R Marine Jacksons support x 9 boats on a Tasmanian Adventure

6 May 2015

Tasmania seems to be the place lately to explore for Victorian boaties with Riviera owners with Dale Stott in his Riviera 4700SY and Ray Haddrell in his Riviera 565 SUV both making separate trips down their early this year .

 However more recently; in March x 9 boats left Port Phillip Bay on a Tasmanian adventure of their own. R Marine Jacksons supported this journey; with a bus trip to a local winery for all those on the adventure and a dinner at the Tamar Yacht Club prior to the final leg home, where I was present to hear the stories and experience so far…

“The adventure started in Port Phillip Bay then to Refuge Cove for an overnight stop. In the morning the passage across Bass Strait was made via Deal Island and Flinders Island as the weather was “coming in” so a decision was made to go through to the sheltered waters of the Tamar River and the yacht Club at Beauty Point.
It was here they enjoyed exploring the Tamar Valley, river and surrounding country side, I think everyone enjoyed their time here and watching the weather with reports coming in of 90 knots at the Prom, 80 knots at Hogan and 51 knots at Flinders Island airport- this was indeed the better place to be.  Lots of social interaction between all the cruisers was had and getting to know complete strangers was part of this enjoyment. The organised trips and impromptu speaking from solo round the word sailor Ken Gourlay and by John Joyce’s presentation of their recent cruise to the archipelago of the Louisades added to this longer than planned stop over

We started with 9 boats, the return of ‘Imagination’ left us with 8 boats then we had 2 boats, ‘Pearl’ and ‘Kisha’, leave to go home via Stanley that left us with 6 boats to depart to head back to Flinders Island, but again the dreaded gremlin stepped in and issues with ‘Jenisiph’ saw her having to return back up river to Launceston for some outside assistance before she could return home, which she did via Stanley arriving a day after we did.
Then we were a group of 5 boats who enjoyed a very pleasant few days at Lady Barron on Flinders Island and apart from the great Island tour, the even better Lady Barron pub and Rob’s 6 o’clock swill that by now had become a habit, the piece of resistance was the early morning visit by the island trader from Bridport, the first night loaded and unloaded freight, departing at about 4 am , but not to be out done she returned the next night at midnight to load the awaiting cattle and with the last cow aboard she depart at 6am! By now we were all set for a peaceful night sleep (much needed by everyone) but with a 20-25kt Westerly blowing we had a 1-2 m sea running under the wharf which made it very interesting getting on and off the boats and even more interesting for sleeping.! The joys of cruising!

Then with 5 boats we headed off to Deal Island, then we lost ‘Evening Star’ to broken water pump shaft, she headed back across to Welshpool, arriving at 1.30 am. A replacement water pump was fitted and ‘Evening Star’ returned home return home . She was accompanied back to Welshpool by ‘Eagle 111’ who also needed to refuel for the return to Melbourne, again David, this was a much appreciated gesture for you to remain close at hand and to wait up for ‘Evening Star’ to arrive safely into Welshpool then to allow the crew of ‘Evening Star’, minus their wives who by now had settled into life aboard ‘R&R’, to return as guests aboard ‘Eagle 111’ to Melbourne.

So then there were 3 boats to leave Deal Island at 4am on our final days run back to Queenscliff, although we did meet up with ‘Eagle 111’ at the Prom for the last 100 mile run to our home port. We arrived into Queenscliff just before the forecast southerly change and in time for all the crews off ‘Cristalee’, ‘Mustango’ and ‘R&R’ to continue the 6 o’clock swill at the local pub!

So with ‘Pearl’ and ‘Kisha’ home on Friday, ‘Cristalee’, ‘Mustango’, ‘R&R’, ‘Eagle111’ all back on Saturday and ‘Jenisiph’ safely back on Sunday after a solo run across the strait  and ‘Evening Star’ laid up in Welshpool,  ‘Imagination’ still awaiting repairs in Queenscliff  we have completed the planned March Bass Strait cruise.

It was indeed a pleasure to meet every one and I hope you all enjoyed the run as much as I did. There is a lot more that will come out of this trip in time especially from all the crews and wives as they relive their own special moments but I know we are all better for having participated in this adventure.
With ‘ata’ boy and girl awards all-round I wish you all safe boating.”

Mike Percy

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