05 April 2009 | Hastings-Geelong
08 January 2008 | Wilsons Prom
01 September 2007 | Port Stephens to Pittwater
30 August 2007 | North Qld
29 August 2007 | Nth. Queensland
28 August 2007 | Queensland
27 August 2007 | Manly - Queensland
24 July 2007 | Queensland
23 July 2007 | Brisbane - Queensland
05 April 2009 | Hastings-Geelong
I had planned to sail from Hastings to Geelong for a family reunion on long weekend in March. Bob, Kerry's Brother and Gus, Bobs granddaughters Husband wanted to accommpany me on the sail. They were so eager and really looking forward to the trip. We took of at 10am to catch the right tide out and hopefully the right tide into Port Phillip. Well 1 mile out of the entrance to Westernport Gus started to turn green and shaking quite badly. The seas were quite rough but nothing to worry about, unfortunately Bass straight can get very rough with very little wind, its more the currents that causes the sea to move so much. I was in two minds to turn back but thought it will get better the further out we sailed. About half way Bob started to feel sick and admitted he had thrown up downstairs, Oh great now my whole crew is sick. I sailed on and things did pickup the closes we got to Port Phillip, Gus was not getting better in fact he was really shaking and I was concerned about his health, to me he was dehydrating quite fast. I rang Kerry and asked her to meet us at Queenscliff, luckily she had already decided to that route and said that she will wait at the marina. We sailed through the heads and quickly made our way to the Queenscliff Marina. By the time we got there Gus and Bob were feeling a lot better. When we tied up Gus jumped off and kissed the ground. I think this will be his last sailing trip. Bob stayed aboard for our trip to Geelong, we had a great sail and Bob is now a hooked sailor. We will be taking two weeks holiday in a few weeks so we plan to sail to Wilsons Prom and Deal Island, Bob wants to come along, I hope its not to rough.
08 January 2008 | Wilsons Prom
We had a few days to let Moody Blue loose on Bass Straight, so we decided to sail up to Wilson's Prom 85 NM away. The first day was light winds 10-15 knots from the south so we enjoyed a brisk sail for 3 hours until the wind died, we then motored into Oberon bay which is on the west side of the Prom. What a beautiful bay with no-one around except a small motor boat, we anchored at 5 pm and enjoyed some lovely fishing and a very peaceful night. The next day the wind was up from the North east so we headed off for Refuge cove, by the time we rounded South east light the wind was gusting up to 45 knots and getting a bit rough, Luckily the cove was not far and by midday we were anchored safely in the magnificent bay. It no wonder everyone said you must go the refuge cove; it is picture perfect with protection from all winds. There were at least 15 yachts moored and lots of bush walkers roaming around. Wilson's Prom is a wild life sanctuary so access can only be made by Foot or Boat. Kerry and I really enjoyed our stay and will definitely return. We left for home at 10.30 am the next day, as soon as we were out of the cove the wind started to pickup from the east and we enjoyed a great sail to the South light and then turned for Westernport bay with the wind building to 30 knots, we had the wind coming from behind us and off our starboard stern now and we were reaching 10 knots at times. We enjoyed a great sail back with the wind gusting to 40 knots at times, we rounded the point of the bay at about 11pm which was a little scary because we know there is dangerous rocks jutting out from the headland so we gave it
Plenty of room heading into the bay. GPS and Radar are great but at night when you cannot see anything one always has that fear of hitting something, we picked up the channel markers and motored into Cowes where we anchored and went straight to bed.
We had sailed around 100 KM that day and averaged about 7.5 knots. The next day we arose early and headed back to Westernport Marina for new years eve, the weather forecast was for light winds and 42 deg of heat, needless to say Kerry and I spent a lot of time swimming and dangling our legs in the water.
Wilson's Prom is Victoria's answer to the Whitsundays in Queensland, sure Queensland has better weather but I can honestly say the Prom has the cleanest water I have ever sailed in and the bays and coves are second to none, from the prom you can sail around all the islands and up the east coast of Tasmania to Hobart, a trip Kerry and I will be doing as soon as we can get the time. Kerry and I have dreamed of sailing up the east coast to Queensland and retiring someday, I think now we may re-consider and have a look in our own back yard first.
Sydney to Melbourne
16 September 2007
Left Pittwater at 2.30 PM on the 6th of September 2007.
I gave John Kersal my travelling friend a quick run down on Moody Blue as we motored down Pittwater channel heading out to the Tasman sea. We motored sailed past Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, the winds were not as expected so running the Volvo and picking up any advantage from the wind shifts was going to be the plan. I made sausages for dinner and we started our 3 hours on 3 hours off stints. It became obvious that sleeping would be a problem with the consistent hum of the volvo. Friday morning saw us around Port Kembla with the wind still in our faces and building, we ploughed on regardless until we were 5 miles past Jervis Bay, the waves were starting to crash over the bow so we decided to head back to Jervis Bay to shelter and wait for a wind change. This rest gave us time to shower and eat a decent meal, not to mention sleep without the throb from the Volvo. Jervis Bay is a great sea mooring. It is protected and they have mooring buoys about 100 metres out from the shore which still gives you plenty of depth. We left the bay at 2.30 PM and enjoyed some nice light sailing for a few hours accompanied by the odd Dolphin.
I learnt from the night previous to make the evening meal well in advance so I also took the time at Jervis bay to make some Spag bolognaise. As per the usual the wind quickly swung to the direction we need to take, this was becoming frustration because the forecasts were for SE-E winds and they were S-SW winds, this time they were only light so the Volvo did it easy. We went back to our nightly routine and found ourselves at Naroma at first light on Saturday morning.
Dawn at sea is something special, not sure what it is but it just makes you feel something deep, like a huge respect for this magnificent Ocean, its power and its beauty. I sailed for two hours while John slept but once again the wind was just not playing fair. The Volvo was paying its way and slowly pushed us into Eden at 1 PM. Eden is the ideal place for a Marina. Unfortunately they only have a rustic pier, which is for short term visits only.
The winds were swinging to the North so we quickly got some supplies and headed off for Gabo Island and then Wilsons Prom. WE had a nice smooth evening and I put some steak on the Barby with some fresh greens, John must have been thinking how good was this, he was on a great ocean Yacht and eating like a king and being paid for it, doesn't sound right!!
The winds from the north were light but a nice help for the engine. As I sat there on my 12 to 3 am stint the winds were picking up lifting Moody blue to near 7 knots, the sky was full of stars, its just an amazing place to be, but I must say, one feels so vulnerable out here on the ocean, its like she is saying yes you can pass, This time.
Early morning on Sunday we were having nice light northerlies and slowly building to 15 knots, John and I just commented we need this all day. We did not have a good angle so we decided to put up the Genaker to try and boost speed, after fumbling around for a while we had her doing 7.5 to 8 knots, our luck ran out and by 10 am we were using the good old faithful Volvo. We have to push to Refuge Cove some 100 KM away to avoid a lurking low that we didn't really know its position. The rest of Sunday we motored getting the occasional puff from the god of winds and our position was 10 KM north of the southern point of Wilsons prom. Monday we will keep pushing and should make the turn by 3 am. We expect Northerlies all day and quiet strong that will hopefully have us close to the heads by 5 or 6 pm.
Passing around the islands at 3am was a little errie at times but very exciting, at around 4.30 we set course straight for Melbourne, we did discuss heading west to sail close to the coast for added protection just incase the wind did get up. Our decision proved to be wrong as the wind built up from a strong wind warning to gale force at times hitting 45 knots, we did manage good speed at times 8.5 knots. By the time we were 20 miles from Western port the wind was swinging more from the west and our boat speed was down and the Yacht began taking some big hits with the gunnels unable to drain the wash from the waves, I made the decision tack and head for the cover of Westernport bay. The yacht struggled to make head way crashing into some big seas. By 5pm we were safely cruising towards Westernport marina where the coastal patrol had already booked us a safe berth. Finding our way to the marina was a little tricky but the maxsea software was very accurate and we could basically just follow the chart and put her on the spot. Electronic charts are fantastic when they are well charted and up to date. We berthed at 6.30 pm and our passage from Queensland to Melbourne was just about complete.
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