Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Despite the fact that I've never landed on, or lived near, or even had my parking spot taken by Tasman Island, I've held a grudge against it. Let me tell you why..
Our progress was good down the Derwent as we had a stiff tailwind behind us. Unfortunately this was actually the worst thing that could possibly have happened. What we had was a Northerly. What we we needed to in order to make it to Sydney with the least amount of effort, was a Southerly.
And if there's one thing Grandfather's striking huon pine schooner couldn't do very well, it was sail upwind. In fact most of the fleet couldn't sail upwind very well and we all found ourselves being pummelled by high seas and headwinds. By the time the sun set on the first night of the race we'd made very little progress up the coast of Tasmania at all. I remember darkening skies and Tasman Island looming above us and a scary looking section of coast nearby. In fact we were told during our recent tour from Port Arthur that there were no known survivors of the hundred or so shipwrecks which had occurred of the so called "Black Coast". I can easily believe that.
After a long and sleepless night, dawn finally came, and what did it reveal? Tasman Bloody Island. In the exact same spot it was before - of course I wasn't expecting it to have moved, but I was certainly hoping that we'd made some progress. But we hadn't - not a bit. Words can't express how disheartening that was. I was sick, the toilet was blocked up, we were going no-where, and to top it all off, Tasman Island was just sitting there mocking us. Stupid, hateful Tasman Island.
So I was really glad that the Tasman Island I encountered when we did the seal tour a few weeks ago was a whole different place. With the sunny skies, calm winds and seals frolicking at he base of the sea cliffs it looked more like a holiday destination than a harbinger of doom.