Category Archives: 2015 Tasmanian Trip

Return Trip From Tassie to Sydney, May 2015

In Hobart, Royce and Julian Salter gave Northerly a full brightwork upgrade…cold and rainy weather conspired to drag the job out…didn’t ultimately stop them from making her perfect.

With southerlies forecast for a week, the delivery crew; Admiral John Curry, Jane, Spot and the Captain assembled in Hobart for a final Fish Frenzy meal pre-departure June 1. Unfortunately tide timing wasn’t right to slip through the Denison Canal…figured by the time we waited we ‘d be round Tasman Island.

Heading East in a Southerly @ 43 degrees south to get around Tasman Island was, as it happened, the toughest part of the trip. Southerly swell occasionally getting steepened up with 30 + squalls had the stabilisers working overtime, the crew hanging on and anything unattached hitting the floor.



Northerly handled the conditions beautifully. Soon after we got the swell astern she got on a wave and surfed along at 16 knots, settling at the bottom without a gripe….sweet. Drinks were promptly opened as we settled in for the evening.

Cruising conditions were good, we were staying in front of some poor weather so we kept heading north, ignoring the Lure of an overnight at Wineglass Bay.

Aside from Admiral John (who’s been everywhere) we’d not been to Flinders Island. 200 miles after Tasman we passed Cape Barren Light on dawn and made our way into the passage between Cape Barren and Flinders Islands.

The entry to Lady Barron’s intimidating on the chart and would require strong nerves in more than a moderate seaway. We had perfect conditions and dropped the pick in Opossum Boat Harbour @ 9.30 am having averaged just over 9 knots.

Toured the Island – thanks to a car loan from a complete stranger, and dined at the local pub…note the poster for the Island wine – Wild, Natural & Thirsty….



Off the next morning to cross the Straight.  Had great conditions for the 190 mile run to Eden.  A  9.5 average had us abeam of Green Cape (in far better weather than on on the way south) in the early morning.  Anchored Eden with time to tour the town (Whale Museum’s a must see), reprise previous failed Hobart race hijinks at the Fishos and lunch at the Wharfside Cafe.

With perfect offshore conditions couldn’t resist continuing on in the afternoon….and with home in sight the bar remained open..


Next morning had us abeam of Ulladulla and by 4 PM, accompanied by the first whales sighted on the cruise, we steamed through the heads as the sun was setting on Friday June 5. 



Easter in Tasmania- Part 4

We had a fabulous day! We tried again for a spot at Kettering (oyster Bay Marina) and this time were successful, thank goodness. At 11am my friend Emma Snodgrass came and collected us in her ute for a day at her (parents’) farm, about a 15 min drive south. The farm is stunning- the dams and gardens have been carefully planned and sculpted, from the Norwegian pine forest to the orchards full of pears and apples and the dam that was re shaped to better fit the contours of the garden…… Emma had a friend staying (Kristy Rumble) and between them they had a large bunch of kids and kids friends. The kids had heaps of fun with activities just not possible in the city- from building big fires (and exploding marshmallows) to riding quad bikes and building a huge potato shooter……  All very dangerous and great fun!

Emma cooked up a huge feast for lunch and we sat in front of the fire all afternoon drinking way too much good wine!

On Monday, Mark and I walked to a petrol station up from the Marina to fill the tender fuel canister- buying a big box of handmade chocolates at  a great little chocolate shop we passed on the way – you never know what you’ll find…..

We all had a quick, but good, lunch at the Kettering Hotel- then Emma, Kristy and the kids arrived for an afternoon cruise. It was a gorgeous day and we were hoping to spot dolphins- but unfortunately they were all hiding somewhere! But we sat on the Flybridge wrapped in blankets and cruised to Adventure Bay and had a really nice afternoon with the kids playing cards and steering the boat.


On Wednesday morning we set off to explore Bruny a bit, so we headed back to Barnes Bay. Mia, imi and I decided to go for a walk and took the tender to a jetty, tied up and set off- until we realised it was a jetty for a private house.. Oops….  We found a great shell next to the jetty though, which we put in the tender- unfortunately we forget to remove the largish crab first- which came out as we were motoring back to Northerly and caused lots of screaming until we could get it out…..

The oysters on the rocks are enormous- too bad none of us like to eat them…..

for lunch we took the tender into Sykes Cove, headed for the Bruny Island Smokehouse. We had to take off our shoes and wade in because there was no jetty, then climb a barbed wire fence to get to the road to walk about a km to the Smokehouse. The restaurant had a lovely view, but food was average and very expensive….. The highlight of the day was the hilarious sheep we passed on the way- it was so excited to see us it was bounding beside us like a puppy- I’ve never seen a sheep behave like that- we wanted to take it home!

We had a really good dinner- Tasmanian steaks, potato-bake and a salad, washed down with a Tassie chardy – aboard. And,  I must admit that we’re liking having a TV aboard- it’s nice to watch a movie after dinner…….

Our last morning was another gorgeous day- we’re all sad to be leaving Barnes Bay and heading back to Hobart!


Easter in Tasmania- Part 3


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!


Easter in Tasmania- Part 2

On Wednesday we left Kermandie (in convoy with Corinthia) and headed back down the Huon, towards Recerche Bay.  The weather was gorgeous- blue skies and seas were flat- except the very last bit where we facing directly into the Southern Ocean. Mark thought he hooked onto a fish, but sadly it was just kelp…..

Recerche Bay is absolutely gorgeous- long white sandy beach- with a few beach shacks scattered around. On Thursday morning we hiked around to Fishers Point- a couple of hours walk around the foreshore. Lots of white sandy beaches, rocky headlands, driftwood, rocks covered in lichen, clear blue skies,- we could see all the mountains clearly in the distance- and some convict ruins of the old pilot house at the end.







The last few days we’d been trying to catch lobsters as the Bishops had a lobster pot- with no success. But this morning we think they had one, and it was stolen by some bastard fishermen who were hanging around the pot and happened to have 3 lobsters…. Very annoying!

The Bishops headed back for Hobart and we spent a lazy afternoon and night hanging in Recerche Bay before heading off on Friday for Southport.



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.