Here I am back again after a long absence!
A new year and a new look at the blog.
Last year I abandoned ship half way through the year. I think I got myself bogged down, trying to cover every trip in too much detail. So this year I’m going to start again with a slightly different focus. A snippet of interesting information here, a photo there, a description, interesting observation… whatever comes to me on the day’s journey.
Last night we anchored in Lady Bay, around the corner from Stewarts Bay and between this and the Port Arthur Historic site. Yesterday we made passage from Fortescue Bay on the Tasman Peninsula, and followed the spectacular coastline, slipping between Cape Pillar and Tasman Island. These are some of the highest sea cliffs in the world and the rock formations are stunning. Tasmania is one of the few places in the world with these spectacular dolerite rock formations – tall slender pillars, needles and organ pipes – stretching all along this coastline, sometimes sitting on a base of sand- or mud-stone. Rounding Cape Hauy, the first of the capes we rounded, we could see the walking track, and at the top a few walkers looking across to the Candlestick, a tall thin rock pillar rising out of the water between the Cape and the Lanterns, where a climber was perched just below the summit. This is a popular and challenging rock climb, but gives me the heebie-jeebies each time I see someone out there. The rock below them on the southern side sports a patch where a huge segment of rock has fallen away fairly recently. For all its majestic strength it is subject to the full force of the southern ocean and the roaring forties.
Between Tasman Island and turning into Port Arthur we saw 15 yachts heading north in procession. We dubbed it the Hobart to Sydney yacht race as presumably most are racers on the return journey. We could identify a few via their AIS signal. Two turned into Port Arthur with us, taking a more leisurely and scenic route, whilst others headed offshore in a beeline for Sydney or elsewhere.
For the next few days it’s just Derek and I on board. At Fortescue we met our son Tim who took our first sailing companions for the year, A&A, back home. The four of us set out from Bellerive on 27th Dec, with our first night at Lime Bay before taking the Dunalley Canal to Blackman Bay and the Marion Narrows to the East Coast. We spent two nights at Maria Island (Chinamans Bay), one at Triabunna and two at Canoe Bay (around the corner from Fortescue). We will stay at Port Arthur for a few days until tomorrow, when we will make for the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Dinner on shore tonight at Stewarts Bay Lodge!