Life on the Derwent River

Despite the fact we're concerned we won't find a berth in Hobart for the holiday season, we've remained at anchor up the Derwent River in Cornelian Bay for the past few days. It's not like Life on the Mississippi, but it's definitely pleasant here. We're pretty much alone though we see people walking on the shore and a kayaker once in awhile. It took us two days to launch the dinghy. We're in no hurry. The Derwent River, by the way, is not technically a river at all. It's an estuary. The difference between the two, I've recently learned, is that rivers are fresh water and estuaries are inlets of the sea, salty and tidal, the estuary being a transition zone between land and sea. We're anchored in the Derwent Estuary, but it seems just like a river to us.

There are trains that run along the shore night and day and sound close enough to run right over Cups. The loud rumble and vibration startled us the first night, but since then we've become accustomed to the whistles and train noises. We can hear the muffled sounds of traffic over the Tasman Bridge and along the coast road by the Queen's Domain. City sounds affect us only minimally. Some guys on jet skis played around near us for a couple of hours yesterday; they finally left. We think of them as gnats. Sorry if you really like jet skis. We find them particularly annoying with their noise and the wakes they create. Mostly though, we hear the gentle whir of the wind generator cranking out amps with its silent solar panel partners. We haven't had to start the engine since we arrived.

There doesn't seem to be much river traffic although perhaps it's cyclical. The span width, height and interval of the Tasman Bridge tell us that some pretty large vessels come through from time to time. The charts show an LPG storage area and an oil wharf up river a ways, but we've seen no ships nor many boats of any kind except the ferry to MONA which passes by a few times a day.

We've been reading and writing on these quiet days. We take long walks along the coast track. The temperature is warming up now and it feels like summer although that can change in the drop of a hat here. There are lots of terns and gulls around and when David's working on deck, they must think he's cleaning fish because they all swarm around looking for tasty fish guts. There's been a full moon and we're enjoying the night views of the bridge and the twinkling lights on the river.

David has repaired the cockpit GPS. The bilge pump was an easy fix and seems to be operating just fine now. The cockpit microphone will take more effort, but he's been in touch with Standard Horizon and they seem to have sussed out a bad fuse as the potential problem. They've agreed to let David fix it himself without voiding the warranty. Oh, joy, another chore on the list. As you can see, we've only changed locations in order to perform boat chores in a new place.