Our anchorage tonight is a slightly eerie place called Eaglehawk Neck. The view from the masthead this afternoon, as we completed a rig safety check, showed a glimpse of the open ocean across a narrow spit of land:
|Looking due east towards Eaglehawk Neck|
|Maunie is anchored at the yellow square|
|A closer view of Eaglehawk Neck|
For Maunie, this is a perfectly sheltered spot to allow us to prepare for the 3-day passage north. Graham has dived under the hull to clean it of speed-reducing weed and barnacles (and reported no sharks, thankfully) whilst the forward fridge is now running as a freezer with some pre-prepared meals already stashed in it. The latest lasagne (a favourite on-passage meal) has a slightly different key ingredient (locally sourced of course):
Tomorrow we head north via a shortcut, rather than having to 'retrace our steps' around the often rough seas of Tasman Island. We are going through the Denison Canal, built in 1905 to give coastal vessels a very welcome alternative route to and from Hobart. Today the entrance to Blackman Bay to the north-east has silted up fairly badly so only small boats can get through - we'll have to wait until a couple of hours after low water and will have to follow the buoyed channel very carefully so we've planned to do it on a rising tide, just in case we get in wrong and touch the mud! We're secretly hoping that we'll be able to follow a local boat!
|The hand-dug canal at Dunally is about 900m long and transfers us into Blackman Bay|
|The Narrows look as though they might be a bit challenging!!|
The weather models suggest that we'll get a healthy southerly wind on Thursday night and Friday but then a high pressure ridge will pass over us so there'll be a bit of a wind hole. We are hoping to get the timing right in order to cross that with minimal motoring and then get more ESE winds on the west side of the High (winds go anticlockwise around Highs here, of course) to push us up to the New South Wales coast. We'll see - we seldom get it entirely right but we'll be happy to do some motoring rather than bashing into heavy winds and seas. It'll come as a bit of a shock, as well, to have just the two of us aboard - four-hours-on, four-hours-off night watches won't compare to the two-on, six-off luxury of the sail down with Suzie and Roald!
As ever, we'll be updating our position on yit.nz/yacht/maunieofardwall as we cross.