Around Hobart, Summer 2021

Summer 2021 begins in December 2020

Hobart at last! On the slip

Friday 11 to Monday 14 December 2020

Link to Google Photos

We arrive in Hobart around midday Thursday 10 December, in time for the weekly roast in the yacht club, so we greet all the back bar regulars as we get lunch. On Friday we are up early to put the boat on the slip, and by the end of the afternoon the Bilge Rats have finished cleaning and antifouling. In the four days between arriving and coming off the slip, we catch up with Alan Perkins, Penny and Jeremy, cousin Claire and family for a birthday party, and Dougie at our favourite bookshop. We check out Caspian for Sandra and David, who won't be here until after Christmas. And we go to our favourite Hobart places: White Box Noodles, All Thai and Suminato for evening meals, Brew for coffee, Jackman and McRoss for lunch (scallop pie, of course), Salamanca market on Saturday for vegetables, Brian at the chandlery for new fender covers and some more anodes. We even have a wander through Shiploads. It's beginning to feel as though we've been here for weeks.

There is a bit more work to do on the slip on Saturday. While the ship's engineer is fitting anodes, the IT person is getting the ship's laptop up-to-date after over 10 months without use, so that this blog can stay up-to-date. This year has been such a blur that we couldn't remember the status of technology on the boat, with the result that we now have 3 laptops aboard - an old Windows 7 Toshiba, the nice new Acer that we bought to replace an equally old Toshiba laptop in Melbourne and brought with us on the ferry, and the nice new Dell we had completely forgotten that we bought in Hobart last January to replace the Nahani Toshiba. We're blaming COVID, rather than just admitting that our memories are now rubbish.

Bosuns don't work at the weekends now so we have an enforced rest day on Sunday, a sleep-in and a walk to the supermarket later to provision. Another walk to the shops very early Monday to visit the German Bakery for bread, cheese and spinach rolls and Christmas Stollen, ticking off another favourite place. We're all ready to go back in the water at about 9am. [Top]

First sail of Summer to Barnes Bay

Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 December 2020

It is a lovely, cloudless, sunny day on Monday, with a strong northerly blowing. Since getting into the berth in windy conditions is always tricky, we decide to just sail away as soon as we come off the slip. We back out of the Marina to avoid trying to turn the boat in the wind, then head toward the Garrow light, where we put up sail and turn the motor off. With just the jib we do 6+kt with the wind dead astern. We tack downwind towards South Arm, then tack back to the Channel entrance. Less wind at the south end of the Derwent, but we are still doing a comfortable 5-6kt, then 4-5kt once in the Channel. We sail into Barnes, putting the motor back on to take us up into Quarantine Bay to pick up a mooring. Of course the wind strengthens as we approach, and the pickup isn't as tidy as one would like, but we do it in one go despite being out of practice. We are safely moored in time for lunch and a lazy afternoon. Later we put the dinghy in the water, clean 10 months of muck out of it, put the outboard on and the captain goes for a burn around the bay while the mate has a swim.

Tuesday proceeds as planned, doing not much. Cockpit is cleaned. Around coffee time we shift from Quarantine to a mooring at the top of Sykes Bay, the first time we've used this one. Mate has another swim, as it's still hot although there is a change forecast, which is why we move moorings. Wind now increasing, and Mt Wellington has disappeared into cloud. Rain would be good to help wash more dust off the decks.

No rain, but Wednesday is cloudy and chilly and the forecast is for rain all day on Thursday, so we slip the mooring after morning coffee and motorsail back up the river. We don't raise the main because we know there's a birds nest in the boom bag, and we want buckets and hoses handy to remove the mess when we open it up. There's not much wind when we reach the berth, but the captain's ability to judge the turn has gone off after 10 months. Fortunately Ian from Ariel is there to help us pick up lines, and with his aid it's painless. It's nice to be back in the Marina as it's cold enough for the electric heater to be welcome. [Top]

Christmas and New Year, in the Marina

Thursday 17 December 2020 to Saturday 9 January 2021

We spend the last weeks of 2020 with a mixture of socialising, maintenance tasks, and relaxation. We lunch with Anne and Tom, do Christmas shopping, wrap presents, entertain various people aboard for coffee, lunch, sundowner drinks. The decks are cleaned with the Karcher, and there is general tidying and cleaning inside and out. The birds' nest is removed from the boom bag, and the sail cleaned up. The annual "Reflection" is written. Christmas books are read. Clarinets are played. Christmas e-cards are sent and received. We continue to communicate with friends and rels in Melbourne and elsewhere by email, phone and Zoom. We spend Yulafen with the Blichfeldts, Christmas Day with Gus and Susie at her place in Kaoota, New Year's Eve at the Blichfeldts.

2021 begins with the mate going down with something, which fortunately turns out to be a cold, not COVID (she has the test). The engineer services all the winches, a long overdue maintenance task. U3A tasks are done. Research is done on-line for new kayak(s) to replace the inflatable one we've had for years but which we gave away when a leak proved impossible to repair. Further research is done on how/where a diesel heater could be fitted, prompted by the fact that the weather was chilly for the last two weeks in December. A quiet but enjoyable time. [Top]

Down the Channel

Sunday 10 to Friday 15 January 2021

Summer finally arrives, Saturday 12 January is hot and windy and the marina empties. We spend the Saturday provisioning and leave early Sunday when it is quiet and easy to get out of the pen. Not much wind, so it's motoring nearly all the way to Barnes, with a brief bit of sailing at the top of the Channel. In the Derwent we are rewarded for finally leaving the marina by having a pod of dolphin come to play. We reach Quarantine Bay in time for lunch, and have our pick of the moorings. It's a lovely warm afternoon, the mate has a paddle in the new kayak. Monday is hot at first, the mate has a swim as well as another kayak excursion, and even the captain has a go. The kayaks are pronounced a success. There is a thunderstorm late afternoon on Monday, rain overnight, and a change threatening Tuesday morning so we move across to Rosebanks before breakfast. The wind goes to the south but it doesn't really get cold. We laze, with books. The mate takes a kayak ride round into Alexanders where she finally locates the Kingborough Boating Club mooring buoy. We've known from their website that there was one there, but have never managed to locate it. We now know that's because it looks completely different from all the other KBC buoys - it's black and very large. We'd always assumed that it was a private mooring. At kayak level, you can read the small tag that says "Kingborough Boating Club". Useful to know for another time. In the evening we enjoy a roast and a DVD.

We drop the mooring at about 8:45am Wednesday, motor out of Barnes and dodge the Bruny ferries before putting up the headsail. The following breeze is very gentle so we motor sail as far as Long Bay Shoal, where we cut the engine so that the mate can phone her brother in quiet. Wind increases during the call and by the end of it we are doing a respectable 4+kt so we sail the rest of the way to the west side Huon Island, where the wind becomes variable. From there we motor sail to Cygnet, drop anchor and then take a break until the afternoon cools down a little.

Our recent research into installing a diesel heater has borne fruit - after a visit last week by Nick from Dieselheat our system is chosen and our installation plan is about 90% complete. The captain has a new idea about where to put the exhaust which he wants to run past Nick, and as Dieselheat is based in Cygnet we give Nick a call. We accept a welcome offer from him to pick us up from the yacht club. We dinghy ashore, pile into his truck and head to his workshop up in the hills behind Cygnet town. After further discussion about exhausts we walk back into Cygnet, check out the main street for any changes, stop for a coffee at the Lovett Cafe before walking back to the yacht club and dinghying back to Nahani.

Having discovered that our favourite second hand book shop cum op shop doesn't open until Friday, we decide we don't need to go into Cygnet again on Thursday. After a lazy morning we lift the anchor, clean off the Cygnet mud and head down the estuary in flukey winds, motor on, motor off until we get near the Huon. From there we have a following wind and we only need the headsail to take briskly across to the Quarries. Shortly after we anchor there it rains, so there's no shore excursion by dinghy or kayak. The rain stops in the evening and we enjoy a spectacular sunset after eating our roast dinner.

The weather forecast is for a series of cold fronts, so we're up early on Friday to get back to the marina asap. It's a beanie and porridge morning, with not much wind and not from the right direction. We motor all the way, it starts raining as we get to North Bruny and stops just in time for us to get into the berth without getting wet. Cold with more rain this afternoon, so we feel our return is well-timed. [Top]