James Craig Hobart Trip

31st January – 21st February 2013


Sydney to Hobart


Tue 22nd January 2013

Lots of preparation work going on. General maintenance (as always), plus food to stow, tanks to fill, everything to check. Repairs to the fore royal yard are progressing, but it is not yet clear whether we will be able to cross it before we leave.

Messages from the James Craig underway by Peter Cole:

Sun 3 February 2013

We plan to sail from Jervis Bay around 1000 Sunday 3 February 2013. ??Forecasts include moderating weather with good sailing breezes from Tuesday. ??Our progress will initially be slow because of a need to motor sail into the southerly swell under stay sails, without stressing the rig. As sea state allows, we will increase speed until easterlies allow productive sailing. A 4.5 knot speed of advance will be required to reach Hobart at 1200 Fri8Feb.Thank goodness for our contingency.

Throughout Saturday, everyone was busy with specific jobs and group training. The Fore Upper Topsail repair was completed and the sail hoisted and bent on the yard in rain and quite a lot of wind. Most passengers have qualified to climb and all crew that needed to revalidate climbing quals have done so. Essential skills associated with sea-boat operations have been exercised in the blustery conditions that added value to the experience. Our teamwork is shaping up. ????Additionally, we have worked up a list of “clinics” to entertain and introduce new skills. We have not been bored. ?So, we will be joining a fleet of vessels heading out from their refuges in Sydney, Batemans Bay, Twofold Bay and Flinders Island all bound for Hobart. We are all well and ready for a tough time before the sailing winds arrive on Monday night.

Mon 4 February 2013

13NM east of Montague Island Course 190 Speed 5.5kts ?James Craig departed Jervis Bay at 1000 Sun3Feb13 and motor sailed, tacking under staysail across a 3.5m steep southerly swell. ?As predicted, the sea state has gradually eased throughout the day and our speed of advance along the planned track has increased from 2.5kts to about 5kts. ?Our crew are performing well in windy, rainy, rolling conditions and our chefs have been happily keeping up in their very mobile galley. ?Intentions are to make ground at best speed to regain flexibility in our schedule get sailing again when the nor’easterlies come in.


Greetings from a very busy sailing ship. The wind shift to the east in anticipation of strong nor’easterlies, has arrived. Staysails are drawing and Topsails and Coarses are being set on both masts. ?Since my last report, we have made good progress under engines against a light southerly. A speed of advance of less than 4 knots is now required for the remaining 350 miles to Hobart. If the sailing is good, we may have enough for an overnight at North West Bay or Port Arthur, but too early to tell. ?I am very pleased to report that our crew are in fine spirits. A team of sail makers has sewn a bolt rope into a new staysail and we have almost no food waste. Shane and helpers are also constantly busy with shipwrighting tasks. ?In all, the prospect of a sail across the Bass Strait “Paddock” remains one of life’s little pleasures especially if we see the “green flash”!

Tue 5 February 2013

Position 40 miles east of Flinders Island Co 190 Sp 8kts ?The James Craig has now been sailing for 24 hours at speeds between 4 and 9 knots in a building nor’easter, as forecast. The ship is dressed down for the night and topgallants will be brought in later if required. ?Watches and Day Work have continued together with teach-ins on the chip log and astro navigation. Many of our passengers have now qualified to climb at sea and one of our navy chefs climbed to the royal immediately on qualifying. ?The weather for tomorrow looks great and we should romp down the coast to round Tasman Island in about 24 hours. We’re expecting a change of weather on Thursday morning and will probably anchor in Adventure Bay that night. ?All onboard are happy and looking forward to Hobart.

Wed 6 February 2013

James Craig Update – Position 10 miles NE of Bicheno Co 210 Sp 7 kts Sailing. ?Since last reporting, your James Craig has made excellent progress under all plain sail in 15kts of northerly breeze on a low following swell – ideal conditions that could hook anyone for life! ?All going well, we plan to pass Tasman Island at 8am tomorrow, Thursday 7 Feb and anchor overnight in Adventure Bay, Bruny Island. Preparations are in place to lift the restored Fore Royal Yard from the deck where Shane has created a thng of beauty that few will admire 100 feet aloft. ?One Kingfish, one Stripey Tuna and one Yellowfin Tuna have come over the taffrail and ended on the plate … ?Much maintenance has been undertaken and Charles, our inventive Canadian has constructed a wind turbine out of old sail cloth. ?So, we are have a great time and also getting ready for a demanding time in Hobart.

Fri 8 February 2013

James Craig Update – 4 miles east of Adventure Bay Co 340 Sp 7 approaching Iron Pot, Derwent River ?We are currently leaving Adventure Bay, with its history of Bligh and Cook, on our approach to the Derwent River. ?Yesterday afternoon, at anchor, the Fore Royal Yard was hoisted under the careful eye of the Bosun and the able management of Tom Grylls. Careful planning, briefings and control meant that the activity remained safe and proceeded without a hitch. Today, the braces will be threaded and the sail set. ?After dinner on deck, a sod’s opera provided much entertainment again – nobody was safe! ?So, we will arrive on time, in good spirit and without injury or damage. The foul weather on days two to four made sure that we really appreciated the outstanding sailing on days 1,5,6,7! ?Thank you for your interest and support and I look forward to continuing the story on our return voyage to Sydney on Wednesday 13 February 2013.

Sketch of James Craig under sail, by Murray Bird

Sketch of James Craig under sail, by Murray Bird


In Hobart


A busy but most successful visit. Three day sails and a fireworks cruise all had the ship full of happy passengers. Sail repairs continued, so the ship is starting her journey home with a full complement of 21 sails all ready to be used. In amongst all this activity, a little time was found to enjoy a wonderful Wooden Boat Festival and a cup of real coffee ashore.


Hobart to Sydney

Wed 13 February 2013

In Storm Bay on the way back home to Sydney.
0200 Thursday 14 February 2013 ?7 miles ESE Schouten Island Course 015 Speed 3. ?Sailing under 8 squares and 6 stay sails on a moonless, overcast middle watch, in light ESE airs on a low sea. We are enjoying a sail ahead of what looks like some hard work into strong North Easterlies into the weekend. ?On departure, the usual emergency exercises were undertaken and fire, stretcher party and climbing training performed. Passengers are participating to the full and morale is high – especially with a lovely beef casserole onboard for the night watches!

Thur 14 February 2013

20 miles east of St Helens Co015 Sp5 James Craig is moving north in great style under 21 sails at 5 knots in light ENE winds. ?Later this evening we will reduce sail for the night and take advantage of whatever we can sail to. Northelies are predicted from Friday through to Monday, so we are taking nothing for granted. ?Today was filled with useful maintenance, sail handling and Richard caught another Tuna. We then brought in the fishing gear to remove risk to our Albatross companions. ?We are settling in to voyage routine and again, carefully managing the safety and operation of our treasured ship and crew.

Fri 15 February 2013

15 miles NE Flinders Island Co 000 Sp 5kts Motor Sailing. ?Light ENE winds on a long low swell all day have allowed us to make ground for the second day to the north under all 21 sails. ?In the early sfternoon, we exercised our seaboat crew, Nick and Murray, for training and a photo run surrounded by many many dolphins – excellent pictures came back. ?Our little band has already formed into a competent, confident and well fed crew ( thanks to chefs Hayley and Trent). All are well.

Sat 16 February 2013

Some internet communication problems, but have plotted James Craig position. Will update this webpage as soon as news comes to hand.


Position 37 56S 149 39E Co070 Sp5 Motor sailing ?Since losing the sailing breeze, we have been motor sailing all day at 5kts to conserve the ship, people and fuel in a rising sea. The Victorian coast came into view early afternoon and we have tacked to parallel the shipping traffic up to Gabo Island. ?Our plan is to motor sail to Jervis Bay area and look for some sailing, before anchoring for a short stop and our final run to Sydney. After two days of outstanding sailing, this motoring is a bit bland. ?No green flash at sunset tonight …

Sun 17 February 2013

5 miles SE Montague Island Co 010 Sp 5 motoring. ?If a sailing ship has to motor, then today was the day to do it.The northerly direction of the wind, was the only feature of the weather that prevented us from describing it as perfect. The south coast of NSW glistened and we appreciated it whilst working the ship. ?The Automated Information System (AIS) that Michael Schultz funded, has provided safety information of passing ships as well as an opportunity to educate crew on light recognition and collision avoidance – a great asset, thanks Michael. ?Wood chip ships came and went as we passed Eden and crew members, Trish and Richard Lamacraft were dissapointed that we did not call in to their port. Maybe next time … ?Sashimi and Barramundi were on for dinner, so we continue to travel in style. Tomorrow we plan to go sailing before anchoring in Jervis Bay for Tuesday night. Telephones are also working again. ?Thanks Hette, for lodging these messages onto the SHF web site.

Mon 18 February 2013

15 miles south of Point Perpendicular Co350 Sp3 sailing. ?James Craig reached Jervis Bay area this windless morning on a low swell. Officer of the watch ship handling exercises provided useful practice as well as adding to ship tuning data. ?Throughout the afternoon, the wind built from the ENE and we tacked around the area before settling into a night sail out to sea and back again. ?Tomorrow, we hope to reinforce todays practice by tacking our way into Jervis Bay and anchoring in the Montague Roadstead, which is in the NE corner of the Bay. ?A Sods Opera is planned and trainees from HMAS Crewell are expected to visit through the afternoon. We will be making every effort to consolidate the SHF relationship with the RAN which has proven very valuable. HMAS Newcastle also entering the Bay an hour ago. ?As you can tell, we are taking every opprtunity to expose our Voyage Crew and Regular Crew to extended sailing to build competency as well as have fun. The sailing really has been excellent! ?Enough for now ..
2113 Tuesday 19 February 2013 ?Position 35° 2.3′ S 150° 46.1′ E ?At anchor Montague Roads in NE Jervis Bay. Heading out to Sydney at 0400. Perfect anchorage if no Naval Gunfire on the range.

Thur 21 February 2013

Anchored in Rose Bay, Sydney, after an excellent sail up the coast in moderate SE winds. ?All are well and pleased to be home after an outstanding 4th visit to Hobart in recent history.

Thanks for your interest.

?Peter Cole

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