Around Hobart, Summer 2016

Summer 2016 will begin properly in mid-December. As usual we have made a couple of intermediate trips, one in Winter and one in Spring.

Winter check-up

Wednesday 19 to Monday 24 August 2015

Summer 2015 didn't end until the end of April, but it is nevertheless a long gap to our mid-winter visit in August. We spend five lovely days in Hobart (two sunny, two warm and windy, only one wet day).
The picture shows snow on Mount Wellington on one of the clear, sunny days.

We spend our time walking, checking out the boat (in fine shape), and catching up with all our friends. So nice to see Claire & Gosta, Jack and Sue, Cath & Dave, Chris H, Jean & Rob, Tony, Dougie, Andrew & Liv, Vicki and JB, Penny and Jeremy. We have a very social time. [Top]

Spring preparations

Sunday 1 to Wednesday 11 November 2015

We drive off the SoT early Sunday morning, and with the customs check now done in Melbourne as you board, we are in Hobart in record time, even after a stop for breakfast. We spend the rest of Sunday unloading the car and stowing the things we've brought with us, and unearthing the once-a-year tools and consumables used on the slip. We expect to be hauled out late Monday morning, but there is a power outage, and we aren't on the slip until late in the afternoon. This is actually convenient as we can take our time over the washdown with the pressure blaster, and do it thoroughly.

We make a slow-ish start on Tuesday, but by the end of the day we have removed any remaining growth from the hull, investigated any areas of loose paint, primed any spots that look as though they need it, and made a start on cleaning and polishing the topsides. It is freezing cold, but at least it didn't rain.

Although we'd booked the slip until Saturday, the bosuns are keen to get our cradle back, so we make the extra effort to get done in two days. Wednesday is warm and sunny (see sunrise picture), the perfect day for getting the anti-fouling done, and more cleaning and polishing. We remove all the old PropSpeed, which has lasted pretty well over three years, but is now allowing some growth on the prop. Later Mark puts a fresh coat on the prop.

On Thursday we have time to grease the prop and do a last bit of cleaning and polishing before they drop us back into the water. It's always nice to be back off the slip, and after filling up with fuel we put Nahani back in her berth, where we enjoying the live-aboard life for the next five days. Between socialising and visiting favourite haunts we complete some more maintenance: revarnishing spots where the brightwork is weather-damaged, sewing a cover for the tiller which is very exposed, cleaning the deck, attempting replacement of the fridge power supply, which doesn't quite work, to the annoyance of the engineer. [Top]

Day sail with H+H

Wednesday 16 December 2015

We arrive in Hobart late Monday and have one full day to ready the boat before receiving our first visitors on Wednesday. Helenka and Hamil join us around midday and after a bite of lunch we leave the pen and begin with a sail up-river in a brisk breeze, under the Tasman Bridge to Lindisfarne Bay, then back through the other side of the bridge, past Constitution Dock. We tack down to Ralph's Bay, then motor-sail into the wind to Mary Ann Bay, where we stop for a picnic tea. Still plenty of daylight left to let the seabreeze bring us back to the pen for a very neat entry to end a lovely day's sailing.

We then have a fortnight aboard on our own, with Christmas festivities in the middle. We spend Christmas Eve with the Blichfeldts, and on Christmas Day join a bunch of "waifs and strays" for Christmas lunch aboard Gus's latest boat, a Zeston. Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, the captain does some work ashore helping reconstruct the Blichfeldts deck, while the mate sews a bimini. By the time our next guests arrive, stage one of the construction of bimini cover and frame is complete. [Top]

Lime Bay with Tim and Kylie

Friday 1 to Sunday 3 January 2016

We collect Tim and Kylie around the middle of the day on 31 December, and bring them back to Salamanca for lunch and shopping for supplies. The mate takes the provisions back to the boat, leaving the others to look at the Sydney-Hobart yachts in Constitution Dock and to visit the Mawson's Hut Replica. Later we all head to the Blichfeldts for New Year's Eve dinner. Next day, after a suitable pause to recover from a late night, we head off down the Derwent, motoring into a headwind. It is choppy enough to make Tim seasick and the mate lose her appetite, but once round the Iron Pot we have a brisk sail behind Betsy Island and up Frederick Henry Bay. It is much calmer in Flinders Passage and we sail more slowly on to Lime Bay, using the motor again to take us in to an anchor point. By then Kylie is suffering from some kind of gastro-intestinal uncertainty. She nobly cooks spaghetti bolognese but is unable to eat any, and retires early, leaving the rest of us to enjoy it.

Saturday is cloudy, and with Kylie still unwell we decide to stay put in Lime Bay. In the afternoon the sun comes out and the captain, mate and Tim go ashore in the dinghy for a walk along the beach. By the time we return Kylie is starting to feel better, and ready to partake of an evening meal. On Sunday we set out on our return to Hobart. Despite a forecast of easterly winds, we have to motor-sail into a westerly into Flinders Passage, then beat down Frederick Henry Bay with the wind becoming progressively more favourable. On the long beat across the top of the bay we see dolphin, and three of them swim with us for most of that tack.

Once round Cape Contrariety we have a lovely sail, now in sunshine, across to the Iron Pot and up the Derwent. The return to the berth is much more exciting than the captain would have liked, as there is a Dragon yacht sticking out into the narrow channel leading into our part of the marina, forcing us very close to the rocks (and it is low tide, of course). This then makes it hard for the captain to fit in his normal turn into the pen, and Tim has to do some fending off with a broom to stop us scraping along the finger at right angles to our berth. But we finally get Nahani safely into the pen without actually bumping any of the many mini-yachts moored in the pens around us (there is a 2.4m championship on at the moment). The captain requires a stiff drink, and we enjoy g&t's on deck before descending to eat roast beef and drink red wine. Somehow we all manage to drag ourselves out of bed shortly after 4am the next morning to take Tim & Kylie to the airport for a 5:50am flight. It takes the rest of Monday for captain and mate to recover. [Top]

Down the Channel with Libby

Thursday 7 to Friday 8 January 2016

Mate's sister-in-law Libby arrives late Wednesday evening (plane delayed by an hour and a half). After a leisurely morning we leave the berth about midday and head to Barnes Bay, sailing most of the way in a south-easterly. Forecast is for the wind to swing to the southwest, but it is rather more northerly where we are in Sykes Bay. However we are comfortable enough on the mooring to stay there for the night. Next day the wind is a strong and gusty westerly, making for good sailing back up the Channel and in the Derwent. We don't leave until late morning as the wind is supposed to get lighter late in the afternoon, which will make berthing easier. Except that it doesn't ease. Instead it is blowing over 20 kts from the northwest, gusting to 30kt as we come round the Garrow light, so we anchor below Wrest Point, waiting for it to calm. We have committed to dine with Lib's friends the Ramsays, so when there is no sign of a diminution in wind strength, we motor in to the marina and tie up to the fuel jetty. We enjoy a lovely dinner ashore, and on Saturday in the calm of the early morning with a nice high tide, we complete our trip by motoring round to the berth and making a painless entry with Lib already posted there to hand up lines. We still have time for breakfast before taking her out to the airport for her morning flight back to Melbourne. [Top]

Cygnet and back with Michael and Grace

Friday 15 to Monday 18 January 2016

We collect Mick and Grace from the airport early and take them to Jackman and McRoss for a reviving coffee and their third breakfast. After a brief stop for final supplies we ready the boat and slip out of the berth in calm conditions. A southerly breeze means we have to motor all the way to Barnes Bay, where we pick up the mooring in Sykes. It's blowing hard enough by then that it takes two goes to pick up the mooring - unusual misjudgment by the mate. The southerly is gentler in the morning and we motor out of Barnes Bay, start down the Channel motor-sailing, then beating down to Pensioner's Point, reaching round to the Huon where we drop the main and run up the Port Cygnet estuary under headsail alone. The mooring we have used previously hasn't been serviced for a while, and it's blowing hard, so we anchor. It is too choppy for a comfortable dinghy trip ashore, so we stay put and eat Skippers Favorite Pork for dinner.

Next morning it is flat calm, and hot. We go ashore, walk into Cygnet, discover our favourite cafes are all closed except the Red Velvet Lounge, but by the time we get there, they've stopped serving breakfast. We have coffee and pasties and the bakery, stroll around the Sunday market, then walk back and return to Nahani. We realise a race is about to start, so we make a quick exit down the estuary under motor to dodge the boats sailing back and forth before the start. In the mouth of the Huon we put up sail, motor sail to Garden Island and then have a good sail back across toward Bruny, up the Channel and into Apollo Bay, where we meet the people who lent us an oar there many years ago. A calm night, and a gentle southerly the next day. Unfortunately we need to be back in the berth by 3pm as Michael has a commitment to doing an on-line forum for the Herald Sun. It is the day that first round offers are published for year 12 students trying for tertiary places, and Michael provides answers to questions from kids about these offers. We have to motor sail up the river, but we get into the berth in time (thanks Chris for handing up lines!) and the forum goes reasonably smoothly. We then clean ourselves up and go to dinner with our next lot of guests, Susie, Paolo and young Max. After dinner we drop Mick and Grace at the airport, then return to the boat to clean up and prepare for the next guests, who are spending Monday night in a hotel to give us a breathing space. [Top]

Bruny Island anchorages with Susie, Max and Paolo

Tuesday 19 to Friday 22 January 2016

We pick up Susie, Paolo and Max in the morning and bring them down to the Marina. We leave the boys aboard to be shown the ropes while Susie and the mate buy provisions. When we get back conditions are ideal for exiting the berth so we head out immediately, and the mate goes below later to stow all the provender. Once again we have to motor down the river in a headwind, but we get a bit of a slant in the Channel and beat down past Barnes. It's getting late in the afternoon and the wind is becoming more variable, so we put on the motor to dodge the Bruny ferry and head into Apollo. Max, Susie and Paolo go ashore in the dinghy, while the mate has a swim from the boat, then goes into nurse mode to change the dressings on the Captain's thumb and finger, both cut rather nastily during anchoring a few days prior. Dinner is an interesting challenge with one vegan, one vegetarian and three omnivores aboard, but everyone gets sufficient sustenance and we turn in quite early. Next day we spend the morning enjoying Apollo, chatting over coffee, then have a great sail to windward down to Little Fancy Bay, doing over 6kts at times. Conditions are perfect in Little Fancy, so all the crew except the captain swim ashore from the boat, walk along shore (the mate helps herself to an oyster in passing), then swim back to the boat. Mate squeezes in a bit of clarinet practice before it is gin and tonic time, then we have a big rice meal with each of us adding what suits, ranging from assorted vegetables to smoked quail. Strawberries on deck for dessert, then a dive below to put the nets up before the mosquitoes arrive. After washing up we decide to try a game of Catan, but the rules defeat us (and us includes two PhDs and two Masters), so we have a couple of rounds of Bananagrams instead - much simpler and good fun. We are woken during the night by a burst of strong wind from the wrong direction (same thing happened in Apollo), but the anchor holds firm and we enjoy some gentle rocking. We wake again later to another lovely sunny morning - this year is such a great summer.

On Thursday morning we inflate the kayak and Susie and Max go for a paddle while Paolo swims. From Little Fancy we motor-sail across to Woodbridge, arriving at the Marine Discovery Centre in time to meet cousin Claire who has picked up our next guest, Rosie, on her way driving from Hobart. We all spend some time in the Centre before we have a minor disaster. While helping Claire with a calibration exercise, the mate drops a thermometer which rolls gently into the big tank. It takes considerable patience and persistence, but eventually Susie, working with a small net and a piece of PVC pipe, manages to lift the thermometer far enough off the bottom for Paolo to get a larger net underneath and lift it out, undamaged (phew!). We then leave the fish in peace, farewell Claire, and shuttle crew and luggage back to Nahani. The wind is against us so we motor from Woodbridge back across the Channel, into Barnes Bay and pick up a mooring in Quarantine.

Friday is lovely and sunny. Crew heads ashore, Paolo and Rosie in the dinghy, Susie and Max swimming. Max bails out and joins the others in the dinghy, the mate joins Susie swimming ashore, but then swims back to the boat while the others visit the Quarantine Station. After a late lunch and another swim, we drop the mooring and head up the Channel and into Snug. The wind is unfavourable again, so we motor, and when we reach Snug the onshore wind makes the dinghy trips to the beach a bit rougher than we would prefer. But after three trips the entire complement is ashore, with luggage, where we meet Kathy, Toby, Duncan and Anthony, and all head to the Snug Tavern for dinner. The shore party give us a lift back to the beach after dinner, and captain, mate and Rosie return to Nahani in much calmer conditions. As forecast the wind goes round to off-shore and we have a comfortable night in Snug Bay. [Top]

Leisurely cruise with Rosie

Saturday 23 to Monday 25 January 2016

We start our next cruise from Snug, with Rosie already aboard, collected in Woodbridge on Wednesday. We have a night and a day with six on board, but three left us on Thursday evening in Snug, so we are back to a more comfortable complement of three, and Rosie now has a cabin to herself, rather than making shift on a seaberth. We take the dinghy ashore with the intention of having brunch before buying more food, but find our options are limited: the cafe and the butchery are both closed. We restock at the little supermarket, return to Nahani for brunch aboard, then motor back across to Barnes Bay (not much wind, and what there is is adverse). We pick up a mooring in North Simmonds, and laze for the rest of the day. On Sunday we sail down to Great Bay, and decide on Ford Bay as an anchorage rather than Little Fancy, as there is a threat of westerly wind with a change. We decide to take a chance on the weather and go ashore to visit the Bruny Island Cheese Factory. The wind is behind us and we get ashore quite comfortably, beach the dinghy and walk up the road to find that a) the Cheese Factory has been substantially extended since we were there last with a big new deck, but b) it is all absolutely full. We manage to find a table and queue for an extended time. Once we finally get to place an order the wait for food isn't too bad, and it is delicious when it comes. A few drops of rain fall as we set off back to the beach, but the wind has dropped, the sea is calm, and the real rain holds off until a minute or so after we get aboard and haul up the dinghy. It gives us the excuse to relax for the remainder of the afternoon.

We make a leisurely start on Monday, and motor sail back across Great Bay and up the Channel. The wind is reasonably favourable, but not much of it. There is more wind in the river, and we sail up under headsail alone with a SSE behind us, making good time. It's more easterly in Sandy Bay, and there isn't much of it to blow us on as we enter the berth. The mate does just manage to pickup the spring and we make a safe if not particularly elegant entry. The fenders newly tied on the outer corner of the finger prove useful. Once we have the lines on we clean ourselves up and head off for fish and chips. On Australia Day morning we join a lot of disconsolate tourists all finding that most of the cafes in Salamanca are closed. (Yes, I know it's a public holiday, but with a vast cruise ship disgorging hundreds of tourists, its a bit of a missed opportunity, to say the least.) We eventually find somewhere for brunch in Battery Point, and then take Rosie to the airport for her flight back to Melbourne. [Top]

North Bruny anchorages with Nick and Ivy

Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 February 2016

On Wednesday afternoon,we return from a spell in Melbourne on the same flight as our next guests, nephew Nick and fiance Ivy. After putting their luggage aboard we eat out at the Fish Bar. Next morning they have a look at Salamanca while the mate does the provisioning and the captain works on a not-quite-solved plumbing problem. By late morning we are ready to head out, and we have lunch as we motor down the river, into the usual headwind. Choppy water at the Channel entrance proves a bit too challenging for Ivy, but once we are in the Channel things go more smoothly and we sail in decreasing wind, finally putting the motor back on to go into Quarantine Bay and pick up a mooring.

On Friday captain and guests go ashore to visit the Quarantine Station while the mate does some practice. By the time they return and we have lunch the wind has risen, and we debate whether to stay in Barnes or go further down the Channel. We decide to have a look, but when we get to the mouth of Barnes Bay it is gusting up toward 30kt and we decide discretion is the better part and head back into Barnes, this time right into north Simmonds where we again pick up a mooring. We have plenty of time left in the afternoon for Ivy to make us a delicious noodle dinner, with Nick as her sous-chef.

Saturday is still breezy, but the wind is not quite as strong, and we head down to Ford Bay, sailing most of the way. From there we plan to take the dinghy round to the next beach and visit the Bruny Island cheese factory. It is quite a long stretch in the dinghy, but with the wind and waves behind us we are quite comfortable. We walk up and have a very enjoyable lunch, hoping that the wind is easing meanwhile. Back on the beach it is clear that it has not, and that the dinghy trip into wind and wave is going to be more difficult. To limit the amount of water that will be shipped, captain heads out with just the guests, leaving the mate on the beach, to be collected on a second trip. Mate has an idea - why not walk around the point so that the captain won't have very far to go on the second trip. Captain has an idea - why not move Nahani closer to the beach and anchor there temporarily to make the second dinghy trip shorter. Unfortunately the mate has sent her mobile in the dinghy, so the ideas cannot be communicated. Having scrambled round the point, mate watches as they up anchor and head back to the beach she left. Nothing for it but to scramble back round again for the pickup. But eventually we are all back on the boat, where we can get out of wet clothes. We motor back north-west into the wind to Missionary Bay for the night.

Sunday morning is calm, sunny and quite beautiful. We motor-sail slowly up the Channel, stopping briefly for lunch in Rat Bay, where the mate has a quick swim. We are hoping for more wind in the river, but there is not really enough. We do turn the motor off for a while, but eventually have to put it on again to make reasonable time. By 5pm we are back in the berth, and by 6pm ready to head to cousin Claire's for dinner before taking our guests back to the airport for their return to Melbourne. [Top]

North Bruny anchorages with Veronica

Saturday 27 February to Wednesday 2 March 2016

Veronica arrives on a late flight on Thursday, and as the forecast is for rain on Friday, we decide to go to MONA. Veronica and the mate go via the MONA ROMA ferry, the captain joins them later and drives us all back to town where we explore Salamanca shops before returning to the boat. Saturday is warm and windy, we shop at Salamanca market and with the boat full provisioned, we sit in the Marina waiting for a lull in the wind, which eventuates at about 4pm. With a bit of help from passing fellow sailors we leave the berth without incident, and with a northerly we can for once sail down the river on a beautiful warm evening. We motor sail in the Channel to make sure we are comfortably moored in Quarantine before dark, and in time to cook the Tuscan hamburgers that are a specialty of the butcher in Lower Sandy Bay.

The weather turns on Sunday, so we have a rest day, apart from moving across Barnes to Sykes Bay when the wind comes in from the south. A good day for a roast dinner.

On Monday we head out of Barnes and sail the short distance to Woodbridge, where we anchor near the Marine Discovery Centre. With an on-shore wind, launching the dinghy, getting aboard and subsequently climbing out on to the pier is a bit challenging, but we make it with no worse injury than scraped knees.

Veronica is from Maine, and is involved in some marine research there, so she finds the Marine Discovery Centre very interesting. Claire and Andrew enjoy showing her over the centre and describing the way they teach the schoolchildren who visit it. Eventually Veronica has seen and heard enough, and we brave another bouncy dinghy trip, weigh anchor, and motor into the wind across the Channel to Apollo Bay. Some of us got wet when the dinghy shipped some water, so hot soup is welcome once we have picked up the mooring in Apollo.

The wind is still easterly on Tuesday, so we sail out of Apollo, down the Channel and then a long beat to windward across Great Bay. With an off-shore wind we can anchor safely close to the beach, and make an easy trip ashore to visit the Bruny Island Cheese Factory for an excellent lunch. The wind is still strong when we return to Nahani and we have a leisurely sail back doing 4-5kt with just the staysail, mooring again in Apollo. We consider a barbecue ashore for our last evening, but it is still very windy so we eat our steaks and drink our red in the comfort of the cabin.

We enjoy a beautiful calm sunny morning in Apollo, before setting out in the return trip. There is very little wind, so although we put some sail up, we motor most of the way up the Channel and the river. As so often happens, when we get to the Garrow the wind comes in strongly, and as it is from the north we decide to anchor and wait for it to change or diminish, hopefully both. The southerly sea breeze comes in soon after we anchor, but is still strong, so we wait longer before heading in. However the wind is still quite strong, and the captain can't get enough momentum to turn Nahani's bow into the berth. After a bit of back and forward, we finish up facing away from our arm, opposite a conveniently vacant berth, so we reverse into it and tie up, leaving the problem of getting back into our own berth for a time when it's less windy. We clean ourselves up and head off to Claire and Gösta's for a very enjoyable dinner, before taking Veronica to the airport for her flight back to Melbourne.

Next morning we tie a rope to a cleat on our berth, take it around the two boats in between, and put it on our anchor winch. We slide carefully out of the berth we commandeered, let Nahani swing round in the wind, then winch her cautiously back to our berth, with a bit of engine to push her in at the end. It's a relief to be safely back in the right pen! [Top]

North Bruny anchorages with Barb and Scott

Thursday 10 to Friday 11 March 2016

Barb and Scott fly into Hobart on the same plane as the mate and Captain on Tuesday evening. They are otherwise occupied on Wednesday and stay in a hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as they know that Wednesday is going to be a late night for them. We all get together in Salamanca for brunch shortly after 11am on Thursday. By about 1pm we are all aboard, with provisions, and ready to slip out of the berth in very calm conditions. We motor out with little wind, but once round the Garrow we have enough favourable wind to put sail up, and it strengthens as we go so that we sail all the way to Barnes Bay, only putting the motor back on to head into Quarantine and pick up a mooring. We're there early enough for there to be time for Captain and guests to go ashore for a walk to the Quarantine Station before returning to a roast chicken dinner. Everyone's ready for an early night, as we are planning an earlyish start the next day.

On Friday we are underway by 9:30, which is early for us. We motor out of Barnes Bay, put up sail, head south and cut the motor once safely clear of the Bruny Island ferry crossing. We sail across Great Bay at good speed, anchor off the beach and go ashore for yet another lunch at the Bruny Island Cheese Factory. We've taken so many guests there this year we think we should have a loyalty card, but all of them really enjoyed it, and Barb and Scott are no exception. We linger there a little longer than we should, so that once back aboard Nahani we have to motor sail all the way back to the RYCT. Most of the way the winds are light and not particularly favourable, so sailing back would take about twice as long, time we don't have. We are safely in the berth (no dramas this time) by 7pm, giving our guests plenty of time to say a proper farewell, and get to the airport in time to deposit a hire car and check in bags. For once we don't have to do the airport dropoff, so we can relax as soon as we have waved them off. [Top]

On the slip, re-rigging

Sunday 8 to Friday 13 May 2016

We end our summer sailing early because the captain has a crook shoulder, returning to Melbourne before Easter in March and staying there for all of April. On 1 May we return, and spend a week of wet windy weather mostly aboard, preparing for the re-rigging project or just hunkered down below decks, with a bit of social life now and then.

We are due to go up on the slip on Monday 9 May, but as it is the first calm day for a week, we slip out of the berth on Sunday afternoon and are hauled out for our first night on the slip. We spend five nights on the slip altogether. During that time the mast is removed, all the standing rigging is renewed, the mast is replaced, and the rigging adjusted. We do a bit of work on the hull - patching and antifouling below the waterline, painting and cleaning above. We also have some horrendous weather with winds gusting to almost 60kts. This delays completion of the job as there are some days when nothing much could be done, and it makes life on the hard stand noisier and even more unpleasant than usual. For details of the re-rigging read the Weblog.

It is very nice to return to the berth this afternoon, even if one of the gusts catches us at the wrong moment coming into the berth, causing us to bump our neighbour Vanity for the first time ever. No apparent damage, thank goodness.

Back in the berth we have final follow up jobs to do - reconnecting electrics, putting the headsail back on the furler, etc. We start the week thinking that we might take the boat out for a day or so to test out the new rig, but the weather isn't good, so we see out the week in the berth before returning to Melbourne. [Top]