When I awoke on the first morning I learnt I had slept through hearing the anchor clanking as it was lowered around 2.30am. When I surfaced on deck, I found we were in Recherche Bay with a plan to fix up a few things on the ship and collect an additional crew member before setting off for Port Davey. Our time in this peaceful bay gave us the opportunity to understand our safety equipment more practically and to get to know each other. “We had a full-on life jacket session. Sprung ours from above our bunks and up onto the deck for fittings to understand how tightly they must be tied around the waist to be effective. Terribly uncomfortable. Bulky. Tries to box your chin!”
Fellow passenger Ralph’s photos also recorded this fun practice session.
We looked at the land and watched as vehicles with trailer boats drove down to Cockle Creek and launched themselves for a fishing excursions. My journal recorded this Bay as having “water with silvery ripples like satin ribbon –so gentle, so seductive – with squawks of silver gulls in the distance and sulphur-crested-cockatoos in the trees”.
The bronze sculpture of a whale at the beach edge further south was pointed out to me.
Eventually the zodiac was lifted onto deck; many crew members later it was installed safely.
Our eleventh crew member came aboard and it was time to raise the anchor. See Ralph’s photo with a crew member ringing the bell to announce the change.
And the southern journey began in earnest.
Then we watched a nimble crew member fly up the mast and unfurl the first square sails; later, triangular sheets were raised.
I particularly like Rob’s photo with the sun gleaming on the wooden arms, and when he caught some of the last rays of the sun on the land.
Ralph created a stunningly wonderful, atmospheric photo off the south east Tasmanian landscape.
Various seabirds floated on the air currents around us; gannets and albatross and silver gulls. Off we sailed down the bottom coast of Tasmania with the sunset tipping the tops of waves and hills.
On this video hear the wash of the waves against the ship and feel the gentle roll of the ship as we sailed.
Fellow passenger Ralph photographed the contours of the south coast with the pinks of sunset.
I had hoped to be awake when we passed between Maatsukyer and De Witt Islands, but that passage wasn’t expected until the early hours of the morning and I knew I couldn’t stay awake that long. Regardless, I felt more than a frisson of excitement that night when I finally left the dark decks and headed for my bunk. The rhythmic rolling of the ship (which had the suspended kitchen implements swaying persistently first to the left and then to the right and back again in unison) lulled me to sleep (meanwhile, a crew member and passenger were compelled by this motion to empty their dinners over the side. Poor things.) By next morning, we will have sailed across the bottom of Tasmania, turned north and eventually reach and enter Port Davey. I was sorry not to be sailing in daylight but the prospect of arriving in territory I had never seen was thrilling.