Saturday, February 8, 2014
Tasmania - Setting sail again
(Beauty Point Marina, moon rising over the hill)I know I have been slack on the scribing for this blog so now I have to catch up. We finally cut the cobwebs between the dock and the boat at Beauty Point Marina owned by the Tamar Yacht Club, the main club being in Launceston which was founded in 1837. It has been an enjoyable stay and the two blokes who run the marina David and Ron who are both volunteers run and work on the marina without payment. The boys look after you and the marina fees are cheap in comparison to the mainland.
(Sunrise from our boat in the marina)
We would also have to give a big thank you for our great stay to Glen and Anne of 'Banyandah' who loaned us a vehicle to use for our full stay to get out and do some travelling inland and run around and get parts that we needed and in addition opened their house up for us to stay when we wanted to. They along with Nigel and Vickie gave us a great Christmas and we thank them for that. Both couples took us around the country side to see places that we probably would not have seen otherwise, we had a great time and they are great friends.
(Part of the Tamar River)
On Tuesday 21/01/2014 we as I said cut the cobwebs and headed up the river towards Launceston we actually motor sailed all the way to the Batman Bridge we had to go under it as you do, then turned around and anchored at Devils Elbow a little bay just north of the bridge. The idea of this was to run the engines and make sure all was good before continuing our circumnavigation a sort of shake down before heading out. It was good that we did this as the port engine stated to run a little hotter than normal and this was fixed when we anchored. We had a pleasant night at anchor and a reasonable early night, although I had the usual problem of first night at anchor where one does not get a good night sleep getting up and checking all is well with the different movements of the boat.
(The Batman Bridge, we passed under it and here have turned back towards and anchorage)
(Boats moored near our anchorage, Tasmania has some classic building but they also have some classic timber boats)
Wednesday 22/01/2014, we were up at first light all was calm and cool and we weighed anchor and motored down the river and head out to Devonport some 38NMS. The Tamar River is quite beautiful and the historic buildings look great. Once out of the Tamar we had some wind so we hoisted the sails but the wind was not strong enough to go under sail alone so we had one engine running . We arrived at Devonport and entered the Mersey River and found our way to the Mersey River Yacht Club where we had arranged a berth for the evening. Long time friends Wayne (Caba) and Anne Cabalzar was there to greet us and after getting to the dock with help from Steve on a yacht berthed at the dock behind us and we were all secured Caba and Anne took us home to their place where we had lunch, showered and did some washing. Having spent a nice afternoon with them they drove us back on board. It was great catching up with them again, I worked with Caba in Alice Springs many years ago, I have many good memories of when we worked away down at Ayres Rock and on the night we would go to the pub for a beer as you do and Caba would keep us in stitches laughing at his jokes. He is a bloke that can keep a straight face or use the appropriate expression whilst telling jokes and he would have us with tears rolling down our cheeks and make your stomach ache from laughter. We had some good times together.
(Entering Devonport, the 'Spirit of Tasmania on the port side)
We had received a text message from Glen and Anne on the day to meet them for dinner at 1900 hours and the hotel across the road from the marina, so as soon as we got back on board it was time to get changed and head to the pub. So we had dinner with Glen, Anne and Nigel and then we said our farewells before returning on board. We had also met Steve and Kerrin on 'Rhapsody' a 10m timber monohull yacht that was built in New Zealand, they were the yacht behind us and they are doing the same as us heading west so we will probably being seeing some more of them.
We hit the sack quite early as we were going to head out at 0400 hours in the morning for Stanley, again it was going to be motor sailing as there was a shortage of wind which is sometimes a good thing in Bass Strait.
Up at 0345 hours and we headed out in the dark at 0400 hours, 'Rhapsody' was slipping lines and getting underway as we were just getting ready. As soon as we were out of the port Nancy went for a rest the air was still so I reduced down to one engine sitting on a speed of 5.2 knots, we could see 'Rhapsody's' stern light in the distance and some steaming lights on the horizon off the starboard quarter this turned out to be the ship 'Spirit of Tasmania' ferrying people and vehicles from Melbourne so I was pleased we were clear of the port before she arrived it would be a challenge going out of the Mersey River when she was coming up the river.
(Visitors came to see us as we sailed along)
(Coming into land, these birds will do this they land on the water near the boat then later catch up and do the same again)
(A significant landmark The Knob at Stanley)
As daylight came a little wind came with it but not strong I was able to unfurl about a third of the headsail to get some wind to hold it out and we picked up speed to 5.8 to 6 knots. It was quite a calm trip with a little swell on the beam at times which made the sail slap. We arrived at Stanley at 1430 hours just as the wind kicked in, the afternoon sea breeze. The port entrance is quite narrow, I had to get Nancy to watch the port side as we entered to make sure we did not hit the pole that was leaning inwards of the entrance. We got alongside the dock and secured.
You need boards with your fenders along the dock here it is not as bad as it was in Apollo Bay the vertical timbers are square and clean, however, we do have a 3 metre tidal difference so rope adjustments are required at times. The plan is to stay here for a couple of days whilst the next change comes through that is brining 25-30 knot winds.
(The Witlshire Railway Station now a motel in Stanley)
(Not one of the good things of our past)
Steve and Kerrin came over for sundowners and to use our shower as their small boat has a cockpit shower and the dock master has not turned up with the key for the shower on the dock. There is no electricity available here but there is a tap for topping up the water. Whilst Kerrin was having a shower Les the dock master turned up with a key and said he would be down to see us in the morning so I suppose we pay him for use of the dock then.
We had a pleasant couple of hours with Steve and Kerrin, couple of beers and wines. When they went home we had dinner and went to bed.
I woke during the night at high tide and low tide and checked the ropes all was good. I slept in till 0730 hours then got up and made a cup of tea and Nancy got breakfast, Steve and Kerrin had just come back from a run, young fit buggers. Steve is 48 years old, he is ex-British Army and then worked for the New Zealand Army. They are nice couple.
They gave us the key to the showers after they had theirs and they went off into town, we went into town after we showered and had a good walk around and chatted to some of the locals. Stanley is a pretty little town, we came here last Sunday by car with Glen and Anne and had lunch along with some other sightseeing.
This time we had lunch at Moby Dicks Breakfast Bar and I must say it is a very nice place and the price for meals were very good and the service excellent. I still maintain that customer service here in Tasmania is the best. There is no falseness or practiced lines when you walk into a place, the people start up a conversation rather than the "Can I help you?" Love Tasmania.
The wind started to pick up so we returned to the boat and by the time we got back we started rocking and rolling as the afternoon went on it got worse. The one thing that confused both Steve and I to start off with is that Les had told us that where we were was the best place for SW winds even though Glen had told me earlier that it was not a good spot. However, I looked at the magnetic compos and the direction it showed for SW should give us good protection. In reality the opening of the harbour that we are in line with is SW, there is something in the area that interferes with magnetic composes, it could be the dock face is steel casing or something in the building nearby.
By mid-afternoon the winds had picked up along with the waves coming at us and we were being bashed against the dock, Steve's boat being smaller and lighter was suffering the most, in the end he rang Les and asked to go into a fisherman's pen. As he told me and asked if we could help him with ropes a gentleman came along, Jim Hursey of the family that owns the fishery and most of the fishing boats pens. He told us where we were was very dangerous during these conditions, Steve told him that Les said he could move into a certain pen and Jim said that the fishing boat would be going there tonight but we could both move into two of his other pens as the boats will not be back for a couple of days. We thanked him and we both moved over to the other side of the harbour where it was calm. Just on dark a very large fishing boat entered and went to the pen that Les had allocated Steve, so it was a big thanks to Jim Hursey for our peaceful night.
(Marine Park, Stanley)
(This is a memorial in the Marine Park for Jim Hursey's son who was lost at sea when trying to rescue another person, Jim has a grandson now that is getting his Captains qualifications, the sea is in the family blood)