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.
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.
Arrived at Cape Pillar and Tasman Island by 0930hrs. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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