2017 March – Melbourne to Cowes

Posted by on March 31, 2017


Total Sailing time : 31h52m (1912 minutes)
Travelled distance : 258.35 km (139.50 nm)
Average Speed : 8.10 km/h (4.37 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.06 km/h (7.59 knots) on 2017/03/07

2017-03-03 - FROM Whyndham Marina TO Outside Whyndham Marina

Trip start : 2017/03/03 15:18:44 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-03T05:18:44Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/03 15:26:26
Trip Duration : 0h07m (7 minutes)
Start Point : 144.708358,-37.967891
End Point : 144.712585,-37.965709
Travelled distance : 1.05 km (0.57 nm)
Average Speed : 9.05 km/h (4.89 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.96 km/h (6.46 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.442 km (0.239 nm)

After extending our stay for a day for one last burst of work on the floor, we dashed out just before dusk to just outside the marina. Unfortunately there was a bit of wind that evening and we spent an uncomfortable night at anchor.

2017-03-04 - FROM Outside Whyndham Marina TO Melbourne CBD

Trip start : 2017/03/04 10:03:13 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-04T00:03:13Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/04 15:12:03
Trip Duration : 5h08m (308 minutes)
Start Point : 144.712493,-37.965618
End Point : 144.945205,-37.817440
Travelled distance : 33.47 km (18.07 nm)
Average Speed : 6.52 km/h (3.52 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.98 km/h (6.47 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 26.239 km (14.168 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.11 km/h (2.76 knots)

Colleen was dropped back in the marina to take the Festiva to Ballan to be a bit of a project for our nephew, and David took XTsea into the CBD to take the kids out to dinner. Timing was excellent, as Colleen was on hand to grab the ropes as David arrived. After a nice meal at a nearby Indian restaurant, we intended to pick up some stuff at the chandlery and supermarket and scoot off the next day. We took some liberties and hung around a couple of days.

2017-03-06 - FROM Melbourne CBD TO Brighton

Trip start : 2017/03/06 10:02:34 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-06T00:02:34Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/06 12:48:31
Trip Duration : 2h45m (165 minutes)
Start Point : 144.945114,-37.817268
End Point : 144.982635,-37.915901
Travelled distance : 23.74 km (12.82 nm)
Average Speed : 8.63 km/h (4.66 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.43 km/h (7.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 11.451 km (6.183 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 4.16 km/h (2.24 knots)

Some strong winds met us as we passed under the Westgate bridge. We made our way to Brighton and anchored just off the famous Brighton bathing boxes. Lovely colourful view from our windows.

Brighton bathing boxes. Colourful!

Late afternoon the kite surfers came out to play.

Kite surfers off Brighton

That’s a FOILING kite-board!! That thing MOVED!

2017-03-07 - FROM Brighton TO Frankston

Trip start : 2017/03/07 09:12:15 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-06T23:12:15Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/07 13:40:00
Trip Duration : 4h27m (267 minutes)
Start Point : 144.982772,-37.916110
End Point : 145.111053,-38.143951
Travelled distance : 35.33 km (19.08 nm)
Average Speed : 7.94 km/h (4.28 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.06 km/h (7.59 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 27.714 km (14.964 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.22 km/h (3.36 knots)

More strong winds meant we were moving well, but of course it moved to be on the nose when we wanted to get into Frankston. We anchored in front of the sailing club, and visited the sand sculptures, went out to the movies (Logan) and partook in an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.

The Frankston Sand Sculptures.

David had to go into the CBD to sign some paperwork in a few days, so we hung around so he could take the train into town. With time to kill we took a bus into Dromana and took a trip on the new Arthur’s Seat chairlift. The new one was a step up from the old rickety open-air chairlift that was torn down years ago.

On the new gondolas at Arthur’s Seat

At the top we enjoyed a ludicrously expensive lunch, then took a stroll on the track around the park.

David took his trip into Melbourne to sign the paperwork and catch up with his dad, sister, brother, and our kids. Returning with our re-certified LPG tank and some more goodies from the chandlery. Colleen remained on board and when David arrived back she jumped into action to pick him up from the pier in the tender. Unfortunately the Yamaha was not wanting to cooperate and Colleen had already thrown off the rope. After ten minutes of pulling and drifting away, Colleen had to grab the oars and paddle her way back to XTsea. Eventually David stripped off and swam out to meet Colleen and used some manly skills to get the motor going.

Wanting to give the motor a good run, David went for a bit of a hoon. Unfortunately the speed managed to pull off a patch and the tender developed a big leak, needing a train ride into Mordialloc to pick up some adhesive which kept us in Frankston for a few more days.

2017-03-18 - FROM Frankston TO Tassells Cove

Trip start : 2017/03/18 08:41:24 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-17T22:41:24Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/18 11:03:33
Trip Duration : 2h22m (142 minutes)
Start Point : 145.113357,-38.144321
End Point : 144.991867,-38.304370
Travelled distance : 23.51 km (12.69 nm)
Average Speed : 9.93 km/h (5.36 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.30 km/h (6.64 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 20.720 km (11.188 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.75 km/h (4.72 knots)

A lovely motor-sail to Tassell’s Cove, a dog-friendly beach just next to the entry to Martha’s Cove marina. A pod of dolphins escorted us for a while, with two tiny calves in the pod.

Port Phillip dolphins on our way to Mount Martha. Two cute babies in the pod.

Anchored off Tassel’s Cove. Plenty of puppy action every day.

2017-03-20 - FROM Tassells Cove TO Dromana

Trip start : 2017/03/20 15:51:20 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-20T05:51:20Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/20 16:24:47
Trip Duration : 0h33m (33 minutes)
Start Point : 144.991882,-38.304481
End Point : 144.957733,-38.331661
Travelled distance : 4.31 km (2.32 nm)
Average Speed : 7.83 km/h (4.23 knots)
Peak Speed : 9.19 km/h (4.96 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 4.243 km (2.291 nm)

2017-03-21 - FROM Dromana TO Sorrento

Trip start : 2017/03/21 14:05:53 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-21T04:05:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/21 16:24:30
Trip Duration : 2h18m (138 minutes)
Start Point : 144.957763,-38.331710
End Point : 144.743286,-38.332180
Travelled distance : 20.55 km (11.10 nm)
Average Speed : 8.93 km/h (4.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.90 km/h (6.42 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 18.707 km (10.101 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.13 km/h (4.39 knots)

Change was in the air. We started out with a nice beam breeze, but the wind died, then came from the wrong direction, then the rain came. We made our way towards Sorrento but I would advise vessels with a deeper draught NOT to follow our track as it became quite shallow. We initially tied up to the public mooring, but the design of the mooring was such that we knew it would bash us all night and probably wreck the tramps, so we went a bit further south and dropped the pick.

2017-03-22 - FROM Sorrento TO Portsea

Trip start : 2017/03/22 12:27:50 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-22T02:27:50Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/22 16:37:09
Travelling Time : 0h22m (22 minutes)
Trip Duration : 4h09m (249 minutes)
Start Point : 144.743255,-38.332038
End Point : 144.714920,-38.318290
Travelled distance : 3.98 km (2.15 nm)
Average Speed : 10.86 km/h (5.86 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.03 km/h (7.57 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 2.906 km (1.569 nm)

A quick trip around the corner to get us out of the swell had us parked in front of the Portsea hotel. Strong winds from the wrong direction helped us decide to hang around for a couple of days. We took the opportunity to take the short ride down to the military complex at the point. We skipped most of the Quarantine Station, but took our time to explore the artillery positions and forts down to the point. A great place to spend some time, and the windswept views of Bass Straight inspired us for the journey to come.

Colleen deep in the bowels of Fort Nepean

2017-03-24 - FROM Portsea TO Cat Bay, Phillip Island

Trip start : 2017/03/24 08:58:11 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-23T22:58:11Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/24 17:26:43
Trip Duration : 8h28m (508 minutes)
Start Point : 144.714813,-38.318389
End Point : 145.145812,-38.496780
Travelled distance : 65.47 km (35.35 nm)
Average Speed : 7.73 km/h (4.17 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.17 km/h (7.11 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 42.471 km (22.932 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.01 km/h (2.70 knots)

A small delay as we upped the anchor as we had managed to wedge the Excel Sarca under a big mooring chain. The winch managed to pull up the chain far enough to grab it and tie it up, and we dropped the anchor back through to free it up.

This was our sixth trip through the Heads, and the first one where David was confident that he had it right. High or low tide at the Heads is NOT slackwater! Slackwater actually occurs when it’s high or low tide at the top of the bay! Lesson learned and we had a hassle-free trip through one of the most dangerous passages anywhere.

Once we turned the corner, the sails had to be put away and the motors did the work until we rounded Cape Shank. Pulling into Cat Bay, we dropped the anchor close in.

2017-03-25 - FROM Cat Bay TO Cowes

Trip start : 2017/03/25 08:32:39 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-24T22:32:39Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/25 09:45:31
Trip Duration : 1h12m (72 minutes)
Start Point : 145.146041,-38.496650
End Point : 145.241088,-38.446151
Travelled distance : 12.26 km (6.62 nm)
Average Speed : 10.21 km/h (5.51 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.81 km/h (6.37 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 9.999 km (5.399 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.33 km/h (4.49 knots)

A nice motor-sail around to Cowes past picturesque coastal views and avoiding the swarm of fishos. Colleen’s parents met us for afternoon tea on board. Cowes now boasts an Aldi, a Coles, and a Woollies so Colby looked forward to a bit of shopping.

Late in the day Liseron turned up with Bruce and Tracey on board. They had been our neighbors at d’Albora Marina for seven months and are on their way up into southeast Asia.

XTsea and Liseron at dusk near Cowes pier

2017-03-27 - FROM Cowes TO Hastings

Trip start : 2017/03/27 08:29:20 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-26T22:29:20Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/27 13:51:43
Travelling Time : 2h12m (132 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h22m (322 minutes)
Start Point : 145.240875,-38.446338
End Point : 145.198486,-38.309249
Travelled distance : 17.62 km (9.51 nm)
Average Speed : 8.01 km/h (4.32 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.41 km/h (6.70 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 15.685 km (8.469 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.12 km/h (3.84 knots)

We were running low on water, and gale force northerlies would make where we were anchored very uncomfortable, so we decided to dash up to Hastings and grab a bit of shelter overnight as well as top up the tanks. A slow trip north under motor had us being bashed about by short waves, and we turned into the channel in front of Hastings with some relief. It was a lot calmer in the inlet, but still too blowy to attempt to tie up to the fuel dock, so we grabbed a mooring to wait it out.

Hastings Yacht Club gave us a call on the VHF inviting us to tie up at their dock, so when the wind swung around we made our way in and with the assistance of a couple of friendly chaps who didn’t mind getting wet, we were soon secured. We topped up the tanks and spent a relaxing night enjoying their hospitality.

2017-03-28 - FROM Hastings TO Cowes

Trip start : 2017/03/28 07:45:12 (Adjusted Local) (2017-03-27T21:45:12Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/03/28 09:43:56
Trip Duration : 1h58m (118 minutes)
Start Point : 145.199249,-38.309459
End Point : 145.240890,-38.446308
Travelled distance : 17.01 km (9.18 nm)
Average Speed : 8.65 km/h (4.67 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.42 km/h (5.62 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 15.643 km (8.447 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.95 km/h (4.29 knots)

Leaving early, we made our way back to Cowes. On the way we passed ex-HMAS Otoma, a decommissioned Oberon-class submarine which will eventually be moved ashore and opened as a tourist attraction.

ex-HMAS Otoma, moored off Hastings and soon to be moved onshore as a tourist attraction

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