This entry has been modified, as the circumnavigation was actually fully completed when we arrived in the Whitsunday Islands in August 2009, having left there in 2008. Using Hobart as the original departure point and returning there has suffered a rearrangement, due to plans to take the boat to the US in Jan 2010
The circumnavigation of our beautiful country - Australia.
Oct 2008 to Sept 2009.
This 7800 nm approx round trip was inspired by special moment in Bathurst Harbour in Tasmania just recently when I found one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen, and wondered that we may have just only scratched the surface on what our country has to offer for the traveller by boat.
Jimmy Cornell mentions in his Noonsite blog about Australia why he doesn't see many Aussie boats around the world and because "Why would they want to when you see what they have in their region"
How could you see the rest of the world when you haven't seen say the Kimberley, Tassie (my favourite), the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, Louisiades, the South West Pacific, SE Asia etc - all on our backdoor.
This trip, as I write (June 2009) is underway and plans may change "on the wing" as we go around, because we will not pass up an opportunity to drink up what is in store for us as we move from place to place. We have to of course avoid the cyclone season around the top from Dec to April, but the boat may move quicker or much slower to meet this circumstance. Currently we expect to be back in Hobart Jan 2010, but who knows?
One can't be fully certain as nothing has been published about a trip like this, but we are fairly confident we are the first recreational power boat to do this ever, and are very sure the first to do a full circumnavigation of the country, not just the mainland, and done clockwise. We are not into records but it will be a great satisfaction on top of the fabulous places we will visit along the way.
Going against the prevailing westerlies and current across the Great Australian Bight, and meeting the strong easterlies head on in the Arafura Sea is not the convention, but we have a boat that is designed to cross oceans comfortably, and with careful study of weather conditions, thoughtful planning with of course no set timetable, we should mitigate any serious discomfort or problems. SKIE is like an off road 4 wheel drive, so should be used in the manner it was designed for in my view, otherwise I would have bought something else for soft cruising.
Speaking to the old salty cruisers at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, they can't recall anyone ever doing this trip East to West from Hobart. This is possible these days due to the advent of the modern day Trawler type passagemaking power boat that has the fuel capacity, the ability to do a rhumb line, and of course the seaworthiness to undertake it. Added is a stubborn old owner who was just a tenderfoot two years ago who acknowledges the old adage that a mans allotted time is just 3 score and 10.
See further "Travels 07/09" from menu