Constitution Dock, right in the center of town, where we had expected to stay, has recently instituted a policy of discouraging liveaboards, and turned us away. Since Alisa had a prenatal appointment the next morning, we decided to splurge on a week at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (at $190 a week, a bit of a splurge!). This gave us a base for getting to her appointment, and also for finding our feet in this new town, and it also turned out to be a great place to meet friendly local sailors and to catch up with members of the long-distance cruising fraternity who used to collect at Constitution Dock.
I think the best measure of how warm our welcome to Hobart has been is that in our first week here, we either had new friends aboard for dinner or went to someone's house for a barbie five of the seven nights. A variety of people have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome here, but I think that the highest marks for hospitality must go to Mike and Ingfried, who met us briefly on Maria Island, where they were camping with their two girls. They told us to ring them when we got to Hobart, and when we did, they had us over for a barbie, where they served muttonbird, or short-tailed shearwater, which is a real treat for any Alaskan seabird biologist. It's the full-grown but not-yet-out-of-the-nest chicks that are eaten, and it appears that you have to be well connected in Tassie to get a hold of muttonbird. Mike and Ingfried also introduced us to a variety of their friends and relations, who all turned out to be interesting people, and then at the end of the night Mike had everyone write down their contact info for us so that we could kick-start the building of our own Tassie community. And all of this after a few minutes' aquaintanceship on Maria. Very nice, of course, and the night also gave us a great answer for the inevitable ice-breaking question that we get from other locals. "So what have you done in Tassie so far?" people ask, and they invariably love it when we answer, "We've eaten muttonbird!"
We've still been here only a week, and are still looking for a car, though we have a couple good leads, and we also have a good lead for a five-month housesit that would get us through the birth of crewmember #4. Alisa likes the birthing center at the hospital, I've been putting out feelers in the local marine biology community to get to know some of my local professional peers, and Hobart generally feels like it will be a good place for us to live for a year or so.
Here are some pics from the second half of our cruise along the east coast of Tasmania, which already seems a lifetime ago, though it was only a week.
Shouten Island in the morning light.