A Year Ago on Just a Little Further (11/18-11/24)

What a difference a year makes!  What Nine of Cups and Crew were doing a year ago this week (click on links for full posts):



"I really dislike snakes. David is ambivalent towards them, but there’s no ambivalence for me. I mean I REALLY dislike them. There are lots of snakes in Australia. In fact, there are about 170 different species of snakes here on land and in the sea. Eight of the ten most poisonous snakes in the world call Australia home, yet snakes are protected animals in Australia. To make you feel better, only 25 of these baddies are actually capable of killing humans. What a relief! Not that I wish them harm, but geez, they seem to have enough protection of their own with all that venom."


black snake


"A chandlery to us is a shop that specializes in boating equipment, gear and parts. We think as large as West Marine and Defender or as small and parts-deprived as Moe’s in the Cook Islands."


chandlery at oyster cove

In Search of the White Wallaby

"We rose with the sun, packed our picnic lunch and headed in the marina’s courtesy van to the ferry dock. We caught the 0745 car ferry to Bruny Island and began my day late, but not forgotten, birthday celebration. First and foremost today, I wished to see and photograph a Bruny Island white wallaby."


white wallaby





Top Things to See and Do in Tasmania - A Circumnavigation

As we sailed into the south end of the Murray Channel and into Deal Island's East Cove, we completed our circumnavigation of Tasmania. It took a year, almost to the day, but hey, we're slow sailors. It gave us cause to sit back one evening, while sipping our congratulatory cups of Tasmanian wine, and reflect on the highlights of our time in and around this very special island. We readily admit we missed a lot...like most of the interior (no car) and all the north coast (no time). We would have loved to linger in the Furneaux Island Group and explore Flinders Island (bad weather). Though we try, we just can't do it all. These are our picks of the top things to see and do in Tasmania.  



Our first port of call along Tassie's wild west coast the entry through the infamous Hell's Gate into Macquarie Harbour. The tiny town of Strahan was picturesque and a calm respite from the west coast's churning waters. We sailed up the Gordon River, explored the convict ruins at Sarah Island and traipsed around the bush at Kelly's Basin. It was spectacular. You can reach Strahan by car and take tours of the harbor and the river.


port davey

Port Davey

Approaching Breaksea Island, knowing we needed to skirt behind it to find the calm waters of the Bathurst Channel took a leap of faith. Rollers crashed and the craggy shore looked uninviting and ominous. But the chart and hundreds of mariners before us assured us there was peace behind those ragged spires...and there was. We hiked to tops of hills and mountains for glorious views and took the dinghy up the Melaleuca River to areas originally inhabited by Aborigines and rarely seen or visited by modern man. Part of Southwest Wilderness National Park, this area is only accessible by boat, on foot or by small plane. It's unbelievably and wonderfully remote.


bruny white wallaby

Bruny Island

A world unto itself, the island offers history, spectacular vistas, beaches and diverse flora and fauna including rare, endangered birds and white wallabies. Reach the island via a tour, your own boat or the car/passenger ferry at Kettering.


cygnet swan boat


This was our favorite little port on the east coast. It's friendly, tiny and a bit Bohemian with a cafe and boutique-lined main street. Drive there or sail there. It's worth the trip.



Hobart Town

An historic, must-see seaport with so much to do and explore. See our Top Things to See and Do in Hobart for specifics.


port arthur

Port Arthur

Re-live history here while meandering through the remains of this substantial, well-preserved convict site. Take a tour, drive there or sail there.



Maria Island

Another of Tasmania's national parks and historic convict sites. View remnants of the convict colony and the past settlement at Darlington or hike for miles enjoying the natural beauty of the Painted Cliffs, sharing the experience with kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and hundreds of birds. Access via passenger ferry from Triabunna or your own boat, of course.


deal island lite

Deal Island

Magic in the middle of the Bass Strait. Climb the steep hill to the small complex of historic lightkeeper's buildings, visit the tiny museum, hike the path to the lighthouse and climb its spiral stairs to the top viewing platform for unsurpassed views of the Strait. Cape Barren geese, wallabies, butterflies and birds galore keep you company. Part of the Kent Group National Park and accessible only by boat.


Get to know the locals. They're warm, friendly and knowledgeable. Thanks to Ian & Wendy, Craig, Marcia & John, Tony & Mary Anne, Reg, Anne & Phil, Gerry, Jack & Jude, Jim & Anne, Bob the octogenarian kayaker, Jackie, Mary & David and Tom, Maree & Floyd. If we've missed some of the many people who showed us kindness and friendship, we humbly apologize. As always, it is the people who enhance our lives and give us a better appreciation of the places we visit.


Days and Ways to Celebrate
A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.
National Lox and Bagel Day
Bagels are not as easy to come by in Australia as they are in the US. We can find them, but it's not like Einsteins or Brueggers or a good deli in New York City. Revel in bagelry today. Schmear on the cream cheese. My mouth is watering!
National Read in the Bathtub Day
Hmmm...IF I had a bathtub, I'd consider this.

Top Things to See and Do in Hobart, Tasmania

Tasmania is a treasure trove of sights and experiences and Hobart is a good place to base yourself for a few days while you suss out the opportunities. In October 2012, a writer for the Lonely Planet travel guide series ranked Hobart as number seven of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2013. That's pretty impressive, don't you think? We've visited six of the ten listed cities and we think Hobart should have claimed an even better spot. An historic waterfront town, Hobart, capital city of Tasmania, is small, compact and charming. We rarely have access to a car, so we walk or take public transit most everywhere we want to go. In Hobart, that's easy. Pretty much everything in the greater Hobart area is close or there's a bus, ferry or tour to get you there.

Here's our recommendation of things to see and do in Hobart:


MONA (Museum of New and Old Art), is a world-class, kick-ass, can't miss museum. You can take a bus or catch the ferry to get there. The ferry is more fun and definitely more impressive as you head up the Derwent River under the Tasman Bridge and catch views of the museum ensconced in the hillside.

salamanca market

Salamanca Market and Salamanca Place – a market every Saturday morning, rain or shine, that takes over the entire street. The rest of the week enjoy pubs, restaurants and boutiques in a trendy historical area.


The Waterfront and Constitution Dock (ConDock) – a lovely area to visit. Fishing boats and sailboats tie up here in historic Sullivan Cove. Convict-built sandstone warehouses line the wharves. Catch lunch at one of the floating fish and chip joints along the dock where you have to kneel down at low tide to place and collect your order.

botanic garden carousel

Royal Botanical Gardens – even if you're not the horticultural type, there's lots to see at the Gardens including an awesome, historic carousel and a SubAntarctic species exhibit, the only one in the world. You can walk through the Queens Domain to get there with lots to see along the way.

bonorong spotted quolls

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – just north of Hobart, this is a sanctuary, not a zoo, so the residents change from time to time. Touch a wombat, pat a fluffy koala and see lots of Tasmanian devils, not to mention blue-tongued lizards, poteroos and quolls.

bruny wallaby boys

Bruny Island – As unique as Tasmania itself, you can take a tour from Hobart or rent a car and take the ferry from Kettering across the beautiful D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Just over 100km long, the island is enchanting, offering views of the Tasman Sea, a visit to the Cape Bruny Light, the Bligh Museum and more. Don't miss a chance to view rare white wallabies near Adventure Bay.

battery historic walk

Historic Walk & Battery Point – An easy self-guided walk through the oldest areas of Hobart. Admire the buildings and 19th century architecture, then stop at the Shipwright Arms (Shippies) for a genuine pub lunch and a pint.

wellington hobart view

Mount Wellington or as the locals call it, “the mountain”, lords over the city. From its summit of 1271m (4,170'), there are superb views of the Derwent River, Hobart and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. It's about 20km to the top from Hobart along a narrow, unmarked, two-lane road. You can rent a car, take a tour, ride a bike or walk (long walk, but many good paths).

Walk, walk, walk ... Hobart offers so many little nooks and crannies which allow you to peek into its historic past. Visit St. David's Park, walk along the wharves or up Kelly's Steps, wander along the foreshore up to Cornelian Bay under the Tasman Bridge to see the colorful boatsheds.

wild oats

Festivals – If you can plan your visit during the summer months (Dec-February), there are several festivals to enjoy along the historic waterfront including the Sydney-Hobart Race, Tasmania Taste Fest, the bi-annual Wooden Boat Festival and more. Check the Hobart festival and events schedule before making your plans.

Tantalize your taste buds:

  • Try Valhalla ice cream – pepperberry flavor – this is something very unique to Tasmania.
  • Tassie seafood...smoked salmon, oysters, mussels, crayfish(lobster), scallop pie
  • Tasmanian cool climate wines
  • Bruny Island cherries...huge and luscious (Dec/Jan) and all other native fruit as it comes into season...apples, pears and apricots were our special favorites.



Souvenirs – if you want something “very” Tasmanian, buy something wooden crafted of Huon pine, blackheart sassafras or one of the many native woods available in Tasmania. The Salamanca Market offers lots of choices although our personal favorite was Kevin “the Bowlmaker” Rayner, Stall #42 (kgrayner@bigpond.com). This man knows his wood and his craft, and his work is absolutely beautiful.


  • Hobart Information Center provides lots of good information about tours, sightseeing, accommodation plus a good, free city map.
  • We don't usually stay in hotels since we live on the boat, but there are lots of hotel choices from hostels to high class in Hobart and nearby. We've stayed at the Hobart Towers Motel twice on our way to and from the airport and found it basic, but clean, friendly and one of the least expensive hotels in the Hobart area ($70/night) other than staying at a backpackers' lodge.
  • We've only recommended those activities we've actually done ourselves. We have not taken the Bruny Island Cruise, but it seems to be very popular. We have also not yet visited Port Arthur because it's accessible by boat, so we plan to sail there and report back later. Port Arthur is highly recommended...by everyone...and tours are available from Hobart.
  • Day Rover passes on the Metro bus system ($4.80/adult) allow you to ride all day on the buses. You can buy your ticket from the driver when you enter the bus.


Days and Ways to Celebrate

A fun list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.


A Christian religious holiday commemorating the baptism of Christ and the visit of the Magi among other things. Also known as Twelfth Day.

Twelfth Night

This is the 12th night after Christmas and commemorates the official end of the Christmas season. Remember the “Twelve Days of Christmas”...this is the 12th day/night...the drummers should be drumming.

Sherlock's Birthday

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes crime mysteries were written at the turn of the 20th century and still hold their appeal today. Sherlock and Watson first appeared in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1886. You can download one of his 56 stories or four novels for free.