In 1792 Rear Admiral Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni, chevalier d’Entrecasteaux sailed to Australia and explored southern Tasmania. In recognition of his achievements an island was named Bruni Island. This name was too complicated for the locals so, in 1918, they changed the name to Bruny Island. They called the channel that separates the island from the mainland the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and strangely they can pronounce that.
We left Kettering to sail around the island and began by sailing across the channel and anchoring in the lonely and quiet Alexanders Bay. We were totally alone until we were hailed by Lucie and Paul from Pittwater who had just escaped from three weeks trapped by awful weather in Port Davy. They dropped anchor and, by the time they reached Artemis, we had a meal waiting for them. One thing led to another and it was a late but incredibly enjoyable evening.
On day two we headed south directly in to the increasing wind. The waves grew constantly, driven by the wind and after a few hours we popped in to the Isthmus Bay and hid behind a forest. We continued the journey the following day to reach Southport on Tasmania. We anchored in well protected Deephole Bay and were soon joined by a second boat. Jo and Michael were locals taking a few days off to “get away from it all” on their boat. None the less they welcomed us on board for drinks and fed us quiche. They also pointed us to the abandoned railway in the forest and the walk across to the lagoon.
The next leg took us back to Bruny, past the lighthouse and through a small rocky channel that offered great views of a seal colony but required precision navigation. Luckily Heidi is now an ace navigator. After the seals, we turned North and headed for Adventure Bay. I have written about the great bike ride and hospitality we received there in another post.
From Adventure Bay we crossed Storm Bay to reach the Tasman Peninsular where we anchored in Ladies Bay behind Frying Pan Point (honestly, we don’t invent these names). From here it was a short walk to the ex convict settlement at Port Arthur. This is not the first convict prison we have seen but definitely the most depressing. In other countries we have been faced with the history of the use of non European slaves. Here we could experience the barbaric story of the British enslavement of their own people.
Once again there were two boats in the bay so three nights running there was drinking and fun conversation on the boats. On the third night Colin and Claire also fed us a delicious curry and invited us to visit them at their farm on Bruny Island.
After fourteen days, we today completed our circumnavigation with a forty mile sail back to the island through rain, mist and variable winds. Tonight we are anchored in Quarantine Bay and thinking of all the new friends we have made in the last two weeks.