Port Phillip Bay magic

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madmission
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Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by madmission »

The grand Cruising plans for this autumn have gone through some sculpting , high fuel costs and family commitments have prohibited any  trip north for this winter . Algae tsunami  on Gippsland Lakes has put the knockers on trip there in the short term so staying local makes sense , all that's needed is some luck with the weather.
Once committed it seemed I would be spending some time in the cabin dodging forecast rain and showers but just being on the water would be a small price to pay.
Still new to rigging and launching a 28' ts , many times I wondered if it was going to be worth the effort and beach ramp launching had me spending too much time waist deep in the chilly port phillip waters before the rewards begin to flow.
After a huge day and one last wade to boat at 9 pm had me navigating the 4 NM  to portarlington safe harbour .
So far the winds have been light the sun has shone and the predicted rain has stayed away.
First night at indented head , second at portarlington , third at queenscliff and tonight at Mornington .
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The forecast now looks good for next week so will see how that pans out full moon on Monday will be welcome.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by MargGannet »

Looks good Shane. Enjoy!
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by Castle 610 »

Some people have such a great life!
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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Good morning Friday
Both pics taken at the same time
Grey sunrise and looking west to MYC
Mill pond overnight
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by madmission »

Rl28 certainly a beast on land
But you gotta love the space once on the water
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by impulse »

Yep, once they are in the water they are much the same, just bigger.
My biggest issue was the skeg, but like anything, there are ways and means.
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Cheers Robin.

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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by madmission »

Great legs impy :)
Both times I dried mine out I hated the thumping when starting to refloat cannot be good for old bones.
Certainly not easy to sleep through.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by impulse »

I wouldn't like to do it in much of a swell but the old RL is built like the brick proverbial.
Cheers Robin.

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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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Out of the grey mill pond of Mornington and accross the bight to mordialloc  where I was greeted by numerous pods of freeding dolphins.

While keeping an eye on ais traffic I noticed an unusual activity of Victoria Police ribs belting around in all directions between 22 - 40 kts in all there were at least 4 craft in and around the bight bounded by Mornington,  Patterson River and black Rock ,  seemed to be nothing going on ? Just out and about ? Your taxes at work ?
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With welcome breeze I set a course close hauled to the west  with werribee River a likely destination. Over the afternoon the wind slowly clocked south to north east allowing gentle spinnaker work with final pole gybe in shipping mooring ground off altona bay.
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Once off the river mouth just on dark I decided to push on to portarlington   another 10 NM while  preparing dinner.  Approaching the shipping channel bottleneck at the Richards ais again allowed me to keep close eye on converging traffic the Siem topaz supply vessel steaming out from corio Bay outer harbour at 13 kts and bellarine and geelong flyer ferries racing by at 30 kts in the dark.
Dinner and wash up completed before entering the safe harbour of portarlington  at 7.30 pm.
So another comfortable day of around 35 NM with mixed points of sail and periods of motoring early and late.
Weather has changed overnight and now have light showers and moderate northerly with more to come throughout the weekend.
That will suit me as I have family commitments shore side before continuing my cruise on Monday.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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I had an extended stop over at portarlington having weekend commitments  and rather vigorous north westerly weather event until Wednesday I took advantage of the casual berths offered by Parks Victoria and caught up on some jobs.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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The facilities  at portarlington continue to be developed nowhere have I seen such improvement of a public harbour / marina precinct.
Soon there will be a covered walkway 3/4 of the way to the public recreational berths.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by madmission »

Much of the investment has come on the back of the commercial development of the port phillip ferries service and the mussel farming industry.
The small seaside town is Such a hidden gem , full of warmth and charm .
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by mdedman »

Sounds like a terrific sail around the bay Shane. It really is a great cruising ground.

Miss the Bay sailing now that we are based down at the Gippsland Lakes. Been waiting over a month to get our Mercury OB back from servicing so haven't been out sailing much lately.

Love the job you have done on restoring Freya. Looks like a great cruising yacht and you cant beat the space down below, not that I am biased at all!!

Maybe when this blue green stuff clears up down here would be great to catch up on the water. A pair of classy RL 28's would be a great sight.

Cheers Mark
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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Hi mark , yes looking forward to the algae clearing and doing some cruising on the lakes. We will look you up when it happens. :)

Thursday , time to move on and shift my focus on another favourite haunt , sleepy hollow with its sheltered corio Bay.
The 15 NM uphill work to geelong was a good  test of freyja's sailing abilities , with full main and cruising heady into 12 - 18 kt westerly it was easy to sit on 5 kts and in the stronger pressure 6 kts with eased main for balance made for an enjoyable sail.
Once sheets are cracked she certainly kicks up her heels and slips quietly and surely along.
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The operation of tilting outboard in the well and the simple "Bombay door" make a huge improvement both in performance and comfort in the cockpit.
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Once entered the new wave attenuation structure  with its extensive area and berthing facilities adjacent  to the RGYC you really start to enjoy this wonderful destination.  It's free , within the geelong cbd and locked between 10 pm - 6 am. There are no bathroom facilities but that's not an issue on Freyja.
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Friday after morning coffee on the waterfront with friends we head out for a cruise across to the northern shore where you find
"Avalon Homestead, Lara, which overlooks Corio Bay. It was built in 1880 by James Austin as a family home to replace an earlier building destroyed by fire. It is an important work of architect Alexander Davidson who designed many Western District homes. James and Thomas Austin had arrived in Victoria in 1835; James took up the Avalon property while Thomas settled at Barwon Park, Winchelsea," .....
Once close to the homestead Change  course toward the east and take the north channel (3m) our of corio Bay and into the outer harbour.
From there we set a course to the south and close the shore at cerlewis tack toward the east and enjoy the sights of some very exclusive beachside properties hidden from view apart form to seaward.
Once off Clifton Springs time to break out the kite and enjoy the down wind leg back to pt henry and Hopetoun channel entrance to corio Bay.
Enjoyed a hot meal and spent a very civilised night on the wangim walk.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

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On Saturday With light winds set sail for indented heads where I planned to cast my vote , beautiful  sunny conditions but general lack of wind until reaching pt Richards providing nice end to the passage.
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This part of the bellarine peninsula invariably  gets an easterly overnight and an annoying slop making it uncomfortable and difficult  to sleep in open waters .
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Usually it takes it until after dark before it springs up and has me heading for the shelter of portarlington navigating inside the mussel farm in the dark. So far on this trip I have made the same short passage on no less than 4 nights , I really am a slow learner or optimist.

Sunday provided some more practice in light winds with emphasis on spinnaker handling in sunny conditions before preparation to retrieve on Monday morning high tide.
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Now on the trailer it's time to pack up before heading home.
Considering its mid may port phillip has been kind and provided a great opportunity to test out the rl28.
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Re: Port Phillip Bay magic

Post by MargGannet »

Great trip - and report - Shane. New boat performing well by the look of it. :-)
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