A welcome stopover

Friday 1 February 2019

Wineglass Bay

The overnight stop over at Eddystone Point, and the meeting up with Linda, Murray and Liz, proved to be a welcome rest after the action-packed previous couple of days.

Alistair hand steers as the autohelm “Otto” decides to take an untimely “break”
“Wineglass Bay” … sounds like a name bestowed by a discerning gentleman from the Barossa Valley … but no, it owes its name to the colour of the bay when whaling was in full swing back in the early 1800s – RED … sorry to bring that up.
What else would you do on arrival at Wineglass Bay … dig out the wineglasses and call a toast. Alistair’s studious expressing is more a function of his first-time operation of his selfie-stick, NOT a lack of red wine in his glass.


In order to make it down the coast to Coles Bay, we were up at 6:00 and away by 6:30. It is here that we would not only meet the land-based team again, but take them aboard for few day’s exploring in the region.  All very weather dependent of course.

Whilst the wind was still from the south and very much on the nose, the seas were relatively flat so we were able to make good time

The auto helm, which had been playing up, meaning it wouldn’t hold a straight course, suddenly began to work again … but only intermittently.  This resulted in a lot of hand steering, and close monitoring, because you never really knew when, or if, the self-steering “Controller Unit” would decide to take us off in a totally random direction and course of its choosing.  For those old enough to remember the film 2001 Space Odyssey , it seemed a bit like the onboard computer HAL.  When given a command HAL would reply … “I’m sorry (Dave) I can’t do that”

After a time, or a few times, eventually, mysteriously, the electronic Controller-brain, decided to be reliable once more

On approach to Wineglass Bay … The Hazards … so named NOT because they were a risk to shipping, rather after the American captain Richard Hazard … nothing to do with the Dukes of Hazard, Orange County?!
Snug at anchor in Wineglass Bay

Along the way, Bill maintained his “Most Useful Crew” status by fixing lights and switches in the two toilet and shower areas – electrics being one of his many “super powers” … along with voice impersonations and eating peanut butter sandwiches made from homemade bread; as we would soon discover 

Realising we would not make it all the distance around into Coles Bay in a civilised hour, we were able to raise contact with Linda, to inform her that we’d instead be stopping at Wineglass Bay on the ocean side of Freycinet Peninsula.  Our rendezvous having to wait until the next day around 11:00 in the morning.

Whilst Linda, Murray and Liz arranged to stay at nearby Swansea, in the late afternoon, we made our way into glorious Wineglass Bay after having seen the rocks, peaks and headlands of the dramatic Freycinet Peninsula emerge from the misty horizon over the previous few hours

By our usual standards, it was a “crowded” anchorage with several boats dropping anchor well into the night, so that by morning more that 10 boats bobbed around at anchor.  Some of the boats, of wooden construction, clearly making their way down to Hobart for the Wooden Boat Festival

Wooden boats making their way down to the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart
Bill using his super-power in fixing onboard lights and switches
It’s NOT Bill’s new cabin … rather, it’s Bill hard at work using the “stick” to assist spread the anchor chain (known as “flaking”) as we retrieve the anchor

Having dropped anchor in a bay called “wineglass”, it seemed only appropriate that we should respect and honour the occasion by digging out our own unbreakable Tupperware “crystal” and drinking more of the onboard Aldi Red, despite the extravagant $2.85/bottle price tag.  Given I had dreamed, along with many yachties before me, of one day dropping anchor in Wineglass Bay, this in all seriousness was a very special moment. 

The setting sun cast its golden beams on the surrounding granite hills, known locally as “The Hazards”, which contrasted with the white, white sandy beach and sea and sky of a dozen blues

So the plan tomorrow is to rendezvous around 11:00am at Coles Bay, (on the other side of this peninsular) with the land team bringing some additional essential provisions … fresh fruit and veggies (we had heard about the risks of scurvy) … bread rolls, jam and honey (for the scones of course) etc

After dinner we remained in the saloon to watch a DVD … “Bass Strait Fury 2 – Even less furiuoser” before retreating to our respective bunks for a well earned and restful sleep.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and a welcome stopover

Rob Latimer


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