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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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
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.
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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