Fluid journeys on the Lady Eugenie
We weigh anchor in a cosy bay we didn’t intend on visiting; we are on another revised plan thanks to Tasmania’s notoriously dynamic weather systems, plan B-3.1. Nobody minds. We had a comfortable and restful sleep in our little unpopulated bay as the low pressure system swept over us during the night. Gratefully the central east coast of Tasmania provides endless coves of refuge. As we get underway and poke our bow into the broad span of water ahead, the Great Oyster Bay, we are greeted with a speckled blue sky and a stiff westerly breeze – perfect for sailing. And this morning, thanks to mother nature’s chosen wind direction, our latest plan has us now en-route to the awe-inspiring Wineglass Bay.
The captain and crew soon have the sails set and the Lady Eugenie smoothly cuts through the waves. The guests take advantage of the stunning sail by donning beanies and wind jackets and seeking out the best seats on deck from which to take in our beautiful surroundings; magnificent sea-cliffs, soaring albatross, endless horizons and the unmistakeable outline of the Hazard mountains that we are heading for off in the distance.
It is not hot, it is early November in Tasmania after all, but the sun carries enough warmth that when it pops out from a cloud we are warmed through. Except for a few that have succumb to the gentle rocking of the yacht by dozing in the cockpit, guests are dotted around the Lady’s deck looking thoroughly delighted. I don’t ask them how they are; their broad smiles tell me they are enjoying themselves.
And so am I. I’ve always found being near (or on) the sea instantly bestows a sense of peace and calm within. This sensation, together with perfect sailing conditions and the undeniably stunning east coast scenery, explains my own unwavering smile. I am feeling invigorated.
As we approach the Hazards, the unusual pink hue from the granite makes itself known, creating a majestic impression. We don’t have long to go now; we are at the southern tip of the finger that is Freycinet National Park, with Schouten Island on our starboard beam. All hands are on deck while we pass close to land and admire Schouten’s azure waters, gleaming white beaches and the massive granite boulders of Bear Hill in the background. This part of the journey is a short narrow passage that the skipper affectionately calls ‘hootin’ through the Schouten’. As if on cue, a pod of dolphins appears at the bow and leads us through the passage while dancing in the waves.
As we round the east coast of the park, the seas and wind settle down and I take the opportunity to make morning tea while the guests marvel at the rock formations and brilliant burnt orange lichen at their base. The sky is now clear and out of the cool breeze it is warm again.
We are about the become members of an elite club; joining the mere two percent of visitors that get to experience Wineglass Bay from the water. We are lucky today. There is not another boat in sight as we get the first glimpse of the crescent bay. As we enter we are soon encircled by over 180 degrees of white sand and absolutely crystal clear waters, begging to be swum in – if only a few degrees warmer. We take a few moments to absorb our surroundings, what an end to a glorious day…
But wait, it is only lunchtime! After a cooked lunch we decide on the walking track for the day and lace up our boots. No matter which way we choose we are sure to appreciate the views. As we gain some height on our hike I get a glimpse back to where we came from. I stand still. I am once again in awe of the scenery; the glistening bay, the granite boulders, and the endless horizon over the ocean beyond. I gaze patiently trying to take it all in, then shut my eyes tight trying desperately to imprint the image in my mind for later when I don’t have the fortuity of being here. But for now I am grateful for the moment.
Anna - guide and yacht crew