Distance run in the last 24hrs; 43NM
Average speed; 1.7KN
Weather; west south west winds force 3, blue skies with a scattering of clouds overland, temp 16.5°, seas slight to moderate
After covering a sensation 147NM in the last twenty four hours the winds have started to ease as a high pressure system comes in. Finally Brian from Mizzen mast spots land and he isn’t even on watch as Foremast are! I have to admit he has good eye sight, as there is low lying cloud on the horizon and unless you stare hard enough it could have just as easily been a darker cloud formation.
At 2200 there are whisperings that the Southern lights can be seen, dashing up onto deck in my pyjamas there is a white light formation that I can only describe as having the same silhouette as a rough cliff line. Third officer Nick explains that it seems to be moving along with the cloud every now and then getting brighter and fading down.
The morning brings us as craggy mountainous landscape hidden in low lying clouds and as the sun starts to rise and gradually crack through the clouds. This is exactly how I imagined Tasmania to look, wild, rugged and a landscape that instantly makes you want to explore.
We slowed down in the night which was our intentions as we wanted to arrive at Port Davey during first light, however the wind dropped again in the night, meaning that we will not arrive into Port Davey until the afternoon. With the lighter winds back, it is time for the crew to go aloft and shake out the reefs that were put in the Fore topsail and Main topsail and then to go aloft and unfurl the top Gallants on the Fore and Mainmast, these are the light wind sails that the crew haven’t yet got to set because the winds have been too strong.
The sun is shining and although the wind is lighter we are still sailing, still sailing from when we left anchorage in Portland. Not once have the iron staysails been required. We also have this fantastic landscape to soak up and the excitement of anchoring at Port Davey. The only access into Port Davey is by boat, or a seven day hike.