Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Back to the Lakes for summer

Friday, 4 December 2015

Back to the Lakes for summer

Williamstown Marina, first light
On the weekend of 15th November, it was time to depart Marina YE and start preparing for the journey to the Gippsland Lakes. We stayed Friday night at Williamstown, making the most of it with a delicious meal at the Anchorage Restaurant. Next morning, before 6am, we slipped our mooring and headed south down Port Phillip Bay, following the big container ships before heading down the western channel, picking up a mooring bouy near the Queenscliff Yacht club just before lunch. We lowered the dinghy into the water and motored over to the jetty for some chicken for a lovely BBQ lunch back on Manookatoo. After a relaxing afternoon aboard we returned to shore for a drink in the champagne bar at View Grande, looking down on our boat as we toasted the afternoon away. An early night followed.
Queenscliff Channel
Next morning, again before 6am, we dropped the bouy and made our way up the channel before the first ferry for Sorrento departed. Crossing "The Rip" on slack tide, we turned east, passing the cliffs and beaches, rounding Cape Schanck before a late breakfast. We cruised up the bay on the tide, dropping anchor for lunch just after Hastings and motoring into Yaringa Marina in the middle of the afternoon.
Refuge Cove
The Captain was keen to get his boat "ship shape" before Bass Strait, so many days were spent checking engines and batteries, cleaning carpets and covers, preparing for the journey. With a couple of busy weekends, it was early December before he was ready.

With Ian, a new crew member aboard, keen for a new experience, Manookatoo departed Hastings Marina at 5am on Thursday 3rd. They cruised under the San Remo bridge just after 7.30 and punched out through the eastern entrance into some fairly sloppy, bumpy seas in Bass Strait, due to a south westerly swell. It was a rocky ride until they were in the shelter of the islands around Wilson's Promontory, and they entered the protected waters of Refuge Cove just before 5.30, ready to relax with steaks from Mario's butchers and a couple of cold beers.
Next morning, with a forecast of light winds, they were keen to get away early, leaving the cove at 3.50am. Conditions were perfect, with the water like glass, and they set a course running close to the Ninety Mile beach, all the way to lakes. Just off Seaspray they encountered a large pod of dolphins, who gave them about 10 minutes of pure entertainment as they leapt through the water beside the boat. With the sun beaming down the water was sparkling and the boys were having the time of their lives.
Manookatoo arrived at the entrance to the lakes in calm waters, entering easily and cruising in to tie up at the jetty just before 5pm. After tying the boat up in a friend's berth just near the floating Chinese Restaurant on the Esplanade, they had a couple of celebratory beers before heading to the local pub for a meal of local Lakes crumbed scallops washed down with a Tasmanian Pinot Noir. Another successful trip and nothing but pleasure for the summer ahead!
Trip distance: 200 Nautical Miles
Fuel Consumption: 300 litres
Travelling time: 25 hours, 20 minutes
See the dolphins frolic.....

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