Although we have been sailing a fair bit on the Tamar River, the wind was so strong as we got closer to Launceston that we motored most of the way. Past swathes of farmland, new ticky-tacky houses, past pulp mills with mountains of native forest timber wood chips soaring up toward the clouds, past abandoned boat and shiny treasured vessels moored at the bottom of gardens…
The wind was icy and super strong. The Smalls were generally oblivious, preferring to stay inside. I have seen the looks on their faces, particularly Small Z, that I recognise from when I was little. When your parent enthuses at you about a swan on the river or a beautiful old house on a hill, and you can’t understand why they’ve dragged you away from your book/ipad/fighting with your sister to show you something they obviously hope will enthuse you too. I had that look in 1979 as my parents dragged me through what felt like endless series of chateaus in France marvelling at what seemed to me to be the most boring things possible.
The river narrows as it gets closer to the city. Some of the bends felt a bit dicey in the crazy wind, but M was in his element. Launceston is almost invisible until you’re actually in it! M had been worrying about since we had set out that morning – the wind was very strong. We found the Home Point pontoon and used the wind to drift toward it. We secured ourselves without incident and congratulated ourselves…only to discover that we had tied up to the Sea Scouts pontoon and needed to move over to the actual Home Point pontoon. Two tricky manoeuvres in one hour – done!
We are paying $24 a night for the pleasure of being able to walk into the city. We also have (HOLY GRAIL) power and water. This is true luxury, although paying to stay anywhere isn’t really supported by our budget. Thus, our time here is limited, but we intend to fill up our water and charge up our batteries – hopefully to the point where we no longer have to start the generator every time we need to start the stove (which is a bit more than normal when your hot water is dead).
Somehow, we manage, wherever we are, to make a beeline to the library. How we love a library. Launceston is no exception. The Smalls revel in a new library – the layout, the books, the wifi. M and I enjoy the wifi – and a little bit of down time. This picture is taken looking out through the library window:
The first thing I noticed about Launceston are all the amazing old (as in 1800’s old – which is old for Australia) buildings – so many are abandoned, but have been build so solidly that they don’t look completely dilapidated, just unloved and so full of potential. I imagine rescuing one and having a huge, Huon pine floorboarded loft with glimpses of the river..