Jervis Bay, Eden, and Flinders Island (AU) 2018
After leaving New Zealand and visiting Lord Howe Island, Ocean Child arrived in the entry port of Wollongong on April 3. We (Colin Bugge and me) then sailed south to Jervis Bay. After resting for two days, we sailed for Eden (at the south east corner of New South Wales) arriving on April 8 and departing on Wednesday April 18.
We arrived at Jervis Bay just as the sun was rising. The sky turned on special effects on the western horizon. That's Point Perpendicular on the right (above), and Bowen Island on the left.
The south edge of Jervis Bay has a few public moorings, and empty and beautiful beaches (above). We snorkelled the channel next to Bowen Island, always interesting with its ocean swell, tidal flows, and stark urchin barrens.
After reaching Eden, Colin and I spent a week staying with my friend Hans van der Sant in Mallacoota (one of Victoria's most remote townships) while we waited for bad weather to clear Bass Strait. That week passed so quickly I really don't know what happened to it. I did some walking, and Colin did some cycling. Below: Mallacoota's colony of fruit bats in the early evening (photo C Bugge).
By the time we returned to Ocean Child, the weather was noticeably colder. I had originally intended to arrive at Flinders Island (the largest of the Furneaux Group) in mid-to-late February, so we were now running two months behind the original schedule.
There is a sheltered harbour at the port of Lady Barron, at the south of Flinders Island. The township of Lady Barron consists of the wharf and associated buildings, a general store (also the fuel station and post office), a small hotel, and .... well.... nothing much else except a few houses and a tennis court. We particularly liked the tennis court, as it had hot showers! We also loved the complete absence of tourist facilities.
Flinders Island is great! Like Lord Howe Island, it's a trip back in time to a relaxed and trusting culture which used to exist in Australia many decades ago. Apparently there are about 850 permanent residents (down from 1000 when I visited last in 1980). Generally people are relaxed and friendly. The official sign below tells visitors to slow down, and "don't forget to wave". Everyone waves.
Note that the first 'wildlife' depicted above is a peacock. We only saw one, but we did see a lot of pheasants. There's an accommodation lodge called Pheasant Farm. Apparently they breed pheasants and release them. We saw lots of wallabies, wombats, and of course cattle and sheep. Apparently feral cats are a problem.
We hired a car from Mike in Whitemark (the only real 'town' on the island). When I phoned him he was miles away. "Just take the Subaru next to the shed. You'll find the keys in it. Pay me later".
The wharf at Lady Barron. It's OK for fishing boats and the weekly ferry from Bridgeport (Tasmania), but not a good wharf for a yacht. We used one of the public moorings nearby. As you can see, not busy.
Flinders Island has special hazards for small craft. Shallow water (shoals) far from land which relocate themselves from time to time, strong tidal currents, poor holding for anchors, and gale-force westerly winds. Above, the Clairvoyant, wrecked March 26 2018, after its anchor dragged.
The car-park at Whitemark airport. Note that almost all the vehicles are either 4WDs or commercials. Flinders Island is not a good place to impress your neighbours with a fancy car.
While the most heavily used roads are sealed, and in good condition, many roads are gravel.
The quieter roads are VERY quiet.
Many of the dwellings on Flinders Island are simple and unpretentious. Unpainted weatherboard, as above, is common.
Remember the WWII rolled corrugated iron sheds? Here's a variation of the concept: Palana Beach, in the north of Flinders Island. There are many retired people, some with plenty of cash, living here now.
Many houses at Palana Beach have views like this.
Above, the entrance to the estuary of North East River. The estuary is shallow, supporting a small flock of pelicans. The white dots on the sandbank on the extreme left are pelicans.
Just outside North East River, many seabirds, including some pelicans, were gathered together, presumably feeding on small fish.
Most of the Furneaux Group are granite: part of the huge granite formation which runs from the Victorian Great Dividing Range north of Wilson's Promontory, through the islands of eastern Bass Strait, and down the NE coast of Tasmania to the Freycinet Peninsula.
Rocks near North East River estuary. The brilliant orange lichen is typical of coastal granite.
In the south west of Flinders Island, the bay at Trousers Point, with Mount Strezlecki in the background. Note the single public mooring.
Back at Lady Barron harbour: above, Ocean Child, just before sunset. (Photo Colin Bugge)
The next morning was even calmer. That's our neighbour, the catamaran Aqualibrium.
We left Flinders Island with a northerly wind. Our next stop was Ile de Phoques (Island of Seals) south of Coles Bay on Tasmania's east coast. (Photos below: Colin Bugge).
Colin got into the water to have a closer look at the seals... without a wetsuit and a water temperature of only 16 degrees!
After leaving Ile de Phoques, we sailed through the Dennison Canal to Hobart, arriving on the morning of April 25.