Day 4 Hobart – Melbourne

Tasman Island as the sun goes down

Latitude; 43°08’S

Longitude; 147°58’E

Distance run in the last 7hrs; 8.5NM

Average speed; 2.6KN

Weather; Light NW winds 2-3, calm seas inside Bay, blue skies with slight cloud coverage, temp 19°  

At 1230 we start to weigh anchor with a short hop down the coast to Fortescue Bay where we will anchor for the night and wait for the swell to drop and it will also give us the opportunity to get some *reefs put in the sails, wait for the wind to swing around to the South West and give us the opportunity to look at the props. When we were approaching into Port Arthur another vessel came close nearby to throw out their Cray fish pots and unfortunately we didn’t see them and they were right in the channel and we went over them when under way and now we think that some of the line might still be caught in the props.

As we leave Port Arthur the wind has eased but the swell is very sloppy and unpredictable, for a couple of hours it is uncomfortable as we head into it to get some distance out to sea to round Tasman Island. But once we start heading with the direction of the swell it is much more stable. The sun is starting to set as we reach the Southern Point of Tasman Island and everything is illuminated by a smoky orange from the sun, there are still some dark grey clouds lingering on the horizon. Higher in the sky there are *cumulus clouds   which block the full stream of the sun, but send out these dramatic sun beams to sporadically shine on this beautifully remarkable, unique landscape. To top it off there is a huge Albatross circling the ship and just creating the perfect atmosphere after a hectic, frantic morning.

We arrive into Fortescue Bay and drop the anchor at 2000 and although it is dark, the full moon illuminates the picturesque, protected Bay. 

All the watches reefing the sails

This morning it is Easter Sunday and although we don’t anticipate to weigh anchor until after lunch it is going to be a busy morning. It starts with Michael giving a Sunday service on the quarter deck. Upperyardsman Mark has a fishing line out but so far has caught nothing, when we come up from the morning meeting Jaimah has the line and a flat head fish in tow, apparently it is her fourth catch since we started the meeting just 20 minutes earlier. At morning tea we are treated to the delights of hot cross buns from the galley team and then a few people from each watch are sent aloft to reef the sails. On the Spritsail we have the Mizzenmast; Julie, Felicity, Mark, Don & Andrew. The Foremast are double reefing the Foretopsail; Alison, John, Greg, Henry, Paul, Dave and Rod and on the Mainmast single reefing the Main course is; Terry, Carl, William, Bruce and Neil.

Hot cross buns for morning tea

While the sails are being reefed Captain Ross is once again donning his diving gear to go and look at the props to see if there is any damage from the Crayfish pot lines. He jokes that he is glad that he is not doing it off the Isle of Dead, but in reality I am sure there is much honesty behind that remark. The finding is as suspected with some of the line still caught around the prop which Ross cuts off, but there is an even more harrowing discovery. When we had to make our sharp exit yesterday from the anchorage during the storm, we lost ‘Eggbert’ our anchor buoy marker. Unfortunately as we were getting far too close to the Island our main objective was to get into safer waters with more sea room and so we couldn’t hang around to search for Eggbert. It appears that we went over the top of him and he got shredded in the prop…. A sad end to a great buoy.

All’s well.

Jaimah and Mark with another catch

  • Reefing is a method used to shorten the sail in stronger winds.
  • Cumulus clouds are explained as a heaped or lumpy cloud