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

February 14 – 16

Greetings JST friends. We are now Day 3 of our journey around the East coast of Tasmania. We left Hobart feeling very lucky with such fine weather after a weekend of rain and stormy winds. We had a light breeze on day 2 allowing us to set sails, heading North for Port Arthur. Many of us climbed a mast for the first time on rolling seas, and the bravest amongst the group made their way right out on the yard arms. The bar emptied out early at the end of the day as many opted for an early night, either exhausted from the tiring day, or trying to get what sleep they could before an overnight watch. This morning many of the voyage crew went ashore to see and hear about the chilling history of Port Arthur and the atrocities that went on here in early colonial Australia.

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

Evening of Thursday 16 February to Evening Friday 17 February.

After a full day exploring Port Arthur, Tenacious stayed moored in the pristine and serene waters just off the historical Tasmanian penal colony.  Day 3 evening in the bar had voyage crew becoming more relaxed and familiar with one another – perhaps too familiar after a rousing game where crew had to tell two truths and one lie about their past, and have their shipmates guess the lie…  Great hilarity ensued, along with a dawning realisation that a much higher than statistically probably number of us had been arrested by the police.  Remarkably, the majority of these incidents seemed to be due to a misunderstanding…  Hmmm, a likely story!

Friday morning saw us weigh anchor after breakfast and all voyage crew on deck to make sail for D’Entrecasteaux Channel.  Heading back towards the Iron Pot lighthouse, a few of us were delighted by the antics of a couple of Common Dolphins playing under our bow.  We braced around, then Fliss gave the voyage crew a comprehensive overview of the history of square-riggers and the physics of sailing and bracing a square-rigger like Tenacious.  Newly equipped with a deeper understanding, we were all poised to brace again when the flukey wind gave us another important nautical lesson – how to “hurry up and wait”.

A number of voyage crew on Aft Starboard watch had their first opportunity to take the helm of a “Tallship” today, and all showed skills in keeping the grand lady SV Tenacious on course.

Afternoon snoozes were cut short by all hands getting stuck into “Happy Hour”, scrubbing the ship from top to bottom, which all hands seemed to take on with cheerful enthusiasm.

Laurence announced dinner over the Tannoy using his Light Writer, and we were treated to a delicious Thai Chicken Curry followed by Lemon-Lime Cheesecake lovingly prepared by Micah.

As the inky darkness falls, we are shrouded in silence at our safe anchorage in the sheltered waters of the channel between Bruny Island and the Tasmanian mainland.

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.