Back to Bruny

Simmonds Bay, Bruny Island

Saturday 16 February 2019

Saturday dawned warm – almost hot – with Linda, Matt, Murray and Liz heading off to the local supermarket to buy a few provisions for the days ahead.

We said our good-byes to Mark and Denise and after a simple lunch we started heading down the river around 1:00pm on our way south to Bruny Island and the D’Entrecasteaux channel; living proof that the English can indeed give French names to places of note.

Saying good-bye to Mark and Denise (right)
Linda is reunited with one of her “chickens” … Matt, who flew into Hobart from Melbourne late on Friday night

We passed close-by Hobart to give Matt a good look and pretty soon we were motoring into a south east breeze as we worked our way further down the Derwent.

The south east breeze strengthened progressively the further south we sailed and being a Saturday, there were boats everywhere – most engaged in some serious races off on our port side.  As the wind increased so did the seas; steep, lumpy and very uncomfortable 

By now our speed had dropped from 6 knots, down to around 3 knots, and it was soon after that it became  clear we needed to hoist a few sails and engage in some serious tacking in order to work our way off the advancing coastline and into the shelter of the D’Entrecasteaux channel.

The wind on the nose got stronger, the seas built and pretty soon we were forced to tack into a lumpy, uncomfortable sea as we made our way south to Bruny Island

There is a saying that … “gentlemen don’t tack” … which is a reference to NOT pushing mindlessly into sea and waves, but patiently waiting at anchor, or in port, (probably wearing your woollen slippers) until the time is right and the conditions are going your way.

We’d warned Matt that the sailing down here was a bit in the chilly side … so he dressed accordingly

The simple fact is, we avoid beating to windward because it’s not our boat’s best point of sail and it generally makes for unhappy passengers

Having had so much wind-up-our-tail, comfortable sailing, this lumpy stuff came as a bit of a surprise to Murray and Liz, with Murray describing it as a bit like the 4wd version of sailing.

As the photo of our chart plotter shows, our journey down the coast wasn’t a straight line, rather, it was a bit of a zig zag with the entrance of the D’Entrecasteaux channel being a welcome relief.

Note the zig zag course down the River Derwent in order to make it into the D’Entrcasteaux Channel
Bruny Island to the right and the Tasmanian mainland to the left … and our “bread crumb” tracks back and forward
We removed the anchor well hatch for repair after it was damaged … probably during the mooring procedure of the day before

In tidying up the foredeck and packing things away, we discovered that the hatch-cover for the anchor well was twisted.  Which seemed unbelievable, given it was made of solid steel and seemed as strong as a lamp post.  In trying to establish how it might have happened, all we could think was that a mooring line might have got caught around it as we struggled the wind during the berthing procedure the day before.  A situation that became progressively worse (as described in yesterday’s Ships Log)  because the very first line that was attached to the pontoon was NOT securely attached in a timely manner.  But I’m NOT going there anymore?!  

Linda delivers up a Orange Jaffa Ripple cake … despite the poor sea conditions

The fact was, we needed to straighten the steel hatch cover as soon as possible.  It’s around this time that I remembered meeting Dick and Carolyn again after 11 years at the Wooden Boat Festival, aboard their converted fishing boat, also called Carolyn.  We’d met Dick and Carolyn briefly in a Flinders Island anchorage in 2011 when they invited me and my crew out to their boat for afternoon tea.  When we met again this time around on the Hobart dock, Dick mentioned in passing that he and Carolyn kept their boat at Kettering and also lived down that way – AND … if we needed any help with anything, then I should give him a call. 

Now where did I put Dick’s phone number.?!

Approaching Barnes Bay

“Yeh, that’s no problems!” replied Dick to my request for assistance, continuing …  “There’s a public wharf at Kettering you can tie up at and I could drop down there in the morning with some tools”

What a lifesaver !

“Where are you staying tonight?” inquired Dick. “We haven’t decided” came my response … to which Dick imparted a wealth of local knowledge, suggesting that Barnes Bay on Bruny Island would be best.  We could nick over to Kettering in the morning, a distance of only a few miles, so as to be there at the appointed time of 9:00am

Linda braces herself as we tack south

In the course of the conversation I mentioned that Matt’s girlfriend Cathy was flying into Hobart from Melbourne early the next morning and we were arranging the simplest, most efficient public transport from the airport to where we would be … Kettering as we had just decided.   “Maybe I could give her a lift down … she could catch the bus to Hobart and I could pick her up there” volunteered Dick.  “How far is Hobart from your place?” I asked  … “About 25 minutes” said Dick.

No, I couldn’t ask Dick to do that.  But what if Cathy caught An Uber-taxi from the airport, to the North West Bay Gold Club, which was on the same road Dick would be travelling, and Dick could drive her the rest of the way to Kettering?!  Done !  It was agreed and decided.

So the plans for the next day were starting to develop.  All we had to do was anchor for the night at Barnes Bay and get across to the public wharf for 9:00am the next morning; simples!

Our track shows a hasty retreat from the southern corner of Simmonds Bay after spying another 8 boats already there. We chose an equally quiet spot for the night just a bit further north

In the end Barnes Bay, or more specifically The Duckpond, at the southern end of Simmonds Bay turned out to be a very popular anchorage, and with around 8 boats already snuggly ensconced there we thought better of making in 9.  Instead, we anchored in the northern part of Simmonds Bay in an equally delightful spot.

The “Chimere” … a cocktail containing “Navy Strength” gin, raspberry cordial … plus something bubbly … tonic water I think
Murray with his locally produced (who wouldn’t want to support local industry) gin and Captain Morgan rum … they went straight into the first aid kit … to be sure

As with most days out here on the water … sleep came easily

Smooth seas, fair breeze and back to Bruny

Rob Latimer

Looking Under the Bonnet…
Each of the cabins aboard Chimere is unique in its own particular way ! You might be interested to see what each one looks like … please forgive the untidiness … they are really just for sleeping and instead of wardrobes we have floor-drobes …

Chimere layout
“Captains Cabin” … and it’s not all my junk !
Honeymoon suite … Murray’s spot … after all he’s a tall lad
Up and down bunks … that Mark is a tidy fellow
Workshop bunk … not always in use … can’t find the bunk? It’s under the tarp
Forward V-berth cabin … Liz’s nest
Oh, and we have two toilets … the one on the starboard side is electric and we also have a hot shower
Three flush options … 1/. Flush 2/. Add Water 3/. Dry Bowl … although I think the images on the buttons could have been better thought out. Few people immediately understand what each button really means ??!!

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