Easter in Tasmania- Part 1

On Good Friday, Mia, Imi and I flew to Hobart to meet up with Mark (who came down a little earlier to do some prep…) for a couple of weeks cruising. We stayed aboard Northerly at the Prince of Wales Marina the first couple of nights to do some Hobart sightseeing.

Friday afternoon we had lunch and a tour at MONA (such a cool place), then caught the MONA Roma into Constitution Dock where we met up with the Bishops for dinner at Fish Frenzy. On Sat we went to the enormous Salamanca Markets- lots of local crafts and food – and fun to browse through for a couple of hours. We caught up with my uncle Peter, cousin Annabelle, and her husband, Brett and 2 of their sons, Finn and Oscar, for a fun lunch nearby.  This flowed through to drinks aboard Northerly………

On Sunday, with perfect conditions, we set off on our first leg to Port Arthur. The scenery was spectacular- huge cliffs with catherdral like walls, sparkling water and about 30 dolphins swimming off our bow most of the way!  We rendezvoused with the Bishops on Corinthia in Ladies Bay, just off Port Arthur.  Sharon, Ruby, Alice, Mia, Imi and I explored the ruins- somehow avoiding the Visitors Centre where we were supposed to pay…. Girls collected apples from the orchard and we all thought it was a gorgeous spot!





The anchorage was very unexpectedly rocky, so not much sleep for anyone……. In fact, we decided to stay another night because the conditions weren’t great to leave the area… So, we moved to anchor off Old Station Beach and spent the day hanging out. Enjoyed a fun dinner at Gabriel’s- a good spot off Frying Pan Point.

On Tuesday (7th) we headed for the Huon River and to Kermandie. A bit lumpy- but we all survived with no sea sickness…!  Again we saw lots of dolphins and a few enormous seals, lots of fish farms (which we were tempted to throw a line into), old colonial style homes on the hills etc. the Kermanie Marina had a very narrow channel entrance, but once there we had fresh water and enjoyed a very good dinner at the Hotel with the owner.  A very tranquil, beautiful spot.



Tassie Recon…..


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!!!!




Sydney to Tasmania February 2015

Decided to get to Hobart in time for the Wooden Boat Festival….Schoolies week for Old Bastards.

Crack crew for Northerly’s first run across Bass Straight: Jane, Spot, Ritcho, Jomp & the Capt’n.

Held departure for a week…blew hard form the south and wouldn’t let up. Eventually we left thinking we’d take the beating on the NSW Coast to give us a decent Straight crossing…pretty much how it worked out.

Had a brief (8 hour stop in Eden) and headed south.  This was at Green Cape as we entered the Straight:


Thankfully the forecast was spot on, conditions settled through the day and into the evening.

By Midnight it was the Wimbledon final.

Wimbledon Final - Mid Straight

Wimbledon Final – Mid Straight

By next morning we’d broken it’s back:

Hitting the Tassie Coast

Hitting the Tassie Coast

Beautiful cruise down to Wine Glass Bay for an overnight and Straights crossing debrief.

As we got south there was much discussion about the Denison Canal and wether we should go through.  It’s cuts a bit of distance and you don’t have to go round the very exposed Tasman light.  Eventually we did…quite a navigational exercise..the narrow, man made, canal takes you through the main road and in places isn’t a whole lot wider than Northerly….or so it felt.  There were plenty of spectators taking photos of what the bridge operator described on the radio as “The big white ship”…


photo 1

On exiting the canal, the bar was well and truly opened as we celebrated a great delivery.


Within 15 minutes we’d bumped into Brian Tyquin and found that Riversong, Boxer and the Wrights were all in the area…took a small detour for our first anchoring at Gentleman’s Corner…very enjoyable end to the cruise.


Biggest Differences between Northerly and Miranda

Ok – Clearly, they are VERY different boats – and whilst I absolutely loved Miranda and we had great times aboard her with heaps of friends, there’re some things that I’m REALLY loving about Northerly that we just didn’t have on Miranda.  Some key things that spring to mind…….

  • Space for all my stuff – in fact, I keep losing things because I put them in one of the many drawers and then can’t remember which one (being used to only actually having a single drawer for everything).
  • Air conditioning for sweltering summer days!!!!
  • Hot water without having the run the engine.
  • A huge fridge and freezer
  • A separate shower so I don’t have to dry it before anyone can use the toilet – and having an ensuite in the first place, of course…..
  • An extremely comfy bed that I can share with Mark – rather than pretty hard, separate bunks……
  • Having a coffee machine (and soda stream… and Thermomix….and washing machine…. and dryer………)
  • Space for garbage (especially the squillions of bottles we accumulate).
  • Privacy if I want to read or have a sleep instead of being in a single space with everyone
  • The fact that Mark and the girls love it
  • The fact we have a few different spaces for entertaining so we can spread out and move around depending on the weather…..
  • Having a washing machine (did I already mention that…?)
  • Being able to have overnight guests


Summer 2014/5 on Northerly


We’ve had a couple of fabulous months with Northerly based in Sydney over summer.  She was moored in Empire Marina in Bobbin Head which was perfect for accessing Pittwater – although a bit of a pain to drive to Bobbin Head from home…..  Still, at least when we got there we felt we were already on holidays….

Our first weekend away was with Tom and Jacqui in Yeomans Bay – lots of leaping from the roof (it was 40 degrees….) and drinking champagne……  Northerly is fabulous for entertaining – so much space…..



We spent a week before Christmas in Sydney Harbour (to make getting Amelia to rowing at 5.30am at The Spit easier).  She invited a bunch of friends on board a few times and they had a great time exploring in the tender.


We also rafted up with Thackrays – we always love boating with them.  As usual – lots of sitting around eating and drinking too much – with lots of laughs!

One afternoon/night we had the Thackrays, Bishops and Rossis aboard for a proper “christening” of Northerly.  A very big afternoon and night was had by all……..

A fun week was spent in January rafted up with Thackrays and Bishops in Yeomans Bay – Northerly’s roof a great platform for both launching into the water and for star gazing at night. I’m mastering mojhitos for pre-dinner drinks – loving having a Thermomix aboard……  We also caught up with Tim and Jo M and had a fun night on the Morgan’s boat.  Jane and Spot came up for a couple of days as well.  We missed Mia – who was away on rowing camp – but loved being able to sleep-in!  Mark, Imi and I had one gorgeous day at Patonga – swimming, lying in the sun reading and lunch at the Patonga Hotel – loved it!

Our last summer in Sydney event was the Australia Day weekend – rafted up with Thackrays (in Phoebe) and Bishops (in Corinthia) and Lawson’s in Sugarloaf.  We took the tender to the Rossi’s pool in Northbridge for swims – perfect location for that!  We also had lunch one day with Titch and Melinda Graham and Michael and Shelley Richardson – who arrived in their boat.  We collected Pip (on crutches) to join us for a day.  The weather was gorgeous for the first couple of days, but rainy and cold on Australia Day itself – although that didn’t stop us standing on the back deck of Corinthia to sing the anthem at midday.


16/11/2014. Delivering Northerly to her new home in Sydney

After a month or so in Brisbane and the Gold Coast getting some minor work done, we figured it was time to bring Northerly home so we can enjoy her in and around Sydney over summer.

Mark, Spot, Jane and I (Tina) set off from RQYS at 11.30am on Sunday 16th November.  The first day was a bit lumpy, but pretty good overall. It was my first proper sea voyage – and I must admit to starting to feel queasy by early evening. After taking DR John Curry’s miraculous sea sick pills, I felt much better- although wasn’t much help to the rest of the crew due to excessive sleepiness. It probably didn’t help that I boarded already pretty sleep deprived and sick. By the time we arrived in Sydney I’d had more sleep than I’d had in 2 weeks and felt great- the rest of the crew were pretty exhausted after having to share constant watch duty for 48 hours with no help from me……

On Monday we anchored briefly for a fresh prawn, steak and salad lunch (fabulous catering by Mark) at Trial Bay, just south of Scotts Head. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and had a swim – a gorgeous, protected spot for a break. This is when I could really get a feel for what a fantastic boat Northerly will be for summer holidays. She always has somewhere to sit protected from the wind (if any)- fantastic outdoor space for lounging and swimming.

We arrived at Bobbin Head (Empire Marina) at 9am Tuesday. Successful delivery ! Plus, during the trip I learnt heaps about how things work on Northerly- how the anchoring works, how to work all the interior appliances etc. Mark and I are both really excited that we can now spend time on her in holiday mode!

Sunset off NSW coast on 16 November, 2014