2017 June – Gippsland Lakes

Posted by on July 3, 2017


Total Sailing time : 23h49m (1429 minutes)
Travelled distance : 221.98 km (119.86 nm)
Average Speed : 9.32 km/h (5.03 knots)
Peak Speed : 20.86 km/h (11.26 knots) on 2017/06/10

Our last full month in the Lakes. The overnight temperature is starting to get a bit nippy, but on the plus side the driest June in recorded history meant that we usually have a bit of sun trickling into the solar cells.

This month we enjoyed a visit from David’s father (another David), our kids (with a boyfriend in tow!), and another from our yachting and hockey mates Brian and Carrol. A last visit from some of Colleen’s family early in July will see us start the trip North.

2017-06-03 - FROM Picnic Arm TO Picnic Arm VIA Paynesville

Trip start : 2017/06/03 10:01:28 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-03T00:01:28Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/03 13:00:40
Travelling Time : 0h59m (59 minutes)
Trip Duration : 2h59m (179 minutes)
Start Point : 147.681549,-37.943641
End Point : 147.681594,-37.943580
Travelled distance : 9.82 km (5.30 nm)
Average Speed : 9.98 km/h (5.39 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.50 km/h (6.74 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.007 km (0.004 nm)

An emergency trip into Paynesville to top up our ice-cream supply. We had intended to hang about in Paynesville, but the weather blew up so we retreated to our favourite hide-out.

2017-06-06 - FROM Picnic Arm TO Progress Jetty

Trip start : 2017/06/06 12:59:39 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-06T02:59:39Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/06 13:33:19
Trip Duration : 0h33m (33 minutes)
Start Point : 147.681457,-37.943408
End Point : 147.723739,-37.921131
Travelled distance : 5.50 km (2.97 nm)
Average Speed : 10.01 km/h (5.40 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.84 km/h (6.93 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 4.459 km (2.407 nm)

The long-promised visit from David’s father had actually arrived, so we popped into Paynesville to pick him up. He had brought along some fishing gear too, so we needed a quick visit to the bait shop as well.

2017-06-08 - FROM Progress Jetty TO Ocean Grange

Trip start : 2017/06/08 10:39:44 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-08T00:39:44Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/08 13:30:00
Trip Duration : 2h50m (170 minutes)
Start Point : 147.723617,-37.921249
End Point : 147.761383,-37.962661
Travelled distance : 20.89 km (11.28 nm)
Average Speed : 7.37 km/h (3.98 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.55 km/h (6.23 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 5.672 km (3.062 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 2.00 km/h (1.08 knots)

Off to Ocean Grange! We took dad through the straight to see a bit more of the town, then managed a spinnaker run along the north side of Raymond Island, before dropping all sail and motoring towards Ocean Grange. David spotted a stationary sail off in the distance and correctly guessed that someone was having a bad day.

We made our way through the channel, and headed towards the craft in trouble to see if they needed assistance. Sure enough, a small yacht (Extasea!!) was just outside the channel and was stuck fast. The skipper was in his jocks after a quick swim to examine the situation underwater, and they were trying to get themselves off with full sail and a small outboard. We grabbed a line and and eventually managed to pull them free with the mighty Yanmars!

2017-06-09 - FROM Ocean Grange TO Lakes Entrance

Trip start : 2017/06/09 12:03:00 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-09T02:03:00Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/09 15:01:30
Trip Duration : 2h58m (178 minutes)
Start Point : 147.757932,-37.961448
End Point : 147.985504,-37.882680
Travelled distance : 28.44 km (15.35 nm)
Average Speed : 9.58 km/h (5.17 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.46 km/h (8.34 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 21.798 km (11.770 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.34 km/h (3.96 knots)

We motored into Lakes Entrance and enjoyed a meal of fish and chips. They certainly know how to do fish well in this region!

2017-06-10 - FROM Lakes Entrance TO Swan Reach VIA Metung

Trip start : 2017/06/10 10:39:45 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-10T00:39:45Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/10 16:00:00
Travelling Time : 3h49m (229 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h20m (320 minutes)
Start Point : 147.979187,-37.884429
End Point : 147.862656,-37.823538
Travelled distance : 32.59 km (17.60 nm)
Average Speed : 8.54 km/h (4.61 knots)
Peak Speed : 20.86 km/h (11.26 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 12.268 km (6.624 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 3.21 km/h (1.73 knots)

We motored back to Metung early, and after some precision parking we wandered around the farmers market for a while. For such a sleepy little hamlet there were a lot of people!

Precision parking at the Metung Hotel Jetty. There is actually a large powerboat on the port side we squeezed past. Royce would be proud!

After lunch were were heading down to Wattle Point, when we saw Solaris pop up on the AIS. This was an 1160 we knew from a Seawind regatta a few years back, so we set an intercept course and waylaid them. We exchanged contact details and had a bit of a chat in the middle of the Lake, and pledged to get together before we headed off. Ken also suggested that we would easily be able to make our way up the Tambo River, so after we parted that’s where we headed.

Dad and Dave.

Sure enough, The Tambo was quite wide and we glided up with no problem. Being a long weekend (Queen’s Birthday) there were plenty of people camped out along the river trying there luck. We actually landed a small fish ourselves, but it was undersized.

Tied up at Swan Reach. That’s the Princes Highway there, and that bridge means this is as far as we go.

We eventually got to Swan Reach, where power lines and a bridge carrying the Princes Highway stopped us going further, so we tied up to yet onother public jetty for the night. Dad and David popped up to the pub for a quick beer before we settled in for the night.

2017-06-11 - FROM Swan Reach TO Paynesville

Trip start : 2017/06/11 10:01:40 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-11T00:01:40Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/11 12:14:10
Trip Duration : 2h12m (132 minutes)
Start Point : 147.863076,-37.825007
End Point : 147.719663,-37.920329
Travelled distance : 20.46 km (11.05 nm)
Average Speed : 9.30 km/h (5.02 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.27 km/h (7.70 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 16.456 km (8.885 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.48 km/h (4.03 knots)

The kids were arriving today, so we headed back to Paynesville. If anything, there were more people camped out along the river this morning, and it looked like a few were partying hard. One woman jokingly tried to hitch a lift from Colleen at the helm, and then some guy at the very next campsite blessed our passing with a rare brown-eye!

Tieing up to Progress Jetty, we awaited the arrival of our kids. It’s a long drive to Paynesville, and the extensive roadwork signage along the way does nothing to speed up the trip, so it was late in the day before they arrived. Andrew had hockey commitments most weekends so this was our only opportunity to catch up with him, and Cassie had brought Aaron along which was good as we had not had a chance to meet him. Another couple of her friends also tagged along (bearing plenty of booze and cheese! Welcome anytime) hoping to pick our brains on how living aboard was working. They were planning to buy a cheap ferro-concrete boat to live aboard and we may have saved them from making an expensive mistake when we warned them of the chance that insurance might be unobtainable and therefore they would not be able to get into a marina.

At dark they left us, and we motored around to the Motor Sailing Club for a meal at the Thai restaurant. Brian and Carrol joined us and we all enjoyed a great meal. We can recommend the meals there! At the end of the night we motored back to Progress,and reconfigured the boat for sleeping, squeezing six adults in.

2017-06-12 - FROM Paynesville TO Barrier Landing

Trip start : 2017/06/12 10:02:53 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-12T00:02:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/12 12:14:18
Trip Duration : 2h11m (131 minutes)
Start Point : 147.718540,-37.922621
End Point : 147.939646,-37.893051
Travelled distance : 23.51 km (12.69 nm)
Average Speed : 10.77 km/h (5.81 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.86 km/h (9.10 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 19.674 km (10.623 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.01 km/h (4.86 knots)

Next morning it was time to bid our family farewell. Dad headed back to Melbourne early, followed soon after by the kids.

Seeing off Andrew and Cassie, and wishing Stu a happy 50 at the same time

Brian and Carrol were staying on for a few more days, and Brian wanted to do a spot of fishing. We headed to Barrier Landing, which is very near to Lakes Entrance itself.

Tied up at Barrier Landing with our friends Brian, Carrol, and Sparkie on Fat Bottom Girl

A motley crey. David, Brian, Colleen and Carrol

Only a solitary Aussie Salmon was big enough to keep from the surf fishing, so David and Brian headed off in the tender to try their luck on the Lakes side. Not a nibble! Another try at surf fishing managed one more Salmon worth keeping so at least we got a meal out of the effort.

Brian and Carrol returned home, but we stayed on a couple of days longer.

2017-06-16 - FROM Barrier Landing TO Lakes Entrance

Trip start : 2017/06/16 10:06:39 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-16T00:06:39Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/16 10:34:09
Trip Duration : 0h27m (27 minutes)
Start Point : 147.941552,-37.893637
End Point : 147.984380,-37.882543
Travelled distance : 4.55 km (2.45 nm)
Average Speed : 10.11 km/h (5.46 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.06 km/h (7.05 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 3.955 km (2.135 nm)

Tied up at Lakes Entrance. Dave’s beard is coming in nicely for winter.

2017-06-18 - FROM Lakes Entrance TO Metung

Trip start : 2017/06/18 10:39:45 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-18T00:39:45Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/18 12:26:00
Travelling Time : 1h22m (82 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h46m (106 minutes)
Start Point : 147.979187,-37.884429
End Point : 147.855514,-37.892158
Travelled distance : 12.27 km (6.62 nm)
Average Speed : 8.98 km/h (4.85 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.40 km/h (5.62 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 10.887 km (5.878 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.96 km/h (4.30 knots)

2017-06-19 - FROM Metung TO Paynesville

Trip start : 2017/06/19 10:04:56 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-19T00:04:56Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/19 11:28:53
Trip Duration : 1h23m (83 minutes)
Start Point : 147.857481,-37.894208
End Point : 147.719550,-37.920700
Travelled distance : 14.92 km (8.06 nm)
Average Speed : 10.79 km/h (5.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.60 km/h (7.34 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 12.454 km (6.724 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.00 km/h (4.86 knots)

2017-06-24 - FROM Paynesville TO Boxes Creek

Trip start : 2017/06/24 10:04:02 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-24T00:04:02Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/24 11:36:07
Trip Duration : 1h32m (92 minutes)
Start Point : 147.718859,-37.922363
End Point : 147.874636,-37.880464
Travelled distance : 16.70 km (9.01 nm)
Average Speed : 10.89 km/h (5.88 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.89 km/h (10.74 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 14.440 km (7.797 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.41 km/h (5.08 knots)

Ken and Lynn on 1160 Solaris had popped down for the weekend, so we arranged to meet up and sail across to Boxes Creek – one of their favorite hiding spots. Of course an informal race developed, but with our large genoa and larger mainsail we had a distinct advantage. Wanting to tie up to a pole on the bank, David jumped down but found the sand was hard as cement and bruised a foot. Lynn also struck difficulty, finding her boat sliding back into the water resulting in her getting her pants wet.

We spent an enjoyable afternoon discussing all things Seawind. David repaired the anchor controller on Solaris (corroded wire in the power circuit) and gave a stock of our old LED halogen-globe replacements. We had upgraded every light on the boat to Narva 87500-12 fittings, so we had plenty of spares.

Rafted up next to Ken and Lynn on Solaris in Boxes Creek

David doing some splicing work.

Ken and Lynn headed back to civilization (and work) on Sunday leaving us to spend a tranquil couple of days up the creek.

2017-06-27 - FROM Boxes Creek TO Paynesville

Trip start : 2017/06/24 10:02:19 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-24T00:02:19Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/24 12:03:35
Trip Duration : 2h01m (121 minutes)
Start Point : 147.875619,-37.882007
End Point : 147.723778,-37.920958
Travelled distance : 17.01 km (9.18 nm)
Average Speed : 8.43 km/h (4.55 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.37 km/h (7.75 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 14.008 km (7.564 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.94 km/h (3.75 knots)

We headed back to Paynesville for one last provisioning at IGA (baked Beans were on special!) and a final check of the mail. David took the opportunity to post on a Facebook yachting Buy-Swap-Sell page to see if anyone had a spinnaker pole that might suit, and as every back shed in the region seemed to have a boat in it he scored a hit and we soon were the proud owners of a pole!

The pole was a 60mm aluminium job with Ronstan beaks, and it was about 3200mm long. This was a terrific size for our genoa, allowing it to be held wide out when running downwind. He decided to mount it on the cabin top alongside the solar panels where it would be out of the way so he happily dived into organising mounts on the boom and cabin top.

2017-06-30 - FROM Paynesville TO Metung

Trip start : 2017/06/30 10:03:20 (Adjusted Local) (2017-06-30T00:03:20Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/06/30 11:35:51
Trip Duration : 1h32m (92 minutes)
Start Point : 147.723205,-37.922278
End Point : 147.855875,-37.892133
Travelled distance : 15.26 km (8.24 nm)
Average Speed : 9.95 km/h (5.37 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.35 km/h (8.29 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 12.112 km (6.540 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.89 km/h (4.26 knots)

David setting our new spinnaker pole for the first time

Thanks in part to our new pole, we enjoyed a great sail down from Paynesville to Metung. The pole allowed us to present maximum sail area to the wind, and kept the sail from deflating when the wind shifted into what normally would be a gybe. Combined with our downhaul on the mainsail, we are now nicely rigged to take advantage of the expected southerlies as we head up the east coast.

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