What a 24 hours it has been. From a morning when even the fishos stay put, to an afternoon of kayaking and swimming in crystal clear blue water. From the best sashimi ever tasted by the light of a glorious moon, to an unscheduled night passage across to Mayfield Bay. No wonder the others are pushing up a few zeds right now.
It really had been a superb afternoon, and after a relaxing gin and tonic aboard Wild Goose (those South Australians are pretty cool guys really), we sat down to a perfect dinner, in a perfect bay, on a perfect evening and watched a perfect moon rise above the perfect hills. Ahhh.
We knew the weather was going to deteriorate, but the westerley really came around very quickly. Only 20 minutes after checking everything around the boat, and then going to bed – with the skipper sleeping in the wheelhouse just in case – we were suddenly woken by the crew of the neighbouring boat Dana Felicia calling on the radio and shining their large flashlight into our cabins. Both large boats and swinging on a lot of chain (for non-boating types that’s the chain that attaches the boat to the anchor). We were getting perilously close, and with surf coming at our bow in massive waves we pulled up our anchor to get clear. With 40 metres of chain out, this is not an instant operation. And with strong winds pushing into the bay we knew that re-anchoring in a crowded bay, even with a bright moon to help, was not a good plan B. There was no debate – Plan C – get out of there and head due west, punching into the wind, and head for Mayfield Bay, just south of Swansea. The first half hour was wild, but the good old Gardner just seemed to enjoy the challenge, and we anchored safely around 01:15. Some of the fleet had made the move earlier in the day, and another four boats followed us over on their own unscheduled night passage.
With a pile of salt-water sodden towels in our midst this morning (getting the ports shut firmly was not at the very top of our list during the early stage of our departure) we were pleased to see a huge blue sky and lots of sunshine. A perfect day for laundry. As the wind hasn’t dropped either, everything was dry in fairly good time.
The VLDC fleet is now scattered over many anchorages, but with better weather forecast in a day or so we are looking forward to reconnecting with our fellow explorers as we continue our journey around Tasmania.
Lovely rain to top up the water tanks
The rod that feeds us
Wringing out towels, better than yoga
Wild Goose at anchor in Mayfield Bay