TUESDAY MARCH 25th.
The sail from Limeburner's Bay to Docklands was about 8 hours long but fairly interesting in itself as we followed the shoreline. We sailed slowly past the explosives jetty at Port Wilson which, during peacetime would see navy ships unloading their ammunitions and explosives and then go on into Melbourne. This was not done during wartime. The structure itself is a 2,700 metre long steel and concrete jetty and wharf.
Photo: Long, long ammunitions jetty.
Photos: Boats and stuff.
Photo: The view to Melbourne.
Tankers and vessels of all shapes and sizes zigzagged across the bay towards their assorted destinations. It was certainly the busiest waterway we'd seen so far and I was certainly occupied enough to stop my brain from telling my stomach to feel pukey. I did have a little Nana nap and woke in time to see a seal doing the same thing on top of a big yellow navigation buoy. We're still not entirely sure how it got up there unless it totally launched itself out of the water in one flying leap.
Photo: A flying seal?!
Photo: The HMAS Adelaide tied up in Williamstown on the way to Melbourne
Photo: Sea plane also at Williamstown.
Coming under the Westgate and Bolte bridges was slightly harrowing because even though I knew the mast was miles away from the bridge, when you're sailing underneath, depth perception becomes somewhat skewed to the point where the mast seems to have maybe 10cm of clearance, rather than 10 metres or more. It was kind of freaky.
Photos: The bridges Westgate and Bolte.
I was initially curious about the gigantic columns in the centre of the Bolte bridge and wondered if perhaps they were a mistake of some kind or they were going to do something with them at a later date but no, nothing of the kind. They were an 'aesthetic feature', done deliberately by the architect. The columns aren't even attached to the bridge and are hollow, with a door at the top for... something. Seems a bit wanky to me.
We tied up in Docklands and were greeted by Angus who gave us the pass codes for various gates, elevators, and the Marine Lounge which was totally private and contained sofas and dining area, computer with free Internet access, a barbecue on the balcony, a kitchen, 2 full bathrooms and a washing machine, dryer and folding area. They even supplied big, white, fluffy towels and bath mats. Gosh we felt special and where else could you get completely secure and scenic waterfront accommodation in the middle of Melbourne for $45 a night? Harbour Town shopping precinct and even better, the free City Circle Trams were just a couple of minutes walk away. Brilliant! I spent the evening having a lovely long shower, catching up on Internet videos and watching a bit of telly.
Photo: Dave cooking dinner :)
Photo: View from the Marina Lounge balcony
And from the time we pulled into the pen until we left we had admirers looking at the boat, even going so far as to have their photos taken with her. She really is a pretty thing (as Dave never stops exclaiming.)
Photo: Dragon Boat practice on the Yarra
Photo: Party boat on the Yarra at night.
Photo: Typical Melbourne weather.
I'm not going to go into much detail about Melbourne simply because it's a capital city and I could write all day about the history, the places and so on and still not be able to convey anything that's here for the uninitiated. I guess if we were going to be here longer than 2 days it might be different but as we're not, it isn't. :)
WEDNESDAY we looked around Docklands and went to Harbour Town. I love the wide open spaces around Docklands but as yet it isn't as thriving as it could be and apparently there are plans afoot to bring some life into the area. I hope so. It's lovely and yes, I'd totally live there if I could have the city/water views.
Photo: The Melbourne Eye.
Photos: Sculptures around Docklands
THURSDAY we caught the free tram and trundled into town. We possibly should have made a few plans but as it is, we just tram hopped and wandered. Though we would have liked to do more, we ended up seeing only the market (I say only but it's HUGE!) and Federation Square, with a wander back to the tram along the Yarra. It was a gorgeous day but in the end the knee goblins came a-visiting with picks and jackhammer's at the ready, just waiting to bring me down. Well screw you goblins ... I managed to hobble home (wait... does that make them hobble-goblins???) 😃
Photos: The famous Melbourne trams.
Photos: In and around Melbourne.
Photo: Us on the big screen in Fed Square
Photo: Traffic jam on the Yarra
When we got back to the boat we packed up, released the lines and headed for Williamstown, which was less than an hour out the way we'd come. Our destination was a public mooring in, I discovered when I steered us in, almost disturbingly shallow water and possibly slightly less comfortable nights than we'd just had. Oh the fun!