Devonport to Stanley

We enjoyed a quiet night on the wharf at Devonport and awoke the next morning to the sound of the humming of the Spirit of Tasmania berthing at the wharf opposite. this morning was again all go, as the parcel we had been waiting for to arrive in Launceston had arrived the day we left, so John (Alan’s brother in law) put it on the local bus to Devonport. As we were on a commercial wharf we were not allowed to walk around the dock, and were instructed to use the dinghy to get to the ferry wharf downstream. Luckily it was only a short walk to the bus station and in no time he was back armed with the important box containing the membranes for the Watermaker. It was then all the hard work started! From 9am til 4pm he contorted himself in the lazarette, manual in one hand and tools in the other until the watermaker was ready to power up, then we held our breath! In no time it was making clean ready to drink water. We will now be able to return to long showers, anchor wash downs and more importantly clothes washing. From here around the West Coast it will become increasingly difficult to refill with fresh water. Alan wasn’t the only one working, a fishing trawler had returned from 10 days at sea netting shark. Over the course of the day they manually one by one loaded 4 ton (approx 1000) Gummy sharks 4′ in length, into wire baskets that were craned up to the wharf . Then once again they were hand loaded into cooler boxes on the back of a truck for the trip to the airport, then to Melbourne Fish and Chipperies. Very labour intensive! They sell for $2 per kilo!!!! Towards the end of the afternoon the fisherman passed a plastic bag full of fillets to us, which we divided between all 3 boats. We expressed our gratitude by taking a 6 pack of beer, and a plate of my freshly baked Little Cranberry Cupcakes, Lemon Cookies, and Rock Cakes. It all disappeared in minutes, even the WARM beer! The boys reckon they had to be desparate to drink warm beer and cakes! Tuesday nights’ radio sched bought news of the 40 knt winds that had buffeted the fleet all day whilst at the Mersey Yacht Club, but tucked up on the other side of the river we had a warm sunny day, oblivious to their plight! Next morning after waiting a few hours for the wind to abate and the seas to flatten, we left the Mersey River and hugged the coastline and travelled west. The wind was reaching 20knts plus off shore, we only experienced 5-15knts. Green grassy slopes, the wharves of Burnie, the high rocky outcrops of Table Cape all sights along the way. For a little over an hour I stood on the bow watching the Bull nosed Dolphins race the bow through the water, darting and diving to beat each other to the front position. Just east of Port Latta ship loading facility we anchored out in front of friends, Jo and Richards house. Not having approached from the water before, Jo hung a white sheet over her fence in the front yard so we could find them! Little Opal was thrown in the water and Alan motored in to pick them up, armed with lifejackets( it is law in Tas to wear a life jacket at all times in tenders, I can’t tell you how many times we have forgotten and had to go back to the boat and get them). Jo arrived armed a Roast Wallaby dinner, Fresh picked Blackerry Pudding, Savoury Scones, and Alans favourite, 2 Sponges. very delicious! They enjoyed their sunset dinner and it wasn’t long before we had to up anchor for the 10 nm trip to Stanley. Unfortunatley we arrived in the dark and made it into the small fishing boat harbour and tied alongside Skie and Westwind. We snuggled into bed only to be woken at 2am by knocking on the transom. We rushed on deck to find lots of men in undies running around adjusting lines as there had been a strong NE come in. Lines fixed but the wind stayed for the next 48hours. Our planned trip to Three Hummock Island has been cancelled, and we are all awaiting what looks to be a very tiny window of opportunity to get down the West coast to Macquarie Harbour and Strahan. The 26 yachts here are all rafted up, some people are taking the opportunity to sightsee, others spend their time at the pub, but most spend their time walking around chatting and picking the brains of the local fisherman. Stanleys’ fishing fleet catch crayfish, the boat that came in yesterday drew quite a crowd with the unloading of 600kg of live red crays, the owner said they would be in Chinese markets by this morning. It is now 12.30am, and the wind is beginning to weaken and change direction!


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