s/y Nine of Cups
Tasmania's East Coast
January 2013
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We had hoped to visit more of the east coast, but
weather and wind worked against us. We headed
from Triabunna, straight up the east coast back into
the Bass Strait.
Come with us for a quick glimpse
of the Furneaux Group, another look at the Kent
Group - Deal Island and  Erith Island
It might seem odd that we
headed south down the
D'Entrecasteaux Channel in
order to head north up the
Tasmanian coast BUT ... we
wanted a good point of sail
to head north and we had
some goodbyes to say. So
bear with us as we re-visit
some previously visited ports
and get ready for another
adventure heading up
Tasmania's exciting east
Cygnet - 43S10.69 / 147E05.15 - 29'
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A hazy sunrise due the bushfires which are raging west of Cygnet. Cups sits comfortably in Cygnet's millpond of an anchorage. We stopped in for a coffee
at the Red Velvet Lounge and met some new friends who have offered their hospitality in Western Australian when we get there. Wow!
Last time we were here, blackberries and apples were in season. This time it was cherries. They were more like crab-apples in size than cherries and oh man, were they ever delicious. We love
this little town. We enjoy the Saturday market, the ambiance and the nearby birdwatching at the Wildlife Sanctuary. The local Sunday afternoon boat races were fun to watch from the comfort of
our own cockpit. We were right in the middle of all the action.
Port Huon - 43S09.55 / 146E58.21 - 23'
We sailed ten miles up the Huon River to Port Huon and Kermandie to meet up with friends, Mary Anne and Tony Purkiss. We visited the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin (far left)
and the Esperance Forest and Heritage Center in Geeveston with Mary Anne as our guide. The best part of being up the river was seeing good friends.
Port Arthur - 43S09.45 / 147E51.58 - 40'
Port Arthur  is the most significant of the 11 sites which comprise the Australia Convict Properties World Heritage Site. We were amazed by its size and the enormity of the buildings. From
left, a view of the site as we approached the anchorage. Center is the remains of the penitentiary. Right, the hospital. All built by convict labor.
Views of the guard tower and the huge non-denominational church.
The Separate Prison was an isolation facility which deprived prisoners of all sensory stimulation. Prisoners were required to wear hoods over their heads. There were no visitors allowed,
no talking, no reading except the Bible. The prevalent thought at the time was that if prisoners had to contemplate their crimes, they would repent. Instead, many went insane. We watched
a play in this eerie venue and it was quite poignant.
Puer Point (above left) was a boys' reformatory facility. Boys from ages of 7 could tried as adults and transported to a penal colony at age 9. Not much is left of the facility save
history, bricks and sandstone. Across the way, the small Isle of the Dead was the cemetery for Port Arthur. Only a few gravestones mark the dead buried here. Prisoners' graves were
not marked.
Chinamans Bay, Maria Island National Park - 42S40.60 / 148E03.54
Maria Island National Park offers both natural beauty as well as an historic venue. We anchored in Chinamans Bay, named after the Chinese abalone fishermen who plied these
waters in the mid-19th century. From left, a Maria sunrise. Center, view of Chinamans Bay from the beach. The island is divided into two halves by a "tombolo", a thin, sandy bar
which connects the north and south sections. We crossed the narrow strip on a sandy path for views of Riedle Bay on the other side (far right).
Darlington township on Maria Island is another convict site that was built and used in the 1800s. The island has also been used for mining limestone for cement works, farming and
sheep raising. Man has left visible remnants of all of his sojourns here. Above left and center, views of the Commisariat, the island's store and the oldest extant building on the island.
Far right, the Painted Cliffs, eroded limestone cliffs permeated with iron oxide giving them a stunning striated, pink color.
Triabunna - 42S31.36 / 147E55.09
Across the Mercury Passage from Maria Island is Triabunna, a tired, tiny little town calls itself the "Gateway to Maria Island" since the Maria Island Ferry departs from its docks.
The channel to enter the harbor is narrow and shallow, so we opted to anchor out in Spring Bay with a fine view of the wood chip plant. The main industry of the town beyond the
ferry and minimal tourism is crayfishing. Center, crayfish pots and floats on a boat tied up in the marina. In the 1800s and early 1900s, Triabunna was the supply depot for the  
Darlington township and was quite a thriving little community. Many historic houses still exist, but seem to be in disrepair. Right, the once beautiful Triabunna House was in desperate
need of some TLC.
There's SO much more of Australia to
see ...
start here!