By Stephane Molle

Kalinda arrived at RMYS from Hobart on Thursday, 13 January 2022 and now lies in pen C36.

A Bavaria 38 Holiday, circa 1999, she was purchased in August 2021 in Hobart by a syndicate of 4. Andrew Wootton (Cloud 10), Simon Potocnik (Mood Indigo), Stephane Molle (formerly Cloud 10) and Christian Taylor (Bendalong).

Four of us had been dreaming of sunlit anchorages and cruising a bit further than the familiar waters of Port Phillip Bay.  We spent 6 months, arguing the merits of various boats (4 sailors = at least 5 opinions) and inspecting several offerings in both Melbourne and Sydney in the intervals between lockdowns.  Finally in Hobart, a Bavaria 38 built in 1999 ticked the boxes and we could make an offer.  A window of unlockdown opportunity opened in July and a delegation of 2 jumped on a plane for an inspection along with a survey. Everything was a yes and the deal was sealed.  Another lockdown, this one supposedly for a week, gradually turned in months.

With no prospect of being allowed into Tasmania to collect our precious new boat, we spent the time signing cheques for new rigging and engine and propeller servicing.   Watched and waited while the pandemic played out. Plane tickets were booked literally within minutes of the announcement of “let it rip day” and then it was just a question enduring the so slow approach of the great opening up.

The plan, a week in Constitution Dock (conveniently 100m from the chandlers for all the stuff we would need) a week at Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania over Christmas New Year (shakedown sails and to clear the way for the Sydney Hobart yachts) and then back up the East coast to home. And we had time up our sleeves to sit out any bad weather.

It took until day 1 before the plan required adjustment!  Forty knot wind bullets were the hallmark of the first 2 days and we certainly didn’t fancy these for mooring an unfamiliar boat in the unfamiliar surroundings of Constitution Dock.  Firmly tied up in Prince of Wales marina we stayed, using the time for fit out and provisioning.

Then with Andrew’s wife Ali, a couple of nights in constitution dock, and Peter Johnsons, just to get the feel of the Hobart festival and the preparations for the Sydney to Hobart arrivals, before enjoying Christmas at Sandy Bay (RYCT).

Kalinda departed Sandy Bay on 30 December for an east coast cruise to Melbourne with a crew of 3, Simon, Andrew and Tony Rogers. There was a lot happening in the Derwent with the race boats arriving and providing a terrific spectacle, racing up the Derwent under kite as we meandered out, heading for easy moorings. First in the lovely Parsons Bay (Nubeena) and then on to Port Arthur, for a look around and to add some fishing tackle. A slow motor sail past Tasman Island and the stunning coastal cliffs gave us a chance to take it all in and feel the southern ocean swell before a sail up to Maria Island and a sheltered anchorage in the delightful Shoal Bay.

Passage planning is always fun when cruising, especially planning around far off events like cyclone Seth, which was going to end up being a low, driving easterlies around Flinders Island. So, much as we’d have liked to stay and look around Maria Island, we sailed to Crockett’s bay on Schouten Island for a night before making our way to WineGlass bay for lunch and a swim while waiting to head out for an all-nighter into Banks Strait for a morning tide.

The plan being to shelter at Lady Barron on a MAST mooring, which ended up being a top spot despite the wind and rain, was not without drama. An enormous bang on the hull late one night turned out to be a short-tailed shearwater, dashed to death against the hull, a consequence of the gale remnant of TC Seth. Unfortunately, the Melbourne covid crisis prevented Stephane from joining us on Flinders Island, as was planned.

Saturday turned into a lovely day to sail out of Lady Barron, mist on the hills, a sunny lunch at the picturesque Trousers Point and sail north to Port Davies (Emita) for the night. Sunday evening, we nosed into East Bay on Deal Island, between the spectacular cliffs of Murray Pass and sandy bays of Erith to another lovely anchorage.

The fierce Bass Strait on that Monday was glassy, but after 6 hours of motoring provided two hours of delightful sailing on an easterly into Refuge Cove. Another place of great natural beauty which we had pretty much to ourselves, while we prepared for an all-nighter to meet a morning tide to Queenscliff.

After a restful day catching up with family and friends, enjoying the wonderful hospitality and facilities of the QYC, Stephane and Christian joined us for the champagne sail home to RMYS.

Now after visiting the East coast and islands we plan to cruise them and explore in a lot more detail. Of course, Wednesday racing and Port Phillip cruises will also fill the Kalinda calendar. However, Keith and Roger, don’t worry I’ll be on Mood Indigo for the spinnaker course on Wednesdays.