Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: September 2013 holidays

Saturday, 5 October 2013

September 2013 holidays

Sunday 22nd September - farewell Patch dog
We started the day with our farewell walk for Patch, scattering her ashes along the Dandenong Creek track she had loved to run, then we packed the car and headed to Yaringa for some time aboard Manookatoo. 
We had no real plans, other than to spend some time on the water. Hastings Marina was full, so we took the eastern channel down Westernport Bay, mooring in the shallows off the ruins of Fairhaven Jetty for a leisurely lunch. We continued south towards Phillip Island and picked up a public mooring just off Cowes. We lowered the dinghy and motored ashore to walk along the shop fronts, then returned to Manookatoo for a quiet night aboard. Checking the BOM site, we started to talk options. With 10-15 knot winds tomorrow, a trip to Port Phillip Bay was on the cards, but we would investigate further in the morning.
Monday 23rd September - we're off!!
There had been a few rolling swells during the night but nothing too worrisome and, with a favourable forecast we decided a trip along to PP Bay would be fun. We left just before 6am and made our way down the bay with the tide, doing up to 10 knots in the benign conditions and rounding West Head just before 7am. The sun  was shining and the cliffs along the way shone bright green from the lush grass cover. We entered the heads at 10:35 and, after notifying the Coastguard, waiting for a large container ship to pass, we made our way towards Queenscliff, where we had booked a berth for tonight. By late morning we were tied up at our berth, where we had lunch then walked into town. A quiet afternoon, fish and chips for dinner and early to bed, ready for our cruise up the bay in the morning.
Tuesday 24th September - the Western channel
After a windy night we woke to sunny skies this morning, so we cast off and headed up the western channel  towards the city, enjoying breakfast as we cruised along. This channel isn't used by the big container ships, so our passage was quiet and very pleasant, with views across to Portarlington and further to the You Yangs. 
We reached Sandringham Yacht Club marina mid morning and tied up against the walkway - home for the next three nights. In the mid afternoon we walked up to the shops where we bought lamb for a BBQ dinner - after a drink at the magnificent Yacht Club with views across the bay as the sun set.
Wednesday 25th September - Sandringham Yacht Club
Another windy night, with a promise of thunderstorms tonight and bigger winds tomorrow, we took a lovely walk to Hampton then came home for breakfast and a morning of "pottering". After hamburgers for lunch we packed up and caught a taxi home to Wheelers Hill to do a few chores, have a nice dinner at Fedeles and bring back more supplies tomorrow in the car.
Thursday 26th September
The thunderstorms were fierce overnight so it was nice to be ashore! We both hit the gym this morning and after a bit of errand-running we returned to Manookatoo, where gales were lashing the coast but we only rocked in the Marina. We whiled away the afternoon, had a drink at the Yacht Club to admire the waves against the sea-wall, while our lamb shanks cooked steadily in the oven. A delicious dinner!! The winds died down after sunset, promising a smooth cruise tomorrow.
Friday 27th September - exploring the city and socialising on the water
This morning was breezy so, after our morning walk along the cliff tops, we cast off and headed up towards the city, having breakfast as we travelled. The winds had obviously put everyone off water travel as it was very quiet cruising up the Yarra, under Westgate Bridge and Bolte Bridge to Docklands, our home for the next few days. A lovely relaxing day was topped off with a delicious Middle Eastern dinner with Yvonne and Martin, which made for a very pleasant experience. 
Saturday 28th September
A land based day; Captain Martin spent Grand Final Day at the MCG, Sue went shopping!
Sunday 29th September 
With Glenda and Peter aboard, we cruised around the rivers - up the Marybinong as far as the first bridge, down the Yarra to Williamstown and back to Docklands for a relaxing lunch. The wind picked up as the day went on, it's lovely to be staying in a sheltered marina.
Monday 30th September - Williamstown
Strong winds are forecast for the next few days, so we made our way back down the Yarra and only as far as Williamstown, where we tied up at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. It is lovely to have no real commitments and to be able to go where the whim and the weather allows! We spent the day wandering the streets, getting a feel for the lovely old town and planning a roast dinner. The Sea Shepherd ships make this their base while they are not saving whales in Antarctica, so we feel safe among friends!
Tuesday 1st October
The winds, with gusts of up to 142kmh on Port Phillip Bay, made for a bouncy night. It was a little calmer this morning, but there was the prospect of more wind for the next two days, so we cast off at about 10am. Martha Cove or anywhere down the bay was out of the question with the gusty weather so our next choice was Sandringham, but after leaving the protection of port it rapidly became clear that it would be a rough trip, so we quickly turned into the relative calm of the Yarra River, choosing to stay at Marina YE, near Southbank, for at least two nights.
Wednesday 2nd October - city living
We walked along both banks of the Yarra this morning; up the north side to Flinders Street Station, across the Princes Bridge and down along Southbank - a lovely morning for a stroll but, with winds picking up, not a day for boating. Sue headed down to Mornington for lunch with friends, Martin went to Hastings to catch up with the "Mariners". We headed home to Wheelers Hill that afternoon for a nice meal and a peaceful night "ashore".
Thursday 3rd October
After a few chores, we took a walk and then the train and tram back to the boat to continue our city "holiday". The weather looks promising tomorrow so we made the most of our last city night, with drinks in a few different city watering holes and dinner at The Wharf Hotel.
Friday 4th October - Martha Cove
Brett came to visit us this morning on his way to work, then, with a mild day forecast we cast off from the Marina and made our way down the Yarra. As we passed Williamstown and Hobsons Bay we enjoyed our breakfast on calm waters, heading down the bay towards tonight's resting place, Martha Cove. We were joined in our journey by two playful dolphins, who kept us enthralled by diving in front of the bow, leaving and rejoining us many times during our journey. Just before midday we entered the channel at Safety Beach and cruised up past many lovely houses to our destination, Martha Cove Marina. The water here is wide and calm, just perfect for Manookatoo, which will stay here until Captain Martin can find a travelling companion for the journey back to Yaringa. We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon catching up with family, walking the boardwalk, cooking a delicious dinner before our last night aboard - the holidays are over and it's time to return to "normal" life....!

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