Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Our final week

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Our final week

Week four
Day three
We woke to grey skies and a cool breeze this morning, starting out the day with a walk along the foreshore towards Newlands Arm. After breakfast on the back deck we headed out again hoping to spend at least a couple of days away from civilisation and hoping the sun breaks through the clouds at some stage! We tied up on the beach at Egret Camp on the Bunga Arm again, happy to be back at one of our favourite locations on the Gippsland Lakes. The First Mate went "all out" for a delicious Sunday lunch - Prawn Caesar Salad!
A delicious Sunday lunch
We lazed the afternoon away with the grey sky and drizzle discouraging much movement. A steak barbecue sharing a bottle of red finished another lovely day!
Day four
Looking out on Ninety Mile Beach from the dunes
The rain stopped so we went for our favourite morning walk along Bunga Arm, over the sandhills and back along the beach - a wild looking sea this morning and ours were the only footprints in the sand. After a leisurely breakfast we cruised back to Paynesville, tying up at our mooring and heading out in the car to Bairnsdale to check out the local "big smoke"......we didn't stay long and after a short detour to Nicholson and a stop for supplies we returned to the boat. We had invited a couple of the Captain's cronies and wives for afternoon drinks on board and decided to tie up outside the yacht club for the night. Home made pizza was enjoyed on the back deck as we watched the Raymond Island ferry crossing and
re-crossing the Macmillan Straits through the evening.
Day five
We took the dinghy across to Raymond Island for our morning walk, out to the edge of Lake Victoria and then back through the gum tree lined streets, spotting koalas as we walked. Returning to Manookatoo, we enjoyed breakfast then got some extra supplies before cruising off past Raymond Island and Metung to Box's Creek, where we drove up onto the sand to stop for a few hours.
Peace at Box's Creek
We walked up up to the lookout to check out the view, and took the Brig out for a cruise along the creek, making the most of our short stay in the picturesque inlet. In the mid-afternoon we pulled off the sand and made our way back to Metung, our "home" for the night. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the Flybridge and walked to the Metung Hotel for a delicious dinner - this is always a popular spot for mouth-watering food; seafood is a specialty so we go made the most of it, enjoying Salt and pepper calamari followed by Grilled Flounder, all washed down with a nice bottle of Merlot! We returned to Manookatoo to finish the bottle on the Flybridge before bed.
Day six
Lakes Entrance bar
We took a long morning walk out to Kings Cove Marina and back, then enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before untying our lines and heading off again, past Nungurner, crossing the entrance and tying up at Flagstaff Jetty for the night. We took a walk out to the entrance, then headed across to Lakes Entrance in the Brig to buy some food for the night's and tomorrow night's dinners, planning not to shop again until we go home to Melbourne on Saturday. Returning to the "Mother ship" we had leftover pizza for lunch and lazed most of the afternoon away, but a trip back to Lakes with a walk along the foreshores of both the front and back lakes with a stroll out across the footbridge to the main surf beach restored our energy levels! Returning to Manookatoo we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks and nibbles while the barbecue cooked our pork cutlets. Dinner was enjoyed watching the setting sun and as the fishing boats were heading out for the night we walked back to the entrance to watch them making their bumpy way out through the bar - some even waved to us as we watched.
Seals were frolicking in the waves of the entrance, no doubt enjoying many fish as they swam. Strawberries soaked in Port was enjoyed for dessert before bed.
Day seven
A fishing boat returns
A short walk back to the entrance this morning to watch those same fishing boats come back with their catch, then we left Flagstaff Jetty and headed west again, past Barrier Landing and Fraser Island, having breakfast and we passed Nungurner and Metung, then cruising across Lakes King and Victoria on our way back to Bunga Arm. There were no boats tied up at Ocean Grange and only a couple at Steamer Landing - things are quietening down after the Christmas rush! We made our way back to one of our favourite spots - Egret Camp - the tents were all gone and the campsite was clean and quiet, so we dropped anchor and tied up to the poles. A short walk to the beach, a swim, a delicious prawn lunch and a relaxing afternoon followed, interrupted by the sound of paddles as 12 canoes arrived! So much for solitude....but they were far enough away that they wouldn't disturb us. As this was our last night away from the Marina for the holidays, we had a celebratory seafood feast for dinner - oysters, prawns, flathead and salad - all bought at the seafood co-op in Lakes so deliciously fresh. Another beautiful sunset was enjoyed over the water before we retired for the night.
Another gorgeous sunset at Bunga Arm
Week five
Day one
Farewell Ninety Mile Beach - we'll be back!!
We woke to grey skies and, after our "usual" walk over to the beach and swim in the lake, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped! The weather forecast was not encouraging so we made our way back out of Bunga Arm and to Paynesville to begin the task of preparing to depart Manookatoo and return to reality. The rain started as the laundry and cleaning was done, food stocks checked and lists prepared, a shopping trip to Bairnsdale and Paynesville made. With the boat completely ready for our departure, we relaxed for the afternoon, then enjoyed final drinks on the Flybridge before dinner at the Cruiser Club. It was a lovely way to end our holiday, made even sweeter when we won a meat tray in the raffle again - there is our first dinner at home organised! Our summer holiday has been just wonderful but we are looking forward to regular trips to the Gippsland Lakes before  Manookatoo returns to Westernport Bay.

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