So Mick got called back to work for a few weeks, which means we can afford the sails we want.
This leaves me "Captain" of ROAM.
I was expecting a serious talk with comments like "don't sink her" or "I've put the last 7 years of my life into creating this if you fuck it up your dead!" But pretty much the leaving comment was "have fun, go exploring" . That was epic, ROAM has only been in the water for 6 months and hasn't really ventured anywhere without Michael on board so I guess he was pretty nervous handing her over. We could have easily sat at Paynesville Wharf for the whole month and ticked away at the substantial list of jobs that are still needed to be done but a bit of an adventure around the Gippsland Lakes is a much better idea.
Things I have Learnt from being "Captain" of ROAM for the past week:
- The Bunga Arm is SHALLOW!!!!! ROAM doesn't draw very much (~0.9m) but once anchored if there is only 20cm under the rudder it feels safer to move. Especially when your depth sounder stops giving a reading. Around 2m is a much more comfortable depth and that would about be the best you can get in the Bunga Arm. Essentially all of the Gippsland Lakes are shallow, I'm not really sure how they charter reasonable sized monohulls here, they must be hitting the bottom all the time. At least it's only sand and mud. Lose 2m of depth and this would be the Gippsland Swamp. In Saying that I shouldn't take away from the epicness of the place. The "shallow" Bunga Arm is a 20km long channel about 200m wide, running parallel to the 90 mile beach behind a single row of sand dunes, due to it being narrow and slightly windy you can anchor in any conditions and have zero slop (as long as you don't hit the bottom, which I didn't, but it was close...). We hung in 30 knots of WSW on the first night and barely moved.
- Koalas are RAD!! Not sure if I had seen one before, maybe a grey splodge high in a tree at a zoo, but on Raymond Island Liss and I rode around spotting heaps! Well 6, but that was heaps for me. And.... Unlike most tree dwelling animals, they don't run away when you get up close. Just look at you as if to say "want some gum leaves man?" . Having mountain bikes on ROAM is all time, exploring on bikes destroys walking! Check out the mid section of Episode 2 for some pretty unique MTB action on Deal Island in Bass Strait by Mick and Liss.
- I love splicing Dyneema, I already knew this but making the Lazy Jacks was my first big project (not actually Dyneema but the same 12 strand pattern). Quite proud of them and cannot wait for a main sail to be in between their sexy legs.
- You can never see too many nice sunsets, which is a good thing when your on a boat, but the internet may not want to see them all, so nearly all my photo's will probably only make the family calendar each year.
- 90 Mile beach is long and flat and does not produce the best waves...
- Some people have a lot of time (and shells) on their hands. Going for a dawn surf check we came across a pretty rad little fairy walk through the sand dunes.
- Nothing is too hard as long as you do it slowly and pick your weather.
More observations and films to come.