Melbourne - Southwest Tasmania - Southport


Dolphins along the way

The expedition yacht Silver Fern was continuing the circumnavigation of Australia together with its sister yacht Salt Lines. I had joined for the second leg, between Cains and Darwin. Now, I was to join for the last leg, number five, between Melbourne and Southport, including around Tasmania.

I was joining as Chief Mate, sailing together with skipper Sharon Ferris-Choat, and the eight paying crew. I was also responsible for updating the boat's blog, so here I will link to the blog posts!

We started in Geelong right outside Melbourne, and prepared the boat for departure. See the blog post here

Here I am, once again as Chief Mate at the helm of Silver Fern

We sailed off and crossed the Bass Strait southwards right away, sending a few crew right into the valley of sea sick. They recovered eventually, and were doing quite OK really given the sea state.

See the blog post here.

First stop was in Strahan, where we needed to pass through the dreaded Hell's Gate. How did it go? You can read here. And also see all the amazing photos.

Entrance of Hell's Gate, with its tricky waters and horrible convict history

After the stop in Strahan, we sailied off to the remote wilderness of Southwest Australia. We entered Bathurst Harbour and anchored in Clayton's Corner.

Here is the blog post on Bathurst Harbour.

Our team on bord consisted of 40% women, 60% men. The youngest crew member was 18, and the oldest 67. I was very happy to see how well this worked.

Beth, your youngest crew member, at the bow preparing for anchoring

This corner of the world is remote and very beautiful. We took a few walks, taking us to the top of local summits. It was great to move the legs a bit after many days of sailing!

The steep coastline near the approach to Bathurst Harbour, a natural refuge that is uninhabited.

It was also here we had a lot of things that needed to be repaired on the boat. Why is it that the breakages always happen in the most remote locations? Here is the blog post about that.

After this beautiful stop, we sailed on to Hobart. Here is the blog post about the sailing and the stopover.

The crew in the cockpit, sailing happily

After that, we took on the Bass Strait once again, to sail between Sydney and Hobart - but in the opposite direction of what I am used to. Here's what we did!

Coming in to Sydney by night was just amazing. Here is the blog post with all the photos.

Opera House by night - from the water

The last part of this sailing trip was to get from Sydney to Southport. I did the same leg in the other direction last December, as a preparation for Sydney to Hobart, and it was a bit shakey beating against the wind, in choppy seas. This time it was different - see this blog post for the full description!

Finally, we were in Southport, thus concluding the circumnavigation of Australia. Full blog post here. For me, this trip meant passing the southernmost and easternmost points of mainland Australia and Tasmania, in addition to the last leg where I sailed past the northermost cape. Also, just as I was passing my southermost point ever, south of Bathurst Harbour, I passed 30,000 nautical miles in my log. T>he whole leg was 1653 miles in total. We crossed Bass Strait twice in a week, and faced a lot of challenges in remote locations. A memorable leg with a lot of Type II fun.

Lots of sunrises and sunsets along the way

I will be getting ready for the next offshore sailing, which will have our Sydney to Hobart team trained and qualified. And of course, for this year's Sydney to Hobart!