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.