Preservation Island Paradise

Tuesday (PM), 29 January 2019

Preservation Island

There are days when you are so busy doing stuff that there’s simply no time to record it.  Yesterday was such a day

After making landfall at the southern end of the Furneaux Group late morning as expected, it was then a steady “drive” south inside Badger and Great Chappell Islands, to Preservation Island.  Flinders Island and Cape Barren Island remained on our left, or port side.  The wind stayed light, or non-existent, with the seas flat.

Mt Strezleki and Flinders Island off the port side as we head south
Blue on blue over an oily sea with the sails up for shade
Good ol Aussie flag and the Vanuatu Cruising Association
Approaching Flinders Island as we pass between East Kangaroo and Great Chappell Islands

As the beauty of the surroundings revealed itself the mood aboard rose significantly, all anticipating the destination, Preservation Island.

Rosie cemented her position in the galley, with little chance of being dislodged, by making some amazing sandwiches for lunch, followed by a kind of shepherd’s pie thingy using last night’s leftovers and mashed potato.

The breeze increased from behind on approach to Preservation island, causing us to cautiously drop the mainsail before taking a hard right turn towards our anchorage for the night. 

At this point Rosie announced … “I’ve just put the scones in the oven, they’ll be ready soon”

Scones? Wow !  With jam and cream?  Yep !

Rosie assumes command of the galley, to the appreciation of all
Bill tries to resist … “just another one” …

As it turned out, finding the anchorage was a little more drawn out than we’d expected.  It’s not that it was hard to find, it’s just that a very large sand bank and stretch of shallow water lay between us and the preferred beach.

The black line tells a tale … top left was dropping the mainsail (which didn’t want to come down, initially) then the squiggly line out and around shows our path around shallow water and the ever present risk of running aground

We’d anchored here a couple of years ago, but our approach at that time was from a different angle.  This time we had to “undo” our initial approach, then back-peddle all the way around the shallow patch.  The photo of the chart plotter tells the story.  A bit embarrassing really.

As for the Marine Traffic Tracker, at the moment we are out of range, so our position is out of date.  Sorry about that.  It should come good on Thursday when we head down to Tassie.

Welcome to serenity … Bill, Rosie and Alistair with Preservation Island behind

The scones, jam and cream were ready and laid out on the table as we secured the anchor in 5 metres of sand and the set the anchor-drift-alarm on the chart plotter.   Is this a civilised South Pacific cruise or what ?!

After a small amount of cleaning-up we launched the large dinghy – all fully reconditioned I should say – and made our way ashore for some exploring.  The photos tell the story, with the remote and rugged beauty of this place, coupled with its history, making it a wonderful time.  The weather was also sublime, with the colours of the water, the sand, the rocks and the sky, combining to create in the words of Darryl Kerrigan, true “serenity”

360 degree sea views …
Rosie and her shells

Returning to Chimere there was time for a sleep, a rest and some further tidying up – all by different people you understand – before then having dinner and returning ashore for the arrival of the penguins and mutton birds. 

Our return to the beach coincided with the going down of the sun, adding further to the serenity, if that was possible, as more and more photo opportunities presented themselves.

Chimere and the dinghy at rest
In search of Happy Feet and our own private penguin parade
The sun sinks slowly in the west

As for the penguins … we were graced by only a few “Happy Feet” waddling up the beach … much to disappointment of the kiddies.  Was it our boofy presence on the sand, torches in hand, was it simply an off-night and the action was elsewhere, or might the baby Happy Feet have grown up, left the burrow and were out catching their own tucker. 

The mutton birds made up for it though.  As the sun went down, as if on cue, they started arriving.  Circling high up, then coming closer and closer till they made their final approach, flapping their wings madly to minimise the thump on contact with the ground.  These birds might fly to Alaska and back each year – to the same burrow – but landing with style doesn’t seem to be their strong suit.

By 10:00pm we were ready to give up on seeing any more penguins, and so we made our way back to the warmth and comforts of Chimere.  We were certainly happy to leave the mosquitoes, or whatever was biting our ankles, to find a feed elsewhere.

Mutton birds return to their burrow as the sun goes down. Rum Island in the distance.

My good intentions of writing up the day’s activities on return, evaporated in sleep, particularly after having little sleep the night before on the passage down here.

The anchorage was incredibly still, the stars reached down from the sky above and the sound of waves on the shore provided the soundtrack to the close of a very special day

Smooth seas, fair breeze and Preservation Island Paradise

Rob Latimer


One thought on “Preservation Island Paradise

  1. Hi Rob and intrepid travellers – thanks for the update…I am sooooo envious!!

    Stay safe and keep the commentary flowing…..

    Warm regards,



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