Mark and I escaped to Tassie for a few days this week to explore a bit of the coast and find places to provision Northerly for when we come back for 2 weeks in April with Mia and Imi.
My first stop on arrival into Hobart was The Italian Pantry (thanks for the tip, Emma…)- this is a fabulous place to pick up local cheeses, oils, pasta etc plus some local organic produce. Hill Street Grocer then had everything else I needed. When we come back in April, these are the only shops I need to get to for provisioning.
For this trip, I also went to Constitution Dock to buy fresh lobsters and prawns from the punts. With hindsight, the lobsters were really expensive….. Next time we think we’ll try to buy these fresh from trawlers while we’re cruising…..
So, we set off from Prince of Wales Marina about 4pm on Wednesday 25th February and headed down the Derwent, under Tasman Bridge towards the D’entrecasteaux Channel. It was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for cruising. We decided to anchor in Barnes Bay, at Gentlemans Corner, just outside Duck Pond- a beautifully sheltered anchorage. Two big black swans immediately swam over to check us out and I was a bit worried they’d try to board….. They certainly seemed keen to…
We enjoyed a bottle or 2 of cold local Tassie chardy (Stefano Lubiana) with a huge lobster each, sweet potato wedges and a fig, goats cheese salad- delicious! The Stefano Lubiana vineyard is based just up the Derwent from this spot- next visit we’ll try to get to the Cellar Door for more!
On Thursday, after a great sleep, we headed off exploring more of the Bruny Island coastline as well as the mainland coast. Kettering looks to have a good pub for a lunch (and comes with a good review from Peter Cavill)- but the Marina is pretty packed. Peppermint Bay also looked to have a good restaurant- with moorings available outside. Quarantine Bay has a jetty we could tie up the tender to explore the old Quarantine Centre. We’ve also heard good reviews of the Bruny Island Smokehouse- but we couldn’t see much of it from the water.
The weather changed and it started blowing from the South West pretty hard, so we cruised back to Gentlemans corner for the night. We got the TV working and watched an episode of series on Foodies cruising around Tasmania- very apt!
Another boat (Andrew Perkins with 3 mates) was anchored near us and in the morning we had a chat- a couple of them were the organisers of the Wooden Boat show. They’d been at Davy’s Point and recommended it for our next trip. They said they’d caught lots of lobsters there- until they ran out of bait And since they had no luck catching more bait- In the end they used their own food as bait to get more lobsters…..
Late morning we cruised back towards Hobart. There were hundreds of little penguins popping their heads out of the water the entire way- I’ve never seen that before!
After berthing back at the Marina, Mark and I took a cab to MONA- although we just had lunch in the Wine Bar- we didn’t go inside the Gallery this trip. We took the MONA Roma into Hobart (next time we’ll get the Posh Pit tickets- looks fun…).
We had a couple of beers in Peter Barraclough’s studio at Salamanca Markets – really nice guy with great landscape paintings.
Then we headed to Fish Frenzy on Constitution Dock for dinner. We ended up sharing a table with 2 couples. One of them (Cheryl and Ross Barnett) lived in Hobart. Cheryl was an ex Aust Ballet dancer who was hosting an alumni lunch the next day, so the other couple were Graeme Hudson (another ex dancer) and Anthony Armitage. Really nice people – we had a fun dinner capped off with more drinks at Customs House. Turned out that Cheryl’s husband was the ex-stage manager of the Aust Ballet, but was also Dock Manager for the Wooden Boat Show. Graeme in particular was keen to talk about Sydney Dance Company and keen to come to a rehearsal sometime….
Sadly, with mild hangovers we had to fly back to Sydney on Sat morning- but a really good few days!!!!