A strange sunrise at East Cove Deal Island. Waking up early and poking my head out the hatch above our bed to see the moon rising just an hour before the sun starting to peep over the hills of Deal Island. The penguins were all awake and making a eerie racket, chirping away loudly. It’s only 5 am but Michael has had enough sleep, he is up and about taking in the surrounds watching the moon rise and sun rise together, a spectacular occurrence that only happens once a month and is worth watching, especially from this paradise. East cove is a wild life park and it sure shows. Once the sun was up we spotted a bait ball glistening under the clear water beneath Roam, rounding up the frantic bait fish, were some big Barracuda flashing through the water.
With no wind, and the sun shining, It’s the perfect day to explore the island. The boys help load the bikes into the tender and Benn runs Mick and I into the Jetty. It’s a fairly steep trek from the beach up to the homestead. There are relics of the old carriage tracks from the jetty up the hill side, from many years past when supplies would be hauled up to the homestead. We stopped in and met the light house keeper Rob and his wife. Rob gave us a map of the island and pointed us in the direction of where to start our grueling peddle up to the light house.
Liss (me) trying to find her bearings ,the light house keeper and his wife's house . the light house in the back ground.
Riding up to the light house was no walk in the “wild life park “ that’s for sure, although we did see lots of Cape Barren Geese and plenty of wallabies. Getting the heart rate up, the legs burning was well worth the effort to see the old original Deal Island Light House, along with a spectacular view. Also we discovered a short walk through the bush from the light house is a WWII aircraft crash site. With the hot sun beaming down on us walking through the scrub, we are kept our eyes peeled for Tiger Snakes. The Crash site over looks squally cove another impressive view.
We have more exploring to do. What goes up must come down. Rolling back down the access road on our bikes was so much fun, a little sketchy with a slippery layer of pine needles covering the track, making traction fairly non existent when the brakeswere applied.
Next stop on the Deal Island map, Gardens Cove. On route to the Beach, we peddled down a grassy air strip which was occupied by about twenty wallabies. They were a rather docile bunch, not overly prepared to move off the air strip and I almost collected one on my bike. Turns out the wallabies were not the only runway hazard to watch for, a family of Cape Barren Geese, Pappa, mumma and cute little chicks also bolting off ahead of us. We manage to capture all this on the go pro footage ( A job for talented Andy to upload later). The Gardens cove beach is just stunning. We have the whole beach to ourselves. The perfect spot to stop for lunch and a swim, turquoise waters, white sand with no foot prints and earthy rocks around the edge of the cove. The water was VERY refreshing, after a quick dip we started back to Roam and had fun bombing down the steep hill to the Jetty another way to get the pulse racing with less effort.
Benn, Roland and Joel are exploring the around the Island and passage from the water. After lunch we upped anchor and moved Roam to Garden Cove to allow the fishos onboard to wet their lines into the evening. After a full day of activities we were all feeling relaxed and in for an early night ready for an early rise. Fresh squid for dinner and we were all fed, relaxed and happy ready to be rocked gently to sleep.
Rise and shine 3 am.
Perfect conditions for our route to Victoria. The crew awake in the dark, with an easterly wind. Roam cruises along nicely, making good time.
7 am. Victoria is in sight and the Moncur islands. The East and West Moncurs seperate the shipping lanes for the many ships coming in and out of Victoria. We haven’t seen any other vessels yet and visibility is pretty good with just a little sea mist.
With a bit of swell on, the boys find a wave at Lenard bay. We anchor Roam out the back of the wave. Joel and I enjoy soaking up a bit of sun aboard while the boys paddle in toward the beach. I watch as the boys catch a few good waves and then see Mick writing something in big letters on the beach … whats he up to?.... He tags the beach with ROAM and signs off by catching his last wave in front of the signature before paddling back out.
The boys had a fun surf and we were officially signed in to Victoria thanks to Mick's beach graffiti. Back on board, we motored on and Rozzisstoss (Roland’s chef name) cooked us up a feast on The Galleymate (the much loved BBQ ). 11.45 am We are cruising on one engine to save some fuel. With smooth conditions and ahead of schedule, we got nothing but time. The plan is to get to Port Phillip Bay around 8 am when the tides are right as the currents can apparently get quite strong. The scenery through Wilsons Promontory is just beautiful, reminding us of Tasmanian Freycinet Peninsula... in fact there are similarities all the way through the Kent and Furneaux Island groups as well. Beautiful landscapes with waves breaking on the big rock faces, the famous orange Lichen, bird life, mountainous and dark deep blue waters sheltering amazing beaches with their shallow turquoise bays.
As the sun goes down we prepare for a night on the move, names are drawn from a hat to select our shift times for night watch. With five of us its not so bad with one two hour night watch each. We are all settling into Roam life and it is comfortable aboard even with five of us having our own space. Michael checking our route, Roland and Benn watching surf comps streamed live on the lap top, sipping on a red, Me getting some study done with a cuppa and Joel relaxing with a beer enjoying the sun set. Tomorrow our Bass Strait crossing adventure ends and the next chapter begins.