Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Summer's End and beyond

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Summer's End and beyond

Even as life returns to the city and the days get shorter, we try to make the most of times on Manookatoo. The Captain is always keen to spend as much time as he can on the boat but the first mate, with work commitments to balance, finds a trip to Lakes a fortnight quite enough!
We continued to enjoy a social time in February, with friends Ian and Joanne joining us on our first weekend; we enjoyed dinner on the Friday night at the Motor Cruising Club in Paynesville but cruised to the solitude of Bunga Arm for our second night, at Egret campsite.
Our next weekend on the water together was the Paynesville Music Festival so it was a great chance to catch up with friends, listening to "The Wizard" at the Wine Bar on the Friday night and enjoying a beachside three course dinner - complete with candelabra - outside the Yacht Club on the Saturday night. We certainly know how to enjoy ourselves!
 The Captain was keen to see the Classic Boat Festival on the following weekend - he particularly enjoyed seeing the boats cruise past while he was on the Raymond Island ferry.
The following weekend was Labour day so we made the most of three days on the lakes, with the first night relaxing at the jetty on Raymond Island, then a leisurely cruise to Bunga Arm for a night, a trip to Metung Pub to listen to "The Uncles" and catch up with (many different) friends, followed by a night at Boxes Creek, before returning to Paynesville then home.
Easter is early this year so we planned our return to Melbourne on Manookatoo for the end of March. The Captain stocked the boat with supplies and moved to Lakes Entrance in preparation and we travelled to Lakes by train and bus on Good Friday. We had a couple of lazy days in the lakes before the wind and weather was right for travel, so we relaxed on Flagstaff Jetty for a day - the first mate even made some hot cross buns, then we cruised around from Flagstaff to Bancroft Bay for a drink at the Metung Pub and a night at Boxes Creek, finishing with lunch in Lakes and an early night at Flagstaff with a 5am start on the Monday. We followed a fishing trawler out through the bar - it was certainly easy to see where to go!! Then we headed right, following the coast for the day and reaching Refuge Cove at Wilsons Promontory just after 5:30pm.
We cooked ourselves a delicious roast chicken and enjoyed the solitude as the waves rocked us to sleep. The next morning we left a little later - 6am - rounding the Prom just before sunrise and enjoying the trip along the coast with the southerly breeze. We entered Cleveland Bight, the eastern entrance to Westernport Bay, just after 3:00. passing under the San Remo bridge on the running tide and tying up at the jetty at Rhyll for the night.
Our plan was to head to Port Phillip Bay so we left Rhyll at 8:30 the next morning, however after rounding the island and passing Cowes, the outgoing tide met the incoming swell to create lumpy, unpleasant conditions, so we turned Manookatoo around and headed up the bay instead, deciding that Hastings was a much nicer alternative! The wind picked up as the day continued and we were very pleased with our decision, enjoying a nice dinner at the local tavern with Julie and Gary Plumley that night.
Not wishing our holiday on Manookatoo to end prematurely, we cruised the next day up the bay, enjoying lunch on the water and dropping anchor behind French Island, in Chicory Lane, for a final night on our own. The weather was perfect and we toasted our good fortune as the sun set - and another beautiful time on the water drew to a close.

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