Heading back North, Port Arthur to Clarke Island 40:32.3S, 148:07.02E
To return north to the Big Island (Australia) we want a weather window for crossing the Bass Strait. The distance from Flinders Island to Eden is about 200 miles or just under two days with a good wind and calm seas. We are now making our way up to the group of islands at the north of Tasmania which includes Flinders Island.
Port Arthur to Clarke Island. 1. Maria Island, 2. Triabunna and Orford, 3.Bryan’s Beach, 4. Wine Glass Bay and finally Clarke Island
Passing Cape Pillar
Remains of convict cells on Maria Island
Echidna, Wombat, Pademelon and of course Kangaroos on Maria Island
The Painted Cliffs
On again the next day we moved to Bryan’s Beach, between Freycinet Peninsular and Schouten Island where we stayed two nights. Inge and Thomas on Saga had left Port Arthur and were heading up in the same direction as us they spent a night at Maria Island and came up to join us at our next stop Wine Glass Bay.
Entering Wine Glass Bay and with Inge and Thomas on the Beach
We could see a chance in the weather to use a southerly wind to do the 100 miles to Clarke Island just south of Flinders.
Running up to Clarke Island
Saga left before us in the morning, about 0900 but we waited another couple of hours. Saga, a bit longer and faster than Serenity, would arrive in the Clarke Island anchorage in the dark but we would hopefully have a bit less wind and arrive the next morning in daylight.
This passage was very uncomfortable with winds up to 29 knots from astern and a confused sea with up to 3 metre waves also from astern. Serenity coped very well with just her headsail set which we could reef easily by rolling it away to vary the size. At one point we were down to just a pocket handkerchief and still doing 6-7 knots through the water. The wind and seas did decrease during the night, but it was still cold so we were well dressed and kept short watches. Our approach to Clarke Island was more comfortable despite the strongest tidal stream we have come across for some time. We will spend a night here and start looking around the other islands tomorrow while we wait to carry on north. Clarke Island was the first land in Tasmania to be returned to the indigenous people and you require permission to go ashore. There would appear to be little here to attract us, it is fairly flat and devoid of trees, it was devastated by a severe bush fire in 2014.
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