Position: Port Davies, Flinders Island
Partridge Farm has a curious collection of livestock. I ate my breakfast on the deck overlooking a paddock of deer, complete with sproinking fauns and the odd sheep or goat, whilst fending the rather bold and vocal partridges off my food. All around on the grass scampered more than 30 guinea-pigs, ducks and chickens, all watched curiously by Jess the sheepdog. We packed up and before we left the owners entreated us to help ourselves to the Nashi pear tree. As soon as I entered the orchard the pig began to squeal in excitement – so of course I had to share the pears!
We drove the short hop back to Lady Barron, piled everything into the waiting dinghy and re-boarded the fair Ariadne’s Clew. It was time to see if the new motor was going to get us out of our pickle. It took a while for Derek to get it lined up and onto the mounting screws, a bit of puzzlement with the wiring, and a couple of bouts of testing with a spare battery. It wasn’t until we disconnected the cables from the battery in the back cabin, gave them a blow, wipe and reconnected them with an extra twist, that the thing finally burst to life. Yes, we now have an operational anchor winch! Hooray! We’re very thankful to Andrew, who arranged the delivery and talked us through getting it going again.
It was after 1pm when we motored out of Lady Barron for (hopefully) the last time! With our cruising time in the north cut short by our troubles we decided to push on up the west coast to Emita, the location of the museum we’d visited by car on Monday. Again we had the flood tide pushing us west in Franklin Sound, but the easterly wind was barely enough for sailing, and as we went further west the wind dropped to almost nothing. The sea was glassy, the early morning cloud had burnt off leaving a blue sky. We saw a flock of gannets resting on the surface, the odd little penguin paddling about, a couple of lazy seals with their flippers in the air and then, three or four dolphins joined us to play. One spent ages surfing our bow-wave and we went right to the prow to watch. Through the crystal clear water we could see it swimming along with its tail almost resting on the bow. From time to time it would put its head on the side and look up at us. After a good while it would swim off to the side to take a breath then return.
We didn’t see any short-tailed shearwaters until we came further north and into some wind. Then we could see flocks of them wheeling around using the wind-shear off the water to keep themselves aloft.
We pushed on north, passing Mt Chappell, Big Green and East Kangaroo Islands, then the Chalky Islands and inside Prime Seal. There are several nice anchorages around Settlement Point but by this stage the wind had picked up so we continued around the point to Port Davies hoping this would be out of the wind. It wasn’t, but we grabbed the MAST public mooring and here we stayed for the night. There was one other yacht anchored closer to the protection of the dunes, plus a rusty fishing boat, and we all wobbled about in the wind.