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Friday, 20 December 2013

The boys'own adventure

When we decided that the Gippsland Lakes looked like a nice place for the summer on Manookatoo, there was only one way to get the boat there.....cruise there! The First Mate does not yet have the confidence, competence or time to allow her to do this, so it was up to Captain Martin to find a couple of "likely lads" to accompany him! He started preparing the boat for a big trip and checking out the weather........
Saturday, 30th November was the day when the sun shone and the breeze was light to non-existent. Manookatoo cruised out of Yaringa Marina just after 2pm.
Leaving Yaringa behind.....
After collecting the two likely lads from Hastings, the plan was to cruise down to Cleveland Bight, just off Phillip Island and rest until morning, but with the weather so benign it was decided they would keep going, out into Bass Strait and head east. They enjoyed the afternoon passing all the towns and coastal features along the way and cruised into the evening, taking it in turns to rest on the settee to keep themselves awake and alert. Rounding Wilsons Promontory at about 2am, they continued east, but the wind started to increase. With a rising swell making travel less than pleasant, it was decided that they would take shelter in Refuge Cove until the conditions improved.
A walk up the hill gave a perfect view!!
The next day (Sunday) was spent resting, going ashore for a walk and generally chilling out. Phone reception was non-existent, but fortunately one clever lad has a satellite phone - something Captain Martin will purchase soon!! Contacting family in Melbourne, they were able to establish the weather forecast for the next 12 hours. It was decided that Monday would provide optimum cruising conditions so they had an evening of relaxation with a delicious barbecue (more of Mario's steaks) and a reasonably early night.
Relaxing with steak and red wine at the Prom
At 10am on Monday, with conditions perfect, they left Refuge Cove and continued east, passing to the north of the many oil rigs in Bass Strait and arriving at the Lakes Entrance bar at about 1am on Tuesday. The plan had been to wait about 2km offshore from the entrance until daylight but it was a still, moonlit night so, with engines fired up they powered in with no problems and tied up at Flagstaff Jetty at 1.15. After celebratory beers they went to bed for some well earned sleep. The next day was spent touring some of the beautiful Gippsland Lakes, including lunch at the Metung Pub, before finding Manookatoo's new home and settling her in. We certainly have a summer of adventure to look forward to with many new places to explore!!
Chilling out on the Gippsland Lakes will be our summer pleasure

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