Day 29 – Return to Kettering – Feb 28, 2019

Today we are going to navigate the Marion Narrows and Denison Canal with our emergency tiler.

Up at 4:00am we left Chinaman’s Bay for Marion Narrows.    High tide (Hobart) is about 4:20am so traversing the Narrows any time after about 5:45am is good for us.    We arrived at the entrance by 6:30am with the tide starting to run out.   The sun is just up so visibility is now good enough to go.    The motor cranked up to do battle with the now outgoing tide we started.

Evan took the tiler and had a copy of the Marion Narrows Chartlett from MAST while I handled the throttle, made sure the chart plotter was centred, kept watch on the depths and sand bars and kept Evan up to date with all of the data.

The start was slow against the outgoing tide but the water was plenty deep enough.  We made our way to Dunalley and picked up a MAST public mooring by 7:30am.    Made a call to Denison Canal control and spoke to Shane.  He was there early and ready to go.  He knew we needed to get through at 8am sharp as we spoke yesterday and booked the bridge opening.  Having calculated the tides and double checking all of our information with friends Judy and Greg.  We knew the tide would be 0.80 at 8:00am.   The shallowest point on the sandbar after the bridge is measured at 1.20 metres.   This with 0.80 will give us exactly 2.0 metres of water.  Our keel is 1.95.    Fingers crossed!!

Shane requested we start down the canal markers at 8am on the dot and he would have the bridge opened by the time we got there.

Off we go,  8am.  We noticed the edges of the canal had rocks exposed but found that staying in the centre the water was deep enough.  The shallowest point being 2.1 metres just before the bridge.    Through the bridge and we can see the finish line.    We were advised to stay close to the middle green buoy.   We were also advised to gun it just in case we touch the sand bottom.    In need of fixing our keel after hitting a rock in Triabunna a sand polish would not do any harm.  (Thanks for the local advice J & G,  you guys rock!!).

So we did both,  Hugged the centre green marker and Gunned it!!   Woohoo the shallowest point was exactly 2.0 metres.  And we are over!!  Into Norfolk Bay.  Happy!

The trip to Kettering was uneventful except for a few times when I overcompensated with the jury rigged tiller.   Woo! we can change direction quite quickly with the steering cables fully removed.    All in all the trip to the marina was calm and quiet.   The weather remained blissfully quiet as well.  Thank you Mother Nature!

Evan received a call from David at Flexible Drive saying the Steering cables are ready and he will arrive at the marina about the same time we are done tying up.    I am going to write up a separate post about this company and the guys there.    The BEST more supportive helpful people ever.   In my post I will explain what happened with the steering cable and why it froze up.

At the marina and stepping on the ground was blissful.   We organised our stay with the office and tomorrow Evan will be meeting with the shipwright.    We have decided that this is a wake-up call, don’t leave things that need to be fixed, especially important things till later.    With this in mind we have been working on a list of things that need love and attention and have decided that we will take the time now to get these things done before bringing Nashira home.

Exhaustion has set in,  both of us now feel so tired we can hardly keep our eyes open.   We visited with Frank who is is undergoing major works on Bundeena at the marina then Greg and Judy of Sea Echo 2 came by.  It is so good to see these guys.    Tonight we are having dinner at the Oyster Cove Inn then collapse in bed.


  1. Safa


    What is Tiler?

    Stay safe!

    frm Safa

    1. admin

      Hi Safa, The tiller is used to steer a boat. In our case it is a long ‘L’ shaped piece of stainless steel tubing. The shorter end is attached to the top of the boat rudder directly and used to move the rudder manually. Our boat has a steering wheel but this stopped working so we had to use our emergency tiller to steer with.

Add your thoughts?