The first month of the New Year has gone really quick and our plans constantly change. But in the spare few moments we have I am trying to get the blog up to date. Go to http://www.opallady.com/aspx/blob2/blobpage.aspx/msgid/626342
for the story and photos thus far. After leaving Hobart on the 12th January and making our way to Wineglass Bay to meet up with Lemaris and Somoya. During Happy Hour we discussed the plans to head north and we (Alan and I) made the call to head north as the weather window was right with only light winds for the next 24hours until the NE change came in.
(from Left – Martin & Judy, Eva, Duncan- Lemaris, Lorraine & Gary- Somoya)
Wineglass Bay was packed with yachts and Cray boats and we anchored in the deeper water to allow us to deploy the paravanes to prevent the roll from the tail end of the NE swell coming down the bay. We planned on leaving at first light or when one of us woke up. Well by 3am, we had enough of the roll and the motor, Nav instruments and lights were all powered up whilst I made some tea and toast. With the help of the radar we crept out of the bay leaving everyone else fast asleep. Until daylight we stayed 5-10nm off shore and then we moved in close to take advantage of the calmer waters. Lemaris left at 5.30am and Somoya decided to wait until late afternoon to leave. It was calm for the majority of the day except when I went close, close to St Helens Island and then the waves steeped up. The fine day had bought all the small fishing boats out to fish the reefs that are sprinkled along the East Coast, but the only fish we caught was a giant Weed fish . . .15-20 kilos of kelp!!!! As the afternoon wore on Lemaris slowly moved closer to us and as it was getting later the calll was made to investigate Swan Island for a suitable anchorage. As we pulled into Jetty Bay the swell took over once the Stabilisers stopped and that was enough for us to seek the shelter of the bay the the west, Telegraph Bay. Once anchored Duncan arrived in his RIB to pick us up for Happy Hour on Lemaris. Via the HF radio we heard from Somoya who had decided to return to Hobart due to a malfunction of his Autopilot.
The following morning the swell had followed us into Telegraph Bay and again we moved to get a more peaceful spot. The turning weather and Lemaris’ guests that were flying out of Launceston in a few days time had us heading west. Foster Inlet on Cape Portland was the next closest anchorage suggested in the guide. We navigated through the interesting waters of Banks Strait with it’s swirling currents and overfalls caused from the highs and lows of the sea floor and the wind against tide also adding to the conditions. Foster inlet is a small shallow bay with a few islands helping to protect it from the ocean swell. Once anchored the sun shone and as it was the first opportunity for several days I loaded up the washing machine to clear the pile near the machine. Soon after we anchored the rear door was wide open and we were invaded by several swallows that were trying to get in and then 3 managed to find their way in and the hunt was on to shoo them out. Looking forward out of the pilothouse windows it was difficult to see the rails as the swallows were thick along them. Needless to say there was spatterings of bird poop on the decks!! The land around the bay laid low and didn’t provide a lot of protection from the wind so we were swinging to the wind with the swell coming from amidships, not that flash!
The swell continued to roll in throughout the night and at 4am (Seems to be the norm, of late!!!) we were up and underway. With very little wind it was a pleasant trip in towards Low Head at the entrance to the Tamar River, 70nm, as the departure was early we took it in turns to go to bed and catch up on some sleep.
It was 2pm and we were both anchored near the wharf at Beauty Point, which made for a short dinghy ride in to visit Seahorse World and the Platypus Place.
1) Anchored at Beauty Point 2) The Seahorses in the breeding tank 3) Watching the Echidnas feed! ( the platypus were camera shy!)
The weather closed in whilst we were doing the sightseeing and it was a rush back to the boat to retrieve the anchor before we got wet! Just 3nm west of here, down West Arm we weaved our way along the arm being careful to stay in the deepest part as the tide was dropping. The fenders were out and the anchor dug in securely and we were ready to receive Lemaris to berth alongside, when we called to them to ask them whart the holdup was we realised that they were stuck hard on the mud!! They were too busy watching us and they drifted back onto the bank! And this is where they stayed for several hours until the tide returned! His new nick name is Captain Sandbar
With the incoming tide the next morning we started our journey up the 40nms of the Tamar,under the Batman Bridge (pic above) and we had timed it perfectly to arrive at the jetty across the road from Rosevears Tavern where we were aptly named ‘boat people’ by the staff as we booked in for a great lunch. This was also a memorable day for us as this was Opal Lady’s 1st Birthday!!!!!!!! And several bottles of wine helped us celebrate! We sobered up quickly as we walked back to the boats to find that the 25+ Noreasterly had blew up and was blowing all 55 ton(both boats) onto the wharf and it was all hands on deck to go further upstream to get some protection from the wind.
With Martin and Judy’s holiday coming to an end we needed to be in Launceston so they could catch their flight back to Melbourne the next day. And after a phone call from Alans family we also needed to be there to visit Campbell Town and his Mum. Only a 1 hours trip, 6nm away from Seaport Marina but we needed to time it to arrive at the top of the tide to make it somewhat easier to maneover in the narrow space between the mud banks and the marina without the usual 3-4 knt flow that is present here.
It has now been several weeks that we have been in Launceston, travelling the 72 klm each day to Campbell Town to renovate a property for sale.
Our planned departure is the 14th February when we will continue our journey north!!