At the end of the eighth day, the experience of travelling to and from the remote southwest of Tasmania came to an end. No longer would I be looking up at masts and ropes.
In the last hour before arrival, dinner was served for the lucky passengers, while the crew waited and could not expect their meal until we had disembarked.
Around 8pm we reached the wharf knowing this long day of motoring was over; knowing we would soon be off the ship and returning to continue the lives we had left eight days before.
Having packed and organised our gear all passengers were called on deck, and the crew sent below to bring up our luggage. Our bags seemed to cover the aft deck, even though nobody had brought excess with them (during the trip we had been regaled with laughing tales of giant hard suitcases that the occasional previous passenger hoped would be able to travel with them. I can only imagine their shock at the tiny cabins and minimal room for bags. This was not a cruise ship!)
Ropes and ties and connections between the ship and wharf were firmed. Crew members disappeared across the wharves to collect the gangplank. While we waited, the Captain talked to us. Despite the fact that each of us might have wanted something extra that wasn’t possible, we expressed our pleasure for lots of aspects of our voyage. I am very glad to have made that trip on the Windeward Bound.
I am particularly grateful for permission to use the photos of fellow passengers Serena, Ralph and Rob in this blog. I realise that occasionally another person took the photos now on Ralph’s record – I thank those photographers as well. Between us thousands of photos were taken. As extensive as this series of blog posts is, only a few of that massive photographic collective has been included. I hope, from my selection, you have felt the landscape and the character of the water and the sky during our voyage – and that you love what you have seen. It has been a privilege to have accessed one of the last grand wildernesses in the world.
Finally around 9pm the disembarking began. I stepped back onto Hobart, into my family’s car, then talked non-stop all the way home. Thanks for their ears – although from fatigue and super-excitement to be ‘home’ I have no idea what I gabbled!