Deal Island to George Town, Tasmania!

We left Garden Cove at 2am – MetEye indicated that we would have a bit of wind to help us on our way. We decided on four hour shifts. I went back to bed at about 2.30am. Woke at 6am. M looking despondent – behind him loomed Murray Pass and Deal Island. We’d barely moved in four hours. There was No Wind.

Becalmed in Bass Strait.

This remained the case until about 11am – when the sun came out and a breeze emerged.

Now this was a novelty. Sailing in sunshine, with the wave action minimal, enabling us to spend a bit of time in the cabin without feeling nauseous. The Smalls went on a screen binge, followed by an audiobook binge. M and I focussed on getting enough rest and keeping us all fed and watered.

We said hello to Bass Pyramid

A large rock. Bass Strait.

M did not snooze as much as I would’ve liked, but we swapped back and forth – I took over at about 10pm and sent him to bed. Oh, what an eventful time I had. I actually sailed in a circle. I use the term ‘sailed’ very loosely, as I never actually moved away from my very small area. Bass Strait – a notorious stretch of water, was a complete millpond.

For a while I was moving a tiny weeny bit and found it easiest to fix upon a star, turn the compass and the iPad off and keep a course without any other light interference. The stars. Not even when camping in god-knows-where have I seen so many stars. Two shooting stars. The difficulty was that at the beginning of my watch I was trying to be uber-vigilant, but kept not being sure about whether lights in the distance were aeroplanes or other vessels. There was also the issue of whether other lights were stars or faraway ships because I couldn’t tell where the sea ended and the horizon began.

I had my watch set to vibrate every ten minutes so I could scan the horizon – and listened to a variety of podcasts. I took vicarious pleasure in listening to a decluttering episode of ‘Slow Your Home’ while motionless in the middle of the ocean in the EXTREMELY slow home, going nowhere, with a minimum of stuff…

Look at the following picture – here I am, marooned in the darkness, sailing in a circle…

I sail in circles. Bass Strait.

Having spent my four hour watch completely becalmed, as soon as I handed over to M at 2.30am (exactly 24 hours since departing) the wind appeared – quite literally – as he put his hand on the wheel. Not impressed. When I got back up at 6am he still had a good speed going and we could see the coast of Tasmania! Woot! Woot!

I took over for a couple of hours and then handed back to M as we neared the Lowe Head Lighthouse. All of a sudden I was so grateful that I had decided we should come to Tasmania rather than going up the east cost of New South Wales. Crossing Bass Strait felt like a Proper Thing to have accomplished.

Low Head Lighthouse, George Town, Tasmania.

Hello Tasmania!! We made it from the mainland!

We arrived in George Town at around 9am – super excited that we had made it. The day was spent both exploring and refilling our empty water and fuel tanks. I had thought that it would be great that we had been at sea for so long – because we had not spent any money – but we chewed easily through the dollars as we hit the supermarket, the hardware shop, the petrol station…

It’s a complete blessing to be tied up at the little pontoon – not the best position as far as protection from the wind and tide, but fantastic for access to everything. The library, a walking track around the coast, Telstra Air, the main street, the laundrette…

Lazing in the laundrette. George Town, Tasmania.

M and I were functioning like zombies – but spent our gifted money from our lovely Hastings friends, who had told us we must purchase a bottle of Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir on arrival to celebrate. As it happened, it was on special, so we used the money to buy two 🙂

Tasmania Devil's Corner Pinot Noir - brought for us by our friends after we sailed Bass Strait.

It was a gorgeous sunny day – 20 degrees – and we tried to take full advantage of it, because the weather was about to turn crud.

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