Friday, February 6, 2015

Taverner at Sea

Update: Photos added. And maybe more again soon.

We are blessed here in this almost perfect spot.  Sitting atop a modest mountain which has some civilisation but not too much, we overlook one of the most beautiful water aspects in the World.

Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux 'discovered' this part of the world way back when, and had he planted the Frog flag and claimed it for France nous would avons be parling  le Francais instead of English. But he didn't. Hahaha. He did name a few places after himself, however, hence the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruney Island.  His 'second' ship's Captain also gave his name to the Huon River, the Huon Valley and of course the magnificent Huon Pine. 

From which (the Pine) the very best wooden boats are made.

Huon Pine
As it was he was pipped to the flagpost by a splendid Englishman, but not before writing in his ship's log that this estuary and its environs could 'provide safe anchorage for all the ships of all the fleets in the world'. The British thought so too and so Hobart was established as the second city in Oz after Sydney.  A fine and awful prison, indeed a world-and men-beater was built not far away at Port Arthur for convicts.

But enough of the History.

Annually some of the less callous and criminal of the population of Hilary's Village below the mountain have a celebration of boats. Specifically wooden ones. Much of the rest of the year sees the waters plied by the world-beating modern multi-hull boats made from metals, apart from 'New Year' when everyone and his sea dog sails down here in various races, of which I have mentioned elsewhere. But on this weekend the place explodes with sail. 

So I put away my towel today and mounted my steed to go down to the water. It has been a most beautiful day with high sun and just the sort of light breeze that gentle sailors like. Just right for a land-lubber Knight cum Tavern Keeper.

What follows is a celebration of boats and water, and it is a special tribute to James, a sound customer and first-class mate.

The Tavern-Keeper is an Hairy Man

My Steed du Jour. A Sea Horse.

The Hoi-Poloi

Two Hundred boats of all sizes came up the waters past the beautiful beachside villages that line the Channel.  I was in amongst them with a fine Captain who weaved back and forth, obeying the 'give way to sail' Laws.

Just look at the 'Blue'.

Furrin Boat People take every opportunity to come here.

Nautical phrases.
"Left Hand Down a Bit"
Fore ! Coming through.
Arrived with the Sydney to Hobart Race. Came in 6th. Stayed to play.

Not everyone is a rich man with a world-class Mini-Maxi worth $1.2 million: Some boats are more 'modest.

Here below, the Police boat takes great interest in a local boat from down the coast, manned by 'hippies' who named their boat, 'Heroin'. Hmmmm

A Sea Dog sits at the stern of the fore-water Red Flag boat.  Look closely.

"Avast scurvies. We are coming aboard for your gold, your wine and your men".
Ladies (wo)man the oars. Fine Gals.

They do not stay out at sea, of course. They all come into the lovely harbour that graces the almost-centre of the city. 200 boats joined the 300 already there, of all sizes and shapes.

200,000 people are thronging the wharf over the weekend, which is more than the total city population !!

A sailing man's pleasure place.

But a Tavern has to be manned too. All those folk will need Grace. So I had to return. But the trip was supposed to take us to the Iron Pot - the oldest lighthouse in Oz - so off we went across Storm Bay at full speed. That turned out to be 45 knots, 60mph, 96kmph. !!!

PHEW. We flew !

So, I am back and The Bars are Open again.

Finally, if you are ever in Hobart (to visit the Tavern of course) I thoroughly recommend Pennicott's boat and Wilderness trips.  He is an 'icon' (in the modern misuse sense) in Tasmania. A great chap and a fine tour provider.



  1. A feast for the poor eyes in a stunning setting. One of the three stopping off points, the other two being Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.

    1. I know you would have enjoyed every minute. :)

  2. It looks and sounds a lot of fun and there are some fabulous ships on display. We could do with some of that lovely weather over here it was very frosty as I left for work this morning.

  3. I meant to add that I would have been in my element with my camera if I had been there :-)

    1. Both my stills and video camera had a fine workout. I have over an hour of video on my computer now and just over 280 photos. The weather was just perfect although I am expecting hotter today. Then it was 25: today promises 33. "Dear Lord, give us sunshine to make us brown like the Australians..... er.... but not the burned ones"

  4. Love the boats! And the handsome man!

  5. What a glorious day and amazing photos!! We're glad you had such a wonderful day! :-)

    1. I am pleased you are having a fine time too. :)


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..