Day 7 Portland – Hobart

Curious seal

Latitude; 43°20.6’S

Longitude; 146°01.6’E

Distance run in the last 6hrs; 15NM

Average speed; 2.5KN

Weather; Beautiful blue skies, calm seas, temp 23.6°

As we proceed into Port Davey we have a curious visitor, a seal. He hangs around close off the stern, diving under the ship and coming back to look at us looking at him. The water turns from a turquoise blue to a yellow/black colour, this is because four major rivers feed into Bathurst Harbour bringing with them, tannin-stained water. In this case the tannin compound is leached from the peat soils of the buttongrass moorland and heathlands. Fresh water is much denser than the salt water and so the tannin stained fresh water sits 4m on top of the clear salt water, which creates a unique environment for unusual marine ecology.  As soon as we start to proceed into Bathurst channel it is impossible to tear yourself away from the deck due to the astounding, remote, mountainous landscape. It is breath taking with having the waves crashing on to the craggy crop of rocks and then as soon as we are in the mouth of the Bathurst channel everything turns into a calm, beautiful serenity.

We drop the anchor at 1810, which is later than anticipated, but we are in no rush to arrive and also having only motored 6NM of the 420NM that we have so far travelled, it seemed criminal to start the iron staysail any earlier than necessary.

Entering Bathurst channel

There is a real buzz and atmosphere on deck as everyone takes in the stunning 360° landscape. The sunsets like a picture perfect moment and there is no shortage of spectators. Tonight everyone will sleep well, the ship is still and silent apart from the loud snore of those sleep deprived crew. The stars are sensational there isn’t a blank part of the sky and the Southern lights glow again in the distance, followed by shooting stars and satellites.

Morning arrives with fresh faced crew; it is hard to recognise some of them without the heavy dark bags under their eyes. This morning we are going to make the most of this beautiful location and take the crew out in the boat to get some shots of the ship in this picturesque location. Then some crazy crew member asks the Captain if there is time for a quick dip and the captain never being one to say no to a swim in the big blue, opens up the pool. Before the word goes out for everyone to jump in Chief Officer Dirk gives the water a quick thermometer check which reads at a chilling 16°. This deters nobody as there is a mass of bodies throwing themselves over the side. Fun is had by all even those sensible characters spectating as they hear the cries of chill as the crew emerge from their jumps.

All’s well.

Good times swimming in cool waters

7 thoughts on “Day 7 Portland – Hobart

  1. Regards to Ron Thompson. Have been following your journey with much interest and was pleasantly reminded of my own tall ship adventure when the Endeavour too pulled into Port Davey for some respite and relaxation. Fair winds from all at Cave Hill Creek

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  2. To Richard McKean,
    Derek and I have been watching the daily blog, Your first sights of the Island of Tasmania and the evening’s starry skies must have been wonderful. Your time has come.

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  3. Hi,
    I’m a teacher at the Woodbridge School and Marine Discovery Centre, on the shores of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
    To get into Hobart will you be sailing into up the D’Entrecasteaux Channel?
    If so do you know which day so we can arrange for students be down by the shore to see you sail past.

    Alternatively, if you’re sailing up the east coast of Bruny Is will you be pausing at Adventure Bay? (That would look awesome sight given the historical connection).
    Thanks.

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    • Hi,
      We are hoping to travel down D’Entrecasteaux channel tomorrow all being well and I would say it would be from 1200 onwards but I couldn’t give you a precise time. I am afraid that I couldn’t say if we will be motoring or sailing. I will try and update the blog tomorrow when we have a better idea. Sorry to be vague but it is always impossible to put a time frame on things.

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  4. Ahoy there Brent!
    Wonder if the weather conditions produced some exhilarating and demanding sailing on the high seas – just as you were hoping to experience. Hope you’re taking full advantage of all the benefits of the Sir Joseph Banks cabin. Hayley sends her love from hospital (all is well), and Daniel anticipates endless anecdotes of your voyage in the coming months. Look forward to welcoming you back onto dry land in Hobart.
    Elaine xx

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    • Hi Andrew,
      We will be passing Research Bay at 1200 and commencing into the channel between 1400 & 1500 hrs. I hope that this is of some help to you.

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