Everyone told us we should allow more time for Tasmania. They were right! What a beautiful place with lots of beautiful places and things to see. When we woke up after our awesome first day, we found overcast skies. Before Karen got up, rains started. We first got everything out of the tent and moved the entire tent into the sheltered, but open-walled, kitchen (since we were the only people occupying a tent on that side of the park). We let the tent dry while showering. We dried off the remainder with our towels and packed up the tent and began our drive down to Hobart in the rain.
When we stopped later for groceries and food, we discovered the temperature had dropped several degrees with the south wind which blew the rain in. We had to break out our windbreakers and sweaters. Brr!
We stopped at a few holiday parks in Hobart – which turned out to be silly “city” parks which didn’t even have tent spots! We decided with the rain occurring later than forecasted that we should just book a cabin. Fortunately, we found a more normal campground first. The only issue we had there was the people who rented the cabin next door were not quiet and were up doing things until 2:30 AM!
Meanwhile, we made arrangements to meet up with our friends Bill and Kathi of s/v Jarana. They had sailed to Tasmania in February and were staying at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. They introduced us to some Americans who own a beautiful catamran they had built called Adagio. We ended up going to a sailing club meeting at the nearby Derwent Sailing Squadron dinner meeting. It was great to spend a few hours with other sailors.
In the morning, we went back to get a tour of Adagio by owners Steve and Dorothy. Their custom-built catamaran has some really unique features: fantastic salon visibility with really large windows all around, they have a portable “helm” with throttles and joystick auto-pilot helm control that can be placed in several places around the boat, an amazing machine room where all of the key maintenance machine systems have been centrally located in a sound-proofed room (watermaker, generator, fuel filters, water heater, and much more), and many other very nice features too many to list.
We had to leave by mid-morning so we could begin driving. But, first we had to stop at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). This place is really unique for art museums based on my experience. My favorite feature was that they hand you an iPhone which uses geo-location tech to tell you which exhibit you are standing near and gives you background info from the artist, or multi-media aids to go along with them. The art is very different as well with everything from a Porche Carerra that had been made “fat” – fat body, fat seats, etc., to a block of wax that was shot with a cannon.
We were REALLY limited in our time and had to leave just a couple of hours later to begin driving across Tasmania. We managed a stop at the Tarraleah hydro-electric power system which is really interesting. Fortunately, as soon as we got west of Hobart the clouds broke and we had nice sunny weather the rest of the day. We ended up the day at Lake St. Clair where we reserved a tent site. They had no kitchen, which turned out to be ok because we forgot to by dinner groceries for the night anyway. We reserved dinner at the lodge instead. Surprisingly, they actually have cell phone service, so we’re able to catch up on E-mail and blogging.
Tomorrow we’ll be driving back up to Devonport so we can catch tomorrow night’s ferry. But, first we plan to stop at a famous Tasmania sight called “The Wall“. It’s a supposedly amazing set of wood carvings depicting a history of Tasmania. Hopefully we’ll manage some stops and pictures along the way.