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  • Shelley Dark

#2. Feel the serenity?

In the south-east of Tasmania on a 200-acre peninsula surrounded by the chilly waters of Esperance Bay and the d'Entrecasteaux Channel, there's an isolated water-front cottage called the Boat House.

It looks across the bay at the sleepy little fishing village of Dover.

It has all we need. And more.

A delightfully Tassie welcome pack: flowers, a bottle of Frenchman's Cap Pinot Noir Chardonnay bubbles, sparkling apple juice, orange juice, a crusty cob loaf, Tasmanian butter, blackberry jam and a couple of chocolate bars. 

Let's sit a while in those two big comfy wicker armchairs on the verandah and watch the mist drift across the bay. 

Feel the serenity?  

Suddenly the clock has stopped.

The most pressing decision to be made each day is what to eat for breakfast, whether to go for a drive or a walk or simply watch the cricket on tv.

Or write a little. Or sleep.

There's a living room/kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, covered verandah along the front with a hot tub. Strictly speaking we don't do hot tubs, but yesterday we jumped in and quite enjoyed being warm and bubbled below the neck and chilly above! Oak floors, wooden joinery, grey colour palette, Indian chests, ceiling light made from a glass bottomed skiff, oars on the wall, velvet chairs. 

Great shower, thirsty towels.

Love a toboggan towel rack!

Nice touch - kindling and firewood all ready! In a very smart box.

The Palawa people lived here for millennia before the coming of Europeans. In the early 1840's Hope Island in the bay was used as a base for convicts on probation, and the area was frequented by whalers and timber-getters. The other two islands are Faith and Charity. 

There are marked bush walks. Our own personal tracks! We followed them all.

This morning we walked to seal rocks. No seals.

But there's lots of salmon farming in the d'Entrecasteaux Channel.

And a nice old barn near the main homestead. 

We squished through wet heathland. I'm glad John packed my tractor tyre hiking shoes for me. 

Yesterday we drove south to Southport. An uneventful drive, another sleepy village. The land rises quite abruptly from the coastline into undulating hills thickly covered in tall timbers, tree ferns flourishing in the under storey.  You'll get an idea of the scale of the trees by the size of the electricity pole.

A few apple orchards on the way to Southport.

Looking towards Dover.

This land was granted to 15-year-old George, son of a local family, in 1880. It cost him £410 or 20 shillings an acre and he called it Heathfield. He gradually cleared small parts of it for farming, his own son later grew tomatoes and fat lambs. I suspect it was a struggle, as nothing remains now except a clearing or two, and the homestead, which is also accommodation. 

I love the size of the trees along the foreshore. Amazing girth!

Today we had lunch at the RSL in Dover - that's the ocean on a blue day! I was looking forward to scallops, but they were all out. We both had porterhouse steak, quite the toughest ever, but a tasty peppercorn sauce and a fresh salad rescued it! I had a Kate Allen riesling - she's a local Huon valley winemaker, originally from Orlando. Superb.

This is the pretty little Dover Community Church. On the street front are graves of pioneers, among them George's parents, and his 12 year old brother who died 3 years before George acquired the peninsula. Life was tough, wasn't it?

Tomorrow we drive back to Hobart, totally refreshed. Then around to O'Possum Bay, where we stay for a week. Part of the family will be joining us there. What fun!

By the way, you asked what camera I'm using. Only my iPhone Xs max. Brilliant camera.

Yawn. Time for a snooze I think. Until I write again, buddies, I wait you.

PPS It just occurred to me that you may think I’m connected to the cottage in some way, on a commission, or discount etc  - no, no connection. 

shelley dark, writer 

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