Nosing home

We awoke to another calm day and though the sunrise wasn’t as spectacular as some of the previous ones, it was still pretty impressive. I watched the birdlife – a lone pelican paddling gracefully then stopping to stretch into awkward angles and dabble; a handful of tiny grebes, that I fondly call pop-up-ducks due to the fact you can never count them accurately (there’s four, no two, no, ten… etc); a murder of crows cackling in the trees and stalking the shore; the occasional black cockatoo screeching overhead; and plenty of unseen feathered friends peeping and tweeting. The silky smooth water reflected the muted skies, trees and sandstone shore.

Reluctantly we set off for home, and nosing out of the protection of Quarantine Bay were pleasantly surprised to find that the rest of Barnes Bay and the Channel were just as calm. A couple of die-hard sailors were doing their best to fill the canvass, but there was no wind. Rarely have I seen it this flat. The reflections of light, scattered cloud, hills, and shorelines followed us all the way.

Even North West Bay, which tends to funnel any north-west to northerly winds, was still as a pond, and we rounded Piersons Point to find the Derwent sparkling and flat all the way to Taroona.

11 Iron Pot to Cape Raoul

Here was a clear line of demarcation, and just to its north a yacht was heeling into the wind. If only it wasn’t a wind on the nose we could have finished our weekend as it had begun, with another half hour of sailing! Even this breeze died and we were able to motor Ariadne’s Clew easily back into her berth, where we tied and tidied up, and returned to life on shore.

13 home to Hobart

The Last Leg

We woke to a little slop wobbling the boat as the northerly winds flicked up the surface of the Channel and ripples curved around the point. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but just enough to rouse us and we cooked up a big breakfast for our final day’s sail using the last of the eggs.

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Nosing out of the Quarries we found the wind on our nose as we set a course for Middleton. We unfurled the headsail for part of the trip, but couldn’t sail all the way as we had a long way to travel and were keen to get home.

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As we turned the corner into the Derwent River the huge bulk of kunanyi/Mt Wellington resumed it’s familiar profile, it’s blue bulk lurking over the city, and we knew we were almost home.

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Winds were light to middling most of the way, but once we reached Taroona, where we caught up with the Saturday racing fleet, the winds strengthened to 25 knots and we furled the headsail. We watched as the fleet battled fickle conditions, with gusts causing havoc, boats rounding up and crews madly reefing mainsails and shortening headsails left and right.

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We motored on steadily through the carnage, and arrived back at our berth in time to get the post-race low-down from Gary and crew on Ciao Baby II – including news that they had torn their spinnaker.

We bundled up the dirty linen and left-over food and most of our belongings and made a quick getaway, saving the hard work for Sunday, when we planned to bring reinforcements to help out!  Back on land – and it didn’t even wobble too uncomfortably.

On Sunday we spent a couple of hours unloading the heavy gear – life-raft, dinghy etc – and cleaning the boat inside and out. We even had four willing helpers whom we rewarded with a trip to Bonorong Park in the afternoon.

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