We arrived in Southport at lunchtime on Friday, dropping the anchor at Deep Hole – a gorgeous spot. We were the only boat. There’s a pretty little island with a lagoon beach nearby, and the beach at Deep Hole is long and has white sand. There’s an old railway line (the most southern railway in Australia) – now used for tourists only. We didn’t go ashore there, but it looked really pretty. It was a sparkling beautiful day and we wish it was warm enough for swimming…..
We launched the tender and went across the bay to the jetty at a Southport. It’s a long jetty for a pretty much non existent place – just a few houses from what we could see. I’d read about the Southport Hotel and Caravan Park serving lunch, so we walked about 750m up the road through rural fields of cows to get there. It’s fair to say we had very low expectations… But as it turned out, we had a great lunch of fish and chips and burgers in Australia’s most southerly pub (of course, Mark bought the relevant stubby cooler for the collection aboard Northerly)…. It was lots of fun!
Back aboard, we cruised around to Esperance- and dropped anchor across from the town of Dover. Again, we were the only boat – although there were quite a few fish farms. A gorgeous backdrop of mountains behind the beach. Having had a fun lunch ashore in Southport, we decided to see what Dover had to offer. So, we took the tender to a jetty – there were a couple to choose from, but we tied up to the one closest to the point.
Dover’s a much bigger town than Southport – it even has an RSL. We walked up the hill about 10 mins to a place we’d researched online as having good wood fired pizza. It was a great spot- very quirky in that it’s a Post Office by day and pizza restaurant at night. But the food was great, as was the friendly staff! A scallop pizza was a new concept- but delicious….!
The trip back to the boat was very dark (and cold) but we had lots of laughs and loved looking at the incredibly bright stars above.
We were a bit late getting up on Sat morning, but eventually got moving towards Cygnet. We anchored just before the Cygnet sailing club and tied the tender up at the sailing club jetty. Cygnet is a really pretty, well maintained little town. We walked about a km to town past some clearly well tended gardens as well as some abandoned industrial buildings such as a cannery. We ate lunch at Lotus Eaters- a really good spot serving local produce- the cauliflower and blue cheese tart (with a mountain of salad) was delicious…..
We’ve realised that regular onshore trips to explore is the key to keeping the trip fun for Mia and Imi (given they can’t swim)- so we’ve been doing lots of this and it’s been great to explore the little towns and meet locals.
Our plan on Sat afternoon was to try for a spot at Kettering Marina. We couldn’t book a berth, but we’d been told just to try our luck for a spare spot on the outer arm. Unfortunately no spot was available, so we set off at dusk for Lodge Bay (off Bruny Island). It was a bit hairy getting there in the dark because there are lots of unmarked moorings, plus it started pouring (more like sleeting) with fog and 30 knots of wind…. And I had to stand on the bow with the spotlight and get the anchor down……. Needless to say, I was very wet and cold….. But nothing a few glasses of red couldn’t fix!