Friday, 24 February 2012

Killiecrankie to Deal Island

We set sail for Deal Island from Killiecrankie Bay in a light breeze which was very relaxing and after about 6 hours sailed into Murray Pass between Deal Island to our starboard and Dover and Erith Islands to our portside.
Fifi with another outfit on for lighter breezes(bigger blade)

Wright Rock on the way to Deal island

The scenery on entering the pass was spectacular and made more dramatic by the light rain and misty atmosphere. We were greeted by the profile of a striking face on the cliff along with grassy and wooded hills, the disused lighthouse up on the hill(the highest in the southern hemisphere), and the sturdy keepers cottage, white and comforting.

Glenshiel VII entering Murray Pass

An imposing face in the cliff greeted us as we entered Murray Pass(at least he is smiling!)

The Keepers cottage now a little museum looking south west.
  After a half hour motor against the tidal current we dropped anchor in sheltered East Bay. Deal Island provides anchorages (4 including Erith Island) for every wind direction each with a white sandy beach and crystal clear water. This beautiful island is a National Parks and also a marine reserve so half of the island group is a no take fishing zone. The wallabies are abundant and appear unfazed by visitors. The Cape Barren Geese welcome you noisily and of course at dark the Little Penguins come ashore and seem to have domestic arguments all night!

GlenshielVII and Sorcerer in East Bay Deal Island with Dover Island(left) and Erith Island(right)
A celebratory stout thanks to the wonderful DMI nurses
John spent part of the first day fixing the damage we had done to our genoa on the east coast of Tassie (we have our good friend Nic to thank for the sail repair kit he helped put together for us) then joined Jed, Jude and myself at the lighthouse, about an hours walk up the hill.

Damaged genoa from the trip up the east coast of Tassie

Repairing sail

A stitch in time...

View from the lighthouse overlooking the keepers cottage and East Bay
Next day Jed helped John with a compressor mount issue and then we all did the easy 1/2 hour walk past the disused landing strip to Garden Cove for lunch and refreshing swim.

A bit of surgery on the compressor mount(I was scrub nurse for this operation!)

Garden Cove
That evening we cooked at the Parks supplied b-b-q next to the jetty in East Bay and watched the sun set on our last day at Deal followed by some penguin spotting as they came ashore for the night.

Feeling pretty satisfied that we had found one of the most beautiful places on the planet, we headed to bed to prepare for another night of wind and waves and finally crossing the main body of Bass Strait to Lakes Entrance.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Preservation Island to Killiecrankie

Passing Mt Chappell Island
Just a word about the islands here...the Furneaux Group have been heavily farmed and grazed over the years by settlers and now there are rehabilitation programs in progress on some of them which is great, however they still remain beautiful in a rugged and windswept kind of way. Just on Chappell there has been introduced cats, house mice, rats, sheep and common starlings. However, amongst other native reptiles the Tiger Snake is very abundant!

Strzelecki Peaks from Franklin Sound
With a NNE due at 20knts we decided to move on  from Preservation Island. The low lying islands don't provide much shelter in stronger winds.  Headed for Lady Barron hoping to make the most of the tidal flow into Franklin Sound. It was not to be, we completely mucked it up and ended up taking 7 hours instead of 2, going against tide and wind. Finally arriving in Lady Barron we picked up a Tasports mooring which was big enough for both boats to hang off. From there we spent the day doing domestic stuff(washing etc...some things never change). Headed to the jetty for fresh water on our way out next day. After 2 attempts with a 15knt breeze abeam and strong tide we managed to tie up with Glenshiel rafting up. Filled the tanks and left without too much damage to body or boat! Headed out of Franklin Sound, tide with us this time and had a beautiful sail in a 15-20knot ESE breeze. We spent a blowy night in North Bay. Because of the exposure did not go walking and decided to head on up to Killiecrankie where we have just spent two delightful days.
Our 3rd crew member, Fifi(Fleming wind vane steering) doing what she loves best on the way to Killiecrankie.

A happy reunion with Killie friends Rhaurie and Mark
The 'sleeping pharaoh' in Killiecrankie Bay  

Had a lovely walk with Jed and Jude along the Killiecrankie Beach when we arrived while John did some maintenance in the lazarette. The next morning caught up with friends at the local cafe and made plans to head to Deal Island the next day.

Great! I found where all the water is getting in!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Schouten Passage to Furneaux Group

After saying farewell in the morning to our dedicated trip monitor Reg(circumnavigating the state for the 2nd time!), we left Schouten Passage around 3:30 pm Saturday 11th Feb to do an overnight run to Clarke Island. Within a couple of hours we were fairly certain we were going to have a rough night with a stiff E SE and confused sea and swell making for an uncomfortable time. 20 hours later-this included 2 hours of us hove-to off St Helens for a rest,  feeling and looking a bit rough around the edges ( sleep, no food, the weight loss program has begun!)) we arrived in Great Musselroe Bay at 11 30 am to  repair body and spirit. A reasonably good nights rest was had before we headed for Clarke Island.

Reg leaving Schouten Passage

Clarke Island granite formation

Spike Cove, Clarke Island

Clarke Island

Preservation Island

West Bay, Preservation Island

Monday 13th had a beautiful sail across Banks Strait and tucked into Spike Cove on the western side of the island. Beautiful walking and swimming that day and continuing to recover from our previous long night we headed to bed early to sail next day to Preservation Island. After a delightful 1 hour sail we dropped the pick in clear turquoise water in West Bay. Walking, swimming and taking photos around Preservation and Rum Islands was just about as good as it gets. I did ask myself why I needed to go any further North.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Nubeena to Schouten

Between the last post and  now we stayed another night at beautiful Nubeena, with its Lucky Ducks Cafe for a coffee, post office and supermarket for all the essentials. Here we also made phone contact, ship to shore, with fellow cruisers Richard and Wendy. From Nubeena we sailed, in winds light to variable, to King George Sound Murdunna, for another calm nights sleep. On the Wed 8th we left Murdunna at 0830 headed through Denison canal and out through Marion Narrows past the surfers on a clean break at The Boneyard. A single tack of broad reach brought us to Passage Beach, Schouten Passage at about 1800 48 nm later.
Glenshiel VII crossing Blackman Bay
Glenshiel VII on Marion Bay
Bishop & Clerk, Maria Island
Sorcerer & Glenshiel VII anchored at Passage Beach (photo J Butler)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Departing Hobart

After a week of goodbyes to family, friends and colleagues we (Miff & John), slipped out of Kings Pier Marina, our home port for the last 5 years on Sorcerer in company with Jed and Jude, on Glenshiel VII. In an almost overwhelming farewell, dockside, filled with laughter, tears, best wishes for safe travels and promises of rendezvous on foreign shores we took to the Derwent at about 12.45pm. After a lively sail in 15-25kn NE we dropped anchor 5.00pm in the safe harbour of Nubeena for a cosy night.
Last farewells

final sailpast

crossing Storm Bay