Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eden to Martha Cove (8th to 19th March)

East Boyd Bay
Yes we did finally get out of Eden.  We managed to get over to the pier the day before we departed to find Xanadu still there.  He tells us that he will definitely be gone next time we pass through Eden!. We did a bit of a provision shop and some laundry for the final assault to get us home *yay*. 
Despite pangs to go north again to warmer waters think it will also be good to spend a bit of time on dry land and get us all enthused for our trip out into the pacific in 2013.  Yep this is already being discussed and planned as we venture south....

Green Cape Light
We left Eden very early on Monday morning (12th).  It was very dark and only light breezes blowing which was a pleasant change after the last few weeks.  We made good time down to Green Cape and were lucky enough to come across heaps and heaps of seals, dolphins and sea birds as we moved into Bass Strait - lovely way to start the morning. 
Due to the recent floods we did also see plenty of floating trees and other matter in the water so before night fell decided it was prudent to head off shore a few miles in the hope of avoiding any nasty bangs in the night. 

We had some good breeze from behind kick in during the afternoon which meant we had a lovely overnight sail through the oil rigs however, this dropped out in the morning and we were back to motor power to get us the rest of the way to the Prom.  Despite the lack of wind the day was gorgeous and the water so still that the dolphins we saw looked like they were swimming in a mirror.   Late in the afternoon we could finally see the prom (the day was very hazy so visibility was quite low) however, we didn't get in till around 8pm and again it was really really dark as there was no moon at all which made the entrance into Refuge Cove a little more nerve wracking than expected so we  were happy when we did manage to drop the pick and settle in for the night

Despite being a bit tired on Wednesday morning after our big sail we decided that it was such a nice day that we should go for a walk so we did  - all the way over the Little Waterloo Bay and back (~15kms).  The walk was fantastic with some beautiful views of the prom to be had but we were both a tad weary by the time we got back to the boat but had to go in for a swim which was a little more refreshing than we hoped for but might be the last one as the weather is all about to change!
En-route to Little Waterloo Bay
View of Waterloo Bay

Braveheart Sea Kayakers
As predicted a change came through yesterday evening so Thursday looks like it is going to be a bit more leisurely.  There are a few other boats anchored in at refuge so there is plenty of company.  We were also joined by a team of Sea Kayakers today who are paddling down to the north coast of Tassie for charity (Braveheart!).  They all turned up late morning and were expecting their support boat to be not far behind.  Initially it all seemed to be a bit of fun and they kept themselves amused playing games etc but things all got a bit anxious when the support boat hadn't showed and dark wasn't too far away.  Things were getting that desperate that us sailors had already come up with plans of housing the kayakers for the night but just in the nick of time the cavalry arrived and the support boat showed up - I think there might of been a few choice words muttered!

Thursday is a bit bleak again with showers around however, we braved the elements and headed off to the look out on the way to Sealers Cove - always a good spot for a walk.  We also checked up on the boat signs and were very pleased to see that the Mustang Sally Placard is still present and is now updated with details of this most recent visit.  The prom still seems to be closed to walkers which is kind of freaky but it does mean we have it all pretty much to ourselves.

Mustang Sally Sign still
hanging at Refuge Cove
Looking at the forecasts looks like we might be able to get out of here tomorrow around lunch time and if all goes well might be able to sail through the fleet on Sunday afternoon - nothing like making a grand entrance.

Well the plan kind of went half right.  We did get to leave Refuge Cove just after lunch on Friday however, the forecast of SSW winds going southerly turned out to be a lot more westerly than what we hoped for so after pushing into a 20-25knt headwind for a while we decided that it might be prudent to head to Bird Rock in Waratah Bay for the night (just near Cape Liptrap Light).  Think this was a bit of a master stroke as we had a lovely still night anchored in behind Bird Rock and after again checking the weather decided at 9.00am to make our final assault to get back into Port Phillip Bay. 

We had a lovely motor sail not far from the coast and managed to pop back in through the heads at around 9.00pm on Sunday night.  As there is plenty of shipping traffic these days we elected to go down the Sorrento Channel which is nothing but exciting when you have approx 3knots of tide pushing you along and most of the channel is unlit - thank goodness for the chart plotter and torch!
As it was late and we had a solid South Easterly blowing figured it would be a good option to anchor off Safety Beach for the night.  As we had notified a few of the locals of our impending arrival Graeme (aka Roger) offered some guidance and lit up his new home on Mount Martha as a beacon to lead us home and it certainly worked as we could see it for miles. 
We finally dropped the pick around midnight and after bit of a celebratory beer and wine hit the sack. 
After an excellent sleep we were up early and after a bit of breakie headed into the marina at Martha Cove which is going to be Sally's home for the next 12 months).  It also happens to be Mark's birthday and as he is doing such a great job as BLOG photographer he is getting an even better camera for our next adventure.

All up the log now says that we have travelled over 7,200NM since we left the heads in April 2011