A lovely old timber boat belonging to some lovely friends of mine had been relaunched after ten days 'on the hard' being tidied up and painted with fresh anti-fouling. I had volunteered to be a passenger/crew on her voyage home. It was only about four hours passage but that sounded like a jolly good afternoon's entertainment to me...as indeed it turned out to be.
The timbers had dried out quite a bit while she was on the slip, and water was trickling in through the hull at quite a rate. It was mildly disconcerting but the bilge pump was kicking in reliably every couple of minutes to keep things under control. It's somehow much nicer to see water on the outside of the boat rather than on the inside!! However, the skipper was not concerned and the trickle slowed over time indicating that the timber was taking the water up slowly and sealing itself again. So there you go...what a brave woman I am to go to sea in a leaky boat (wink).
Much though a sail would have been lovely and possibly a tad quieter than listening to 85 horsepower straining at the bit below decks, it was still just wonderful to be out there on the water. The wind was on the nose for most of the trip and some water splashed up on the foredeck. The skipper sighted dolphins on two occasions but I missed them and they weren't hanging about to ride the bow-wave...just passing through.
It was just myself and the skipper on board so whilst there was plenty of chit-chat there was also time and space for quiet reflection. I remembered the days when I lived aboard a steel cruising yacht and felt again that deep sense of freedom that comes from being 'out there'. It is incomparable.
Being reminded of the immense beauty and diversity of Tasmania's coastline, even viewing a relatively short piece of it, I am again so grateful to live in this wondrous place. We motored past Rossel Point (aka Burying Ground Point) which I visited recently with my two adult children. It was good to see the place from a different perspective.
Have to say that I'm looking forward to heading out again sometime...here are a few snaps I took on the way. Nothing too clever. I was busy just sitting back and enjoying the ride.