Position Report

Where are we now?

Back in the RYCT [last updated 6 April 2021]

We're back in the marina, at the beginning of a very social period before we return to Melbourne next week. Yesterday was the Captain's 81st birthday and we had a lovely birthday dinner with the Blichfeldts, Jenny, Douglas and Robin. [Top]

Where to next?

Back to Melbourne

Our next voyage will be on the Spirit of Tasmania on 14 April. Between now and then we have a busy social calendar. Birthday celebrations continue on Thursday with drinks and nibbles at the club. Some of the mate's family arrive from Melbourne that day and we'll be spending time with them until they leave on Sunday. More friends drop in on Monday, then we have a day and a half to pack up, clean up and winterise the boat.

Where were we last?

Down the Channel, Tuesday 29 March to Monday 5 April

The great heater project continued to occupy a fair amount of time after our last guests left. See blog for more details and more pictures.

We are finally ready to head out by the weekend of 27-28 March, but the weather isn't promising. We finally leave in lovely sunny conditions on Tuesday 29 March. The engineer has been concerned for some time about a vibration noise he hears when the engine is running. It is apparent again as we approach the Garrow, so we continue across to the mouth of Ralph's Bay, anchor and investigate. Nothing found, so we weigh anchor and head toward the Channel. A benefit of the diversion is that the wind has come up and we have a good sail across to Pierson's Point, doing 6-7.5 knots. In the Channel the winds are flukier and less favourable, so we need the engine to help us reach Quarantine Bay, where we have the pick of the KBC moorings. We stay in Quarantine for five of the six nights we are out, with one night in Sykes when the forecast is for a strong south-westerly change. During the day the mate sands and varnishes the anchor locker cover and the fore triangle that is usually inaccessible because there are four mooring lines round the samson post. Sanding takes a couple of days, then one coat of varnish is applied each day. Meanwhile the engineer finds one more leak in the heating system, so the shed is unpacked again as it's a major exercise to get to the fitting that needs adjusting. When not doing boatwork we laze and read. The mate has a couple of kayak excursions, and one very brief dip in the water (freezing) to check that there is nothing on the prop that could be causing the mystery vibration.

When we move from Quarantine on Thursday, we first try North Simmonds, but the KBC moorings there have weed-covered ropes which will drip all over the mate's fresh varnish. Instead we go to Sykes, which as usual is less comfortable in a strong southerly that one would expect. There's no fetch, so no wave action, but the wind seems to funnel down the hill so that the boat swings a lot on the mooring. The mate is in wetsuit, about to go overboard for prop investigation when the change slams in, blowing so hard that it would be quite dangerous to try and dive under the boat. That job is postponed until we return to Quarantine. As we motor back from Sykes to Quarantine early the next morning (to beat the Good Friday rush) we see a pod of dolphin, the second time we've seen them in Barnes this year.

We leave Quarantine early on Monday morning as we have a dinner engagement for the Captain's birthday. We have all sail up most of the way, with the wind going from west to southwest as we come up the Channel and the lower Derwent, then going to the north east as we approach the Garrow. We need the motor as well all the way to keep up a reasonable speed. We berth in absolutely calm conditions, but still manage to make it a challenge by turning a little early. The fenders on the starboard side do the job they are there for - protecting the other boat in the pen as we brush past. The mate has no hope of reaching the pickup line but we just drift gently across to our side of the pen and all is well. It was a lovely last trip for 2021 in glorious sunny Autumn weather.

For this year's other sailing stories, see Around Hobart, Summer 2021 [Top]

What did we see?

Dolphin in the Derwent