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February 20, 2017

TNS480, Hobart Cruise in Company, 14-19/2/2017

Saturday 18 February 2017

A Tannoy announcement is not the gentlest way to wake up, but when it is telling you to get to the mess where your shipmates in the galley have porridge, bacon, eggs, hash-browns and coffee waiting for you then it is quite acceptable.  As a bonus, someone else will do the dishes…  This morning the channel is a deep green colour in the bright glare of the morning sun as we retire to the deck the lightly wooded hills around our anchorage off Three Hut Point.  There was a buzz of excitement on board as everyone prepared for assisted climbs.  Permanent crew assisted David and Craig to each climb the mainmast shrouds and take in the view from the first platform.  Up at the foremast, six voyage crew took turns to be rigged up to be safely hoisted to the first platform to enjoy the view. First Mel is hoisted up to take in the air, then Heather and Kris. Next in line was Krista, the birthday girl, so we had a quick round of the deck to give everyone the heads up that we would sing her Happy Birthday as she was hoisted aloft…  Krista left the deck and about half way up the mast the Tenacious Shanty Band burst into song. Scissors/paper/rock determined the next sailor to go aloft, won by Laurence with rock.  He was pretty excited about his opportunity to fly, and on return to deck rated the experience with two very definite thumbs up. Finally Pippa took to the skies, showing remarkable confidence in her brother David who, on the hoisting line, was well positioned to pay her back for any childhood misdemeanours. Travelling aloft in this style must take great trust and confidence in your shipmates, but people who have experienced it say that it feels very secure and safe. Firm bonds of friendship and mutual support are evident, with every person staying to see their shipmates enjoy this remarkable experience.  A lightly spitting rain starts as the last person is lowered down.  Then it is time to set sail up the D’Entrecasteaux towards the Derwent, to find ourselves a safe anchorage for our last night on board. Seals play off the starboard bow as we make our way past the salmon farms heading north towards the Derwent and the comparative civilisation of Hobart, our destination for disembarkation tomorrow. It is that time of the journey where we realise we have little time left together and that we will miss the friendships we have formed.

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