There to Here – Back to Mainland Australia - Tassie to Adelaide

After a brief break (because I’m easily distracted by falling leaves and 50th high school reunions), we’re back to our From There to Here series, picking up in Hobart, Tasmania where we left off. For a frame of reference, we’re taking you back to January 2013. By the way, Just A Little Further began publishing blogs around this time, so if you're interested in more details, check out the links highlighted in the text below.

 En route up the wild Tasmanian east coast

En route up the wild Tasmanian east coast

After a quick trip up the Huon River to visit friends, we enjoyed a reasonable weather window to head north up the eastern Tasmania coast. Horrendous wildfires were blazing along our route. The sky was black and the air was thick with soot and smoke. Fortunately, fires were under control when we sailed into Mason Bay to visit Port Arthur, a World Heritage site. It’s a gorgeous place from a distance, but it holds a dark, sinister history where it once functioned as the harshest penal institution in the British Empire. It was also the site of the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996.

 Ruins of prison at Port Arthur World Heritage Site

Ruins of prison at Port Arthur World Heritage Site

Continuing up the coast, we stopped as weather would allow, with one of the highlights being a visit to Maria National Park, site of the Darlington Historic Convict Site plus a beautiful island to roam and explore.

 Painted Cliffs at Maria Island National Park

Painted Cliffs at Maria Island National Park

We missed much along this coast due to Tasmania’s unpredictable, inclement weather, but we plugged along taking in what we could. Leaving the island’s shores, we found ourselves hunkered down in the Furneaux Islands, then clawed our way back into the Bass Strait. We were anchored once again at Deal Island … right back where we started from … our circumnavigation of Tasmania complete.

 Anchored at Deal Island once again

Anchored at Deal Island once again

The previous caretakers had left Deal Island and a new family had arrived. We enjoyed several days getting to know them and exploring the wonders of the Kent Island Group once again.

 Wallabies on Deal Island

Wallabies on Deal Island

Heading west in the Bass Strait, we had the opportunity to stop at King Island, renowned in Australia for its cheese, and, of course, its cows. Pods of dolphins accompanied us on this passage and it was outstanding.

 A dolphin escort to King Island.

A dolphin escort to King Island.

 King Island was an interesting visit and, yes, the cheese was outstanding.

King Island was an interesting visit and, yes, the cheese was outstanding.

Our landfall in Portland, Victoria marked our return to Australia’s mainland. It was a lovely city to explore, but word from home indicated that Marcie’s mom was having medical problems.

 Whaler's Bluff Light - Portland, Victoria

Whaler's Bluff Light - Portland, Victoria

Family always trump sailing. Portland was not the place to leave Nine of Cups, however. We opted to hightail it (at 5-7 knots, “hightail” is probably a stretch) to Adelaide, South Australia where we found a comfortable berth for Cups. David remained aboard, while Marcie flew back to the States.

 Nine of Cups waited patiently for our return to the Crown Marina near Port Adelaide, South Australia

Nine of Cups waited patiently for our return to the Crown Marina near Port Adelaide, South Australia

David eventually flew back to the USA to join me … and my mom. It would be a long time before we returned to Cups. Sometimes life gets in the way of well-made plans … and in the end … it’s really okay. Next week, join us nearly a year later in January 2014, where we resume our adventures aboard Nine of Cups.

In case you’re just joining this series, you can start at the beginning here.