Saturday, February 15, 2014

Port Davey to Recherche Bay

Friday - 07/02/2014
Awake at 0330 hours put the kettle on make the tea, my heart starter. Then start getting things ready, roll up the cockpit covers, started engines to warm up, switch on the instruments, Nancy gets her herb garden planter boxes inside the cockpit so the seawater does not kill them, undo the mainsail bag, not that I think we will be using it there is no wind at all.
Cup of tea finished time to go, Nancy out on the anchor winch bringing up the anchor whilst I move the boat to take the strain off the chain, she gives the all clear and we are off.
It is dark you can't see a bloody thing out there other than shadows of land, although we have two chart plotters at the helm when you first turn after pulling the anchor they are slow to respond because we are only moving slow until the boat gets a little speed up. It is quite easy to get disoriented during this time. Your eyes are still trying to adjust to night vision and Nancy who needs a torch out forward for the anchor does not help the night vision. After a short time we adjust and I navigate us out of the Cove and into the channel through the islands and out to sea.
As we get out to the ocean and change course for the SW Cape the morning light starts and what a great sunrise. The shoreline is full of mist with a few fishing boats that have been anchored for the night. The seas have a rolling swell of around 1 to 2 metres other than that it is calm no wind no wind waves. After we cleared the channel of islands Nancy went for a rest because I will need a rest later and she is missing this lovely morning, she will curse me when she sees the photos I have taken but safety comes first and we need sleep in case we are out here longer than we expect to be.
(Red in the morning?)
(Heading to South West Cape)
(Albatross glides over the sea)
(Sunrise as the albatross glides)

(Approaching South West Cape)
Nancy got up as we were about to round South West Cape, if she had not have been I would have to wake for this one it is one of our mile stones of circumnavigation. There is always a concern on the seas and they say to stay well clear of the Cape because waves can come from nowhere, we were surprised how calm the seas were, we had studied the weather but the predictions were for moderate NE winds and we expected the seas and wind to be up a little. The guide book stated the best time to leave Port Davey for our destination was just before a westerly change and that is on its way. Other than less than one metre swell we had smooth seas no wind therefore no wind waves, it does mean running engines.
(South West Cape)
After rounding the SW Cape without any problems from the sea we headed for the Maatsuyker Island Group (the name may be familiar because of the yacht that we met in the Gordon River had the same name). The guide book suggests the best course is to pass through these islands and they are probably right, however, I am pleased it was not night time as there were lobster pot floats all over the place and we had to steer a course through them.
(Nancy taking photos as we head for Maatsuyker Island Group)

The day was quite misty not sure whether this was smoke from fires in SA or VIC but it did not make it good for some photos of the coastline. The southern coastline of Tasmania is really something to see, the mountain ranges and cliff are wonderful. The Maatsuyker Island Group are also very attractive.
(Maatsuyker Island Group)

Nancy took the watch after we had passed through the islands and I went for an hours sleep then I took the watch again whilst Nancy made a brew and something to eat. Nancy kept checking our Lat/Long as she wanted to record our furthest point south again another milestone. This occurred just as we neared SE Cape the Lat/Long was 43⁰ 39.645' S 146⁰ 18.069' E. Prior to reaching this point as we neared South Cape we had a great experience, in the near flat seas we could see dolphins coming in distance from all directions towards us, prior to this we had seal groups of seals. The dolphins just kept coming and it did not stop until we reached South East Cape, it was mind blowing. Some left and more joined, as some left behind us they were jumping out of the water high in the air. We have had many dolphin experiences but this would have been the best.
(Dolphins between the hulls)

(Dolphins above and below)

(Dolphin jumping behind the boat)
(Nancy taking photo of dolphins and the seal out to her left)
(A seal with its flipper out of the water, they do this as a way of controlling their body temperature)

As we rounded SE Cape we could see a storm ahead and then we saw the lightening and heard the thunder, by the guide book standards we had left Port Davey at the right time, they stated that there would possibly be small storms in when we got to this area as a pre-cursor to the westerly change coming. We headed for Coalbins anchorage in Recherche Bay as we reached the bay I had to stop engines and wait a short while as the storm hit and we had white out, it lasted a short time then we anchored. We put the covers down due to further rain but there was not much after anchoring. Nancy asked if I wanted a cup of tea and I said no way I'll have a beer. We made good time getting  here taking 11.5 hours averaging just over 6 knots only using one engine most of the way.
(Part of the southern coastline, South Cape to the right)
(South Cape)
(South East Cape)
(Storm cell as we arrive at Recherche Bay)

It was very calm and with only two other yachts anchored it was quiet, we had a nice dinner and a couple of wines and I went to bed reasonably early after a long day.



  1. Replies
    1. The guide book use was the Tasmanian Anchorage Guide 5th Edition put out by Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, it is available at the Boat Book Shop, it is around $70.