It is Monday morning and Fika is ready. Delicious provisions, boat cooked brownies, bliss balls, lasagne, sausage rolls, soups and more. I greet Kate, Vicki and Deb at Derwent Sailing Squadron. The excitement is palpable. I am delighted to be able to not only share Fika but these glorious surrounds with an interstate crew. There is going to be a little sail training during this trip with the key focus on building confidence whilst also having a relaxing and joyous cruise down the Channel.
Our first night is spent anchored in the ‘Duckpond’, Barnes Bay, Bruny Island. It is mirror calm. The stars are reflecting in the water. It is cool and we eat below in the warmth of Fika’s cabin. We all sleep perfectly.
The Duckpond reminds me a little of Pittwater with the bush meeting the sea, oyster shells and mussels gracing the rocky shoreline. After a morning kayak, we weigh anchor and gently sail towards Cygnet. The wind is fickle and we motor the last few miles where we try not to become embroiled in the start of the Tuesday afternoon Port Cygnet Sailing Club race. Whilst mingling with one of the starters we are invited to the club for a drink. Of course we partake.
Wednesday morning, we amble into the town of Cygnet to share a morning coffee with the locals. I just love how Fika brings a group of ‘strangers’ together on Monday morning and by Monday afternoon, everyone has relaxed into a shared life aboard. There is an air of warmth, chatter, kindness and generosity. I have never experienced otherwise. And here, we sit on a couch in this café in Cygnet. It is Wednesday morning and I feel that we have all been friends for years. There is a comfortable silence, friendly chatter, giggles and a brief look at the local paper or a catch up on social media. This is so much more than just a sailing trip.
In the afternoon, we sail towards an anchorage at the Southern end of Bruny Island. We practice our Crew Overboard along the way and anchor off Lighthouse Jetty Beach for the evening. Dinner most nights has been in the cockpit and tonight is no exception. We spot the International Space Station for the second time on this trip.
Thursday morning, we head over to Mickeys Bay for breakfast before sailing around to Cloudy Bay on the Southern Ocean side of Bruny Island. We anchor in the protected Southeastern corner and go ashore for a beach walk.
There is a change on the way and it is not safe to stay at Cloudy Bay overnight, so we sail across to Southport for the evening and anchor for the night there. This is our last evening and we eat dinner in the cockpit marvelling at the night sky.
Friday challenges us with a strong northerly wind. It is a hot day and we sip on cool soda water retracing our steps northwards. We motor sail up the Channel back towards Hobart capturing the southerly change just as we are approaching Sandy Bay. With fenders and mooring lines set up, we approach our berth and without a word, we lasso and seamlessly secure Fika. I feel very proud of everyone aboard and so hope that each crew achieved her goal on this magnificent sailing trip.