After weathering bad weather for four days in the Gippsland Lakes, we finally got a short window to get out in the ocean for our final leg of our odyssey to Port Albert. This is about a 70 nautical miles passage involving crossing the notorious Lakes Entrance bar, then crossing the even more dodgy Port Albert bar, which does not get maintained.
We left in a strong Easterly, expecting a rollicking sail to the finish line. Strong wind warnings were out but we were intent on hugging the coast where the forecast showed it would be lighter. We got all sorts of weather in one day: rain, 20 knots easterly, no wind at all, 25 knots from the north east, thunder and lightening and plenty of swell throughout. It was not a comfortable passage, but it was a fast one.
We reached the Port Albert fairway buoy at 6.00 pm, not sure we would get through the bar with the swell and quite prepared to not go in and continue to Corner Inlet. But we were brave. It was a wild crossing; we caught a wave, the back of the boat lifted and off we went, surfing for a long stretch surrounded by white water. It was a relief to reach the green buoy, marking the arrival into more sedate waters. Another hour and we were hooked on to our mooring.
We are having a rest now, and will eventually get home by the end of the week.
About 1500 nautical miles covered, boat brought back from Queensland to home waters, no drama, just very ordinary weather for most of the trip. Mission accomplished!