For weeks before the opening of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart, our marina began to fill up with classic boats of all designs and sizes. The fragrance of freshly painted varnish was in the air. One of our favorite boats was the graceful VANITY, recently restored, and the same class of boat as WEENE, which was owned and raced by our friends Robert and Leslie Swan, when they lived in North Bruny Island 9 years ago.
Tall ships berthed at the main Hobart wharfs. Classic sail and power boats berthed in Constitution Dock and King’s Pier. Princess Wharf I was filled with boat building displays, a Dinghy Festival, and many marine-related exhibits. Single-handed, non-stop circumnavigator, Jessica Watson, spoke about her sailing experiences before an admiring crowd. The local teens built their Quick’N Dirty boats and raced them in Constitution Dock. Japanese and Indonesian sailors had been invited to display their traditional boats, songs, dances and marine crafts. The craftsmanship and artistry of boat building over the past 100 years left us smiling and amazed.