Around Hobart, Summer 2022

Summer 2022 begins in December 2021. Once again it's a relief to get out of Melbourne, where COVID case numbers are rising as the Omicron strain takes hold. It's also lovely to escape from the feverish round of visiting and events that came with the end of our second long lockdown.

Hobart at last!

Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 December 2021

We arrive in Hobart around 11am Saturday 18 December, in time to have a drink at the club and watch Santa arrive (John Burke on Golden Haze). Then it's out to open up Nahani and see how she is after 8 months. She could do with a dust externally, but inside all is just as we left it, including our undies stretched out to dry on the lee-cloth ties and the bookcase. It's seriously hot, with a rather unpleasant northerly, so after we've unloaded the car, put most stuff away (including the undies) and turned on most things, we collapse on the sea berths. After a rest we discover that the plug with which we connect to shore power has disintegrated, so the Captain has already done his first fix-it job. Meahwhile the mate is still fielding the odd post-Enrolment query from U3A. Later in the day we gather enough strength to go ashore for a meal at All Thai, and shop for breakfast necessities. Then we're ready for an early night. [Top]

On the slip

Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 December 2021

We are up very early on Monday to exit the pen before the wind gets up, which we do safely, then mooch around outside the marina until the bosuns are ready to receive us. Despite the wind we don't have any issues getting Nahani into the cradle and so by 9:00 she is up on the slip with the Bilge Rats already at work. By the end of the day she is cleaned, polished and antifouled with new Propspeed on the prop. Nick the marine surveyor has also done the bit of the survey that has to be done out of the water. We stay on board overnight, and are put back in the water at about 10:30 on Tuesday. As it's blowing hard again, we head across to Ralph's Bay, anchor in shelter behind the point, and return after dinner for a relatively easy entry to the pen just before dark, when the wind has eased. Next few days before Christmas are spent cleaning and making the boat shipshape for summer cruising. [Top]

North Bruny

Thursday 30 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022

After a week and a bit in the pen, with Christmas celebrations in the middle, the weather improves and we head out on Thursday 30 December. Our neighbour Nick gives us a hand to leave the berth which should have made it easy, but the Captain has a senior moment on the tiller which leaves us pointing in the wrong direction. He carefully exits the marina in reverse and all is well. We motor all the way to Quarantine Bay as there is little or no wind (and what there is of course is on the nose). Once on a mooring we put the dinghy down for the first time this summer, clean it up, put the outboard on and take it for a test run. We launch a kayak as well as it makes putting the bungs in the dinghy an easy task (sitting in the kayak below the dinghy transom rather than suspending oneself perilously over the davitts to reach the bung holes). The mate takes the kayak for paddle around the many other vessels in Quarantine.

The weather is calm and windless on NYE so we see no reason to move, and our plan to stay put is confirmed when we get a call from friend Gus to say that he is planning to sail his boat Stormfisher over from Kettering. He joins us for a drink and dinner, but returns to his boat before dark. We do actually stay awake until midnight, but as someone said, more to make sure 2021 goes than to welcome 2022, which seems a most uncertain future at the moment.

The weather is cloudy and damp for the beginning of 2022. We move to Apollo Bay late on New Year's Day, and spend another day there. The mate does some more varnishing, takes the kayak ashore for a walk to look at the mob of wallabies and flock of geese there. The captain fits an additional 12v socket above the portside seaberth, making it easier for us to plug in the TV when out of the marina (all mod cons on this boat). On Monday the weather in the Channel is still very misty and clammy, so we head back in the early afternoon, motoring most of the way with a bit of sail assistance from a gentle southerly. We think getting into the pen will be easy as the boats around us are all out, but this tempts the captain to try a new technique which doesn't work and we blow on to the end of the jetty, putting a scratch on the hull. We finish up safely in the pen, but on the other side, from whence we winch back to our side. Not the best ever landing. [Top]

With Julie

Thursday 13 January to Monday 17 January 2022

Julie arrives midday Wednesday, we shop and make other preparations on Wednesday, head out early Thursday. There's almost no wind, so we motor to Quarantine Bay. The weather is cloudy and cool, and when the wind finally comes in it's chilly so we spend Thursday afternoon and all of Friday eating, drinking, talking, lazing and reading, with occasional Zoom sessions, WhatsApp and phone calls to stay in touch with friends. We leave on Saturday morning to motor to Little Fancy Bay (no wind again).

Enjoy two warm days and sunshine in Little Fancy (North Bruny Island). On arrival on Saturday the mate has a swim and tries to free up the speed log wheel, which, as always, is stuck after slipping and anti-fouling. She and Julie kayak ashore. Captain goes ashore in the dinghy. We all walk on the beach. Captain attempts paint repairs on the new scratch on the hull from the dinghy.

After kayaking ashore for a walk on Sunday morning, we lunch, then leave as the wind has gone to the NW making Little Fancy Bay uncomfortable. We hack into a very strong NW under motor, shipping the occasional wave down the deck. Wind is so strong we sometimes drop to less than 4kt. But once past Kinghorn Point and in the north part of the Channel, wind is more abeam, we put up sail and cut the motor as we approach Roberts point. From there a lovely sail all the way up the Channel and river to Ralph's Bay, where we plan to stop for the evening, possibly the night. At that point the wind goes from west to east, so we head toward the marina. It's still blowing hard from the east, so after a bit of stooging around waiting to see if it will drop, we anchor off Wrest Point and have a very late dinner. Up early Monday morning for an easy entry to the pen in very calm conditions.

Bruny, Cygnet and Dover

Wednesday 9 to Wednesday 16 February 2022

We leave the pen reasonably early Wednesday. Wind is from the north as forecast, but so light that it doesn't help us much. We go down the river under motor with a bit of help from the jib. We try a bit of wing and wing with jib and staysail in the top of the Channel, but soon give it up and motor all the way to the Quarries, cutting the motor briefly to have lunch in peace and quiet. Caspian arrives an hour or so later and David and Sandra join us for a drink on deck before dinner. We stay at the Quarries on Thursday, mate has a kayak excursion ashore for a walk. On Friday we sail to Cygnet. We're out of practice putting up sails and manage to get the main halyard around a stay, so we give up on the mainsail and sail on the two headsails, making quite good time arriving mid-afternoon. On Saturday we walk into Cygnet to do a major shop as we left Hobart without stocking up. We return with books and shirts from our favourite second-hand shop Refind, meat and veg, fresh bread, more wine and local berries including 1kg boxes of cherries and blueberries. Cygnet is an excellent place to re-provision.

On Sunday the wind goes to the north and we have another good sail back to South Bruny - this time all the way to Mickey's Bay. Towards the end of the trip the wind gets up to 27kt and it almost gets exciting - we're pleased when we're safely anchored with many other boats, including Caspian. We consider a joint meal but decide to defer, thinking that we will all relocate to Lighthouse Beach next day as the wind is due to go to the south. In fact it changes late in the evening, making things a bit less comfortable overnight, but there's not much of it. It's grey on Monday with not much wind and we motor to Dover, as the mate needs decent internet coverage for her Shakespeare lecture. Monday is a holiday in Tasmania and Dover is full of sailing dinghies of all sizes, making the most of what wind there is. Fun to watch.

On Tuesday we start out on our northbound return trip. Not much wind again, so we motor all the way to Ford Bay and go ashore to the Bruny Island Cheese Factory for a late lunch. We share a baked Otto, cheese platter and a glass of Oxymoron "pale dark ale". By the time we get back on the boat the wind has come up from the east and we have a very pleasant sail to Apollo Bay. Forecast is for wind increasing progressively from Wednesday evening, so we plan to return early the next day. When we both happen to wake up at 6am on Wednesday, we decide to throw on our clothes and go. We motor in a flat calm and we're back in the pen by 10:30am. We're very pleased we do, because there is a huge powerboat berthed on the end of the jetty opposite which means we can't hug that side to give us room to turn into the pen in one go. Instead we have to do a lot of back and forth movements to get lined up, which is fine in the conditions but would have been a disaster if it were windy. It's still challenging enough that the first actions once we have the lines on are to put on the power and get out the coffee machine to make a couple of reviving caffeine shots. So ends a very satisfactory week's sailing.