Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 26 Nov 2018 11:27

Position: 43 18.81 S  147 14.40 E
At anchor off Alonnah
Wind: E,  F1 gentle air
Sea: calm        Swell: nil
Weather: overcast, cool
Day’s run: 33 nm

The wet and windy weather that has dominated Hobart over the last several days eased off last night and this morning conditions, while still grey and overcast, were much more conducive for a bit of a sail. At a little after nine I cast off Sylph’s shorelines and motored out of the small marina, out past a fellow yachtsman waving Sylph with a big smile as we glided past the entrance, out past a huge floating bee hive-like passenger liner, and out into the Derwent River. We had to motor for an hour before a breeze filled in but as soon as it did Sylph’s main was hoisted and jib unrolled in lively fashion.  It was a headwind but light and pleasant and it wasn’t raining so the ship’s crew was well content.

We sailed past a large oil rig platform that was parked in Ralphs Bay with a couple of large red tender vessels slowly circling, no doubt there to ward off anyone that gets a tad too curious.  A little ways past the oil rig we were at the mouth of the Derwent River but instead of continuing on into Storm Bay we turned hard right into the D’entracasteaux Channel through its relatively narrow, three quarters of a nautical mile wide, northern entrance.  The wind left us for a short while which given the proximity of the land on either side was unsurprising. I contemplated motoring as I could see some dark ruffles on the water’s surface ahead but the skipper was in no hurry, so we drifted and waited.  Far too peaceful, he thought, to contemplate listening to the BRM’s rumbling tones for even a moment.

Sure enough, it did not take long for a light breeze to return and Sylph continued negotiating the gradually broadening channel with many short tacks, headland to headland, and dodging numerous fish farms, home of the world’s most loved salmon according the side of some farm ship from Norway that was steaming hurriedly in the opposite direction. I suspect the Huon salmon are not reciprocating the love.

We sailed past lots of green valleys with numerous homes lining their shores, stairways tumbling down cliffs to give them access to their own private mostly stony beaches. A number of bays, large and small, fell away in between the headlands, with many of the larger bays containing a forest of masts and many of the smaller bays a mere copse or two.

In the late afternoon we sailed into the broader expanse of Isthmus Bay allowing me to relax my navigational vigilance, such as it was, and turn my thoughts to where we might anchor for the night. Alonnah looked interesting with a nice shoaling beach and shelter to the east, and we would arrive at 1800 which seemed like a civilised hour to stop while there was still sufficient twilight left to prepare dinner by.

And thus it was. At 1800 I rounded into the light breeze, handed sail, allowed Sylph’s way to wash off, then proceeded forward to her nice spacious foredeck and kicked the Rocna™ over the side.  Sperlash, rattle, rattle, rattle … klunk! 20 meters of cable on deck, depth 3.5 meters. That’ll do Sylph.

Tomorrow we get to welcome Kate into Sylph’s happily humble abode for a few days.

All is well.