Sailing to Hobart Town

We anchored the night in the lovely Duckpond anchorage at Bruny Island, but saw no ducks. This anchorage is considered “bullet-proof” since it's so protected, but we didn't needed any protection this night. The water was flat and calm with nary enough wind to turn the wind generator blades even a little. The flags were limp. The temperature was mild and our first night back on the water was dreamlike. We woke to bright sunshine and a distinctly strong aroma of eucalyptus. I wish I could post a “smell bite”. It was a wake-you-up smell that permeated the air. Birds sang; water lapped gently at the hull. All in all, a pleasant way to be greeted by the day.

We hauled anchor, and headed to Hobart town, but not without a few hiccups. The handheld GPS in the cockpit has a corroded connector. It's a backup to the main GPS system, but we use it for keeping track of our nautical miles. It's on the fix-it list. The cockpit radio's LCD went out. We just had it checked out at Standard Horizon while we were back in the States and it was working then … but not now (sigh!). Put it on the list. As Marcie was raising the muddy anchor, the spray nozzle on the wash-down hose popped off and immediately found its way into the water. We were able to recoup it with the boat hook and our handy-dandy canvas bucket, but it needs to be fixed. The automatic bilge pump does not seem to be working properly.

Enough to-do's...on to the good stuff. It was a gorgeous day, but not enough wind to sail. No matter, we motored out of the Duckpond and into the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. I would call it a “blue” day. One of those days when the water and the air itself seem to reflect the blue, blue sky. The water was still except for our wake. The smell turned from eucalyptus to salty, sea air with a hint of fish as we passed close to the salmon farms.

Blue penguins floated in front of us, then dove shyly before affording us a chance for a photo. Sea lions languished in the sun, their flippers raised in a hello gesture as we motored past. Gulls, terns and cormorants dove for breakfast. We saw a whale … only long enough to identify it as a small whale and not a large dolphin. We reckon it was a southern right, but we really couldn't tell for sure.

We passed lighthouses, bluffs and sandstone cliffs. Mount Wellington was shrouded in clouds. We saw Ironstone Light in the near distance marking the entry to the Derwent River. Passing along Hobart's historic waterfront, the smell of the city overcame the smell of the sea. We weren't quite ready to tie up at Hobart yet. We were still enjoying the freedom of being on the water. We headed under the Tasman Bridge and though there was nearly 75' clearance to spare, it always looks like the mast is about to brush the bridge.

We anchored just after midday outside the mooring field in Cornelian Bay with views of the bridge on one side of us and views of the Queen's Domain and Botanical Gardens on the other. Several boats were moored in this protected area of the river. Colorful boat sheds line the shore.

The wind increased to 20 knots and kept the wind generator churning out power throughout the day, but conveniently calmed down by 7pm, allowing us a peaceful evening. We are indeed heading to Hobart Town, but not quite yet.