Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Night passage

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Night passage

Farewell Lakes Entrance!
Into Bass Strait
The weather window we had been waiting for finally presented itself! We always knew, once we left Lakes, that the first journey east would be overnight – there are few entrances between Lakes and Eden and most are subject to the seasonal water flows of spring and a high tide (Marlo, on the Snowy River and Malacoota) so a long journey is the norm. In order to reach the tricky “corner” and Gabo Island in daylight, we left Flagstaff Jetty and crossed the Lakes Entrance at 4:00 in the afternoon when the winds were still and the swell was minimal. Many jetskis were “playing” in the channel, roaring around in the waves as we cruised out. Friends Robyn and Richard from “Kool Sid” waved us away from the entrance.
A beautiful moon for visibility
As we turned left, we settled in on the rolling waves for the afternoon and evening ahead. We took off our life jackets and the captain headed for the flybridge to enjoy the last of the warmth as the coast passed by. We prepared beds in the main cabin – the lounge is the “sleeping” bed and the dining table becomes the “watch” bed. After sunset, dinner was prepared – steak and salad, to give us energy for the night. We took compass readings each hour to plot our course on the chart and each of us found our entertainment for our turn on watch – the captain watched some footy on the mobile phone and read a book, the first mate listened to podcasts and an ebook. The moon rose just after 8:00 so visibility was excellent.
With radar and the chart plotter to keep us on course, the night passed relatively easily. Several lighthouses guided our journey and, as the sun rose, Gabo Island appeared. We passed by Green Cape and started watching for the small entrance to Bittangabee Creek, our first stop, in the Ben Boyd National Park. We cruised in and dropped anchor at 10:00, pleased with our successful night passage and looking forward to a day of rest.
Entering Bittangabee Bay

Passing Green Cape
Distance travelled: 124 nautical miles
Trip length: 18 hours
Fuel used: 160 litres

1 comment:

  1. all sounds very exciting, well done on your successful first night navigating the big sea. Stay safe and wishing you both a wonderful adventure. jane barker xx