Well, here we are sailing down the east coast of Tasmania. Foresail and mainsail set with the wind on the beam, and sailing at just under five knots. It has been a fair passage across the paddock. Our departure from Eden was in a force three northerly easterly breeze and once clear of the land we had all sail set. Free from the hassles of land and back into being a sixteenth century sailing vessel. Our stay in Eden had been enjoyable, but as always it is good to get the ship back to sea. We were to have favourable winds for the first day having sailed down past Gabo Island over night, continuing down the western side of the Tasman Sea towards Tasmania. However, our favourable winds were not to hold, and by mid afternoon on Monday the wind had pretty much died away to nothing. For many reasons this is no real problem, at times I can be quite impartial to the odd bout of bobbing around waiting for wind. However, I had two pressing things on my mind, both of them were not really of a sixteenth century nature. Firstly, we were getting any closer to Hobart, but the clock was still ticking and arrival time of 11 o’clock on Saturday was getting closer. Secondly, due to the wonders of modern weather forecasting, I was aware that a strong westerly gale was forecast late the next day, and I was keen to be in the lee of Tasmania when it came. For the eastern approaches of Bass Strait are far from enjoyable in the teeth of a westerly gale. So the sails were pulled in and the engines started to keep our southerly progress at a good speed. We motored for several hours until the wind started to fill in. At midnight I called all hands on deck and we had a rather long and drawn out bonnet removal party. With the winds light for the first couple of days the bonnets were on both fore and mainsail. The bonnets are laced onto the bottom of the sail to increase the sail area. However, with the glass dropping and the wind filling in I felt Bass Strait was no place to get caught out a little too well dressed. So the bonnets were unlaced before the sails were set. It was a hard hour work for the crew, as it was quite a dark night. With all the moisture in the air the tack knots had swollen and were reluctant to be separated from the bonnets. But the crew all did well, and by half past one we were sailing again at a very respectable five knots with the lowers set. But alas it was not to last for long and by mid afternoon the wind had died again. Frustratingly the crew pulled in all sail and we started the engines again. Waiting for the wind to fill in from the west as it was predicted to do with some force. Finally the wind came with a westerly gale, and we had just snuck south of Banks straight, and were in the lee of the land. It was blowing hard for a while, are we glad to be in the lee of the land, for the sea remained reasonable settled. But I was keen to get in closer to the land before setting sail. Eventually after breakfast with all hands feed and ready we set the lowers again. However, the wind is starting to die. Well, the one thing I remember about Tasmanian weather is that if you don’t like it then you just have to wait half and hour. The topsails have just been hoisted, and I fear the wind will swing into the south or die out completely, forcing us to motor again. Perhaps I am a pessimist, always worrying that the weather will not go our way. The pressures of arriving on time are always a challenge. But maybe they will, and we will have a wonderful sail down the picturesque coastline of Tasmania. Sailing further south then the Duyfken has ever been before, along a coastline that hasn’t seen a vessel of this vintage since Tasman.