Our boat maintenance marathon is far from over, with the painting of the decks delayed by family matters, and our haul out scheduled in mid November. However we want to turn our attention to far more exciting things ahead and share with you our sailing plans for the Summer.
In our grand plan for this Summer 2016-17 Cruise, the word circumnavigation features. But circumnavigation of what is unsure and totally weather dependent. No we are not talking about a circumnavigation of Australia, but humbly of Tasmania, or even just Bass Strait – either way, we will be cruising southern waters. We have an idea in the back of our mind, a sketch of how we would like things to turn out. What is definite is that we want to head out of the Gippsland Lakes and go west or south, as the wind allows on 1 December! We know not to apply too much detail at too early a stage or we will be disappointed. We will plan one step at a time on D day, and see where it leads us.
Of course, as usual we have several alternatives for our 9 weeks at sea, our longest voyage so far.
Our preferred option is to circumnavigate Tasmania. This involves heading out in a westerly direction, following the Victorian coast around Wilsons Promontory till Apollo Bay, then sailing South to King Island, and on to the Hunter group of islands at the NW corner of Tassie. After that it will be time to put on our big boy and girl pants and continue our southerly decent along the West coast of Tasmania. This is a big scary Southern Ocean run to Strahan, then Bathurst Harbour/Port Davey, the only two well protected inlets along this stretch of coast. Once out of there, it is round the bottom of Tasmania and back up the East coast, and finally a wander around the Furneaux group and Flinders Island, before heading back home to Port Albert, our summer mooring. With the wind roses showing a predominance of Westerlies in December along the West coast of Tassie, we may not be able to do this, but we will try.
This is as per Plan A up to the Hunter group, but if we don’t get the weather to go down to West coast, we won’t waste our time waiting for ever and instead will follow the Northern coast of Tasmania, then wander around the Furneaux Group and Flinders Island and back to Port Albert via Deal Island. So this would equate to a circumnavigation of Bass Strait.
Similar to Plan B, but in the reverse direction: we go straight to Flinders Island and round Bass Strait we go in a clockwise direction!
We head to Deal Island then make it up from there!
Cruising Plans are always a bit loose
It may seem a bit casual, but loose plans are all you can make when the weather is in charge. We are in it for the fun, not for a battle against the elements, and we will make decisions as the forecasts unfold. Truth be known, we just want space and peace to mentally and physically escape after another tough year.
Depending on our itinerary, we will post regular updates, but if we make it down the West coast, we will be out of internet service for several weeks. So there may be gaps in communication followed by a series of posts in quick succession when we get back to civilization! For the worrywarts, we are well equipped with navigation tools, EPIRB, AIS, marine radio and a satellite phone so don’t send the search party if you don’t hear from us for a while.
It is sure to be another exciting voyage of discovery with many stories and photos to share with you along the way.