Sailing Around Bruny Island, Tasmania part 1 of 2

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Sailing Around Bruny Island, Tasmania part 1 of 2

Post by Johnog » Aug 17th, '15, 16:17

Tasmania houses many wonderful waterways for exploring by trailer sailer.
Bruny Island is some 10.5nm south of Hobart, and as close as 0.75nm east of Tassie’s ‘mainland’. The island is basically in two parts, north & south, joined by a narrow ‘neck’. Bruny Island is named after the French explorer rear-admiral Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteux, who ‘discovered’ The Channel in 1792, while on a mission to find his lost countryman Captain La Perouse.

After my brother & I provisioned the boat, and then I requested ‘TasPort’ open the roadway at Constitution Dock, where I had kept my Farr 6000 for a week. Staying on board in the dock was fantastic, living just metres form many of Hobart’s best locations such as Salamanca, Battery Point, the CBD, MOFO (Monafoma Music Festival), and of course the almost mandatory visit to the most enjoyable (and most amusing) MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Having had more culture than a yogurt factory, we were ready to begin our sail south for Bruny Island, but Hobart wasn’t ready to let us go! The day of our departure was sunny, warm and lovely. Requesting via VHF to use the 1500hr dock opening time, I was told “Well mate, we have a problem with the mechanism, due to the hot weather. We might get it working for the 1900hrs opening!” Disappointed at our delay in leaving, we dug deep into the esky and relieved our woes with a cold brew, as we enjoyed the sunshine and the bustling summer crowds of the harbour precinct, during the last week of January. Finally, at 1940hrs we slipped our lines and steamed from the dock into Storm Bay. With almost no wind, we motored towards Bruny, making Mary Anne Bay near Opossum Bay. The highest the mercury got that day was 24 degrees!

Day two began for us at 0200hrs, as the light southerly quickly ‘gibed’ into a strong northerly, and we were forced to weigh anchor and motor about half a mile around to the southern side of the point, and lay the pick for a unpleasant, rolly sleep. Daybreak greeted us with barely a ripple, so both the iron sail was cranked up. We decided to head down the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, as it provides many options for shelter in inclement weather, and should the seas not be kind enough to our small vessel to let us get around the south of Bruny Island, we could spend our time exploring the many bays, rivers and towns. “Life is too short for instant coffee”, so after a cappuccino from our ‘Atomic’ with breakfast, we settled into our journey. We detoured into Kettering, and walked to the general store/service station with a jerry can, to top-up our petrol supplies. Back in The Channel, the wind slowly built from the north, but so did the grey weather. By lunchtime, as we were cooking up the fish we’d caught trolling for ‘escapees’ adjacent to the numerous Atlantic salmon farms near Green Island, the grey turned to light rain. I donned full wet weather gear, while Bruce enjoyed the shelter of the cabin. The long and wet afternoon was made bearable by the relaxed pace and the need to constantly tweak the spinnaker. (I’m not complaining, anytime the kite is up is good sailing!). We made Great Tailors Bay, and anchored close in at Mickey’s Bay.

Our third day was a cracker! Again, beginning with the burning of dead dinosaurs in the outboard, we headed northwest, then rounded Partridge Island. We enjoyed the convoluted cliffs, delighting in the fact that, so far, the weather was kind enough the allow us to venture around the bottom of the island. Just as we sighted Cape Bruny lighthouse, the breeze begun building, at the same time we nudged further port, and soon we were cruising on a bearing almost east, about 4nm off Cloudy Bay in 1.5m of swell and in front of a 10-12kts steady sou’wester! Here on the edge of the Southern Ocean in over 50m of water, several times the shallow water alarm on the sounder would scream. I keep it set to 1.6m, and I can only think that since it was not whale season, there must have been some awfully large fish swimming under my transducer! Our sou’wester grew in strength, and we quickly decided that a reef was prudent. Bruce struggled to keep her pointing into the lumpy sea and swell using the motor, as I went for’ard to swap the headsail for the storm jib, and put two reefs in the main. After much bouncing about (teathered to jacklines), we were ready to continue to The Friars, a cluster of rocks and small islands off Bruny’s S.E. corner. We both marvelled at the beauty of the southern coast. The 200m high jagged dolerite cliffs were topped with lush green grass, and as we left the lighthouse behind us, we saw several of it’s vivid white outbuildings dotting the hilltops. Images of Ireland came to mind. We wove between The Friars, enjoying the antics of the local seal colony. Our little ship was doing well, and as we angled the tiller to starboard to gibe, we rounded up the east coast of south Bruny to enjoy more fabulous cliffs, complete with arches and some spectacular weathered rock formations. Soon we had tourist boats speeding by, noisy yellow RIBs with 750Hp in three outboards, thumping hard into our following swell and tailwind. Conditions gradually eased, and we hugged the shoreline to get a closer view of the cliffs, and the ever delightful soaring sea birds. Rounding Fluted Cape and Penguin Island, we turned for Adventure Bay and tied up to the jetty. After some 33nm, in moderately heavy conditions, we enjoyed stretching our legs and walked into the village, thoroughly satisfied with our day. The general store had all we needed, everyone was friendly, and we were lucky to be looking for a meal on a Friday evening, as that is the night that the ‘bowl-o’ is open! We chose the wallaby schnitzel (when in Rome), and were not displeased. The place was packed and loud, (with probably the whole town there) and there was a true sense of community to be enjoyed.

See part 2
Spectacular Coast of S.E. Bruny Island.pdf
Spectacular coast of south Bruny Island
(1.67 MiB) Downloaded 86 times
Battery Point, with Mt Wellington under cloud.pdf
Battery Point, Hobart, with Mt Wellington under cloud
(1.38 MiB) Downloaded 65 times

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Re: Sailing Around Bruny Island, Tasmania part 1 of 2

Post by BosunBob » Aug 17th, '15, 21:13

Thanks for taking the time to write this cruise up and post it.
The descriptions were great (tho thought provoking -eg "dead dinosaurs" = fossil fuels)
Been down the De'x Channel a few times but not rounded the south point of Bruny to enter Adventure Bay (but love the thought of its early history connections).
Suggestion- resize the pics with pixresizer-free download or other or post to an album with links to the story. Other tips are available.
Looking forward to part 2.

Thanks again


Posts: 13
Joined: May 22nd, '14, 22:30

Re: Sailing Around Bruny Island, Tasmania part 1 of 2

Post by Johnog » Aug 18th, '15, 21:36

Thanks Bob. Part 2 is just launched.
Cheers for the tip re resizing pics, I'm slow at this binary stuff, would rather be sailing!
Can't wait to return to Tassie :D

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