|Vessel Name:||Red Cloud II|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Beneteau 393|
|Hailing Port:||Hillarys, Western Australia|
|Crew:||Norm and Shelley|
We upanchored from our anchorage shown in the photo a couple of hours before dawn and motored to Adelaide, where we took a berth at the RSAYS. Greg left the next day and I stayed a few more days to clean up and tidy down the boat. Little were we to know that a major pandemic was just around the corner and there were only days of civilisational normalcy left. But we are determined to complete the circumnavigation of mainland Australia as soon as we can. There looks to be some very interesting sailing in the next 1600 miles. And of course we look forward to sailing with our friends at the HYC CIC, and catching some crays over at Rottnest, maybe even cruise to the Abrohlos again.
We ended up staying in Portland for a week waiting on suitable weather. Jessica needed to get back to Perth so my son Greg joined me for the next leg. We ate out a lot which put paid to my theory of losing weight on a cruise, seemed the opposite was occurring. We left in overcast and cold weather. The first night was cold, dark, no horizon but the occasional light onshore, moderate swells from two directions mixed in with a following sea, real vomitous conditions. But we were used to it by the second night, and there was never a better sight seen from the deck than coming up on Kangaroo Island with a following dawn sky. We rounded the headland, covered with eagle slicing wind generators (the money may have been better spent on ventilators but that is another story). We anchored up open roadstead, just south of Wirrina in the morning for a sunny day in a calm anchorage. Greg fished and I slept.
We sailed non stop from Lakes Entrance to Portland over three nights, arriving early on the fourth day. The direct route from Wilsons Promontory to south of Apollo Bay takes a line a long way offshore into the Bass Strait. But we had moderate easterlies most of the time until the wind built on the last night. Eventually we were sailing in pitch black directly downwind, tack gybing a deeply furled headsail, which tended to keep us both up a lot of the time. I said to Jess as we approached Lady Percy Julia Island in the dark that we best make sure not to hit it because we didn't want to be spending the night swimming with the great whites that congregate there. When we arrived in Portland harbour they gave us a nice sheltered berth in the marina and members of the yacht club came over and met us with some keys to their club facilities. Couldn't be better, and it was also a homecoming of sorts as we had lived on an acreage near Portland 25 years ago. The photo is rounding Wilsons Prom, I didn't realise there were so many islands and cruising anchorages located there, but unfortunately we had to keep on.
We were originally aiming to reach Refuge Cove to the east of Wilsons Promontory, but the weather report deteriorated with strong south westerlies to replace the easterlies of the last few days. So I sms'd my sister Missy and said we would be coming in. The sea was fairly flat but the visibility in the smoke was so bad that I couldn't see the leading lights and the dredge was in operation as well. But we got in OK more by luck than skill, another lesson to take on board for next time. We took a luxury security berth, which was notable for having a security door, that someone could just jump a waist high hand rail to get around. But we had a great time with Missy and Lex, eating out heaps and getting shown the sights. Really great decision to go in.
We upanchored at 2am Australia Day morning for the motor sail to Jervis Bay, taking a courtesy mooring at Hole in the Wall on the south side of the bay. We chose a mooring really close to the shore where the weed seemed to make our depthsounder indicate a depth that would have put us well and truly on the bottom, but we didn't touch so all was OK. Did some swimming off the white sand beach and also sailed for a day to the north to pick up supplies. The photo shows the bushfire smoke, sailing west into the sunset after rounding Gabo Island for our second night at sea after leaving Jervis Bay.