Last week, Gabby received a call from her friends Allan and Vicki. They were having their new catamaran delivered from Perth, Allan had fallen ill and they needed crew. Would Kate and Sean be able to help out by crewing from Portland to Bermagui?
It didn't take much pondering and we found ourselves on two trains and then a bus bound for Portland. Portland is in the SW of Victoria and Bermagui on the south coast of NSW. Therefore our route was to include a transit of Bass Strait. Bass Strait is the passage of water that divides Tasmania from mainland Australia. It has the reputation as one of the world's most treacherous waterbodies due to shallow water, currents and weather systems. Indeed, the coastline from Port Fairy to Cape Otway is known as The Shipwreck Coast.
"I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline."
- Captain Matthew Flinders
What were we thinking?!
Fortunately due to improved navigation and weather forecasting, a transit of Bass Strait is no longer the crap shoot it once was. That said, there was a very nasty system blowing through and we needed to stay in front of it.
|"Red sky in the morning, ... " (Portland Sunrise)|
|Keshi - on the wharf and ready to go.|
For a size reference, that power stanchion is as high as Sean's ribs.
|Able-bodied crew, ready for cold and wet weather|
|The Spirit of Tasmania pounding through the waves|
|Keshi's well protected steering station (not dissimilar to a ferry!)|
|Looking out 'the back porch' towards Gabo Island lighthouse|
|Safe in port with Captain Mark|
|Keshi's Owner's cabin|
|Not all champagne and sunsets - Mark and Kate doing some engine maintenance|