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.
6 thoughts on “Still in Victoria!”
Hi guys, as you already stated “there is no rush, so absolutely no point taking risks!” I think that would be the right thing to do. You photos are beautiful by the way. Enjoy yourselves during your waiting time. 🙂
Hi HJ – it was right to wait – we heard from other yachts that they got 80 knot – 140kms – gusts! But things have quietened down a lot. We got out before dawn and are now motor-sailing in cold, drizzly weather! From way too much wind to not enough!
You can’t win with the wind. Keep warm, at least you are finally heading in the right direction. Cheers S🐬
After a gloomy start in drizzle at 4am, we are now in the sunshine but not much wind and some swell. As you say Sue good to be on the move again!
A suggestion that you may find useful for “avoiding” overnighters – leave at about 3.00 am after an early night. Everything organised the night before – wake up and go. This allows you to get some real rest and then sail for 20 hours or so and then have another good sleep with a sleep in. I have done it a few times and like it for the 160 miles from Coffs to Southport or Coffs to Port Stephens. You can put the hammer down during the day and back off again at night. The anchor and nice sleep after doing it is very different from a midday to midday overnighter, no befuddlement and haziness at all. You tend to go faster because most of the sailing is during the day and safer because you leave the harbour you know in dark and can often make it into the new harbour in daylight which is nice. 133 miles in 20 hours is only just over 6.5 knots. With a good wind you could romp it in.
Hi Phil – yes a very good option and more palatable than the all day all night exercise. We did something similar to what you are describing for Lakes to Skerries with a 4am departure.