We had a few days in Strahan which lies at the northern end of Macquarrie Harbour. Our first chores were to do some washing at the laundromat, and find the leak in the fore deck!!!!!!!!!!!  On the journey from Pearson we were devastated to find drips of water coming through the ceiling above our front vee berths - fortunately it only wetted a couple of magazines which we were able to dry out, but it is definitely poor form to have a leak anywhere on a boat.  The problem was that I had not fully tightened the hawsepipe fitting during our refit, and with the masses of green water we took over the bow on leaving Pearson, it was inevitable that some water would work it's way in. Fortunate also that we had 240 volt power at Strahan and a small electric heater to dry things out.  We did some walks around the area, visited the People's Park & Hogarth Falls, met a couple of other yachties Robert & Lorraine on Songlines, enjoyed a few meals out, and topped up with fuel. Re-tensioned the motor vee belt yet again.

After a few days we motored in a dead calm down the length of Macquarrie Harbour, seeing the rugged wild west mountains including Frenchman's Cap before entering into the Gordon River, a World Heritage area.  The river is generally deep and the current not strong enough to be a problem, so we motored as if on a mirror, the reflections of the trees and hills so precise in the calm water.  The water is tea coloured from all the tannin, and the hills contained a wide variety of trees including Huon Pine, Myrtle, Black Sassafras, Blackwood and eucalypts, also tree ferns and many other vegetations. Wildlife included shags, parrots, currawongs, and wrens, and a view of something swimming, possibly a platypus but we don't know for certain.  We moored about 8 miles up the river at Heritage Landing late in the afternoon, with a mist settling over the river.  The landing consisted of piles in the water to lay against, and a walkway leading to an environmental trail which we walked around as dusk drew near.  This was as far as the tourist cruise boats are allowed to progress up the river, so we were priveledged the next day to carry further up, another 14 miles to Warner's Landing, again up against piles at the river's bank. There were a couple of shoals to avoid and an island in the river making a narrow passage to pass through, and a float plane took off in front of us as we came around a bend in the river towards our stop.  From here we took the dinghy another 3 miles further up the river to the junction of the Franklin River - some shallows, rapids, and eddies made the journey very exciting, with the dinghy doing 5 knots against a 4.5 knot current at times. It felt like a white water rafting scene out of "Deliverence".

Back closer to Warner's Landing we stopped on the other bank & walked a short way to Sir John Falls, a pool of water at the bottom, spray in the air, tree ferns, moss fungi and toadstools on the ground and hanging from tree branches, all in all it was a fairy tale place suitable for elves or Lord of the Rings.  We had another night here, then returned downriver again with swirling mists, mountain views, reflections of ancient forrest, to Sarah island at the eastern end of Macquarrie Harbour.  This is a very small island but in the 1830's it was a notorious penal settlement & had a thriving ship building industry supported by the convicts.  We walked around the island looking at the ruins and marvelling at the tenacity of the early pioneers living and working in this part of the country. From here we went to Farm Cove for the next couple of days, enjoying sea eagles, parrots and black swans, again in a very tranquil setting.

As there was no necessity to return to Strahan we decided to head straight out of the harbour and down to Port Davey, about 80 miles away - too far for a day sail so we timed it to exit through Hells Gates about 4pm, have an overnight sail, and enter Port Davey in daylight next morning.  There was an incoming current at Hells Gates so it was an exciting time again feeling it clutch at the boat in the narrow waters between the land and Entrance Island.  The ocean was calm which was a relief, much more tranquil than when we first arrived.  The overnight sail involved a lot of motoring as there was no wind at all until about 5am when 25 knots sprang up from the north west.  There were dramatic rocks for several miles offshore down much of the coast, so we went about 12 miles out to sea as a buffer against any possible strong onshore winds.  The entrance to Port Davey is a bay about 4 miles wide and the same deep so it was easy to get into. There were several crayfishing boats working remarkably close in to the rocks and islands dotting the coast, and one came out to circle around us - I think we may have looked quite impressive charging into the bay goose winged with "a bone in our teeth"  The waves moderated and we passed behind the Breaksea Islands to enter the calm waters of Bathurst Channel, and anchor in Schooner Cove.  Dozens of sea eagles wheeled overhead as we entered another World Heritage area of rugged mountains, thick scrub, brown water, currawongs, parrots, wrens, Huon pine, and Blackwood.