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Home for next while

Posted by on March 30, 2012

We loaded up the dingy and the whole family rowed out to ERIK on Tuesday.

It was nice to be back together again, all aboard our home…

We spent a relaxing couple of hours waiting for high tide, occurring at 1610. The idea was to wait 15 minutes, then catch the gentle current through the canal. We have had some scary moments in the past, approaching the bridge in a full 5 knot current, only to get in sight of the bridge to find it hasn’t opened yet!

Denison Canal is an odd place for tides. The flood tide runs into Blackman Bay, from both the Tasman Sea and Norfolk Bay. That means the current flows in a north-easterly direction at the Denison Canal and a south-westerly direction at the Marion Bay Narrows. Of course, it flows the opposite way during for the ebb tide, draining from Blackman Bay.

The tide times are relative to the Hobart tide times, with the flood happening 2 hours 27 minutes after low water at Hobart and the ebb starts 2 hours 16 minutes after high water at Hobart. Note the ebb is referenced to high water at Hobart!

Our technique for dealing with the bridge opening too late is to have our anchor ready for a “Fisherman’s Drop”. The idea is to drop anchor while still underway forward, letting it stream underneath and behind. You then dog the chain off hard and secure, and put the helm over. The boat will spin in its own length if you time it right and assuming you have enough chain out for a sufficient catenary, won’t jerk the anchor from its set. We use it all the time when anchoring, especially of we are approaching a good spot from upwind. We have never used it in the canal, and I hope we never do!

Our passage through the canal wasn’t eventful, but the channel out into Norfolk Bay was shallower than I recall. We measured 1.7m to 1.8m at the shallowest point, about 2/3rds of the way into Norfolk Bay. There appears to be a sandbar intrusion into the channel marked by the leads, we stuck to the green side of the channel to avoid it.

We anchored overnight at Murdunna, in King George Sound.


After months of anchoring in at least 5m at high tide, it was bizarre to drop the pick in 2.5m and not bother with the tidal variation.

We left for Hobart at 0800 on Wednesday, and had a windless trip across Norfolk, Fredrick Henry, then Storm Bay. There was a long 2m swell rolling in from the Southern Ocean, and it felt like an old friend.


Coming up the Derwent River made me smile; it all felt so familiar. The boys pointed out Bruny Island and the entrance to the Channel to each other. Then Kingston on the right. We spotted a good friend of mine’s blue house, in Taroona and waved just for old times sake. Rounding Lower Sandy Bay, we found ourselves on a collision course with John Garrow light, just like old times.

Coming into Sullivan’s Cove, we were surprised to see the Endeavour in town.


We tied up in Kings Pier Marina… And immediately caught up with all our old friends in the Marina; it was so nice to catch up with everybody after being away for eight months!


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