Fri 23 Jan
Crew: Derek, Marion, Ben and Sarah
Course: BYC to the Duck Pond (North Bruny)
Wind: North-westerly to Westerly, 10-15 knots
We were underway by 11.30 am – the younger crew took longer than expected to get ready for our weekend trip! We hoisted the main straight away, to take advantage of the favourable winds, thinking ourselves lucky to be sailing with the wind behind us for a change. It seems all too often we find ourselves travelling into the wind, or worse still, into bad weather. We set the headsail and enjoyed the quiet, training our new crew in perfect conditions. It is lovely to have Ben along with us for a change. He does have a lot to learn about sailing though!
We managed to keep the sails set until we were south of White Rock (at the end of South Arm), then we dropped the sails and served lunch – yummy salad rolls – as we motored into the Channel. There was a bit of wind about, so we proceeded into the calm waters of the Duck Pond, where we anchored quite close in to shore. We were greeted by two black swans, who noisily demanded food. The tide was out, exposing heaps of oyster beds, like strange plants emerging from every solid bit of sea bed. These were a bit of an obstacle course for our inflatable craft – dinghy and kayak – which we took out for a spin in the afternoon. We went ashore at the nearest ‘beach’, then around the small reef at the entrance and to another beach on the point. Ben and I tried the kayak sail on the way – but we were in a wind shadow. We could see the wind and waves rushing into Barnes Bay from the west.
We sat snug in our anchorage for the evening, playing board and card games and having spaghetti bolognaise for dinner.
Sat Jan 24
Course: Duck Pond to One Tree Point and back the Quarantine Point overnight
Wind: south to south-easterly
A lazy morning with late breakfast of eggs and bacon today – the usual for a day on the boat with no fixed plans. At around midday we pulled anchor and nosed out of the protection of the Duck Pond to see what was happening in the rest of the world. We heard from Dave that he and Sue were out on Trouble, and having lunch and a swim at One Tree Point on the north east shore of Bruny Island, so we headed around to join them.
A good south-easterly breeze meant we were able to sail up the Channel, but we took the sails off when we rounded Dennes Point and were bashing into it. For a moment we wondered what we were doing out here in the wind, but soon we could see Trouble, a tiny white dot sitting calmly in the nook of One Tree Point. We pulled up alongside and dropped anchor, finding ourselves in the most beautiful protected little bay. We invited Dave and Sue on board for afternoon tea – a batch of fresh scones I whipped up on the way out!
After scones we all went ashore in the dinghy and kayak – all except for Derek who had to take a support call from the US… Dave and I had a swim in the crystal clear water – beautiful but cold! Wading out we met a small skate. Once I had dried off I walked with Ben and Sarah along the lovely little beach and up to the cliff-top to look down at the bay on the other side, where kelp surged in the swell. we relaxed for a while in the warmth of the sun, and before we knew it, it was 5 pm and time to head in to a more protected anchorage for the night. One Tree Point is lovely, but a bit exposed for comfort, especially as the wind was predicted to swing around in the night. Dave had a story to tell about the last time he anchored here overnight, having to leave in the middle of a pitch black night and losing his tender, Short Wavelength, in the process, so we chose prudence, and both headed back into Barnes Bay, anchoring in our favourite spot off Quarantine Point – just near the Sea Eagle nest.
Dave and Sue came aboard for a BBQ dinner, and we spent a pleasant evening. After dinner they left and anchored a little way off before dark, and the rest of us played Catan (Pirate Isles) – with Ben the victor.
Sunday 15 Jan
Course: Quarantine Point to BYC
Wind: westerly ten to twenty knots
The morning dawned grey and drizzly, and though our anchorage was still and peaceful we weren’t lured out early. We had breakfast down below, but when I popped up on deck I did spot the sea eagle gliding over the trees to perch at the end of the point.
We spent the morning at anchor playing more games. The weather didn’t improve and after a hot lunch Ben and Sarah helped Derek deflate and pack away the dinghy and kayak before we headed out around the point into the westerly weather and made for home.
Once in the Channel the wind varied between ten and twenty knots. We put out a shortened headsail and rugged up. The kids hunkered down below, and slept for most of the trip home, while Derek and I sat on deck under the dodger reading and keeping an eye on the river traffic.
By about six we had berthed at Bellerive. Ben and Sarah collected the wheelbarrows while Derek and I packed and cleaned the boat. Soon we were on the road home, stopping at Susan and Sarah’s place to offload the kayak so they can borrow it for next week. We arrived home to a couple of lonely cats, and lots of washing!