Cape Raoul was stunning, as usual, and Alex had to play with his new gimbal stabilizer to take some videos of dolphins.
We picked up a friend’s mooring in Stewarts Bay, just around the corner from the Pt Arthur historic site. The beach was busy with families enjoying their holiday at nearby shacks, but it was peaceful in the bay. Unfortunately, our dinghy motor conked out again and we didn’t feel like a long row, so we didn’t go ashore. The next day we anchored in Safety Cove for the afternoon and Alex dove on the hull – wet suit and Hooka breathing apparatus.
Christmas Eve was forecast to be hot (30oC) so we put up the bimini and sailed around the Tasman Peninsula and into Norfolk Bay, arriving at Plunket Point around 4:30 in the evening. Jackie managed to catch a couple of flatheads, so we had a mainly seafood dinner – fried flathead for starters and then smørrebrød – open faced sandwiches on heavy Danish rye (homemade) with toppings of smoked salmon & horseradish sauce, shrimp salad, and ham & pickles.
Christmas Day dawned clear, but with a fresh southerly breeze. We had a very fast and enjoyable 5nm sail to meet up with Mark and Russell on Crown Venture. We rafted up to them just in time for brunch of crays, smoked salmon and champagne! Then we each went about preparing our Christmas lunch and finally sat down to share our bounty. Alex deserves a special mention for perfectly roasting a whole duck in our little oven and not even making mess of the oven!
After a pleasant night sleeping off our feast, we decided to head home. The wind was forecast to be light, but it turned out to be a great 15-20kt breeze, mostly on the quarter so we were able to sail at 7kt all the way from Norfolk Bay to Bruny Island. On the way we turned on the computer and watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart race – it was strange to be sailing in Tassie while watching the big boats sailing out of Sydney! Just as we approached Betsey Island we saw another boat headed in the same direction and, was it a race?? On closer approach we saw it Valima in fine form in full sail.