Made it!!

Wednesday 6th March 2013
River Derwent, Tasmania

2,458.7 sailed nautical miles (5,109 klm) from Perth to Hobart, half of them solo and now I’ve finally arrived.

Shing Path, early morn in Canoe Bay

Shining Path, early morn in Canoe Bay

Feels good to have achieved that milestone and be here in one piece. Remarkably, since my troubles on the Perth to Albany leg I’ve had no mechanical, sail or rigging issues to deal with at all. Freespirit has proven herself a strong and capable vessel and there is much to be proud of in owning her.

The last leg from Fortesque Bay into Hobart was scenically the most dramatic of them all so far. An early start saw my passing the Lanterns just at the Southern entrance to Fortesque Bay, looking dramatic and statuesque. Picked up some running tide around then and that gave me an extra push towards the next cape.

The Lanterns, Fortesque Bay

The Lanterns, Fortesque Bay

Arrived at Cape Pillar and Tasman Island by 0930hrs.Β  These are towering Dollamite cliffs dropping vertically into the sea, the tallest in the southern hemisphere and I sailed in as close as my comfort zone allowed, passing neatly between them as a thread through a needle… scary yet fascinating all at the same time. Heaved a small sigh of relief though when I’d finally got through t

o the other side.

Cape Pillar & Tasman Island, I passed between them.

Cape Pillar & Tasman Island, I passed between them.

Sailed past the entrance to Port Arthur veiled in fog and looking sinister. No time for that now. As I arrived at Cape Raoul, another dramatic and incredible cape on this rugged coast, I could see nothing of it at all. Only my chartplotter showed we were close enough to see it in all its glory.

Cape Pillar, awesome!

Cape Pillar, awesome!

Not until I had gotten well past the point did the fog clear enough for me to see it clearly. The coastline here is heralded as the best of the best and I can well believe it. Juxtaposed against lush green fields and forests are huge Dollamite cliffs and craggy outcrops now bathed in bright sunshine and clear blue skies. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Storm Bay was anything but stormy today as I motored quietly along towards the Derwent River.

Foggy Cape Raoul

Foggy Cape Raoul

At last I had phone signal, the first for many days, so while Freespirit chugged along under the guidance of Ray the autopilot I

caught up on mail and messages. I’d written the previous post to this one in the quiet and peaceful waters of Canoe Bay so I took advantage of finally having internet to upload and post that too.

Iron Pot lighthouse, River Derwent.

Iron Pot lighthouse, River Derwent.

By the time I’d taken care of all my communications the lighthouse island that stands at the entrance to River Derwent known as Iron Pot was in sight and looking glorious. I’d selected a small bay just inside the river mouth called Seacroft Bay to anchor overnight so I took over from Ray and steered into it now. Sweet little bay with good sandy bottom and 2-4 metres of clear water….perfect.

River Derwent, I've arrived!!

River Derwent, I’ve arrived!!

Snugged down in the safety of the bay and took a celebratory drink, or three at having now dipped my toes in three oceans, crossed Bass Strait and covered 2,458.7 nautical miles in 118 days since first slipping my berth in Hillary’s harbour Wednesday 7th November 2012.
Its a good feeling. Oh, and its my birthday today too… =8D

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15 Responses to Made it!!

  1. Grace says:

    Right on Colin! Absolute adventure.

  2. sonjamf says:

    Congratulations Colin, champion. Hope you have a very happy bday πŸ™‚

    • sonjamf says:

      Looks like the website is allowing me to comment again

    • freespirit52 says:

      Thanks Sonja. Am in my own pen at Oyster Bay Marina as I write this and am happier than a dog with two tails. Feels like home already. Not sure what happened with the website not allowing you to post? Glad your back though… you must be getting very excited about the sail to Bali!!!

  3. glenn says:

    Well done Col and happy birthday from us both

  4. Vic & Kristy says:

    Congratulations!!!!!!! I wish I could transport the whole Canadian Jam night gang & friends to greet you and the Freesperit. Music and celebration would certainly be in order. As Kristy & I read all of your blogs along this fabulous adventurest journey, we could hardly wait to read the next. We, like a lot of people were chearing you on. Now we share your joy. This must be what poeple mean when they say that they are Living the dream.
    Take care my friend.

    Vic & Kristy

    • freespirit52 says:

      I wish the whole Canadian Jam night gang & friends could be here to share the joy too… that would be a perfect and fitting end to this phase of the journey. I just read somewhere that 80% of people dream of sailing away on a boat yet only 1% actually get to do it. Can’t verify those figures but it sounds about right. LIving the dream, yes it is….. yet it is friends and supporters such as you good folk who enrich the experience by sharing it with me… stay tuned though…. its not over yet!
      Much love

  5. Greg says:

    Wow! Wow!! WOW!!! Congratulations and Jubilations. The photos look amazing too. Does this mean you might actually take a well-earned break for awhile? I’m exhauted just reading all about it πŸ˜›

    • freespirit52 says:

      Thanks Greg, 99% of the photo’s were taken on a humble iPhone4. Even with its waterproof case its still small enough to slip into a pocket and be ready to use when a photo opportunity arose. This is the secret I think, having a camera always there and ready. Yes, I’ll take a break now and work on the little things Freespirit has told me she wants fixed πŸ˜‰ … also hope to tour Tassy via bike soon so I’ll blog that too. Cheers mate.

  6. Robert says:

    Happy Birthday Col – what a great way to celebrate life!

  7. Great to see you safe and sound in port, Colin. Very happy that you made it … as if there were any doubts. πŸ˜‰
    Keep us posted on your Winter progress, and yes, don’t forget those pics!
    Cheers from snowy Canada – yes, another snow storm today, on the first day of Spring, no less! At least I got to stay home from work and putter on my puter. πŸ™‚

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