Sunday, March 14, 2010

East Coast Tasmania

Happy Birthday Lyndal from Tasmania, we hope you have a great day and best wishes for the year ahead.

Over the past two weeks we have enjoyed sailing down the east coast of Tasmania past the long white sandy beaches with mountain ranges looming in the background, rocky headlands covered in red lichen, the towering Eddystone Lighthouse, the Bay of Fires, anchoring in picturesque Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park, Maria Island, the Denison Canal and Hobart. We caught fish – a beautiful striped wrasse, flathead and Australian Salmon as well as being presented with fresh fish by local fishermen. We have enjoyed beach walks, climbed sand dunes, the track to the lookout overlooking the Freycinet Peninsular, Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay, swam in Wineglass Bay, taken shelter from a gale force wind warning and tsunami warning and then dined at Elizabeth Street Pier on local fish overlooking Constitution Dock with our boat moored alongside. The Young Endeavour anchored in Wineglass Bay on our last day and sailed down the coast as we did, anchored off Maria Island as we sailed passed and berthed at Elizabeth Street Pier, around the corner from us. As you can see we have had a fantastic time since leaving Launceston and have enjoyed our stay in Hobart. It was sad to say farewell to Sherrie and Bernie – we will miss their company. We are fortunate that my brother Pat was able to join us. He plans to sail with us down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, around to Port Davey then to Macquarie Harbour and weather permitting up the west coast and across Bass Strait to New South Wales.

While in Hobart we met Paula and Russell from Amazing Grace, the first Seawind Catamaran to circumnavigate Australia and their friend John from Nadia, a solo sailor from Canberra and enjoyed hearing the stories of their travels and adventures. Hobart has been a very relaxing and enjoyable break and we hired a car to drive to Port Arthur for a day as well as making the obligatory trip to the top of Mount Wellington to be greeted by icy winds, rain and clouds as well as spectacular views of Hobart as it spreads around its surrounding waterways and the distant mountains, peninsula’s and islands of the south east of Tasmania.

While in Hobart we purchased a new TV antenna which we installed on our last day just before motoring out of Elizabeth Street Pier to anchor off Wrest Point Casino for the evening (Thursday 11th March) and I am happy to report that the TV reception was perfect. The following morning we filled up with fuel at the Royal Hobart Yacht Squadron then headed off to Bruny Island for the evening where we enjoyed sunset drinks with Amazing Grace who have left Hobart to spend a few weeks around Bruny Island the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Yesterday we motored around to the next bay and anchored off the Bruny Island Cheese Factory which we visited for an early lunch – a cheese platter with bread from their wood fired oven and a glass of the local Bruny Island wine. The cheese platter included cherries pickled in pinot noir, a new taste experience which complemented their cheese called Tom, a hard cows milk cheese. After this culinary treat we sailed south down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and up the Huon River to anchor for the evening in Deep Bay near the township of Cygnet. This part of Tasmania was heavily logged for Huon Pine and we tried to identify the young pines now growing along the Huon River. At anchor we did Google search to obtain a better description to assist us in future.

We are currently enjoying beautiful fine weather, warm sunny days with just a hint of chill in the air. The cruising grounds of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel between Bruny Island and along the mainland are vast and spectacular, a well kept secret by Tasmanians. Dotted along the waterfront are fishing huts, beach houses and homes ranging from one room shacks to palatial residences all with views over the waterways through tree lined shores.
Today we were lucky to catch up with friends we met in Adelaide before Christmas, Peta and Ron from Finesse Of Fremantle. They have been in Tasmania for the past few months and have just returned from two weeks in the Port Davey / Bathurst Harbour area. Over a late morning tea they shared information on anchorages and their adventures. Tonight we will anchor in Recherche Bay before heading off tomorrow (Monday March 15) for Port Davey.