South we go!

The stars are lining up for us, so south we go! We are trying very hard to avoid overnighters, as we don’t enjoy two hour watches, Wade and I, but we are opting for super early starts, to get us to cover distances before weather changes. Take our 14 hour passage from Apollo Bay to Grassy at the bottom of King Island for instance. This was a 2.00 am start, as we needed to get to King Island by the afternoon before a westerly change. We had a full moon and starry night to start with, and although Bass Strait was lumpy, we sailed all the way, using various sail combinations.

We spent two nights in Grassy, just enough time to stretch our legs for a walk ashore and our own private penguin parade in the evening.

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Early morning view of Grassy Harbour

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LIttle Penguins at Grassy

We were also very lucky to score a small crayfish, courtesy of the fisherman we borrowed the mooring from. We took great care to plan ahead with him for our visit and it seemed to impress him. One of the things that really annoy fishermen, is yachties turning up unannounced, using one of their moorings without permission and doing damage by hooking on to the lead rope instead of the heavy chain, which by the way was f#$king difficult!

On Monday the passage from Grassy to Three Hummock Island, off the North West corner of Tasmania, was a more acceptable 5.00am start. We had a magic 6 hour sail. When you have to get up early, you want to be rewarded for your effort and we were again! With the southwesterly slightly forward of our beam, the conditions were chilly and quite bumpy, but we all rugged up and hung on for the ride! We enjoyed a fast run, a golden sunrise, lots of albatrosses and shearwaters soaring, and a deserted anchorage on arrival at Coulomb Bay. Now that is what we all signed up for!

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Sunrise at sea

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Shy Albatross soaring

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TIE speeding along

We stayed at Three Hummock Island for a couple of days. Plenty of beach walks for us and the pussycat. The ocean is a cool 180 C, but it does not stop us from jumping in at the back of the boat.

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Bengie on the prowl

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Coulomb Bay and its granite boulders

Today, Wednesday 7 March, we are headed for the big committal passage down the West Coast of Tasmania. We have two plans, depending on how the forecast develops. Plan A involves sailing 65 miles to Sandy Cape and anchoring there for the night, then covering the next 55 miles to Macquarie Harbour and Strahan the next day. Plan B is to bite the bullet and sail the 120 miles in one long day and night passage without stopping. Time will tell which option we take! Stay tune for the next instalment!


14 thoughts on “South we go!

  1. Good morning Crew. I’m not sure your AIS is transmitting. Your last position on MarineTracker is off Anglesea?

    • Hi John, Yes our AIS is transmitting OK. It’s Marine Traffic that’s often unreliable., highly dependent on us being picked up by a ship and we haven’t seen too many of these for the last week or so. Now off Cape Grim!

  2. You’re moving at fast pace on the map now! Your pictures show a clear sky and a bit choppy sea, I hope your weather condition is optimum and gives you smooth sailing…Take care. 🙂

    • Hi HJ, we have had great sails since leaving Queenscliff. Bass strait is always a bit choppy, but we have left this body of water and are now edging along the Southern Ocean. So less lumpy, more rounded swell. Really enjoying the passages, especially now that it is new territory.

    • We are! Sailing down the West Coast right now – we’ll the start of it! We have had some fantastic, long sails. Our friends are rapt – really experiencing some serious sailing and loving the adventure. So are we!

    • Hi Sue, have been out of range, but sailing down the spectacular West Coast. Stopped at Sandy Cape, spent a day exploring there, and today, Friday, are approaching Macquarie Harbour. Should be in Strahan this afternoon. This is such an amazing stretch of coast!

  3. Thoughts are with you for this leg, one of the most notorious bits of the Aussie coast. At least you are moving…we are waiting for medical results and the weather and it might still be a week away before we can continue.

  4. Great pics & commentary as usual. Benji is such a lucky baby. If there is ever a time your baby can’t travel with you & you need some who would look after your furry I put my hand up. My friend calls me the crazy cat lady. Enjoy 🐾

    • Thanks for the offer Caroline. Bengie is a very important crew member and attracts lots of comments! Glad you enjoy the posts and photos. It’s magic out here.

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