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Trip to Port Arthur

Posted by on September 8, 2011

We had a pretty exciting trip round. 2 meter southerly swell , an occasional 2 or 3 meter south westerly swell and a 1 to 1.5 north to northwesterly sea on top with no steadying wind made for difficult conditions.

We left at 6:30am aiming to be in shelter when the forecast change came through midday.

Both boys got seasick, and the captain didn’t feel too flash himself. The boys spent a lot of time curled up with their mum in the cockpit.


Things improved when we rounded Cape Raoul and started surfing down the southerly swell on a beam reach. We had mizzen and staysail set; the wind had come up a bit. It tended to to blow 10 to 15 with the occasional protracted period of 20 to 25 knots.

Coming into Port Arthur was also a little difficult, it’s not easily seen from the sea. I have a never ending respect to those seafarers in engineless square-riggers that would have made the approach without decent charts, GPS, or any way of beating their back out in case of error. Those guys were good seamen.

As we neared the reflections of the swell made life bouncy again for a while; The youngest son lost his stomach contents again.

Happy to be anchored in such a great spot. The tour boat didn’t like us for getting in his way, but after calling him on his radio (when he eventually answered!) he talked about where we could sit that wouldn’t upset him, so we ended up shifting inshore a few boat lengths.

We called the facilities here and got to speak to the Educational Officer here. Sarah Stockwin is a school teacher by training, and is a great resource to speak to for those of us home schooling.

The weather is forecast to be hard southwesterly for the next few days, with some big seas building up outside. I expect we’ll be here at least until Monday.

I spoke to the boys about our trip today, a little anxious about how they took it without trying to appear to be so. They agreed that if today was the worst seas they experienced, then that would fine for cruising.

So: mental note, I’d it’s forecast for 3 meter seas, then we aren’t going out.

Its a 20nm run around the corner to Fortesque Bay, our next planned stop. We’ll then do a 30nm run from there into the jetty at Dunalley. We’ll need to pick our weather for both, and get the tide right for the crossing at the Marion Narrows.

Hopefully we’ll be at Dunalley by the weekend after this, but we’ll see.


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