Saturday, August 6, 2011

Welcome home!

There has been a pattern of dolphins farewelling and welcoming us on big legs, but things have gone to a new level! I was cooking lunch, and thought to look out the window for a first glimpse of Tasmania, and there it was! Upstairs for a better look. "There is Tasmania!!!" then Sam says "and there are some dolphins", and after a few secs looking… "no, they are not dolphins!!!". Across the horizon was a wall of spouts! We closed fast on them, it was not easy to stop the boat, two headsails poled out, so we just sailed into the middle of the whales. A few had to move for us, reluctantly rolled to the side. We did have a couple of bumps, but they seemed fairly unconcerned. I stood at the bow and watched the tails pass under us, and Sam took photos while trying to decide whether to pat them!
I thought there were 200 (I have practised counting audiences…) Sam thought 150, either way there were a lot of them! 8-10 metres, we presume they're minke whales. That had to be the wildlife highlight of the whole year!
The Bass Strait crossing was very easy, fair wind, no swell. We still had mostly good winds down the coast of Tassie, but a bit of motoring as well. Stopped for a sleep at Maria Island, then Anne and exchange student Pierre met us at Dunalley for the last little sail to Hobart. We struggled up the river and found our mooring about 10pm in the dark and it was done. Ellida is home, I'm home, journey over. It's wonderful to be home, it was wonderful to cross the oceans, to visit new countries, meet with so many kind people.