34 boats left Hobart this morning on their way around Tasmania on the 10th Van Diemen’s Land Circumnavigation Cruise. 8 more will join from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club when we reach The Tamar.

Aboard E2 there were plenty of jobs to do – getting the flags up, sorting out the fishing tackle, reading the Cruise Manual, trimming the bow stickers… even making some sheaths for sharp knives.

A gentle passage across Storm Bay, and we had our first dolphin sighting 2.5m SW of Wedge Island. (Charlie, that’s Wedge Island not Wedgie Island…). First albatross sighted 1m SW of Cape Raoul.

Mt Wellington from E2 berth at RYCT

Preparing the flags

Sorting the fishing tackle

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One more sleep before the Van Diemen’s Land Circumnavigation Cruise gets underway. As as well as stocking the fridge, freezer, fuel tank (and the wine cellar!), we’ve had a visit from the media to see us on our way. The crew of 4 aboard Emeritus 2 have freshly laundered VDLC crew shirts to wear tomorrow. The mood? Excited anticipation.

I’ve dreamt about doing this trip for 4 years, and we are nearly on our way. What’s more, this blog is my first, so watch out. It could be interesting. On the other hand…. I’ve got five fingers.

Barometer: holding fine

Grumpometer: Steady

Gastronometer: Vermey’s pork chops … very fine

In the freezer in case we don't catch any fish!

Esteemed VDLC communications representative fronts the media

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We’ve had the briefing, we’ve got the flag, so it looks like we really will be circumnavigating Tasmania this time! VDLC_Flags_1000x600_FINAL

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The official website for the 10th Van Diemen’s Land Circumnavigation Cruise is at:  Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania

This blog on DiscoverTasmania is the personal journey of the crew aboard Emeritus 2, a converted Huon Pine Tasmanian cray-fishing boat.

Boats (although E2 does not have a tracker, the general location of the fleet will be similar) can be tracked at: www.oceantracker.net

Background for the event:

  • - This is the 10th Van Diemen’s Land Circumnavigation cruise. The cruise left Hobart on the morning of Wednesday 16 February 2011, and will return 5 weeks later, having sailed or motored 800 nautical miles, anti-clockwise around Tasmania.
  • - For some boats it is their first time, for others it has become a regular highlight on their cruising calendar.
  • - With regular stop-off points along the voyage for group barbeques, smaller gatherings on each other’s boats, dinghy expeditions and of course forays ashore for provisions, fuel, laundry, and the like, the cruise is about shared experiences, seamanship and taking responsibility. It is not a race, and cruising in company is not only for party animals, it also provides an opportunity for those lacking confidence or experience to sail to places they may otherwise not get to.
  • - Organised by a volunteer team from the RYCT, the last three cruises have been run in conjunction with the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
  • - A number of the fleet carry a tracking device – so friends, relatives and anybody with an interest in their travels can watch progress online.
  • - On this cruise there are boats and crews from every state in Australia – 22 in total – plus 2 international boats – and 8 boats have come as a sub-fleet from Port Phillip under the auspices of the RGYC,  joining the fleet at Beauty Point. All other vessels are local Tasmanians.
  • - For the Danish crew on a boat whose home port is Southampton, UK, this is their first ever visit to Tasmania.
  • - 60ft yacht Avant Garde has arrived from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, via Fiji, Vanuatu and the East Coast of Australia.
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