Sunday, December 18, 2016

Big Ship: Maiden Voyage

Few seem to be aware that little Hobart, a modest city in the southern reaches of Tasmania, has one of the deepest harbours in the world. And, from where I sit looking out over it, one of the most beautiful too. It is one of the most popular cruise ship destinations.

When this spot was first discovered by civilised folk, in fact by one Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, it was written that this was ""the most beautiful and safest harbour in all the world: all the ships of all the fleets can anchor here in safety.""

Just a bit of it.
On its maiden voyage from the UK to China via many nice spots, the 'Ovation of the Seas' called in last week for a day and was back last night for another visit.

It is enormous.

OK, I will be the first to say that Hobart is not a city blighted by skyscrapers. We do have some tallish buildings and it is hilly all around , but ships like that dwarf any large buidings we can boast. It is like having ten hotels arrive at once with a passenger and crew complement that exceeds most Tasmanian towns.

But it is more at home in our waters than where it came from. Built indoors and inland in Germany, it took a bit of getting out to sea.

 Once out of its boathouse it had 33 kilometers of river to navigate before it found salt water.  Getting it there took a lot of patience and tug boats. You might need some to watch the highlights. Patience, that is. Not tug boats.

All the ships of D'Entrecasteaux's day may have been able to get in and out easily but todays leviathans take a bit of care to turn and dock.

This century is already surpassing the age of the Big Liners that was thought to have been back in the 30's. 1930's that is. Even the Titanic would look small beside todays huge floating entertainment hubs. 

When the Ovation and its fellow visiting cruise liners ready themselves for departure, their horns alert the city. As yet we here have not heard the most famous ships horn. One day perhaps.



  1. One of my former colleagues, an engineer started his working life in the shipping industry. The ships were built just down the street from where the employees were housed.,_built_by_Swan_Hunter_1973.jpg

    After the demise of the shipbuilding industry he moved to what was at the time 'Vickers Defence' the builders of Armoured Tanks.

    When the company originated the employees were all housed in terraces around the factory. In the morning a horn was sounded at the factory so that the employees knew it was time to go to work.

    How times have changed...

  2. By golly they have. It used to be that Britain was a major shipbuilder, but the demise of Industry has sent all the 'need' elsewhere. Germany has a fine industry, and so does South Korea and some Scandanavian spots. I am pleased to say that Hobart has its niche still with its seagoing Catermarans in high demand.

  3. Perpetual Loyal: Anthony Bell is Australian, he was appointed Patron of Australian sailing, Tom Slingsby, his co-skipper, is out of Sydney, the crew were mostly Australian, the boat was rebuilt in Australia. Hmmmm.

    1. I will pass this on to the relevant authorities :) at table 14


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..