Photographing a Living Masterpiece on the Calm Waters of the Huon

The Tall Ship Yukon is moored at Franklin, one of Australia's oldest towns. Opposite the Living Boat Trust, where traditional wooden boat-building skills are taught, is a jetty where she lives.

Directly across the water is the Egg Island Canal, Australia's oldest man-made canal, built for little over 240 pounds by one man in 1843. One of the tasks today was to photograph a row through the canal in traditional Clinker Dinghies - the dinghies can be hired as part of a guided tour through marshes that are home to shy and secretive Australasian Bitterns.  

This afternoon we'd decided to sail over the Cygnet Folk Festival, on the opposite side of the peninsula. When we left it was hot - thirty degrees celcius is very hot by Tasmanian standards. Cooler sea breezes from the south however, soon whipped clouds over the mountains and the blue sky gradually succumbed as evening approached.

A dozen or so people had joined us onboard for the pleasure of sailing one of Australia's only private-owned tall ships, a vessel that was the home for the Nash family for years after master-craftsman David rescued and restored her from the depths of a Danish Harbour (

As we rounded the peninsula opposite Port Huon with Bruny Island insight ahead of us, the wind was favourable and we hoisted the Yukon's trademark red sails for the remainder of the trip, magically drawing her 60 tonnes through the river's calm waters.   

There was an all-too-brief glow from the settling sun before we were again cast below a beautiful blue inky sky, so characteristic of southern Tasmania. Suddenly, the light on the sails wasn't so contrasting with the sky, so for the second time that afternoon, we hopped in the tender to take photos. This time, the red sails practically glowed, reflecting brilliantly against the bruised river.     

By the time we reached Cygnet, the wind had dropped and the temperature was balmy. We fired up the barbecue and enjoyed a main meal on board before settling into sleep.

The photos are a small selection and should form part of material to help promote sailing on board the Yukon. For anyone interested in tours, the boat is available for afternoon sails, overnight stays and charters from now onward. Visit

Wildiaries •