Marking time at Lakes Entrance

We are marking time at Lakes Entrance. No news yet about our permit to enter NSW. We have each applied for an exemption with the Quarantine Exemption Unit at the State Health Emergency Centre. This is in addition to the main request from NSW Maritime to grant a blanket exemption to live-aboard cruisers. We could lament bureaucracy holding us back, but we have done all we can, so we wait and hope common sense will soon prevail.

In any case we could not go even if we were allowed to with the East Coast Low lingering and more bad weather coming: Strong winds, big seas, rain – not our kind of conditions.

After six months of sailing inaction, we have well and truly run out of boat projects! Only one daily ritual: the clean up of the bird poop along the jetty. Wade is getting a bit desperate.

Hosing down the bird poop!

Lakes Entrance is quite a good place to wait. It is not as social as Paynesville where we knew lots of people, but a few yachty mates have come to visit. And there is no shortage of people gawking at the big blue cat, which can get a bit intrusive at times. Yet we rather like it here: handy for groceries, more protected in all weather, access to the beach and tentalisingly close to the Entrance/Exit! Even Bengie is used to her surroundings, taking morning walks on the jetty and pretending to chase the birds away, but quick to hop back on board if danger threatens, like a pigeon… yes she is a scaredy cat!

Bengie taking the leap up!

We are keeping our sanity by going on long walks every day. This week we are taking you on a few of our wanders!

The map shows the length of the Cunninghame Arm where Lakes Entrance is located, with walking tracks on both sides of the foreshore and two bridges across to the ocean beach. Anui is moored about a third of the way up the Arm (marked on the chart) so depending on our mood and the conditions, we have several circuit walks in different directions including along the North Arm and the Narrows. So boots on, rug up and let’s go!

The colourful fleet of fishing boats along one of the Lakes Entrance jetties
Walking east, to the very end of the Cunninghame Arm
“Eastern Beach”- part of the Ninety Mile Beach with the East Coast Low blowing.
Chris found a boogie board – Finders Keepers!
Wrong day for boogie boarding though!
A little Hooded Plover has stopped scurrying along for a second
The Entrance on a sunny but very windy day. Waves are breaking right across the bar. No boat can get in or out.
The Entrance on a calm day from the Western Jetty.
On gentle days, Seals frolic inside The Entrance by the dozen.
Meet the boss!
Surf Life Saving Lookout – quite a fun building perched on the dune
North Arm looking towards the Narrows on a calm day
Peaceful North Arm
North Arm dweller – White-faced Heron
North Arm dwellers – Royal Spoonbills

And then there is the time spent comfortably inside Anui. This extended period in the Gippsland Lakes has been a good test of our boat’s suitability for long term life afloat. There is not a day when we don’t look around our home and say ‘how on earth did we manage to end up with this?” Very lucky indeed!

Chris is not the only one who plays the piano!
I can smell chicken!

Nearly two weeks after Papa’s death and a few days after his burial in Normandy with Mum, the waves of sorrow are easing somewhat and the pain is giving way to relief. We have our chats as if he was still alive; he manifests himself at any time of the day… or night. Playing the piano, walking on the beach, watching sunrises or sunsets seem to be opportune times to say “bonjour”!

Be patient. Be careful. Be grateful… it could be a hell of a lot worse!

25 thoughts on “Marking time at Lakes Entrance

  1. Great post, guys! Beautiful photos and yay for the boogie board! I hope Bengie didn’t fall in the drink making the hop up to the deck. I agree, count our blessings, it sure could be so much worse. 🙏🏻

  2. Fabulous pics as usual Christine. Glad you are able to occupy yourselves on & offshore
    You will always have memories flooding in & out of your thoughts at the most unexpected times of your loved ones – especially your Dad, having passed so recently.
    Love the pics of Benji. Stay safe.

  3. You look very rugged up for your walks. Is it very cold, or has your blood thinned out with all that tropical living? In Melbourne we’re getting cold nights and sunny days. Middle of the day walks can be done in t-shirts and a mid-weight wetsuit is fine in the Bay.

    • Hiya! We have avoided winters for a few years so yes we feel the cold and it has been chilly. Some days are warm, but there are days you do need to rug up especially when it is windy. And you know Wade is a bit wimpy!

  4. The place that you are now, looks very nice. Your pictures say a lot of your mood, you are feeling more relieved and safer in this location. You must be more relaxed and things will turn more positive. I loved, your shot of Bengie playing the piano, so you have a chef (Wade) and musical entertainment (Bengie) What else could you want now? 🙂

  5. Beaut photos Chris, as usual.
    Hope you don’t walk the whole 90 Mile Beach on your LONG walks!! 🙂

    • No way, Waz. Our circuits vary from 6 to 10 kms… a couple of hours… enough to feel tired and achy and in need of a nap or sundowner 😉

  6. Thanks for sharing your walk with us, lovely place to be. Now what about a YouTube video of Bengie playing the keys, since you wussed out😁

  7. Your photos are amazing, Chris. You’ve captured beautiful images of quite a range of birds; the scenery is stunning; and, of course, the shots of Bengie are incredible–I can’t decide if the mid-jump shot or the piano-playing shot is my favorite. I have dealt with some frustrating bureaucratic rules, but your situation regarding the quarantine rules tops anything in my experience. I truly hope that, as you said, common sense will prevail, but so often common sense is not so common.

    • Thanks Mike for catching up. Photography keeps me focused on fun or beautiful aspects of our life. Hopefully we can soon resume our cruising life. If there is anything we have learnt of late, it is that you have to stay hopeful and believe you can find some good out of frustrating or sad situations.

  8. Beautiful Photos. Thanks Chris. Is Benji an Ocicat, or Bengal? Athletic cats for sure. Big jump to the bow! I hope the State governments sort things out soon for cruisers. Seems silly as it is pretty much under control in Aussie.

    • Hi Craig – Bengie is a Bengal. She has a lot of spring for a nearly 14 year old cat… picked the highest part of the bow and furthest away from the jetty! Re the regs – We have good news to report… individually at this stage rather than for all cruisers. More coming in the next post. Thanks for staying in touch. It keeps us going!

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