Slowly moving ever closer to Melbourne, today our destination was LIMEBURNER'S BAY.
Photos: Just some of the sights on the way to Limeburner's Bay.
Yep... birds on stuff.
Almost in the water!
Nasty sandbar with breaking waves in the Bay
Big fire somewhere
Melbourne through the haze.
It's an odd name so I'll put in a small history tidbit right about here...
**! The bay was named after lime kilns located on the east side of Corio Bay, used to burn limestone for making cement. Nowadays, Limeburner's Bay is characterised by open, shallow tidal water, which supports a high diversity of birdlife and has listed as a Wetland of International Importance. Yep, that's about it.**
We got through the doglegged marker buoys at Limeburner's at high tide, which is just as well because low tide would definitely have had us grounded. The bay is just lovely, tiny, shallow and packed with the vessels belonging to the members of the Limeburner's Lagoon Boat Club. As we neared one of the two public mooring buoys, we had to be careful not to run into any of the dozen tiny dinghy yachts being sailed around the bay by students from the adjacent Geelong Grammar School.
Photo: Approaching Limeburner's Bay with the You Yangs behind
Despite the shallow water alarm's incessant beeping, we managed to tie off without scraping the bottom, which was a definite plus considering we'd been worried about the depth. If the keel had been any deeper, we wouldn't have got in at all.
Photo: Beautiful Limeburner's Lagoon Yacht Club
After a nice cup of tea and as evening fell, Dave dropped the dinghy into which we loaded the bikes (Dave had a couple of maintenance things to do on them) and we tootled along to the boat club to see if anyone was there and hopefully meet some of the locals. We actually had no need to be hopeful because there were locals aplenty and right from the first hello, they turned out to be a first-class bunch of people with the kind of club we were used to. No pretences, no snobbishness, just great, down-to-earth friendly folk. We felt right at home. Introductions were made all round and we found ourselves in the company of a whole bucket load of Peters and a barrel full of Rons as well as the usual sprinkling of Daves, not to mention Sandy, Mandy, Carolyn, Rudy and so many others whose names I can't remember but who made us feel so welcome. They freely gave us so much invaluable advice and information and so many ideas about the best places to moor and berth around Port Phillip Bay and beyond, where was free or cheap, who to talk to. Just brilliant.
Photo: Just a very small number of the wonderful yacht club members.
The most hospitable and generous of all was Peter McKinnon who basically took us under his wing and immediately offered not only his club key, but his services should we need to go anywhere. Though initially we felt that we didn't want to put him out at all, once we found out that the nearest supermarket was miles away, we figured we may just avail ourselves of his bighearted offer. Dave and he chatted about the bikes, how we needed to find a particular gear part, what they were like to ride, which then had other members asking if they could take them for a spin and naturally we said yes.
After ordering ourselves a pizza (which was delivered to the club... a regular occurrence apparently) and with Dave chugging beers and me sipping a cider, it felt more and more like the GIYC and all was good. We left the bikes ashore to use at a later time. By the time we left to go back to the boat it was pitch dark. There were no lights on the dock and very little light from the street around the bay. The moon wasn't around and so we had to basically squint our way through the water to try and find home, which was parked a fair distance away. Dave was feeling just a little bit tipsy and a whole lot happy, and apart from almost running us into a moored boat, we didn't tip over or drown or anything! That night I slept like the dead on one of the stillest moorings we'd come across, despite the fact that the wind came up overnight.
Photo: Night view from the boat.
The following day we took Peter up on his gracious offer of taking us to the shops, but it turned out to be a full on tour of the area, including shopping centres, the best and cheapest chemists and petrol stations, how to get to there going different ways, showing us sights and giving interesting facts and even taking us all the way to his hometown of Lara where the bike trail near the boat club led. It was fantastic. After more than half an hour, we were dropped at the large shopping centre and left to it with instructions to just give him a bell when we're done and he'll pick us up. Seriously, I had never met such a generous individual. As it is, Carolyn and her fella were walking in as we were walking out with phone in hand to call Peter and they kindly gave us a lift back.
It rained heavily all day so we didn't even manage to get off the boat. We read, we snoozed, Meh!
The weather had cleared and so we went ashore once more. We had to wait to tie up at the jetty while some of the group boarded a little tinny with the most tragic looking rescue dummy ever, which was used for man overboard practice. The last one had apparently fallen apart because they kept rescuing it with gaff hooks. Yikes!!
Photo: Taking the dummy out for some rough treatment. :)
The first person we came across on shore was Peter, who was going to be heading Beckley Park Community Market in Corio, and offered to take us along. I could never say no to a market so Dave went back for the backpack and off we went, but Peter had other ideas before we actually went market-ward. Unbeknownst to us, Peter had ordered the gear part for the bike and was going to take us in to town to pick it up! I mean... wow!
Then before we knew it we were being given the royal tour around Geelong where he knew we were going to be mooring for a while when our newest granddaughter arrives. It was totally unexpected and just another thing this very wonderful man did for us just out of the goodness of his own heart. After the sightseeing in Geelong, we went to the market, which is held every Saturday, and just wandered around. Peter went one way to buy his cheap ciggies, and we went another and just wandered. Then it was another trip through Lara where he dropped the ciggies off with his daughter, a bit more of a drive around and then back to the club. It was an excellent time and Peter... you're a absolute LEGEND!!
Today was going to be an interesting day. The weather was beautiful and the decision had been made to ride the bike trail to Lara, a 6 kilometre journey from the club to the highway, with Lara just beyond that. With helmets in hand and the backpack filled with stuff, we dinghy hopped to the jetty, grabbed the bikes and went. The path was wide, well maintained and ran alongside the wetlands all the way to the highway. Along its length people were jogging, walking their dogs, cycling. It was gorgeous.
Photo: Many Kilometres to ride.
The view along the way. Many feathered friends.
Half way along we took a seat and were joined by another cyclist who stopped to ask about our bikes. She then chatted with us for more than 15 minutes about another market that was happening in Lara, the bikes, travel and the Hume and Hovell monument (initially I thought she'd said the Human Hovel Monument. O_o ). I was still amazed at how friendly the people were.
We made it to Lara with no problems at all. There was a bit of up and also some down but mostly it was flat ground and with the wind behind us, the going was good. We didn't linger all that long in Lara itself. The market turned out to be another 8 kilometres on the other side of town and being a Sunday, a lot of the shops were shut and basically, I am kinda lazy so the extra bike ride didn't appeal to me so after a bite to eat and a bit of a look around, we headed home.
Okay, who's idea was it to ride home in a head wind??!! No, seriously! Who was it? Pffft. There seemed to be a little down and one hell of a lot of up on the way back and it was hard going on the 12" pizza wheels but we broke it up by stopping at the wetlands and having a wander along the boardwalk through the bird habitat and what can only be described as questionable mangroves. For some reason I expected a little more but the only mangroves I saw were some roots beneath the shallow edges of the river. A kind of super mini mangrove that never quite seems to break the surface.
Photos: At the Limeburner's Wetland Sanctuary.
Looking back over the sanctuary towards the yacht club.
We did find the boardwalk itself quite interesting though, as someone had cut a wide, straight swathe through the scrub and plants and then a zig-zagging, snake like structure had been installed. It was as though there had been zero communication between the guy who bulldozed the route and the people who were going to establish the piles so as a consequence, either side of the wooden path, rather than tracking through 'untouched wetland', runs through an eight metre wide, dead straight gouge. Hopefully one day nature will once again reclaim the ugly rent and it really will seem as though the walk goes through virgin territory. Oh, and yes, there were some birds there too but I am pretty sure it wasn't breeding season as most of them were ducks, swans and ibis.
We got back to Limeburner's absolutely knackered. The ride had been about a 14 kilometre round trip. Worth it if I lose some weight I guess but I'll be more than a little miffed if I do all this exercise and nothing happens. Of course one day the tim-tams may have to go, and the chocolate for dessert, and the biscuits.... *sigh*. We were almost tempted to hang around at the club but in the end it was a nice, quiet rest we needed. We parked the bikes and went home to a nice cup of tea
Photo: Swan storm near the boat
The day started with rain and never let up so Dave went shoreward and collected the bikes. It was a shame because we didn't really get to catch up with anyone from the club before we were due to leave. We readied the boat for departure the following day and basically did nothing but mess about on the computers or read. Rain can be a bugger when space is short and the jetty is a long dinghy ride away.
So far this had been one of our favourite places to be.
CAP'N DAVE EDWARDS.
A true sailing dreamer with one life goal in mind; to live aboard a yacht and circumnavigate Australia. He loves being on the water at every opportunity, and loves the challenges that the waters can throw at him. [...]
Dave is a bit of a nerd, a whole lot of geek, a huge computer software guru and all around smart, clever, hyper intelligent, super funny, fabulous good guy whose hobby turned into a habit, which then led to work as an IT security consultant (or professional hacker!) working with important people in important government departments doing important stuff. This has kept him off the streets for a few years now but the time has finally come to lay aside (but not entirely put down) the tools of his brainiac trade and settle into a more sedate and simple life on the sea.
A bit of a Jack-of-all-trades and avid learner of ALL the things, he'll love it.
FIRST AND FAVOURITE SHIPMATE: TERRY JACKSON
A reluctant and not-quite-natural sailor whose dream, funnily enough, was not actually to live on a boat or go anywhere near bitey things with big sharp teeth or sucky giant tentacles that happened to live in the ocean. I also have a teensy fear of drowning and deep water.
I am a late-bloomer wildlife artist whose ambition at one stage was just to be a great Mum. Well, having achieved that with honours (and whose not-too-shabby progeny are now producing their own offspring), I then discovered at the age of 47 that I had a bit of a talent with wildlife drawing. Now, being the complete dag (Dag: noun, Australian and New Zealand Informal : an amusing, unusual person) that I am, it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I actually have a talent that had been hidden for a very long time. Check it out sometime www.drawnwild.com . You can also find my Drawn Wild page on Facebook.
A bit of a gutless wonder who is a little reluctant about technical things such as tippage, windage, flappage and a lot of other sea related things ending in -'age'. Will I ever get used to calling it a head? Will I ever remember my knots? In time, I do believe I will (well, the knots anyway. A toilet is a toilet... end of story)! :)
Dave and I have been together since November 2002 after meeting through interesting circumstances. A little more on that later.
** If anyone is actually interested in the ramblings of a 50+ sailing newbie-ish, artiste extrordinaire and the clever one who actually knows about boats (thanks Dave [...]
xx) as we begin 'the dream', then feel free to contact us. Assuming that I keep it up, I'll be adding quite a lot of things (don't quote me on that)... I have been known to have a slight problem with procrastination. I would go further into that but I can't be bothered just now :)