The Breakaway Cruise Continues.

20.5.09 – Anchored at The Quarries

The morning sun shone through the porthole in our cabin and as I made my way to the galley, I turned on the generator, then the aircon, washing machine, water maker and finally put the kettle on. The Norwester was blowing above the trees on the shore and over us reading 18knts. It didn’t take long for the cabins to warm up and we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before weighing anchor and heading for Taylors Bay to do a spot of drift fishing in the hope of catching some fresh flathead. Once in position MaaMalni and LeMaris followed and we all sat with lines over the side waiting for the first bite. Lemaris caught a small Barracouta, but I won with 3 Barracouta. As Alan was cutting the Barracouta ready to use in the craypots I took us across to Scott Point, the southern headland of Port Esperance where it was legal to lay the pots. Anything north of this is a restricted area. Once I found a nice rocky sea floor Alan threw the pots over then we continued into Port Esperance past the fish farm and then as we neared Rabbit Island left then oyster farm to port and anchored in the lee of the island. Once the anchor had been set, MaaMalni and LeMaris tied alongside for a raft up Happy Hour.

Our radio relay Vessel for the circumnavigation cruise was Rosenante, and the skipper and crew have their residence on the point at Dover, with a perfect view to peruse the vessels entering the bay. It wasn’t long before they called on their shore radio and we invited them to share happy hour with us. Much reminiscing was done over several drinks for the evening!

At the right in the photos below is Rabbit Island.







21.5.09

Another beautiful morning, the sun again got up before us, and it wasn’t long before Lemaris left to return to Kettering to pick up their friend Barry from Melbourne. We circumnavigated Rabbit Is in MaaMalni’s dinghy armed with buckets, screwdrivers, and hammers ready to collect some of the many oysters that had made a new home on the rocky shoreline.

We ticked several jobs off the list in the afternoon, shucked 3 dozen oysters and I prepared some Kilpatrick (Finely chopped Bacon with a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce and then grilled) for Happy Hour, whilst MaaMalni prepared theirs with garlic and lemon juice and then placed on the BBQ. After a combined Dinner of steak and vegetables we introduced Suzanne and Michael to UNO! It was another night for Suzanne to add to her list of Australianisms!! We constantly have to explain the meanings of different words and sayings. Normally she whipps out her serviette, pen and writes it down before she forgets.







Friday 22.5.09

We let MaaMalni’s lines go and we both headed towards the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and headed south. They unfurled their sails as we had a 15knt Nor’Easter on our tail but it was long before it died and we slowly took the lead. It was the tortoise and the hare story!! It’s always a topic of conversation and discussion, the power Vs sail debate! Between the southern end of Bruny Island and the mainland there are numerous little islands and many reefs as well as the large areas of long Bull Kelp. If at all possible we try to dodge the Bull kelp, although there is a line cutter on the propeller shaft that cuts anything, but it is still necessary to reverse after every large patch to free it from the stabilizer fins. Our overnight destination was Recherche Bay which is made up of several bays with protection in all but SE winds. At the southern end of the bay is also the ‘end of the road’, the most southern road in Australia. The 25nm trip took 4.5hrs and just before we entered the bay we found some nice rocky sea floor to put our Cray pots in. The fleet had arranged a rendezvous at The Pigsties for happy hour but after having a look we decided to head south west to The Coalbins,43 33S 146 53E still in Recherche and it was here that we found Westwind N40 quietly anchored in the bay. I had made fresh Rockcakes whilst underway. I love my galley with a view! Soon after laying the anchor we drew the attention of the local Abalone divers and they came over for a chat, and offered us a fresh Abalone and in return I gave them some of our rockcakes. They’ve not had fresh cakes in Recherche before, and they were devoured before they pulled away from the boat.

History:

Pigsties Bay was first named Baye du Nord by D’Entrecasteaux. The northeast part of the Bay,now named Coal Pit Bight (after the convict coal mine that was nearby) was the Recherche’s anchorage. In later years this became the anchorage for the James Craig when it was retired after proving to be unsatisfactory as a collier. It subsequently broke its mooring in a storm and was washed aground where it remained for many years before the restoration project began. The land to the east of the bay was used by the official gardener, Felix Lehaie, of the 1792 french expedition led by D’Entrecasteaux to establish a garden/ gardens of this sort were intended to improve the diet of natives, as well as provide food reserves for future expeditions.

Happy hour on LeMaris finished that evening with all of us listening to an updated weather report, and the low has moved quicker across the coast than first predicted so we all decided to head back up the channel tomorrow to the safety of Tinpot Bay, on South Bruny Island. 43 24 S 147 10 E.

23.5.09 It was 4am and all night we experienced a banging noise somewhere on the boat, the wind was circling all night and Alan spent more of his night up than in bed, trying to identify where it was coming from. Eventually he found that the noise was actually coming from the bow thrusters although it sounded like it was from above. Not being able to fix the problem we decided to have breakfast and clean up ready to leave once daylight came. By 6.45am we were underway, heading back to retrieve our pots that I had marked with waypoints when they were dropped. All was well until Alan had the second float in his hand and I didn’t hear his call of ‘out of gear’ when I was in reverse! What we do know is that the Line Cutter works as it cut the craypot line, luckily a floating line and more luck that we dropped the pot with 50m line in 10m water SO after much discussion we decided to do several 360’s with Alan as lookout on the boat deck to see if we could find the line. Against all odds as the wind had now picked up to 20knts and the water was no longer calm!! We found it!! Alans words. . . .after all this it better have a f#####***cray in it!! But no crays were found. The water temperature has now dropped to 10-11 degrees! Maybe that’s why?

We headed north to round Actaeon Island before plotting a course SE to The Friars, a group of small rocky islands on the south tip of Bruny Island. It was here that the big tuna have been caught in previous weeks. 2 nm from Actaeon we saw a water spout in the water off the starboard bow and realised that we had a whale heading for us! It was a mad scramble to get the trolling lines in and the camera out as well as altering course, as we did the whale slid underneath us! With that excitement over we continued 40nm meandering around the southern bays of Bruny Is with 25knts gusting to 52knts, seas 1m SE swell and 1m waves from the NE. Great scenery, high rocky cliffs and the wide sand beach of Cloudy Bay, very open to the feared Southern Ocean. 43 29S-147 12E

By 2pm we were anchored at Tinpot Bay, preparing for our Potluck dinner with Lemaris and MaaMalni. Everyone cooked up a storm! For starters we had another feed of fresh oysters from Rabbit Island that Alan had been keeping alive in a bucket on the swim platform, I just added some lemon wedges and pepper, this had them snapped up off the platter. Lemaris had caught some flathead at The Coalbins before they left and made a Thai Fish Curry, MaaMalni (South American for man with house on water) had Pork Roast on their BBQ, so I prepared an array of fresh vegetables that included Roast Potato, Roast Sweet Potato, Dutch Carrots, Butter and Round Beans, Corn Cobs, Broccoli to accompany it. This meal was washed down in mariner style with copious amounts of red and white wine!

We farewelled Lemaris the next morning, sending them off with full bellies as I had made morning tea of fresh baked Scones with homemade Mixed Berry Jam and Cream. The Breville Breadmaker makes jam making a breeze! The 25-30 knt North-easterly was still blowing and the rest of us decided to have a day of rest.

Monday 25th May – We made the move the 9nm west to Port Esperance and tucked back in behind Rabbit Island as the wind was still blowing and we needed some respite from the clanging of the bow thrusters.

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