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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Br uce Montgomery is a Hobart-based journalist who spent 20 years at The Australian newspaper after his initial career with the ABC. He was also a co-founder of both Leatherwood and 40 Degrees South magazines. Most recently he completed a Master's research degree on the future of Australian newspapers. He writes extensively about politics, travel and ocean racing. grew up here; the relationships between the keepers and their assistants; the homing pigeons that carried coded reports back to Hobart. Until the first ecocr uises ventured out to Tasman Island, it was out of bounds to all but those who had business or sport to conduct in this corner of the Southern Ocean and the Tasman Sea. From the land, the two-day walk in to Cape Pillar from Fortescue Bay affords a spectacular view of Tasman. Pedra Branca is an extraordinary sight as you close on it. About 25 nautical miles off South East Cape it resembles an ocean liner with, as its passengers, skinks, white-capped albatrosses, gannets, black- faced cormorants, silver gulls, petrels, penguins and fur seals. They are staggered up and dow n on terraced decks. On a really wild day, you wonder how anything survives here. The Mewstone, further west but closer inshore, is small but perfectly formed like a bishop's mitre. It has colonies of white- capped albatrosses, fairy prions, petrels and cor morants. Some years ago I sailed to the Mewstone to assist in a program to study the albatrosses. That voyage involved scrambling onto the rock from a dinghy by judging the swell and grabbing a curtain of kelp to haul yourself up. Then came the problem of getting off. There are plans to revive an annual offshore race from Hobart to the Mewstone and back, shades of the Fastnet Race in the UK. The Fastnet Rock off the south coast of Ireland has a lighthouse and, presumably, the lighthouse keeper logs the yachts as they go round. Who will verify that a yacht has rounded the Mewstone? No one. It's a matter of honesty. That's very Tasmanian. Minimalist. Photo: Alice Bennett The Hazards Tourism Tasmania and George Apostolidis Tasman Island Cruises 43 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010