Catriona steps onboard.
The Lady Nelson.
Catriona samples a sail around Hobart harbour on the beautiful Lady Nelson
for six dollars.
The original Lady Nelson was built at Deptford-On-Thames and launched in 1798. With three retractable keels to facilitate survey work in the colony of New South Wales, she sailed from Portsmouth in March 1800 and arrived at Port Jackson 10 months later.
The following year Lady Nelson explored King Island and the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, returning to Sydney in 1802. She busily sailed between Van Dieman's Land, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Hobart Town, Newcastle and the Hawkesbury River. While on a journey somewhere east of Timor in 1825 she was plundered, burnt and her entire crew slaughtered.
Because of the historic significance, a replica of the Lady Nelson was built in Woodbridge, south of Hobart, in 1987. It has the same dimensions and sail pattern as the original ship, measuring 17 metres and weighing around 60 tonnes.
The keel is made of blue gum and the hull and deck from celery top pine. Tasmanian timbers have been used exclusively, with the exception of the yard, gaff and boom which are made from Douglas fir.
The size is perfect for harbour cruises and weekend charters, taking up to 34 passengers and a minimum crew of six.
For trips longer than a harbour cruise, below deck are sleeping quarters for up to 18. The three cabins are the fo'c'sle which has eight bunks, midships with six and the aft cabin sleeps four.
There is a dining saloon and a galley, flushing toilets and shower, refrigeration, gas stove and even electricity; all very handy things to have to make your time at sea extremely comfortable.
When boarding, everyone is given a safety talk and Ken Milbourne tells a little of the Lady's interesting history. When sailing, passenger participation is encouraged, but not expected. You will be briefed in nautical-talk if you are unfamiliar with it.
The ship's equipment is impressive and up-to-the minute. There are HF and FHF radios, radar, global plotting, satellite navigation, e-perb equipment and depth sounder. It is also interesting to see the captain's navigation chart.