Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Weekends at the Lakes

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Weekends at the Lakes

Once summer holidays were over, we decided that we loved the Gippsland Lakes so much we'd leave Manookatoo there till after Easter; so we committed to fortnightly visits from Melbourne to keep our souls soothed and our spirits up. In just three hours we could drive away from suburbia to peace on the water, and the Captain could combat his withdrawal from daily boating by regular trips on friends' crafts in between.
Our regular escape was a Friday night on Duck Arm with a barbecue dinner, a cruise back to Paynesville for supplies and then a night at Bunga Arm - the walk on 90 Mile Beach is always a highlight.
Flagstaff - the perfect mooring
Antipasto lunch
The Labour Day weekend offered a chance for an extra night! The captain left home early on Friday to prepare the boat, the first mate enjoyed a train trip to Bairnsdale. We cast off from the Marina in the early evening and picked up a buoy in Picnic Arm that night, with drinks on the Flybridge and a delicious steak and prawns on the BBQ making it a nice start to the weekend. Early next morning we cruised over to Flagstaff Jetty, happy to tie up at the floating dock before taking the Brig across to Lakes to shop. Seafood and sparkles, Antipasto and Italian Bread purchased, we returned for a walk across to the Entrance before our Antipasto lunch. With friends also staying on their boat on the jetty we met for pre-dinner drinks and delicious steamed mussels - harvested from the jetty pylons by Jenny just a few hours before!! When washed down with a lovely bottle of bubbles they made a wonderful entree to our seafood dinner.
Early next morning we cast off to cruise back to Bunga Arm - there is nothing nicer than a night all alone at a campsite on the water with the sounds of the ocean in the background. We arrived before lunch - Chicken fillets on the barbecue, and enjoyed an afternoon lazing on the boat. An afternoon walk to the water before the sun went down was most enjoyable, and the "red sky at night" suggested a beautiful day ahead. Warming weather made the prospect of a swim even more reason to be there.
Red sky at night - sailors' delight!!
A roast pork dinner (with more mussels as the entree!) capped off another lovely day on the water. The next day dawned bright and sunny so we enjoyed a swim in the lake after our morning walk and before a healthy spinach and tomato breakfast. Cruising back to Paynesville we enjoyed lunch at the Marina while we prepared ourselves for departure.
Looking over towards Ocean Grange
The final weekend of our term one visits started with lunch at the Metung Hotel, enjoying balmy weather before a cool change. We chose a different destination that night - Boxer's Creek - a favourite of the Captain's but somewhere we had not stayed on Manookatoo before. After an early morning walk we cruised out again, keen to return to Bunga - our favourite - but, realising the weather was less conducive to a beach stop, we settled for the jetty at Ocean Grange instead. It was lovely being tied up to the jetty, looking out over the historic house and hearing the ocean in the background. As the grey clouds rolled in overhead we started up the generator for our roast lamb dinner, knowing that the heat of the oven would keep us quite warm. Manookatoo is so comfortable that cool weather is never an issue! We will enjoy many lovely weekends as winter passes, but we will also look forward to the start of Spring and the return of the warmth.

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