There are many ways you can get onto the water with the Living Boat Trust. As a member or volunteer, and by reading the email newsletter, you will find out about the frequent informal expeditions that happen almost spontaneously from time to time. For example, next Saturday evening (14th March 2015) a group are setting off from Franklin for a twilight raid on Huonville where they will have fish and chips on the river bank before returning home. Depending on the number of people who turn out the fleet might include Swiftsure II, Imagine, a couple of the Grebes, and a few kayaks and canoes.
Overnight expeditions to places a little further afield such as Brookes Bay or Randalls Bay are organised from time to time whenever a few people get there heads together and decide it is a good idea. Some trips suit rowers, others suit sailors, and some are fine whatever your preference. Some are serious hit outs for fitness and others are leisurely cruises with fun the prime motive.
The people who go on these informal expeditions are usually regular rowers, sailors or workshop hands, and it is an unwritten understanding that if you use the boats you should help in their maintenance. Nobody keeps a close tab but if everyone spent an hour doing maintenance for every three of four hours of boat time they enjoy then it would mean all the boats would be in tip top condition all the time.
Some expeditions are advertised to the general public, or organised for special interest groups, and a fee is charged. These are important fund raisers for the Trust, and they help more members of the general public have an opportunity to experience the joy of being out on the Huon River in a traditional boat. An example would be the Seniors Week trips, and the Swallows & Amazons events for families. To find out when these are scheduled join the mailing list and keep an eye on the email news or check in the LBT Calendar for Special Events, or send an email enquiry to email@example.com
Every second year, in the lead up to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, a very special expedition takes place. The ten day Tawe Nunnugah raid starts from Recherche Bay and travels through the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, nights camping ashore with full shore support and catering. About 30 boats and 90 people take part, some people travelling from interstate and abroad to participate, and it is an incredible experience. To be in the Derwent Estuary in the middle of the awesome Parade of Sail, and arrive into Sullivans Cove with all the fanfare and excitement of the start of Festival, is unforgettable.
Starting in late March 2015 the wonderful motor launch Nancy, built in 1917, will be doing regular excursions around the Egg Islands for paying customers. These trips will be of interest to anyone who loves the natural beauty of the river, especially photographers and bird lovers. A timetable and booking information will be posted soon.
So whatever kind of expedition you think you might enjoy, from 90 minutes in electric Nancy to ten days of thrills and excitement on Tawe Nunnugah and anything in between, the Living Boat Trust is ready to get you out onto the water.
(Photo Marilyn Chenault)