Last sunday we boarded the Spirit of Tasmania and took the easy way across Bass Strait, thinking about the day we would be sailing across the pond in our own boat. It was a smooth crossing although there was a respectable swell. We always enjoy the trip. The TT ferries are excellent ships with very effective pitch and roll dampening. These hard-working vessels certainly earn their keep, crossing twice every 24 hours, one day run and an overnight run, stopping in port only long enough to take on provisions and passengers: about three hours. Unusually for a Government owned transport company, they are generating a healthy profit for their owners. When departing Devonport bow thrusters swing the vessels 180 degrees in the narrow Mersey river, with barely 10 metres clearance bow and stern. It’s a sight to behold. Seven hours later we reached the infamous rip at the Pt Phillips Heads. It was in good form. There were impressive tidal overflows (whirlpools) that would probably send a small yacht out of control. I tried taking photos but they don’t really convey the full story. It was a two day drive back home to a happy reunion with the kids.
We were happy to reach our goal of sheeting the Port hull, prior to finishing for the year. Deb went inside to tidy up the butt joins, while Pete planed off the excess on the bottom sheets. Celebratory photos were taken, and the hull was double tarped to protect it from the summer rains while we are away. The next step, upon returning is fixing the keel, fabricating the outboard step then fibreglassing, Qcell, faring and painting.