The Furneaux Island Group - just a glimpse

furneaux group islands sisters passage lighthouse on flinders  

Fighting a west wind to get further west into the Bass Strait was certainly not reasonable. We consulted the cruising notes/guide we'd received from Jack and Jude on Banyandah. We'd met them in Kettering and spent some time chatting. They're knowledgeable, experienced sailors and we trusted their input. Their guide proved to be an excellent resource. We were not far away from Inner Sister Island and it looked as if a little notch of a bay on its south coast would make a reasonable overnight anchorage and allow us some time to catch up on our sleep and assess repairs to be made.




The wind managed to find our nose no matter which way we turned. The seas were still confused, but the swell had lessened, making the going much more tolerable though we had to motor now. The Furneaux Group, named after British navigator Tobias Furneaux in 1793, is comprised of 52 islands (I personally would have called them the Weeks Islands, but that's just me). It was Matthew Flinders, for whom the largest island in the group is named, and who explored and charted these islands in 1798.


furneaux island group heading to anchorage


As we neared Flinders Island, the largest island of the Furneaux Group, we were reminded that this island was the home of the last of Tasmania's Aborigines. They had been rounded up by order of the government and relegated to this isolated, barren, windblown island from 1828-34 where most of them died of disease, maltreatment and broken spirits.


furneaux island group inner sister_poteroos


We slid down Sister's Passage between Inner Sister Island and Flinders, a light marking the craggy shore. The water roiled in the passage, but as we neared our proposed anchorage, things calmed down significantly. Something hopped on a white sand beach...a wallaby or two maybe. A rusted tin roof on an old deserted building stood in contrast to the dun-colored bush on the hillside.


furneaux island group inner sister tin shed


Under different circumstances, we would have been anxious to get ashore, but this night, we just wanted to lick our wounds and get some sleep. Tomorrow's another day.

A little Tassie trivia: During the ice age, a land bridge joined Tasmania to the Australian mainland through Furneaux Group of islands.


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