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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hobart, here we come!

By the time we anchored last night at Chinaman's Bay, Maria Island, we had about 2 hours to get some sleep before we had to be up and making our way to the entrance of the Narrows in order to get the rising tide. At least it was a still, calm, relaxing 2 hours.

7am we were off, excited at the thought of getting home but a bit nervous about the possibility of running aground! To give you some idea of the depths and widths, at one stage we had pelicans standing on a sandbar to our right and an oyster farm on our left, neither of which require deep water...


Oyster farm

Stu took the helm and Barney and I kept a keen watch for the channel markers. You may remember that our cockpit depth sounder stopped working when it filled with water at Fanning Island, so part of my job was to dash downstairs and call out the depth readings from the chart table depth sounder then rush back up to help keep watch. Luck was on our side and the markers were accurate so we had no problems. 

Entrance to the Narrows

Ariel coming through
(note the stylish lump of seaweed attached to the anchor at the bow!)

Coming through we were reminded of what a beautiful place Tassie is! We've seen some great places but Tasmania can really hold its own on the world stage whan it comes to scenic locations. Even the Dunalley marina looked lovely!

Once through the Narrows we headed for Denison Canal. This was also quite narrow and with a strong tide running against us is was quite an effort to keep the boat on course and in the centre of the canal. We could see the bottom on both sides of the boat and had no desires to touch - particularly because we would have had an audience of people on the bank as well as the traffic that had to stop so the canal bridge could be opened to let us through.

Ariel in the canal

Ariel coming through the open canal bridge

As tradition (and courtesy) dictate, we dropped our offering of a few cans of beer and a few dollars in to the bridge operator's bucket...

 I'm guessing this guy doesn't pay for too many of his own drinks!

Through the canal and there it was - Mt Wellington, that mountain that looms over Hobart and can be seen from pretty much anywhere. Once we saw that we knew we were nearly home - a real mix of emotions knowing that the journey is nearly over but knowing that home and friends (and Squirrel!) are so close!.

Right now we have just passed Clifton Beach and are motoring on our way to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay). At this stage we're hoping to get in at around 5:00pm (but could be 4; could be 6...will keep you all posted) - I can't wait!

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