Monday 2nd April 2012
Having left Dover in a flat calm rather later than I'd intended, I motored up to the D'Entrecasteaux Channel - and almost immediately the wind got up - eventually to 25 knots from NNE - the general direction I was headed in - Murphy always reminds you that he's around still! (I was already out of 'passagemaking mode' and hadn't checked the weather forecast to realise that maybe I should have allowed more time...
Fortunately, the Channel was wide enough that I was able to put the wind slightly off our nose and make long tacks up the Channel, keeping up a fair speed most of the time- although when the chop got up, we were bouncing about so much that we either kept grinding almost to a stop or our speed would simply drop to 2-3 knots. Falling off the wind a bit more then usually helped to get us going again.... I thought at times I wouldn't make Hobart until well after dark but finally had a bit of tide help and made it in to the Quarantine dock before 5pm - only to find I had to change all my fenders and lines from starboard to port side with an unhelpful wind blowing me off and not enough space to approach the way I needed to! Jeremy of 'Rosinante' and Dover Radio was there to help with my lines - it was good to meet him face to face after all his helpful recent radio and email contacts.
The Customs and Quarantine officers were very friendly and helpful (I like the way I don't have to dispose of my own rubbish accumulated while on passage - it gets taken away for me!) and it didn't take long before I was able to motor around to the nearby Royal Y.C. of Tasmania where friends had booked me in for the duration. We finished the bottle of champagne I'd started yesterday - and they then walked me around to a nearby friends' house for a meal and a promised bath - and more celebratory champers!!
Tomorrow, it's down to organising repairs, laundry and boat jobs/maintenance and, in the evening, I'm giving a talk to the Tasmanian Cruising Club which I'll need to prepare for. I'm hoping to see a little of Tasmania in between the work, before leaving for New Zealand soon.
DMG today - 36 ml!