Hush to Hobart
Sec and significant other Linda ventured to Tassie again in December and spent a very relaxing and enjoyable week aboard the good ship hush cruising up and down the Tamar River, partly to familiarise Linda with living on board, mooring, and getting used to onboard life.
A visit to the seafood emporium in Georgetown was fantastic with crays, oysters, prawns as well as fresh fish giving us a great treat for Christmas. We won’t talk about running aground, difficulties in tying up in 25 knots, fun and games getting back into the pen in 25 knots cross winds etc. Only pride, mine, was hurt and Linda learned a bit! Next objective a bareboat charter!
Now to the real business.
27 November we started a race to Hobart from Beauty Point, not Linda. Storming start, we were up with the big boats out of the heads, only pipped by 3 seconds! We went out looking for a breeze but the locals, canny buggers that they are, stayed inshore rock hopping, never mind we caught them going around the top of Tassie. Lovely spinnaker run down to Maria Island and through the channel where we caught all the big boats until they got the breeze first and disappeared, hate you Hughie, the god of wind! The channel inside Maria was spectacular with some lovely cruising ground and terrain. From there we had a rollicking spinnaker run to Tasman island putting miles between us and the fleet behind us. Rocketing across the bottom of Tassie around Cape Raoul, that’s the famous shot you see of the vertical cliffs which look like organ pipes. For reasons only, the poms would know the British navy used them for target practice! We were miles ahead on handicap and almost rehearsing our victory speech then ran into a windless hole where we sat for 2 hours and watched the fleet sail up to us, the joys of yacht racing!
Eventually, we rounded the iron pot which marks the entrance to the Derwent River where traditionally the race virtually starts again due to the fickle nature of the breezes in what is one of the worlds most spectacular natural harbours.
Last time I sailed here in anger was 2003 on the Mighty Rumbeat and we had 23 sail changes in the river, think about that for a moment, 23 changes in 11 miles! More then we had made in 400 miles to that point. We won on that occasion, but we earned it!
This time it was very light, and we battled 2 bigger boats all the way up rives finally getting the better of both about ½ a mile from the finish only to get a 25-knot bullet which pushed us around the finish mark and let both through! Did I say I hate Hughie! After 2 & a half days it was very frustrating! All this at 2 am!
Off to Customs house which conveniently stays open all night, so we can work on embellishing our stories over a few Dark and Stormiest!
Someone had booked us into a spectacular 1840s house in the centre of town, close to everything complete with antique furniture. Just beautiful. A couple of memorable seafood dinners ensued with fabulous fresh seafood, fruit, berries and produce for which Tassie if justly famous. all washed down with lovely local Pinots and Pinot Gris. Which is, of course, the only reason we go ocean racing, to get to the party at the other end!
On to the QLD, the quiet little drink for yachties to convene and exchange war stories at a pub in lovely Battery Point, everyone had by now have remembered all the happenings they had previously forgotten even if the facts were a little vague!
On to the taste of Tassie which started as a shopfront for Tassie produce but now seems to have lost its way a bit and is more like a big food court, disappointing.
A little sidelight, when we moved the boat to its new short-term home there was our old boat Rumbeat looking resplendent, always a bit nostalgic seeing a boat on which you have spent so many good times and won so many races being looked after properly. I think my liver gave an involuntary shudder at some of the memories, but some great times were had on the mighty Rumbeat.
I resisted the temptation to do the delivery back to Melbourne on the good ship Hush as my lurgy had returned big time.
All this just reinforces just how good Tassie is and the myriad of options for visitors