From Stanley to Devonport and on the boat.
September 26, 2013
Stanley to Devonport to Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania I
Gale force - rain squalls – scary swell!. 8 to 12 degrees
Feeling a touch nervous!!!.
Such a stormy night. Wind and rain was so strong it sounded like we were surrounded by a factory in full swing. However, we slept well - cosy in our accommodation in the flat out the back of the Cow‘n’Calf Gallery. This has been the least expensive place on the trip - $85 – and one of the most comfortable. The Cow’n’Calf is a gallery run by David Murphy, a landscape photographer. Really nice bloke and good host.
Pat was upset that we didn’t climb the ‘Stanley Nut’ yesterday when we had relatively clear weather – but it was getting late in what was already a long day. The power of positive thought. I kept thinking, “it will clear”. Our goal today was to climb the Nut, cycle a circuit from Stanley up to Highfields House, out to the Old Cable Station and back around to Stanley through beautiful countryside. Then head to Devonport where we would ride the Devonport cycleway before boarding the ship. Well, I saw a little patch of blue sky, and some clear weather came across, in the howling wind. The wind was so strong that birds were taking off and going backwards for a while until they had built up enough speed to go forward. Looks like they were pretty skilled at it.
Before breakfast, we quickly put on our walking boots and headed up the track. It was super steep.
There is a chair lift to the top and at first I thought, “what a cop out!” But after the first section of the climb I could see how many people would not be able to do this. It was hard work, if not a bit slippery and dangerous when so windy and wet.
The track has lots of little Paddy Melons grazing.
Great views of the surrounding area. On a clear day you would be able to see all the way up to Cape Grim.
When we finally reached the top we did the 2 km circuit with lots of vantage points.
By the time we got back to the top of the chairlift we sheltered from yet another rain squall with horizontal rain. Damn, too wet and getting too late for a cycle around Stanley. Down the slippery path for breakfast, packing up and on the road. Wanted to buy some scallop pies to stick in the fridge and take back home for the kids but no luck in Stanley.
Next stop Table Cape. The plan is to see lots and lots of fields of tulips like we saw next to the highway yesterday. They’ve all gone!!!
We stopped at Wynyard for some lunch and to buy some travel sickness pills. The weather report is not good. Then on to Devonport where the wind was so strong that it was hard to even open the door of the car. No way we can cycle. On the news, parts of Melbourne were really getting hit. The wind was so strong the last Spirit to Tassie was in lock down when it arrived and people were delayed getting off. The Melbourne Show was closed down. So we parked the car by the Mersey River looking over at the ship, sat in the car, had a cup of tea, listened to the radio and watched the clouds whizzing through the sky. I was thinking very hard, “It is going to get better.”
With a bit of time to kill we went for a stroll through central Devonport looking at the shops.
Then we went for a short drive around the Devonport waterfront. To suck up more time we then drove 11km to nearby Latrobe and strolled around the shops until it was time to go back and get some dinner at a Noodle Bar. I bought a carton of Cascade First Harvest to take home and try. Then onto the boat.
The news isn’t great. When we came over we had a really rough trip with swell up to 3 metres. The forecast is now predicting gale force winds, up to 100 km/h and swell up to 5 metres. Our plan is to take our little sea sick pill and get to sleep as quickly as we can. The ship left 15 minutes early and it wasn’t long before we felt it. The captain warned of the weather and closed all access to outside decks. That didn’t make nervous smokers very happy. Pretty hard to walk around anyway.
Tomorrow ... Dry Land .... I Hope!