We left George Town on the 12th of March to start our passage to Hobart. The weather forecast was for 10-15 knots of wind in a direction that was quite suitable. The morning was quite good but by the afternoon we had 20 -25 knots of an Easterly which very quickly raised the waves and was completely on the nose. We had to abandon plans of anchoring at Waterhouse Island for the night and chose a more suitable anchorage called Croppies Point.
The next day was a lot better. We had to time our passage of the notorious Banks Straight to coincide with slack water - right after high tide so as to have no current working against us as it can get up to 5 knots. The high tide was at about 2:00PM so this meant sailing through the night to get to a safe harbour. We originally intended to make it to Wineglass Bay but the weather conditions would have meant an uncomfortable night at anchor as there was a good 2 - 3m North Easterly swell rolling straight into the bay. We pushed on to the much more sheltered waters of Schouten Island and an anchorage called Crockett's Bay - a choice we were very happy with after a comfortable night sleep.
The next day there were strong winds forecast - about 30 knots from the North which wasn't suitable for our anchorage so we shifted to a nearby spot called Bryan's Corner. We prepared the boat for strong winds and we got them. We recorded winds of up to 42 knots over the night and got little sleep. Happy to report that the anchor didn't slip at all. The next day we went back to Crockett's Bay for the night.
On the 17th of March we set sail for Maria Island and had a great day sailing in the sheltered waters of the Schouten Passage. We arrived at Shoal Bay and found a spot called Deep Hole to drop the anchor. A lovely spot but decided to keep moving while the weather was good. The next day we made for Fortesque Bay and a lovely spot anchored behind the wreck of an old barge in Canoe Bay. We had hoped to spend a couple of days relaxing there while some stronger weather passed and then head around past Tasman Island and onto Port Arthur. The weather didn't agree with that plan.
We had to be Hobart by the night of Friday the 23rd as Caitlin had a flight to catch to go to Adelaide for her sisters engagement party. The weather was looking horrible - the best forecast was for 3 -5m seas on Thursday heading around Tasman Island. We made the decision to head back the other way to the Dennison Canal which was more than twice the distance but should have better conditions. We woke at first light and set off expecting the worst. It was much better than forecast - for a change - and we got out of the larger seas within a hour or two. We had planned to pass through the passage and just anchor for the night heading to Hobart on Friday but the forecast over night was not good and Friday looked worse. We decided to push on all the way to Hobart even if it meant arriving just as it got dark.
We were lucky and a got a boost in speed from the current. Half way we met friends on the catamaran Captain Silver heading in the opposite direction and had a spontaneous chat in the middle of the bay - it was great to see them for the first time since Stanley on the North Coast - they went West, we went East! We made it to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania at Sandy Bay just before dark. It was a long day but we made it safe and sound with a day to spare.
Anchorage at Schouten Island
Flathead fishing was awesome. Kitty agreed.
Passage to Fortesque Bay...
These are called "The Sisters". Caitlin liked that!
The four sisters from the other angle
Entrance to Fortesque Bay
View from our anchorage in Canoe Bay
Finally at Hobart
Caitlin will write more about our time in Hobart soon!