We are now in the fishing harbour at Stanley on the North West coast of Tasmania! We made it! Yay us!
More about Stanley in a later post, but first I have to tell you about Three Hummock Island... I think we may have found paradise on earth. On arrival to the Fleurieu Group of islands we received a friendly welcome over the radio from Beverly and John, the Managers of the homestead on Three Hummock Island (THI), inviting us to visit. An unforecast south easterly blew the swell right into our anchorage at Hunter Island making for a nauseatingly rolly night, so the next morning we eagerly motored the 3 nautical miles over to the calm bay at Chimney Corner, THI.
THI is about as remote and pristine as you can get (click here to see it on Google Maps). The only way to get to the island is to fly in on a charter plane, or charter a boat - or sail there, like us! It is an amazing mix of historic homestead (the newest building on the island was built in the 1940s), dramatic granite outcrops, sweeping sandy beaches and dense bushland. It is home to hundreds of Kangaroos, Cape Barron Geese, a Shearwater colony, fairy penguins, and countless other gorgeous critters.
Bev and John welcomed us into their home with open arms, immediately spoiling us with cups of tea and cakes. They showed us around the homestead and nearby cottage which they have beautifully restored as boutique accommodation. They took us by 4WD down to a nearby beach - John has been working hard at restoring the old bush tracks around the island to make it easier to get around - to where they have been harvesting amazingly tasty sea salt from the granite rockpools. THIS = Three Hummock Island Salt - a pinch of THIS and a pinch of that!
Then, best of all they showed us their amazing organic garden which supplies the homestead with wonderful fresh fruit, heirloom veggies and herbs (Bev and John only travel to the mainland every two months for supplies, so a productive garden is essential). We were totally overwhelmed when they loaded us up with a basket of ripe fruit, veggies, herbs and eggs - so appreciated as our fresh food supplies were seriously dwindling! Such genuine hospitality and kindness - thanks so much guys! We had some great laughs and feel like we made a couple of great new friends.
We were so impressed with what Beverly and John have acheived at THI. We can even see ourselves doing something similar one day. At the risk of sounding like a travel advertisement, if you ever get the urge to escape somewhere truly unique, pristine and remote, but with all the hospitality and comforts of home, visit Three Hummock Island. Its a magical place. Their website is http://www.threehummockisland.com.au/
I only wish we could have stayed longer, but the wind was forecast to turn nasty as a deep depression passed over the West Coast on Monday, so we made plans to leave on Monday morning.
As we made our preparations we were joined in the bay by the sailing yacht Let's Go who were rendezvousing (that's a word, right?) with their friends on power yacht Opal Lady which we had met previously on King Island. THI marked the culmination of Opal Lady's circumnavigation of Australia, so of course celebrations were in order. Karen and Al invited all of us aboard to share in a glass of champagne to toast their achievement.
At dawn on Monday we sailed 30 nautical miles downwind, pushed along at a cracking pace by the approaching front, through fog and rain and 2 metre seas. We made great time, and a good thing too as winds of nearly 60 knots where recorded on the West Cape overnight. We only had about 40 here in the safety of Stanley Harbour, and that was enough, thank you very much! We were glad we made the choice to leave when we did, despite wishing we had more time in the islands. Its OK, we will be back one day!
Anchorage at Chimney Corner, Three Hummock Island
Walk to the Homestead
Manager John searching for THIS (Three Hummock Island Salt) in the dimpled granite rocks
Amazing produce from Beverly and John's garden - brocolli, strawberries, onions, giant garlic, heirloom zuccini, parsley, basil, running beans... so delicious.
View from the homestead, Bass Voyager in the distance.