Drop-off at Coles Bay

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Bryan’s Corner  (Southern corner)

In keeping with our carefully prepared sailing plan, today’s main task was to return Murray, Liz and Linda – the land-based team – to the car at Coles Bay for them to meet us again on Thursday in Hobart, where we will be taking a temporary berth at the Prince of Wales Marina.

Murray takes his turn at the wheel to give the Autohelm, affectionately known as “Otto” (as in … “Otto-helm”), a break.

Fortunately the wind was still blowing from the south, as reflected in a top temperature on the water of little more than 14 degrees – and this is summer!  As a result, the sail north to Coles Bay would be a smooth and speedy affair with the breeze up our tail.

Alistair always faithful at the wheel

As it turned out, Linda was enjoying the experience so much – partly due to having a wonderful (newly built) princess-bed in the cockpit and partly due to having great company in the form of Rosie (and her husband too?) – and as a result she decided to remain aboard for the next couple of day’s sail; around to Hobart.

Linda was enjoying herself so much she decided to stay aboard all the way to Hobart
Liz, Rosie and Linda soak up the fun on the foredeck. Note the “summer” wear.
So effortless and eco-friendly. With no harpoons, this was definitely a Dolphin-Friendly voyage
Dolphins were a regular sight, usually hard to film, they gave the appearance of simply playing with us and each other before the bow

I can’t say that this was all part of my master plan, but regardless, it made me very happy to have Linda sharing the experience with me and soaking up this magical experience.

The sail north to Coles Bay was predictably fast, with the wind moving more to the east, and therefore on the starboard beam.  Half way up the coast of Schouten Island, however, we spied a wonderful sight on the horizon just off the starboard bow.

The temperature can’t have topped 14 degrees – and this is summer – I’m guessing it’s a bit colder in winter
Rosie looks to the horizon to see the tall ships
Rob checks out the tall ships at anchor as we alter course to go over and gawk
Alistair confirms the identity of the tall ships on the chart plotter’s vessel identification system (AIS)

“That looks like the Bark Endeavour” I exclaimed, the familiar bulk of the hull and the dark mass of the ropey-rigging, supported by three masts rekindling past images in my mind of the famous vessel.  A quick spy through the binoculars showed the shape to indeed be a tall ship, with the chart plotter revealing it’s AIS (Automatic Identification System) details to be the one-and-only HMB Endeavour (HMB=His/Her Majesties Bark) – the replica at least    

Rob takes a photo of Rosie, Bill, Linda, Liz, Alistair and Murray with the iconic
HMB Endeavour in the background … out in her natural habitat

This was too good an opportunity to pass up.  Alter course to starboard !! came the cry.  We were going over for a closer look, otherwise known as a gawk

Rob and Linda take advantage of the HMB Endeavour photo opp.

As we closed in on Crockett Bay at the northern end of Schouten Island Alistair made the observation that there looked like there was another tall ship anchored nearby; it’s dark coloured hull camouflaged against the forest of trees on the shore behind.

From any angle the Endeavour evokes so much history, discovery and achievement
Passing the Endeavoir, we sail on to the James Craig before anchoring for lunch in Crockett’s Bay at Schouten Island

Sure enough, looking again at the chart plotter confirmed a second AIS symbol in the bay with details of the 229 foot long vessel SV James Craig  (SV=Sailing Vessel) anchored a short distance away.  Double prizes !! 

Taking decades and over 30 million dollars to restore, the James Craig is a living, working example of a maritime past that helped build our great nation

As the photos show, we passed the Endeavour and James Craig at a close, but respectful distance, then moved closer into the small bay, dropping anchor in about 5 metres of water for lunch. All the while admiring the surroundings and marvelling at the small chance of stumbling across these two beautiful ships, together, out in their natural habitat.

And then out of the blue the Young Endeavour sails past with welcome gun-blasts fired. Maybe Chimere needs a cannon ?!

Then, as if two tall ships weren’t enough, we heard another vessel communicating on the VHF radio with the James Craig with the intention of doing a close sail-past – it was the sail training ship the Young Endeavour.

Rosie knocks out another gem from the galley … “I know what to do with those carrots … make a cake”
Rosie prepares dinner !

After an hour or so it was time to head north once more to Coles Bay where we picked up a mooring in the bay and set about transferring Liz ad Murray, plus their gear, over to the public jetty.

Liz and Murray say farewell at Coles Bay and will join us again in Hobart at the Prince of Wales Bay Marina
Tide’s out at Coles Bay … view from the dinghy.

There was time enough for a small amount of shopping and after little more than an hour we were away again, this time back south to find an anchorage for the night

Watching a movie in the saloon while eating dinner

Having shifted more to the east, the wind was largely off our port side as we travelled south again, with the anchor finally dropped in the late afternoon at the southern end of Bryan’s Corner; little more than a mile from Passage Bay, where we’d stayed just a few days earlier. 

Yep, no question, definitely the Bark Endeavour

In the distance we could still see the Endeavor and James Craig at anchor across the Schouten Passage at Crockets Bay and we speculated as to when they might up-anchor, in order to reach Hobart in time for the Wooden Boat Festival in two days’ time.

Our chart plotter reveals our many tracks north, south, here, there and around
Our last stop on the Freycinet Peninsular, at the southern end of Bryan’s Corner

With the evening routine of dinner and the viewing of a movie in the saloon complete, it was off to bed. The next day would see us up at 5:30am and away by 6:00am as we continued our journey to Hobart.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and drop off at Coles Bay

Rob Latimer


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