Friday 23rd April 2010
We had a peaceful night at Schooner Cove, then had a dinghy trip around the bay and a short walk ashore. The Bathurst Channel then took us to a narrow section of water called The Narrows, before opening up again into Bathurst Harbour, a shallow area of water about 5 miles square.  We went to the southern side past Cellery Top islands and into a protected corner called Claytons.  We anchored for the night, not far from another yacht Tammahini who was moored to a short pier, and with some very strong winds blowing and forecast we moved close in the next day to get better protection.

A cray boat came past us with Morrie & son James onboard and then moored against the short pier. James picked us up in their dinghy and we joined them along with Rod & Steve from Tammahini at the small hut a few metres from the pier.  Here we enjoyed a roaring fire and lunch of bluefin tuna steaks courtesy of Morrie and we all threw in a bit more grub.  As the weather was pesistently nasty we spent quite some time at Clayton's, doing a couple of walking trails to get a view of the mountains and various inlets and bays within Bathurst Harbour and Malecula Inlet.  One day we had a gardening session clearing some of the World Heritage Ferns away from the hut (which is also "protected"). A leech had a meal from my hand in response.   Morrie has been working around this area for years and was a walking history book and tour guide for us. He showed us a small Huon pine tree about 40mm accross which was 50 years old - that's slow growing.  A square rigged ship, Windeward Bound, came into Bathurst Harbour with a crew of young schoolboys aboard.  We went with Morrie on his boat La Golondrina down the Malecula inlet to help deliver their packs as there was another group of boys changing over, having walked accross southern Tasmania from Recherche Bay.

There was a lot of tin mining done in this area by the iconic Denny King, and we saw a lot of his work - dock, home, sheds etc.  Considering everything had to be brought around from Hobart by boat it would have been a tough and demanding lifestyle.  Wallabies and parrots abounded in the area, and were reasonably tame.

  Much of the time we were in Port Davey there had been forecasts of winds up to 45 - 55 knots, 9 metre swells, and 6 metre seas, so we were happy to be in protected waters.  Even so there was one occasion at Claytons where the surface of the sea took off like rain or smoke whipping up into the air - very glad of our 90 lb anchor with enlarged flukes. We moved onto the pier when Tammahini went away for even better protection from the wind.  On Friday 30th April we moved closer to the entrance of Port Davey, about 8 miles into a 20 - 25 knot headwind, to anchor in calm water at Waterfall Bay, in anticipation of a reducing swell and wind for the trip around the southern capes.  Morrie set off early on Saturday to get around the bottom and we followed half an hour later.  Tammahini was about 4 hours behind us & we were all able to report on conditions over the radio as we progressed.