The first part of our recent Tasmanian trip was the Tawe Nunnugah 2015 small boat RAID, Ok I probably need to start with some explaining, Mike Mahoney and I have been planning an assault on the St Ayles Skiff regatta in Tasmania for a while and this turned into a huge trip including the Tawe Nunnugah Raid, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and the TasSkiffie St Ayles regatta in Franklin. This is the first part of our journey and included Mike Mahoney plus Steve and Megan Cranch.
Tawe Nunnugah means “going by canoe” in aboriginal language and the term RAID was created by a frenchman Charles-Henri Le Moing back in the early 1990’s to describe a multi day adventure in small boats. Since then many raids have been created some of these like Raid Finland and Raid Caledonia have become the holy grail of small boat cruisers, The everglades challenge in Florida is another multi day adventure that attracts people from around the world in small open boats to test their skills against the elements.
The Tawe Nunnugah is a 9-10 day adventure that begins in Recherche bay at the southern tip of Tasmania and ends about 100nm later in Hobart at the beginning of the Australian Wooden Boat festival, its been run every second year since 2005 by the Living Boat Trust in Franklin (more about them later)
We joined the Tawe Nunnugah part way through, why? With shipping and flights and work etc we had already decided we simply couldn’t afford the time to do the whole 10 days Raid followed by the Wooden boat festival and the Skiffie regatta as well. This proved to be a blessing as the first 4 days suffered from horrendous weather and when we arrived at Allonah most teams were still drying out there gear from 4 days of rain and wind.
Our first days run was quite a delight, we rigged up on a beach called Verona sands, this being only the second time the sailing rig had been assembled in Wee Tawera it was with some trepidation that we set off through a small surf to face 6nm of open water to Bruny island. We need not have worried, it wasn’t long before anxious looks were replaced by silly grins as we slipped effortlessly along at 6 knots with the wind just forward of the beam and any fears of washing up on the lee shore long past.
In no time at all we were arriving at Alonnah and drawing Wee Tawera up the beach next to the other small boats surrounded by a group of fellow small boat adventurers. Camping gear unloaded and delivered to the campsite, tents pitched and just time to share a celebratory drink before a nourishing meal provided by the support chef.
We were awoken bright and early the following morning by some cheery singing.. thanks Julian, we blearily wiped the sleep from our eyes before tucking into a hearty breakfast, followed by the making of lunch from the selection of breads and fillings provided. Then a morning briefing, packing of tents, loading of the truck that carried all our gear and off to the boat for the second days sailing adventure.
This is the routine we slipped into for the next 5 days, each day providing some outstanding Tasmanian scenery, great sailing or rowing, interesting camp sites and much time spent swapping stories and adventure tales with our new friends. The final day into Hobart was 17nm and we all opted to tow for most of the journey as there was no wind and a deadline to keep, the deadline was joining in the Parade of Sail that heralds the beginning of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. This was without doubt one of the highlights of the trip with hundreds of craft of all sizes, tall ships to dinghies converging on the wooden boat festival.
Without a doubt this small boat adventure cruising is great fun and many times we caught each other with silly grins on our faces, the opportunity to share such an adventure in outstandingly beautiful places with an amazing collection of interesting people from all walks of life has opened a hole new door to having fun on the water.
Lots of thanks to the Living Boat trust in Franklin for hosting the Tawe Nunnugah and to Tawera Group for making this trip possible.