2020 Tas The leaving of Hobart southwards
The Leaving of Hobart south down the Derwent River
And time to reflect
At last we were off and Zoonie was back on track with Nichola, a yacht with an interesting heritage. Designed by renowned, prolific and versatile Australian designer and draftsman Joe Adams back in the 1970’s she is 32’ long, has a double chine, (two angles between her bottom and sides), she looks like an overgrown dinghy and sails much like one too. She is made of steel and weighs just 7 tons. No wonder she is fast. Joe Adams vessels were made in all materials including ferro cement and there are hundreds still around.
Poor Joe came to a sticky end. At the ripe old age of 81 he was found sitting on the settee in his home in the Philippines with machete cuts on his hand and into his neck and skull, something to do with his calling in a debt.
We followed Nichola to Alexanders Bay on Bruny Island for our first stop, not far but then we left late. It was so calm in there that despite Ken picking up the empty mooring on the advice of the police on their launch and despite us tying up alongside the mooring line to the buoy remained slack as you can see.
On shore there was a perfect farm for Rob with his love of the sweet, red succulent, bite sized fruit. See the widow’s weeds of black netting covering the grade one cherry orchard going up the hill. A location geographically suited to get all the day’s sunshine, perfect. I imagined what it must be like to live so near the convenience of a capital city and yet so remote to be permanently peaceful and maybe the pretty little yacht was theirs too.
The next morning we moved on down the channel between Bruny and the mainland, past the vast salmon farms you can see, where the ship tells us everyone loves their fish and into the D’entrecasteaux Waterway which led us towards another peaceful spot for our second night, this time in the Pigsties, a recess in Recherche Bay. Seals lay on their backs in the water relaxing with their heads down looking for the odd passing fish and theirs flippers sticking up. It was partially cloudy and cooler as we approached and there was snow on Mt La Perouse, brhhh.
We stayed offshore on approach because of the extensive kelp beds that can entrap a passing yacht as they did to one that passed inshore of us. He stopped dead and then gingerly reversed to get clear. Kelp around the prop and rudder is like rope.
The entrance was very narrow, with a rock in the middle of the channel. Nichola nosed her way carefully in and we followed her wake until she anchored and we rafted alongside again, it is so handy to be able to climb directly onto eachother’s boats and this time we had the company of two catamarans, we wondered if they would take off west with us the next day.
All around us was lush green woodland, so different to the parched fields we had been seeing. Maybe the fires had not reached this far south. Ken caught himself three carpet sharks, or was it one twice and another, and put them all back where they belong. We returned to Zoonie after a supper of mushroom stroganoff and watched one episode of Outlander before turning in for an early start in the morning. Lookout Southern Ocean, here we come.