Our leaving the Victorian coast has seemed elusive. This is a bit frustrating and proving to be an exercise in patience. We left Melbourne on 30 July, 2 weeks ago, and are still in Victoria! We keep having to remind ourselves that for us now there is no rush, so absolutely no point taking risks! But it is chilly down here and it would be nice to get to the tropics soon. At this rate we will reach the Southern Barrier Reef just in time to come back down again!
The next leg of our passage is a long one: 133 miles to Eden, on the New South Wales coast. It is also a bit tricky because the current NW winds are OK to start with, but then as you round Gabo Island and Cape Howe and start heading north, you are faced with head winds.We also have the added challenge of trying to avoid doing overnighters. They are just unpleasant and hard with just the two of us. So our hope is to get the right conditions to sail to the Skerries, a group of rocky islets 100 meters offshore of the Wingan River mouth. That’s 75 miles from Lakes Entrance, and if there is little swell we can anchor there for the night, then cover the 58 miles to Eden the next day. So that is Plan A. Plan B is to grin and bear it and do the 133 miles in one long run.
We had planned to leave on Friday, 11 August, but the gale warnings right along the coast kept us tied up at the Flagstaff Jetty, just inside the Gippsland Lakes. “Let’s go Saturday” we said, but that did not work either. And so we have waited till Sunday to leave Lakes Entrance.In the meantime, while in the flat waters of the Lakes, we have taken the opportunity to smooth out teething problems with our email connections, mail redirecting and other typical stuff that goes wrong on a boat! And although it has been very windy, it has also been sunny and not as cold. So while at the Flagstaff Jetty, we have been able to go ashore for walks on our own or with our brave pussycat, Bengie, who loves a gallop on her leash. This is a handy spot to check the conditions at the bar and the entrance to the Lakes. We often call it the anteroom to Bass Strait.
Here are a few images of our time at Flagstaff.