LBT members at large column

John and Jen Avery have just crossed Bass Strait. Here is a recent log report.

SKYE is now safely at anchor in Oberon Bay west of Wilson’s Prom. Arrived here yesterday middle afternoon. Left Burnie in the dark Tuesday morning. Avoided the freighter due in at dawn and the one leaving after us. Wind NE 13-18, seas were pretty lumpy. Wind steering worked very well, correcting our course each time the bigger waves turned us to the north. Cruised past Table Cape, then Rocky Cape, and then The Nut. All names very appropriate. No prizes for guessing how many Hummocks are on Three Hummock Island. We anchored in Chimney Corner on the west side of the island with about 10 or so other yachts. A lovely sandy beach with a fishing boat shed, small jetty and a couple of shacks. Wednesday morning we moved across the channel to Shepherds Bay on the east side of Hunter Island, as the wind was moving to the SW. Wednesday at 1600 we upped the anchor and sailed north, headed for Oberon Bay. Wind 15-20 SW seas 2-3m. Sailed to the NE, so generally dead downwind. Blown along like a leave down the pathway. Our sailing buddies GRADIVA, SOUTHERN EXPLORER and DULCINEA all left after us, as we are the slowest downwind.
The plan was to sail through the night, arriving off the Wilson’s Prom freighter lanes in daylight. Crossing the path of freighters travelling at 15-20 knots, when we max out at 6 knots, is better in daylight. We had also plotted possible interceptions with freighters travelling in the night between Melbourne and Port Latta, Burnie and Devonport. At sunset we dropped the mainsail, choosing to carry on under Genoa only, as the wind was up to 25 knots and we were well ahead of time. Wind steering working well.As predicted we had several freighters and the northbound Spirit of Tasmania to avoid. One freighter we had to furl all sail to avoid, as he insisted on crossing our bow. We were fairly rattled by that, and still moving at 4 knots, so stayed under bare poles until the next freighter had passed across our track.