Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hobart - Tasmania

Well we had a week and a half in Hobart staying at the Prince of Wales Marina and I must say it is a very nice marina, the marina is a bit distant from town but there are buses available after a short walk. Thanks to two more wonderful friends, Frank and June we got around and about with them. Frank told me he was available to run us around where ever  we needed to go.
(Prince of Wales Marina, this marina has only been open for 18 months)
(Prince of Wales Bay)
(Alana Rose berthed with Mt Wellington in the background)

We arrived on Thursday 13/02/2014, June and Frank were there to meet us and they took us home for dinner. On Friday Frank ran me around to get oil and filters I needed and filters for the engines so two days were taken up doing engine maintenance, all fuel and oil filters changed, changed oil, cleaned the heat exchangers and adjusted the valve tappets.
Saturday I did the starboard engine and I tried to help the blokes on the boat next door to us as they had electrical problems which ended up being a crook battery charger and one bank of batteries needing replacement, Sunday Frank and June took us to Richmond to see the Highland Piped Bands, they have the championships there each year and Frank used to play in the Police Piped Band. From there we went into Hobart to the Italian Food Festival where we had a bite of lunch. The day did not have the best weather it had light rain from time to time but we had a good day of it.
(Piped bands at Richmond)
(The Italian Food Festival, it was packed)

Monday it was back to work and I worked on the port engine completing the service. Tuesday Frank gave us his care to do our shopping, so we went and did a big shop for groceries as at the time we thought we would be leaving the next day, although it was in doubt due to the change in weather.
Wednesday and Thursday was a quiet days aboard it looks like Sunday before we leave. Friday we went into Hobart and caught the fast cat MR1 (Mona Roma 1) and went to the Mona Gallery. This was some experience, The gallery is owned by a David Walsh who had made his millions as a professional gambler. The art exhibitions some being very confronting are from artist worldwide and are actually David's personal art collection, some of the exhibits are changed every six months and I believe that it is Hobart biggest tourist attraction as far as the number of people that visit. Some people fly from all over the world just to drop in see the gallery and leave again.
(Arriving on the ferry gallery entrance white building on top of hill)
(At the basement floor looking back at lift and stairs around it)
(Rest area this is where the tour starts)
(First exhibit is the light that comes on when you hold the handles and it flashes to the beat of your heart)

May I say it is not every ones cup of tea, as I said some art works are confronting, The Poo Room is one that everyone goes to see, I must say that the smell shortened my stay in the room considerably. I may say it is an incredible place, most of the art works is not my thing but it was well worth the visit not just to see the art but the building and it's surrounds. The building is below ground level, the entrance is on top of a hillside on the waterfront and when you get off the MR1 that takes you there are 92 steps to reach the top. When you enter the gallery there is a hall where you can take your bags and secure them because you won't want to take them with you and I don't think you are allowed to. There is a cafe and a lift that goes downwards or you may choose as we did to walk down the spiral stairs that are on the outside of the round lift. Down the bottom which is about four floors below there is toilets, rest area, a bar and the start of the gallery. To give you an idea of time required we caught the 0930 hour ferry (MR1 cat) and caught the 1345 hour ferry back, this gave us plenty of time to look around and have a bite to eat at the cafe. If we needed extra time we could have organised a later ferry or give the cafe a miss and have a bite on the ferry on the way back as they also have a cafe.
(These are separate exhibits just put together on photo)

(This exhibit was spread from one side the room to the other and had flies dead hanging on threads the photos have been split to enlarge)
(These exhibits were also separated)
(One of the paintings)
(This again is a number of photos taken in the same room)

(The Poop Room and smells the same, these represent the digestive system, they get fed twice a day and if you are lucky enough to be there they do a poo at 1400 hours, shame our boat left at 1345 hours)
(Above and below a couple of views from the cafe)

(MR1 taking us back to Hobart)
(The sign in the Galley of the MR1)

When we got back to Hobart we went to find the supermarket as Nancy needed a couple of items, we then went for a drink and caught up with Elena and her family, a lovely lady that used to live in Alice Springs. We have chatted on the old Face Book and as we were both in town at the same time thought we would meet and say hi.
(The lovely Elena with Nancy and myself)
(Steve and Kerrin's 'Rhapsody along the dock)
(This is the entrance to Constitution Dock, I think you can see why I did not atemped it)

After this we went over to Constitutional Dock and met up with Steve and Kerrin off 'Rhapsody' who we sailed the Gordon River with and after having a drink with them we caught a taxi back to the marina.
Saturday being our last day Frank and June put on a farewell barbeque for us, Frank was also good enough to run us into town to drop some charts off for Steve and Kerrin before we headed to his house.  We had a great afternoon and we said our goodbyes in the early evening and Frank took us back to the marina as we needed an early night as we leave first light in the morning.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recherche Bay to Port Huon and Port Huon to Hobart via Port Cygnet, Kettering and Barnes Bay

Saturday - 08/02/2014
We did not rush around this morning we had breakfast  before heading out up the D'Entrecasteax Channel to the Huon River. The guide book indicates that once leaving Recherche Bay to be careful of the kelp beds, these are natural growing seaweed that grow off the edges of coral stretching out from the islands and reefs, these are well marked on the electronic charts. There is a lot of the kelp floating freely that have broken away so that can make you think that you are close to a kelp bed but basically if you stay on a line centre to the islands it is clear of the beds.
It was a very calm day, might say the calm before the storm the change is due tomorrow, we set off and motored no wind again. It was a pleasant journey, we had about 35NMS to go. We passed many numbers of seals along the way laying on their backs with their flippers sticking straight up out of the water, as I have found out that this is their way of temperature control which I mentioned before. They look cute but they can become nasty at times if they think they are being threatened.

(Its a rough life)
(Classic little motor boat)

As we neared Huon River mouth we found many fish farms on each side so care needs to be taken, they are clearly marked with yellow markers you just stay outside these markers. I heard one bloke on the radio the other day calling the fisheries up on the radio asking how he should navigate around them, the fisheries told him to follow the track outside the yellow markers, this bloke had trouble with that, I don't think the bloke should be out on the water. All you need is binoculars to see the markers ahead of the one you are approaching to work it out.
(A section of one of the many fish farms)
(One of the fish farm boats)

We continued up the river and I re-checked the weather on the internet and said to Nancy with the change of 40 knot winds tomorrow it may pay to see if we can go into the marina. Nancy contacted the marina and they said they had a berth for us so we headed for there.
The directions given to us was go passed the main wharf of Port Huon then follow the line of moored yachts and boats and that will lead us into the Kermandie River then follow the markers to the marina. We did this after being assured that the water will be deep enough one for us to enter. It was about an hour after low tide. When we got to the entrance I was a little surprised at the narrowness of the marked channel, from my helm position it hardly looked wide enough for us to pass through it although in reality there was well enough width. The shallowest point was 2 metres deep. We found where we were intended to go and as we went alongside a bloke by the name of David came to give us a hand grabbing the lines and securing us, we thanked after introducing ourselves. He was very helpful with local information. Later we met another yachty, Sue who had a lovely looking yacht 'Lioness of the Sea', which she has up for sale she also lives aboard.
We had lunch up at the Kermandie Hotel, which I can fully recommend, the marina complex is owned by the same people that have the hotel.
Frank from Hobart rang and said he would come down the next day and for a drive we could have lunch so we thought that was a good idea. We had a quiet night on board

Sunday  - 09/02/2014
Today the weather is going to turn bad, high winds are predicted for around 1400 hours, the morning we spent cleaning the boat and getting things tied down. Long time friends Frank and June and June's sister Cath came down from Hobart to have lunch with us at the Kermandie Hotel in the main restaurant. I can only praise this place the food is wonderful and that was voted by all of us, the service was very professional and not expensive, prices were on par with most restaurants, but I would class this as five star service and quality of meals and ample size meals. The other day we had a bar meal in the main bar which was a burger and chips but we both commented then how good that was and it only cost $12.50.
The restaurant is quite busy so if you intend to go there it is advisable to book ahead, we were lucky to get in without prior booking and the place soon filled up.
(Kermandie Hotel, great food great service)
(Kermandie Marina, very sheltered and not expensive)

(Kermandie Marina Boatyard large boat haulout)
(Kermandie River, entrance left up river right)

Whilst cleaning the boat this morning a yacht went passed on their way out, I made comment to them about the weather change, they said they would be alright and I hope they are, the winds out there were horrific, no sooner the storm hit we heard on the VHF radio calls for assistance six boats in trouble  just 3 nautical miles from us. Hobart radio put out a 'Relay Mayday' for any vessel in the area that could go to their assistance and fortunately some of the strong boats from the fish farms responded. Most boats would have had trouble getting away from the dock to go, we definitely could not go in these conditions the wind would not allow us to turn without sending us aground even the coastguard rescue boat could not launch in these conditions, the fisheries boats were in the area of the fish farms and are strong tug type boats. . Looking at the met observations winds out on the river were up to 72 knots.
(This was after the storm had settled down a little, this is the channel into the marina and Kermandie River)
(Light rain brings the rainbow)

Hobart had been hit quite bad, Frank phoned to warn us about the storm it hit them just as he was turning into his street, I told him that it had already hit down here. Hobart had power blackouts and trees down, one poor chap was killed when a tree fell on the utility he was driving.
The winds stayed until near dark so we did not venture anywhere. Sue's yacht broke away from the dock as a bow line snapped and the boys were there quick to give her assistance and the fishing boat behind us had a boom snap where it had a shade awning over it, the wind in the awning broke the boom.
Fortunately it calmed some but still windy through the night, I was feeling so pleased we had come into the marina rather than ride this one out of the anchor.

Monday - 10/02/2014
Things were calm again but we could see some of the aftermath of the storm with one yacht that had been out had a ragged piece of cloth hanging from the headsail halyard, when talking to the owner later he had lost the headsail and the mainsail, apparently they were out with other yachts from Cygnet Bay racing, which is amazing when they cancelled the Hobart Regatta race due to pending weather conditions in Hobart which was the first time in its history to be cancelled through weather. People do not realise the risks at times they think that all will be alright, they do not think of the people that have to risk their lives to rescue them when everything goes pear shape, that those people have families that also worry.

(The new day a new morning)
(One of the yachts that lost both headsail and mainsail, the remains of the headsail flapping aloft)
(Calm after the storm)

In the quiet morning we went for a walk down to Huon Wharf, the wharf today is used by the fishery farms, earlier days it would have been used for timber fruit and vegetable shipments. The place appears to be growing as far as housing with new estates opening  and land prices are quite low in these parts.
As we walked back to the marina we met Sue that came along in her car and stopped alongside and asked if we wanted to go for a ride into Huonville where we could do some shopping, so we thanked her and went with her, we did our shopping then had a bite to eat and on the way back she stopped and showed us Franklin and we visited fruit farms where Nancy bought so fruit.

(This would have to be one of the oldest mile stones around, I assume it is 34 Miles to Hobart)
(The Huon Wharf now used by the fish farms)

(The bank come Hospital come Antique Shop)

We had a very nice day and as we are leaving tomorrow we went over to the hotel to see about paying our fees for the marina. We got to the hotel across the road and said that we need to pay for our stay at the marina, Lisa asked if we had any meals at the hotel and we replied that we had lunch in the bar the first day and lunch in the restaurant yesterday, so she said that the two meals cover two days so we only had to pay for one day which was $25. You can't get better than that. We had a couple of beers at the bar before heading back on board and getting things organised for leaving tomorrow. We had a usual nice dinner aboard and a quiet night.

Port Huon to Port Cygnet

Tuesday - 11/02/2014
We left the marina straight after breakfast not long after high tide so we had plenty of depth in the passage and catch the tide down the Huon to Cygnet Bay, again it was a motor job as there was no wind so used the one engine and went along at 5.3 knots. The Huon River like the rest of Tasmania is beautiful, the landscapes of farms and other properties are a mix of modern and heritage styles.
(Leaving Port Huon)

(Farms of different types above round bales and below fish farm)

(This tug is towing the fish enclosure at a very slow rate it does not look like they are moving there is a very long tow line between them which is hard to see in this weather, there is a black marker half way along the tow line and the tug has the correct signs for towing)

As we rounded Beaupre Point going into Port Cygnet the land on the point was farmland with round hay bales and in the bay just before the point was a monohull yacht moored, Nancy said there is the best of both worlds assuming the yacht belonged to the farm which makes sense.
We went up to Cygnet Bay and anchored just outside the moorings at the Cygnet Bay Sailing Club after anchoring we noticed an older motorboat on the opposite shore to the club aground still tied to a mooring and the mooring was aground just in front of the boat, a possible result of the storm the other day.
(Looking down steam from Cygnet Bay)
(Classic yachts)

In the afternoon we watched the yacht race, they had little wind but there were some wonderful vintage yachts racing, one I noticed when it finished it had two young children aboard in their lifejackets that were having a ball, they were laughing and jumping around on the foredeck, it is just great to see children enjoying the time aboard probably not worrying about the race just having fun, the day ended with a great sunset.
We spent a quiet night at anchor and it was quite peaceful.
(Cygnet Bay sunset)

Cygnet Bay to Barnes Bay

Wednesday - 12/02/2014
We caught the tide out and headed for Kettering Marina to fuel, it would be easier to fuel here than try and cart it in containers in Hobart. The day is cloudy and drizzling rain, not a great day, no wind having to motor again although I do have the sail up its not doing much. As we come out of Cygnet Bay  I noticed a fisheries tug with one of the fish growing units a fair way behind but I imagine it is being towed, looking through the binoculars I could just see the tow line with a marker about half way, on a grey day like today it is difficult to see and because the unit is so delicate the boat towing is barely moving. So one needs to be alert at all times.
Leaving the Huon River and entering  D'Entrecasteaux Channel passing Huon Island I noticed the classic old homestead ashore hard to see as it is surrounded by large trees  making a wind break for the property. It looked quite spectacular even on this grey day.
(Entering Kettering Marina area)
(Fueling up)
(Kettering Marina)

We continued up the channel and the weather started to clear just before we got to Kettering, as we approached the ferry crossed ahead of us that takes cars and people across to Bruny Island. Turning into Kettering there are a lot of moorings but there is a wide passage through the centre as you enter the marina area it appears to be cluttered with docks in all directions. We headed for the marina fuelling point which is right down the end where there is a big FUEL sign. However, on the way there we passed another fuelling point which was self serve, we continued to the far fuel area at the marina as we had rang them, but looking at the dock that we had to go to was not favourable, it was a high dock and we probably would have had to run around organising boards for the fenders so I opted to turn around and go back to the self serve which had a good dock in a clear area. We filled the tanks and the containers then left for North Bruny Island, Barnes Bay at the anchorage Alexanders this is only a short distance across the channel.
As we entered Barnes Bay we noticed a small yacht that had been a victim of the storm the other day, it was well aground and badly damaged, this was the second vessel that we had seen aground. We anchored in Alexander a small well protected bay that is used by yachts regularly heading for Hobart from the south as an overnight anchorage.
(Alexander anchorage Barnes Bay, North Bruny Island)
(The one closest is the vocal one, must be the female)
(Morning calm)

After anchoring we had visitors and one was very vocal, two black swans looking for a feed, they had already had a feed at a large motor cruiser a short distance from us and as we found they just travelled between the two boats looking for extra food.
It was a very calm anchorage and good holding so we had a comfortable night.

Barnes Bay to Hobart

Thursday - 13/02/2014
We had a nice breakfast and waited a short time for the sun to warm things up, it was a great day with sunshine no wind again so it was to motor once again. We set off and as we pulled the anchor up the two swans came after us for a last feed. We headed out up the channel to the Derwent River. We tried to get into the marinas in Hobart City but all that was available was the inside Constitution Dock, where we would not have power and we would be alongside the dock wall. This is not what concerned me, what did was the fact that the entrance is 8 metres wide and we are basically 7 metres wide, the bridge does not open to the full vertical and with our width it does not give me room to avoid the bridge with a mast that is well  above the height of the bridge, there has been a few yachts come to grief with the mast hitting the bridge. Nancy rang a friend Darrin and he has his yacht at Prince of Wales Marina at the Prince of Wales Bay which is closer to the Bowen Bridge north of the Tasman Bridge. So Nancy contacted Noel there and he booked us in and met us at the dock to tie us up. This marina is well protected and is brand new only been operating for 18 months. The only disadvantage is that it is a distance from shopping areas. It does have a cafe on site that is open 0630 - 1600 hours Mon-Fri. Fees are more than reasonable considering we are a wide catamaran taking up two berths it cost us $121.00 for the week.
(Going up the Derwent River Tasman Bridge ahead)
(There are restrictions small craft have to avoid the centre openings)
(Near Prince of Wales Bay is where the build these large Cats, this one has just returned from being on lease to USA the Australian Forces used one during the Timor incident)
(Sunsets over the Mt Wellington ranges)
(This motorboat in the marina must be serious about drinking, beer tap aboard)

After getting settled my good friends Frank and June were here to see us, they only live a short distance from here, so it was dinner at their place. We had a good time and it is just great being able to catch up with these lovely people.


PS. The following website is interesting reading.