After our time in the Gippsland Lakes the plan was to head East around Gabo Island and then North up as far as Moruya in NSW, with a stop over in Eden if required. Lois left us at Paynesville, as she prefers smooth water sailing, so this left John, Liss and I looking after ROAM. Topped up with Diesel and Water at Paynesville then cruised across to Lakes Entrance for the night. As we still only have a small headsail we were looking for a pretty easy weather window. Luckily the day we wanted to go had a perfect forcast. Calm morning, zero swell and a light northerly during the afternoon turning southerly at night. So with correct pacing we should round Gabo Island about when the southerly comes up and have a smooth trip the whole way... Unfortunately weather forecasting is not always accurate and in this case was pretty much completely wrong. We got an epic calm morning to leave Lakes, Liss giving me yoga lessons on the foredeck, a slightly swaying boat makes yoga far more challenging, visits from stacks of Dolphins (as usual, if I put Dolphins and sunsets in every video I'm sure it wont be repetitive) and even a Whale, which went deep when we went for a closer look.
The breeze puffed up slightly from the North just long enough to get the sail out but then quickly turned almost dead Easterly, so furled the headsail and just motored into a slowly increasing slop. The wind eventually did come round to the North about the time we rounded Gabo Island so we started the night with 20 knots of breeze on the nose, a pretty horrible short swell pushed up from the wind also on the nose, a little bit of South East swell adding to the fun and about 2 knots of the East Australian Current dragging us back as well. I scored the second watch and after getting up early in John's watch to help avoid a large vessel crossing our path I put my head down and tried to sleep. Must have done ok as I was woken by John rather than my alarm which was drowned out by the engines, I live in the starboard aft cabin so had pretty toasty feet when the engines are going but it is a bit loud. Still pushing into about 20 knots of breeze I had a pretty eventful watch, dodging a couple of lights at sea off Eden, and Dolphins glowing in the green starboard navigation lights. Liss relieved me at 4 for her shift. From the observations further South it didn't look like the Southerly was going to get to us until dawn. Once the sun was up it was all smooth sailing, we could get the headsail out and motor sail up the coast towards Moruya. Got up to 13 knots on a couple of surfs heading towards the barway which was pretty fun, can't wait to get the full sails on!
Moruya is pretty much epic, deep narrow bar with surf on either side, sheltered anchorage anywhere in the river, small airport which John left by, and warm NSW temperatures! Had a couple of mates come and visit so we ducked up to the local pub in the tender, good fun returning home at about midnight with head torches and a few beers deep, about 3km each way.
Mick got back from work earlier than expected, so treated him with a 7km run along the beach to Broulee early one morning chasing waves and a bike ride that arvo into town to visit Trevor Gill whose Grainger Barefoot 40 hangs in Moruya river next to us.
Last bit of excitement this morning when an unforcast North Westerly with gusts of 40 knots preceded a Southerly change by about 3 hours. An early surf check turned into a dash back to the boat to re-set the anchor and move to a spot with a bit more swinging room. Mick's assessment...NSW B.O.M. Is shit, Hogan Island in Tas gives a better prediction for South Coast NSW and Vic than their own predictions...
Sails due by the end of next week.....