Sunday, March 16, 2014

Maria Island to Wineglass Bay

Thursday 27/02/2014
We were underway just after first light and motored out to deeper water before hoisting the mainsail, there is little wind but we may get some aid from what there is, looking at Maria Island as we go along and seeing a few old buildings ashore along with newer farm buildings one has to be reminded that this island was also a penal colony, it was not as bad as Sarah Island but the men that were sent to any penal colony some paid more than their penalty. Think of it seven years for stealing a hankerchief, some steal cars today and get a slap on the wrist.
The passage north was the same as the day before the wind came and went with the land form. We headed to the west side of Schouten Island where our original plan was to anchor in the beautiful northern bays for the strong SW winds predicted then the plan was to go across to Passage Anchorage on the southeast part of Freycinet Peninsula for the northerly winds tomorrow. However, we figured we could go through Schouten Passage checking the anchorages on the way have some time in Wineglass Bay and then head back tomorrow the 12NMS to Passage Anchorage for the weather change.
(Schouten Island ahead)
We have walked Freycinet areas some years ago travelling land side and it is very lovely it is equally lovely from the sea. Heading towards the passage care needs to be taken as a reef extends out on the NW corner of Schouten Island it has an Isolated Danger Marker to identify the rocks.  We checked the anchorages as we headed through the passage and made a mental note to self of where we would go if the change came through. Going through the passage with the tide raced us through at a speed of 9 knots, this passage would be dangerous to travel if there were strong  winds and high seas it was near flat when we went through with SW winds.
(Northern anchorages at Schouten Island)
(Schouten Passage)

After passing through the Schouten Passage and turning northward to Wineglass Bay we had dolphins to welcome us, one never gets tired of seeing them. The rock formations of the cliff faces are something to see and there is lots of them. We finally got to where we turn towards Wineglass Bay and headed in the SW wind met us head on but nothing to worry us just slowed our progress.
As we neared we could see other yachts anchored, a good mixture a large motor cruiser, a catamaran, a trimaran and one monohull. We dropped anchor and just took in the sights, the beach had quite a number of people and there were some going to a camp nearby. The two couples off the motor boat left the beach and went by and I gave them a wave to say hi and they returned the wave, later the two blokes went out in the dinghy fishing and on their way back they called into to say hello and gave us three large flathead for dinner. We thanked them and had a chat they were from Melbourne and touring Tassie. When they left I cleaned and filleted the fish ready for dinner.
(Freycinet Peninsula)
(Wineglass Bay)
(The free loader Gull)

Later in the afternoon the NE sea breeze kicked in and at first I was concerned as that put us along with all the other boats on a lee shore so we kept a close eye on things, it did not last long and we had still air and waters through the night. We had our great feed of fish for dinner and just relaxed.
Friday - 28/02/2014
The first boat to move was the motor cruiser, when I was talking to them yesterday I told them about our anchor winch problems, as they started to hoist their anchor they got it part way up and they had some trouble, I thought I had jonahed them. After some work they got it going again I think the chain had jammed somewhere and they had to unjam it.
The next to move was an old fella in the monohull, a solo sailor had to hoist the anchor hand over hand, he got it half way up and had to go to the cockpit have a drink and sit for a while before completing the task. It was not a large yacht and it had travelled, Queensland and Australian registered so he had been places, he came by us and wished us well as we did him. Then the other solo sailor in the catamaran went and we followed.
(The solo sailor pulling the anchor up and heading off)

We headed back down to Schouten Passage where the others headed out to sea to catch the wind that would come later in the day as they were going further south. We went through the passage and headed for the anchorage on the north side of Schouten Island, the reason for this is that a SW change could come through the night and I wanted to have a look at the anchorage in case we had to move in the dark, we motored around the area marking waypoints on the chart plotter so I would know exactly where to anchor in the dark plus the fact that when we moved away to the Passage Anchorage for the NE winds predicted it would leave a track on the plotter that I could follow back.
(Dolphins race towards us as we head south to Schouten Passage)
(Nancy taking photos of the dolphins)

Just after plotting and turning towards Passage Anchorage the strong NE winds kicked in we headed for the anchorage and dropped the pick ensuring that it grabbed well because the guide book indicates that this anchorage is dubious. So I made sure the anchor grabbed. Within the next couple of hours we had a total of eleven boats anchored nearby all with the same idea. By sunset things had calmed and although the southerly change did come through during the night they were light winds and no reason to move to the other anchorage.
(Passage Anchorage)

Tomorrow we head for Flinders Island it will be an overnight sail.


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