Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Lakes Entrance to Eden

Finally got around to an update...

11th March we left Lakes Entrance 0915 on an outgoing tide. Very rapid ride between the breakwalls, over a couple of standing waves and out into Bass Straight heading East. We were greeted by an oily sea and gentle swell.

Glenshiel VII leaving Lakes Entrance across the bar

Old navigation techniques
 Motored for a couple of hours and around 1100 a nice little breeze from the SSW appeared. We think it was 10-15 kn(our instruments decided to stop functioning the night before we left...Murphy's Law!) Rounding Gabo Island at 0200 and with Green Cape light visible we had a good reference point and were heading North on the East Coast.

Boyds Tower  just south of the entrance to Eden
12th March we arrived in Twofold Bay, Eden at 0900. Jed and Jude were already tucked up and sleeping by the time we got there. We dropped anchor in Snug Cove, had a quick breakfast and slept for a couple of hours. 140nm in 24hours. Spent the next couple of days exploring Eden, swimming, walking and helped John remove all our ST50 wind and depth instruments yesterday(Friday 16th) and sent them off to Sydney. Most likely a 'Code Lock' problem(inbuilt security setup). Luckily we will manage with our charts and GPS/plotter between here and Sydney.

The elderly really know how to get around in style in Eden!
Two potential crew members...
...then word got around there was a free ride to the Pacific!
Serious splicing...

...serious fenders (these were for the navy ships that come into Ben Boyd Bay)
15th March John and Jed rode their bikes the 52km return trip to Merimbula while Jude and I caught the bus. Spent the day looking around there and headed back to Eden. Had a walk out to Boyds Tower for a look and took some snaps, discovering more history about the whaling in this area. Pretty gruesome.

Mr Boyd was very wealthy...

While waiting for whales the men used to play draughts. This stone was outside the tower.

...and thought so much of himself he put his name everywhere!
Inside the tower
Tucked into Ben Boyd Bay during a southerly buster and waited for good weather to head for Bermagui. From here we had a good view of Edrom Lodge and walked to Boyds Tower from here. Unfortunately the lodge looks straight out onto an enormous woodchip pile and quite often large ships wait at the industrial jetty to fill up. I couldn't bring myself to take a photo. I'm Tasmanian.
Edrom Lodge

Lots of logging in this area. Tourism working with industry? Really makes you want to go and stay there, doesn't it?

At least with all the heavy logging going on around the area, the locals are still happy!
Looking north from Boyds Tower across the bay to Eden.
An anticlinal fold just below the tower

Looking south from Boyds Tower
25th March 0700 headed north and had a beautiful sail in a 10-15kn(we think, without instruments) S SE all the way to Bermagui and arrived at the very respectable hour of 1445.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

...more of Gippsland Lakes

Well...we are continuing to endure the rain and strong wind here in East Gippsland. Although, there has been a bit of lassitude creeping in. We began at Lakes Entrance then to Metung where we encountred a mild case of shower block lassitude, followed by Paynesville, where despite our best efforts including spending a days budget buying used DVDs, it was obvious coffee shop lassitude was taking its toll. Now we are back at Lakes Entrance and rainy day lassitude is a real risk. We have been able to keep this ailment at bay by keeping ourselves busy. The day before yesterday(or was it the day before?) I made a cake, yesterday I cooked scones, today I decided to not eat so much so I painted my toenails. On the 7th, John and I got busy and made Lindsay(our daughter) a birthday greeting and sent it via email to her in Mexico. It worked so well we think we'll leave it there!

We were going to use the sail but the wind was too strong
 Actually, we had a beautiful walk yesterday over to the beach, part of 90 mile beach, to look at the surf and check out the bar.  The waves were great, crashing into shore and the Entrance bar looked very unfriendly. As always the beach is more than beautiful in the rough weather and you always feel like you have been renewed and energised after a walk in those conditions, especially with a ball of energy like Charlie.
A walk along 90 mile beach in the wild weather

Breakers coming in on 90 mile beach and further out

Michelle and Charlie on the beach

The sand dredge. This pumps sand from the Entrance and blows it clear of the opening.

Charlie (my 2nd favourite dog after Chester of course ...and Billie... and Lucy... and Lenny...and Bob...and Tiger)

The Team! Michelle, Jude, whats his name, Mark, Charlie and Jed

Michelle, Jude, she's with him, Mark, Charlie and Jed 
The photo I took of the bar when we first arrived is a very different picture from the one I took yesterday. It is not for us at the moment...

The bar

The way back from the walk takes you along the southern side of Lakes Entrance known as Cunninghame Arm. Along the narrow sandy beach you walk past remnants and remaining infrastructure of the 'New Works' which was based around the construction of the Entrance 100 years ago.

The buildings have changed very little in 100 years and some even remain in the same family  having been handed down through generations.

This is the reason we are still in Lakes Entrance-wind 35-45 kn around Eden

...combined sea and swell 6-7 metres! Yuk!

We may be leaving Saturday morning but we'll see...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Deal Island to Lakes Entrance

Thursday 23rd Feb we decided to leave Deal Island after checking and rechecking the weather and felt pretty good about what was ahead of us. We headed out of Murray Pass with 110 nautical miles to sail.  A steady breeze gradually increased to between 20-30 knots SW. Under full sail and broad reach we were doing a very comfortable 7 kn average. By late afternoon with the seas building we decided to sail with just the genoa, and in the process of dropping the main in a rolling sea, John let go of the main halyard, sending it swinging in to space and wrapping itself beautifully around the furled genoa. Within minutes, after us contemplating motoring all the way to the Lakes, the halyard untwisted itself and flicked up into the rigging where it stayed safely until I tried to free it once we were safely in port. It took two of us to eventually untangle it with no damage done. 
The crossing was uneventful (or to quote J Slocum...'nothing occured to move a pulse and set blood in motion'), no sickness between us, eating snacks and keeping hydrated and 2 hour watches kept us well rested . Crossing the shipping lane required a careful watch and with the aid of the AIS(Automatic Identification System) we were able to keep well clear of several large ships crossing Bass Strait. By 1930 we were heading into the oil and gas fields passing the Perch, Dolphin and Bream platforms about 25nm south of the Victorian coast. Its quite comforting in a funny sort of way to have these bright lights all around. One does not feel quite so alone. 
As we got closer to Lakes Entrance we needed to be aware of the fishing boats about, especially the squid boats with their bright lights. Its very hard to see which direction they are heading. I was studying one for quite some time pondering this when I suddenly noticed his bow wave and had to divert rather quickly! No harm done, but my pulse did move after that!

The bar at  Lakes Entrance on a calm day

To ensure we arrived at the entrance to Lakes Entrance in daylight and with the rising tide, we had needed to slow our progress to about 4kn average. So with the entrance visible at dawn from 2 miles out we radioed Paynesville Coastguard for advice on entering. With their help and that of another yacht just coming out before us we made an uneventful entry following clear blue leads and plenty of water under the keel. A further 1/2 hours motoring brought us to the Cunninghame Arm public jetty where we tied up with Glenshiel, slipped into something comfortable for a quick breakfast of coffee and toast at the cafe across the road followed by a welcome 2 hrs catchup sleep. That afternoon we met two fellow boaties, Mark, Michelle and Charlie (the Border Collie) on Kiandra, on a 6 month cruise from Sydney to Tasmania return. The seven of us got together on the grass at the marina to have drinks and nibbles and to exchange information on our respective local areas.

Guess where.

We have been in Lakes Entrance now for 5 days, I have done more repairs on the sail, we have celebrated Johns birthday(in Metung), been for bike rides and walks and have been waiting for favourable conditions to head to Eden.
So today, the 1st March we motored in the pouring rain and 20kn ESE up to Paynesville from Metung and arrived around 2 00pm. Everywhere in NSW is wet at the moment. I attempted to make a loaf of bread in the pressure cooker and it was a bit disastrous (not quite cooked, very doughy) but should come good with lashings of cream and maybe some leatherwood honey followed by a good strong cup of tea so it doesnt stuck on the way down! I am determined to make a decent loaf of bread one day. We did have one success the night before. John and I combined skills and made a perfect roast dinner in the pressure cooker.

The only thing missing is the greens

Kiandra, GlenshielVII and Sorcerer tied up at Metung

A good day for koala spotting on Raymond Island(tied up here in Paynesville)

First, you have to get inside the mind of a koala...

...then BINGO, you find one out in the wild!!