Friday, February 14, 2014

Macquarie Harbour to Port Davey

Saturday - 01/02/2014 
There was no hurry to get underway this morning because we do not want to get to Port Davey until it is daylight in the morning although it is quite safe to enter and anchor in the dark with a large number of safe places to drop the pick.
(Leaving Hells Gate behind again we had calm waters, not that I was disappointed)
(Dolphins race towards us and then swim between the bows)

After talking to our mate Glen we might look at the anchorage at the island Hibbs Pyramid just over 20NMS south of Hells Gate.  If we anchored there we would not have to sail through the night.
We headed out of Double Cove at 1000 hours and motored to Hells Gate with hardly any wind and sun shining made for a good passage through Hells Gate once out we hoisted the mainsail with two reefs to prevent the slapping under light winds with the side swell rocking the boat. As we went down the coast I noticed one yacht in front of us going the same way and another sailing catamaran coming north, plus there were a couple of fishing boats towards the coast.

(Hibbs Pyramid stands out as we approach, fishing boat in front had just passed us and another is on the port beam)
(Hibbs Pyramid)

As we approached Hibbs Pyramid the two fishing boats started to race us to the anchorage they with their larger engines got there just in front of us, we let them settle then checked around for a suitable place to anchor that would be out of the swell and give enough swing clearance from the fishing boats, but they had the spot to anchor so we continued on. We did not grumble about it as the fishermen are at work and need a place to anchor for the night. So it is we sail through the night. It would not have been good to stay as the boats there would have their generators and flood lights going all night. Actually as we got well down the coast we could still see the glow of their flood lights in the sky.
A note in the guide book states that older charts can be up to one nautical mile out at Hibbs Pyramid, I have a number of charts and most were well out other than the new Navionics that has been updated this year on my IPad, for a change the Garmin plotter was the furthest out on this occasion and those charts are  2008. It not only show Hibbs Pyramid incorrectly it is also its surrounds including the mainland coastline and the two rocks north of the island.
(With sunset upon us we settle down into our watch routine for the sail through the night)

Sunday -  02/02/2014
We did our four hour watch routine and we arrived at the entrance of Port Davey at first light, the night had been cool but not as cold as it has been. I woke Nancy as we got closer although she had only been in bed two hours which was around 0630 hours, I knew I would be in trouble if I didn't there were too many photo opportunities as the place is wonderful. I said to Nancy the plan is to go straight to Clytie Cove which is a good all around anchorage and we have some strong winds due tomorrow, when we get there its breakfast, shower, shave then a sleep.
Entering this waterway is very impressive with the mountainous country which is entirely different to where we have been, the country is very different as far as vegetation, trees are not as large as that in Macquarie Harbour there are short bushy type trees and from this distance a heath type vegetation covers most of the areas.
 There is plenty of depth of water in the waterways, some of the anchorages here are not great holding and some areas suffer from bullets of winds that can cause concern.  This is why we have selected Clytie Cove as it is listed as a good all around anchorage . We passed three anchored boats on the way to the anchorage so we may see more of them later.
As soon as we anchored and got things in order Nancy got breakfast of left over curry stew that we had through the night and made toast to go with it. After breakfast it was a nice hot shower  and a shave for me before a good hours sleep.
(This is our backdrop view from our anchorage in Clytie Cove)

We have noticed that this west coast one has to put up with march flies they live in these waterways, we have a fly screen draped in the doorway of the salon and they still try and find a way in, I sprayed the fly screen with fly repellent and that fixed the problem they they won't touch the fly screen.
We had a restful afternoon looking at the scenery  and having a read and working on these notes. This was followed by a roast dinner and an early night for me.
Monday - 03/02/2014
Quiet day, worked on the notes, windy weather and very cool with a few showers.
(Nice fresh bread that Nancy baked)

Tuesday - 04/02/2014
We weighed anchor and went for a look further into Port Davey checking places along the way in particular Clayton Corner where there is a jetty and water available, not that we really needed water  we just wanted to check it out. When we got there we found it quite shallow which the guide book identifies and with a moderate wind from the SE to anchor there puts us on a lee shore and the fact the guide book states it is silt mud bottom and not good holding we did not bother to stay. We motored back to where we came and for the predicted winds anchored back at Clytie Cove.
(The jetty at Clayton Corner)

We then lowered the dinghy and headed for one of the walks, as we neared the shore in the dinghy we saw another man rowing to the same spot from god knows where. When we all got ashore and spoke with him he was from Switzerland over here on a hiking holiday. He had been hiking these parts for 12 days and had 2 months in Australia, he was hiking around the Port Davey track and continuing on south and across to the southeast where he would then hitch a lift at the road south of Huon. I think you have to be a special type of person to do this alone. He was telling us that many of the walking tracks you have to cross water like he had just done, he said he was lucky because the place he picked up the rowing dinghy there were two there, if there had only been one he would have had to row across pick up the other dinghy and tow it back to where he started and then row back again so that there is always a dinghy for the next person.
We wished him well and we both walked off. We had just a short walk to the top of the second rise and then came back and returned to the boat.
(Nancy talking to the hiker from Switzerland, the dinghy rack for the ones used by hikers)
(Natures sculpture)
(Nancy on the hike)
(The view from the hill of Clytie Cove and 'Alana Rose' anchored and the passage in front of Mt Rugby)
Wednesday 05/02/2014
We had a lazy morning to start with then we weighed anchor and caught the outgoing tide and went to Bramble Cove this would give us protection for the predicted NE winds for the next two days and at the same time be a staging point for leaving on Friday. One thing that seems to be the norm in Tasmania and that is on the west coast SW sea breeze will come in anywhere between 100 hours and 13 hundred hours and on the east coast the same occurs with the SE sea breeze.
This area like all of Port Davey is breathtaking , today we had clear skies and sunshine which made it even better. I think the photos will show this.

(Joe Page Bay)
(Another view of Mt Rugby)

This Cove has a few bays with beaches and more walks up mountains. No I did not climb them. It was a glorious day and we enjoyed it.
Thursday 06/02/2014
After breakfast and the weather warmed we headed ashore to have a look around, on the way we called by a French boat to say hello and was invited aboard for coffee. They had spent 4 years in Raiatea, French Polynesia, they arrived there the same year we left but knew people that we knew there, as we say small world. So we caught up on a bit of the gossip from there.
We then headed ashore to explore and stretch the legs, we got back on board as the sea breeze started up as the sea breeze puts us on a lee shore, it only last a few hours.
(Tides out, view from the beach to the anchorage)
(Golden sunset over the bank of islands in the passage)
(Mt Misery at Bramble Cove near sunset)
(The sun has set)

Tonight it is early to bed, we sail or probably motor at 0400 hours in the morning, tomorrow we enter the real part of the Southern Ocean and reach our most southerly position on this voyage. We hear horror stories of the west coast and southern coast of Tasmania and we hope like we have done so far picked the 
right weather window for tomorrow.


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