Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

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Bootneck45
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Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by Bootneck45 » Jul 4th, '17, 13:39

Hi guys,

I'm planning a run from Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove sometime in the July school holiday period, and am looking for some first-hand knowledge, tips and expertise, especially in regards to wind and tide conditions and local-knowledge of Port Welshpool boat ramp and alternative mooring sites (ie, Tin Mine, Freshwater Cove) if I bottle it before Corner Inlet.

In short, boat is a Cole 23 with an 8hp Mariner and I'm likely to be single-handed.

Thanks,

Jim

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PaulS
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by PaulS » Jul 4th, '17, 14:51

not an expert (some on here are and will hopefully be along soon). Don't go out in swell or weather with a 'E' in it - no big easterly swell or wind.

Singapore Deep is really deep in comparison to the surrounds and big swells (with an E in them) can make this area rough.

Corner Inlet has very noticable tides and tidal range - beware the mud - stay in the channel.

There has in the past been a narrow channel to suit smaller boats right next to thr northeastern tip of the prom that saves you going out the main channel.

You can in good weather sneak between mainland and Rabbit Island.

Port Welshpool has a Coast Guard - you could let them know what you are up to - people run out of fuel, get lost, break down, run up on the mud, & panic at boringly high frequency.

Take a big anchor with good holding ability for the trip. Swells come into Refuge sometime and can rock you to sleep - or wake...

Don't go too close to the shore overnight unless you want to be on it....

Tin Mine and Chinamans offer good tidal anchorages - good in winds without a 'N' in them.

You need VHF, EPIRB, Rocket Flare etc as you might wander 2NM offshore, good reefing points, bilge pumps and warm clothing.

There that should do to start with......

PaulS
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN
South Gippsland Victoria

Bootneck45
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by Bootneck45 » Jul 4th, '17, 15:30

PaulS wrote:not an expert (some on here are and will hopefully be along soon). Don't go out in swell or weather with a 'E' in it - no big easterly swell or wind.

Singapore Deep is really deep in comparison to the surrounds and big swells (with an E in them) can make this area rough.

Corner Inlet has very noticable tides and tidal range - beware the mud - stay in the channel.

There has in the past been a narrow channel to suit smaller boats right next to thr northeastern tip of the prom that saves you going out the main channel.

You can in good weather sneak between mainland and Rabbit Island.

Port Welshpool has a Coast Guard - you could let them know what you are up to - people run out of fuel, get lost, break down, run up on the mud, & panic at boringly high frequency.

Take a big anchor with good holding ability for the trip. Swells come into Refuge sometime and can rock you to sleep - or wake...

Don't go too close to the shore overnight unless you want to be on it....

Tin Mine and Chinamans offer good tidal anchorages - good in winds without a 'N' in them.

You need VHF, EPIRB, Rocket Flare etc as you might wander 2NM offshore, good reefing points, bilge pumps and warm clothing.

There that should do to start with......

PaulS
Thanks Paul, I feel I'm covered all the bases. Not an E in sight for the current weather window.

It's fear of the unknown that's holding me back, and that's no reason not to go.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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PaulS
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by PaulS » Jul 4th, '17, 15:57

“To live for your dreams, you have to be fearless in life.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN
South Gippsland Victoria

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PaulS
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by PaulS » Jul 4th, '17, 16:00

Plus the obvious - it's a long way - take a lot of fuel - enough to get there and back plus a third more - is there enough daylight? - better to start in the dark than end in the dark (generally).
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN
South Gippsland Victoria

Castle 610
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by Castle 610 » Jul 4th, '17, 19:49

Agree with the above and add the following:
11 trailable yachts did this trip 3 weeks ago and it was awesome. Singlehanding was not allowed on that trip.
There is definitely a gutter along the edge of the beach close to Mt Singapore. It shows up clearly in Navionics but be careful to watch the depth and sight the sandbars as Navionics is not exact.
You need a good anchor. The bottom at Refuge is weed over sand.
I advise a tender to access the shore at Refuge as the surge can make taking the boat in dangerous.
Telstra reception by walking up the hill
Yeah agree there is only just time to reach Refuge in daylight so try to keep up a decent speed. We had to use the motor.
Have fun its a beautiful trip.
Regards
Stephen
Stephen
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Sabre 1205 'Wasp'
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barnaclephill
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by barnaclephill » Jul 5th, '17, 10:05

No big deal in good weather. It's only 22 miles or so, and beautiful coast.

Coming out of Corner Inlet from Port Welshpool you need to go with the outgoing tide, because the tidal current is strong. You can ride the tide/current out to the delta and it will take about 2 hours, but you need to follow the channel because of the shallow depths on the side.

I cut across the delta the last 2 times, last November. On the (outermost) seaward side there is a South cardinal marker, and inland of that is 2 green posts/bouys. I cut half-way between the green posts and the last of the red ones. That would be about 38 deg 50 mins south and 146 deg and 32 mins East. I found 4 metres of depth and when I anchored there a few hours there was excellent phone and internet reception. From there it is a straight run to Refuge. A month before that time, we were in the same spot and had 3 m waves and 35 kts wind, so it all depends on the weather. (We went out to the South Card marker as we would have hit bottom with such waves).

If you get sea sick, boaters can camp at Refuge on terra firma, on the west side of the bay. The hikers camp near the eastern side, near the creek. The creek is pretty, but is advised to boil the water. Or bring enough of your own. There is a rise and fall of tide of up to about 2 or 3 metres, and you will see this on the granite rocks. How close you anchor is up to you, depending on the depth and your draft. A good anchor to the opening of the bay, and a kedge are a minimum. No radio or other reception inside the bay, but you have to walk the hill if you need that contact. I saw a boat in inside of Brown Head last time and they had a TV antenna out, IIRC.

If you have to you, and depending on tides and weather, the Lewis Channel will be lit at night. Refuge and Sealers Cove also have lights, but I found them hard to see last time. My HH GPS was fine, with the addition of a spotlight (2: one corded, and one battery) as the bay at Refuge is a few hundred metres wide. Easier in the daylight or with a chartplotter, or come in perpendicular if you have to at night first time. Not good for the nerves, but quite possible.
Plenty of chirps from the penguins swimming and an occasional seal. Beautiful place to sail, just watch the forecast. But it is only 22 or 26 miles, and possible in 4 to 5 hours. Use your engine to assure a speedy and safe arrival.
And then congratulate yourself and enjoy it.
Northerner28.

Castle 610
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by Castle 610 » Jul 5th, '17, 17:07

The gutter is roughly as shown. Thats just a guide!
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Stephen
Castle 650 'Mad Mouse'
Sabre 1205 'Wasp'
Nacra 14sq 'Vamoose'

Bootneck45
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by Bootneck45 » Aug 7th, '17, 20:54

Jimbo’s Three Rules for Life:
Rule No.1: It’s your own fault.
Rule No.2: If you see something that needs doing, do it.
Rule No.3: When there is doubt, there is no doubt.

I bottled it the night before the trip. My tow hack was unavailable and Met-Eye had the wind increasing from 10-15 kts up in to the 15-20 range. For a full half hour, I convinced myself that cancelling the trip was the right thing to do, before the bitter taste in my mouth that comes with taking the easy way out changed my mind. I was ready, everything had been prepped, and now I was determined to go.

I left Murchison at 3am, arriving at Port Welshpool around 9. I dropped the boat off at the ramp and headed back in to Welshpool for fuel and water as there is none available at the port. I had been extremely generous with my requirements and set off with 42 L of unleaded and 20 L of water. My yacht is stored mast-up at Waranga Boat Club, and so it took a good 90 minutes to fully rig the mast, rudder, outboard and sails before I put her in the water. I motored away from Port Welshpool bang on high-tide, well into my fudge-factor.

Lewis Channel was a mill-pond and I didn’t see another boat before Corner Inlet. I raised the main on leaving the channel and the genoa after turning south after the No4 channel marker, giving the breaking water a wide berth. The weather helm increased gradually before 2 mild round-ups had me thinking it was time to drop the genoa for the jib. Rounding up again after I came out of the wind-shadow of Rabbit Island, I hove-to, lashed the tiller and went forward to drop the headsail. The GPS had me sitting around 6 knots, with an average of 5. Four and a half hours after leaving Port Welshpool, I was turning in for Refuge Cove. Two masts protruded from behind the headland (Brown’s Hill?) and, given my inexperience sailing in and around other yachts (I’m often the only sailboat on the water at Waranga), I dropped the sails and gently motored in. Simba, a 1958 Lion Class wooden boat and “Friday’s Harbour”, a 34’ vessel of Swedish design out of Newhaven.

Saturday morning I set out on an overnight hike around the southern portion of the Prom, camping at Roaring Meg and returning via the lighthouse. Checking the bom-site at Kersop’s Hill on the way back, I decided against returning on Monday, instead waiting for a lull in the weather on Tuesday.

Both Gary (Simba) and I left on Tuesday morning, Friday’s Harbour having departed on Saturday. He headed south to go around the corner and make for Waratah Bay whilst I headed north on the return leg home. It wasn’t the smoothest sail back, flukey winds had me motoring longer than I’d have liked and unfortunately my beef mince/veggie soup hadn’t survived 5 days without refrigeration and so it went over the side rather than in my thermos. A tip from Gary was “reef when you first think about reefing”, and so again I went forward just after Rabbit Island. I made the mistake of setting my Cunningham Eye too high, which put too much tension on the forward reefing point, putting a good 8” tear in my mainsail. Other than that, it was a decent trip back, the wind a little more on the nose than I’d hoped. It never did swing round any further south than due west. The only other mistake worth mentioning was turning off my GPS after entering Corner Inlet. I picked out the channel markers in the distance, turned the unit off and motored on home, only didn’t recall the large cargo vessels being moored or the building adjacent to the boat ramp in Port Welshpool… Turns out I was headed from Toora! As it was just on high tide and I’d dropped the sails I raised the keel and cut across the mudflats rather than motor all the around. A bit of a gamble but it all went well.

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement before I went. All very much appreciated!

Jim

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PaulS
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by PaulS » Aug 7th, '17, 22:02

nice Jim! The Prom is one of the gems of Australia.

I have been hiking, sailing, working etc there every year since 1975, and now on Parks Vic advisory board for the Prom - glad you had fun and came back safe, become a vegetarian (food doesn't go off so easily!) and give up Cunninghams next time ;)

PaulS
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN
South Gippsland Victoria

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barnaclephill
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by barnaclephill » Aug 8th, '17, 04:18

Good reading your experience. I am glad you did the trip and earnt some confidence.
There is water in Port Welshpool at the inside of the T of the east most jetty (public). I tied up at the jetty and used a hose and jerry collapsible containers. They are only $4 when available in Aldi or camping shops. Well worth keeping a spare.
And you can fish in Refuge. Bread and potato peels brought in3 curious mackerel for us.
Northerner28.

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PaulS
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Re: Port Welshpool to Refuge Cove

Post by PaulS » Aug 8th, '17, 10:00

barnaclephill wrote: There is water in Port Welshpool at the inside of the T of the east most jetty (public). .
"Fishermans Jetty" connected to Marginal Wharf
BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN
South Gippsland Victoria

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