Cold, blowy, at times soggy and gloomy… that is what sailing along the Victorian coast is like at this time of year! Since dropping off our friends Greg & Ann at Phillip Island, we haven’t covered a lot of miles but have experienced all sorts of weather conditions: from fog, to brilliant sunshine, to gale force winds, rain and bleakness.
We took advantage of an easterly blow to shelter on the western side of Wilsons Promontory at beautiful Oberon Bay for a few nights. We love this side of the Prom with its islands close by so we did not mind staying there. Then as soon as the wind shifted to the northwest, we did a quick dash around the Prom to the exact opposite side at Waterloo Bay. We are so lucky to live in an age when weather forecasts are so accurate. We timed our move perfectly. Yet passing capes can often be rough.
And now we are hiding at Waterloo Bay for a few nights from gale force winds – probably till Tuesday. It is very windy, we can’t get ashore because of the swell, and it is reminiscent of our time at Jamieson Bay in the Bass Strait Islands last summer. I even lost my glasses again in a wind gust, taking photos from the side of the boat. You’d think I would have learnt my lesson! But we are safe and the Ampair wind turbine is producing plenty of power and staying put on its new mount!
We have to admit there was nothing glamorous about being on a yacht around Wilsons Promontory for my 60th birthday, rugged up like Michelin men to keep warm and fighting sea sickness. When it is bleak, it’s really bleak. The positive however is that we have rounded the Southernmost point in Victoria and from now on, things should get easier! We might add that winter cruising in Southern waters is bearable if you are dressed for it. If the sun is out the temperature warms up between 11.00am and 3.00pm, but it is marginal so you’d better done some serious clothes on. We have discovered that our kayaking gear, insulating wind proof and breathable garments lined with fleecy material, are an ideal layer under our offshore Musto bib and brace and jacket when on a passage. For those interested, check out the Lavacore gear. We wear the polytherm long pants and long sleeve shirt. They really work! And of course there are the beanies, the gloves, the sea boots…
Aside from fighting the cold weather, we have had a frustration or two. Just as our freshwater levels were dropping, we thought we would put our watermaker to work. It took a while to assemble it, only to find out that our continuous 2,500 watt inverter (with 5,000 peak) did not have the grunt to run it! It was all looking right on paper but not so in reality. So we have had to order a larger inverter (5000 watts with 20,000 peak) which will be delivered to our friend Sue in Sydney. Fortunately we had torrential rains overnight and managed to fill up our tanks with rain water. So we have had hot showers after all!
Despite the conditions, Wilsons Promontory is still spectacular. Here it is in all its moods. As usual, click on the first image to display in full screen slideshow.