Day 1 - Thursday 26 March 2009

Arrival Day

Back on Tasman again, it was an easy flight out of Cambridge, what a sight and what an experience to so smoothly be traveling over the Tasman Peninsula again, firstly having Port Arthur appear, followed by Tasman Island with only a sparse covering of clouds in the sky. We circle the island before landing on the helipad just west of Q3.

I unpack my bags and I feel a little like Iím back home, or like Iíve never left. The helicopter takes off and we are all start to set things up. Chris and I wander over to Q2 for a quick inspection. The second coming of the helicopter appears loaded with all of our gear. It lands right in between Q3 and the lighthouse dropping our bags and supplies close to the back door of Q3. We unload the gear either into the oil store or into Q3 and continue with the unpacking. The weather is clear and the sun is shinning. The ocean surface radiates as it glistens and dances in the sun, the cliffs light up and the grass is gently blowing in the wind. What a magnificent place to be. The helicopter arrives for the third time loaded with five other people Ė Mike, Kevin, Sue, Denise and Alan - the unpacking and excited energy continues.

I wander down to Q1, my home for the trip, with my bags and unpack before heading back up the main path to Q3 for a late morning tea, shortly followed by lunch, the eating of food ritual of being on the island has commenced again. After lunch Chris and I take a wander over to the Oil Store and discuss what mowing will be required over the next few days. We walk up behind Q2 to the weather station and look for the broken tail, apparently the wind readings havenít been working for a while. As we are looking Chris comes across an old flagpole / weather mast and as I walk over to take a look I also find the missing tail section that we are looking for.

The weather has turned and the wind has picked up. A short burst of rainfalls before being blown out east and onto the sea and there is little impact on the island. Tasman weather is upon us, one second calm, the next windy, then cloudy, then sunny, then wet, then dry all within the space of 20 minutes or so and the cycle continues all afternoon. I head back to Q1 and wander around taking some photos of the inside for a bout half an hour, the wind is howling now. At just after 3pm I make my way back up to Q3, have some afternoon tea with the others. They all head off for a walk afterwards but I decide to stay in Q3 and prepare the nights dinner, a butter chicken with apple crumble for dessert. Preparing dinner feels like a real mission but it all turns out ok in the end, thankfully. Food reigns supreme on the island, but being here this time has a different feel. The personalities are very different to my first trip. A little less to my liking, but hey, I donít really mind and will do my best to blend in, enjoy myself and be challenged by being here no matter what.

Dinner is eaten, the dishes washed and dried and the kitchen is tidied. I make my way back down to Q1 just after 8pm. Itís very windy, the house is making strange rattling and humming sounds, the trees outside are shaking, the roof tweaking. I feel surprisingly calm waiting in anticipation for tomorrow. Even though its windy outside its still incredibly clear outside, the stars seem very bright glistening all the way up there in the sky, its been a while since I really looked at them.

What will I draw now that Iím here? I want to collect some grass, dirt, and wood etc., to bring back with me, I want some sort of real remanent, I want to photograph the sea and the cliffs some more. I want the drama, but how do I draw whilst Iím here? Draw what I see, draw what I hear, and draw what I feel perhaps?

The strange dip in the island (the bracken / old vegetable patch)