunna to get fuel it takes another 2+ hours to get across the bay. The wind is now picking up to a brisk 15-20 knots which helps push us across the bay.
We met up with Bundeena just outside Triabunna as we found he cannot access the marina with a 3 meter keel. So we worked out that we could fill our 40ltr jerry cans to augment Bundeena’s fuel. That should give them plenty for the trip. Peter jumped from Bundeena to Nashira to help us at the wharf.
Nashira followed the markers into Triabunna and not knowing what to expect I called Gary the superintendent. He basically didn’t give us any information other than come on in and find the fuel wharf. So we came in and found the only fuel pumps were behind parked squid trawlers. Motoring past the trawlers looking for more fuel or any help we went to the end and turned around. Coming back toward the trawlers on the left side of the laneway we hit a ROCK near the boat ramp and stopped!. Crappola, not very impressed. No signage, no indication of a rock in this narrow channel. Evan backed off the rock and moved to the right over to the trawlers. They were lovely and said to tie up alongside them to get fuel. They assisted with pulling the LOOOONNG fuel hose through their vessel to Nashira where Evan managed to load up with fuel and also filled the jerry cans.
Peter and I did trash runs and found a fresh fish van across from the marina parking lot where we ordered fisherman’s baskets with freshly caught fish, calamari, scallops and chips. Yummm….
After fuelling up Evan checked the keel bolts and the engine bay to make sure there was no visible damage. All seems to look okay.
Gary the superintendent rang to see how we went. When I told him we hit the rock he asked why we did that. I reminded him we had never been there before and I would have been nice to know about it. He didn’t seem to care much. Later I have spoken to another who had stories about their adventure with the rock. Seems like it is just local knowledge. So if you’re going their make sure and ask about the Rock.
On the way out we tied up with Bundeena and had our wonderful lunch, past on the jerry cans and decided to head over to Maria Islands Chinamans Bay to hide from this honking Northerly for the night.
Tomorrow morning Bundeena is aiming to be on the road (so to speak) by 2am to sail around Tasman Island while Nashira will be aiming to negotiate the Marion narrows and Denison Canal.
Tonight we work with the MAST.tas.gov.net site and download the chartlet from Dec 2018 describing how to get through the narrows. John Eastway advised not to follow the markers or the leads but rather the chartlett as conditions around the sand banks change often. We are kind of nervous about doing this but if successful will be a first for us and cut so much time off of the trip. Also means we can sleep in till 5am!!
WE have noted that we cannot run the narrows with a honking wind so hoping the weather forecast is correct and tomorrow will be a calm quiet day.
Night Night all