Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Six days of exploring

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Six days of exploring

Week two
Day seven
We farewelled Glenda and Peter and set to restocking the supplies and doing the laundry and other "housekeeping" before heading out on the water again! We cruised straight down to Bunga Arm to the same spot as last time - deep water right up to the shore, protection from the south westerly wind and a short walk to the beach had convinced us that this was the perfect location. We were lucky to arrive before a smaller cruiser and get the prime position! It was too windy for the waterskiers so we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with a couple of walks breaking up our laziness. A delicious roast beef dinner and red wine finished on the Flybridge capped off  another day in Paradise.
Sunset and wine - a perfect combination!
Week three
Day one
Cruising out the channel this morning we stopped at Ocean Grange for a quick look - making plans for later, perhaps - then continued on, stopping at Metung for a couple of supplies before making our way east and finding a new place to rest - a swing mooring in Harper's Bight, halfway between Metung and Lakes Entrance. It's a peaceful haven where you can watch the boats zip by on their way east and west but enjoy calm water and lovely bird life along the shoreline. With the day warmed nicely we enjoyed an afternoon swim to shore, then returned to Manookatoo for a cuppa before a quick "squirt" in the Brig across the channel and along past Fraser Island to Barrier Landing, where there were crowds of boats along the jetty and the shoreline. We pulled up on the beach and walked across to the ocean - a shorter, steeper walk than Ocean Grange, with hot sand making our feet burn! It was nice to return to the peace and seclusion on Manookatoo, where our satay chicken and "Sue's famous fried rice" was our delicious dinner.
Another beautiful sunset - Harper's Bight
Day two
The first fishermen heading east woke us early and we enjoyed our cuppa and toast on the back deck before packing up and heading west again, stopping at the Metung Farmers' Market to pick up some fresh produce for lunch and dinner including local prawns, fresh rhubarb and even a couple of dim sims! Untying from the busy jetty we continued  our journey west, passing Raymond Island and Point Wilson on our cruise along Lake Victoria. We dropped anchor just off Loch Sport and enjoyed our prawns for lunch and cooked up our rhubarb for later, then we boarded the Brig for a trip to shore where the Captain caught up with an old friend at the Tavern. Returning to Manookatoo we continued west, entering the McLennan Straits and cruising past Hollands Landing and several fisherman along the banks.
Cruising in the Brig on Lake Wellington
We reached Plover Point, on the edge of Lake Wellington just before 6pm and tied up, enjoying a walk along the shore before our barbecue dinner. The views of the setting sun over wetlands enticed us into the Brig and we cruised out into the lake for some sunset photos. Rhubarb with fresh cream topped off our lovely dinner!
Day three
The sunrise woke us early so after an early morning cuppa we untied and started our cruise east again. We motored down the McLennan Straits and back into Lake Victoria, where we enjoyed breakfast as we cruised along. The journey from Griffin Point in the west to Point Wilson, or Sperm Whale Head, takes about 2 hours at our cruising speed, so we sat back and enjoyed the ride, interrupted only when a small boat, containing a family of four, with a dodgy engine needed a tow in to Wattle Point Jetty.
Follow the arrows......
Turning south again after passing the point, we cruised along the channel and back into Bunga Arm - obviously a favourite - returning to our previous spot at Egret Camp in time for lunch. In the  afternoon we took a trip in the Brig to Steamer Landing; walking across to Ninety Mile Beach for a look we were amazed at the crowd on the sand - so different to our usual walks! Dinner tonight was inventive - Zucchini Quiche, Chow Mein and Rice - but delicious!
Day four
With a hot week predicted we decided on an early morning "blast" into Paynesville to restock the larder, fill the water tanks and the Brig's fuel tank - at our speed it was a three hour journey! When we returned there were some ski boats at the previous mooring so we chose a quiet place a little further down - Dotterall Camp. As with all the camps along Bunga Arm it has everything well set up with toilets, barbecue pits, plenty of flat ground for tents and a short stroll through the bush to the Ninety Mile Beach. Every time we climb the last sandhill we marvel at the wild beauty before us - we never tire of that first glimpse of the beach.
We indulged in hamburgers and red wine for lunch then relaxed the afternoon away, with further treats of oysters followed by roast pork for dinner - we certainly don't skimp on our food when we are cruising!
Day five
A cloudless blue sky this morning promised the sun would be fierce, but with a cool breeze across the water we were certainly in the best spot! We enjoyed another early morning stroll to the beach with a short walk along it - the tide was up so the sand was quite soft. Returning to the boat we enjoyed our morning swim surrounded by a school of tiny fish.
Our own secluded spot on Bunga Arm
The Captain was keen to explore the top of Bunga Arm so after breakfast we took the Brig and off we went, zipping east across the calm water, away from the skiers and into the quiet zone,  passing only two boats on the way. We motored until it was too shallow, then tied up to the shore for a walk to the beach, however we could only get to the top of the sandhill as it was a high, steep drop on the other side. Returning to Manookatoo we enjoyed our second swim of the morning. Finding places in the shade is always easy on Manookatoo as her decks are so wide and well covered and we were certainly kept cool by the breeze. Late in the afternoon we strolled to the beach again, tempted by the flat conditions but returning to the safety of the lake for our swim. Salmon was delicious for our dinner, then we grabbed the camera and returned to sit on the beach for a gorgeous sunset.
Sunset on Ninety Mile Beach

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