The Homecoming RAID followed on from the Hobart wooden boat festival and was mostly a way to get all the various boats back to Franklin, We decided to join in for the fun.
Starting off point was a Small beach town called Snug, this required a bit of on land logistics and resulted in us dumping Wee Tawera on the beach late one night and returning in the morning hoping that all would be well and nothing stolen, All good this is Tasmania and we shouldn’t have worried. Megan had to return home and Baden Pascoe was to join Mike and I for the Homecoming RAID and then the regatta at Franklin. However Baden missed the bus from Hobart, never mind Mike and I set off from Snug, just the two of us rowing one oar each and were pleasantly surprised just how easily we could maintain a good speed in the flat water. We had arranged to meet Baden at the Peppermint bay cafe, He via ferry and Mike and I via a long row in Wee Tawera. After a long row 7.5nm in fact our timing was perfect, Mike and I tucking into a well deserved lunch as Baden arrived on the ferry.
What do you know its a head wind, back to the oars and another 4nm down the coast until we can turn the corner and able to set sail, Its a great pleasure to put the oars away and glide peacefully along the coast without any effort sort of akin to turning off the engine on a yacht.
The rest of the afternoon was a blast with a building breeze, we romped along in fine style covering the remaining miles to Randalls Bay in no time, only casualty was Baden’s fine hat.
Day two took us to Cygnet and included another long row, all good practise for the upcoming regatta, Cygnet is a fascinating small town with a long history of wooden boatbuilding and a very smart historic town. We finished the day with a brisk romp across to Brooks bay, our camp for the night.
The final day included a short sail, followed by more rowing and a fantastic welcome from the Huon yacht club, We were most surprised to find the New Zealand ensign flying from the flag pole as we arrived. All was explained when we met their commodore Roger Carter, a fellow kiwi.
We decided to sail the last 5nm up the Franklin river, we had already rowed a fair distance so far that day and serious racing began the next day which we were saving ourselves for and besides their was a fair wind blowing!
Franklin turned on a great welcome and a parade of all 7 St Ayles skiffs to mark the official opening of the Tasmanian International St Ayles skiff regatta.