While I'm out chasing my own dreams, sailing around the world, please know that I'm yours to keep..... After an incredible time, settling into Roam life and living aboard with Michael, the reality of making this all possible is here, Mick flies out to pick up some off shore work...
I have been reflecting on our time whilst writing this, from dropping our Bass strait crew off in Queenscliff, to saying goodbye to Mick yesterday, what an awesome adventure, so many special memories we have made and this is just the beginning!!
After saying our goodbyes and thanks to Benn, Joel and Roland, Michael and I decide to motor across to Sorrento. Keeping in mind I have very little previous boating experience and now its just the two of us, this is it .... I have to learn and FAST. We were lucky to find a perfect spot in Sorrento to stay, on a free swing mooring. As we approach the mooring, I stand at the bow with the boat hook directing Mick to the mooring buoy. As we start to come over it ( trying to hide my nerves ) I scoop up the mooring line with the boat hook and get it secure. It turns out its not just us after all .. my Mum (Jill) has been catching up with old school friends in Sorrento. Jill, eager to catch up with us, spends a couple of nights aboard Roam.
We spent two days enjoying Sorrento, Only a short tender ride to shore, we were able to walk into to town and run around the foreshore to do some exploring. Magnificent water front homes , clean blue waters, colorful sand stone cliffs and a hype of yachting activity Sorento has a great vibe and only a short trip across the Port Phillip Bay from Queenscliff.
It was lovely having mum as our guest and she enjoyed her time on board. As Mums do, Jill insisted on helping out ... dusting, and helping get Roam ship shape. After a productive day cleaning, washing and a bit of on shore suspension training, as the sun went down we relaxed taking in the surrounds and enjoying some left over Green Lip Abalone from our Bass Strait catch, I used the Abalone to make a pizza ... unusual I know but it was divine.
With the Mast to be installed on the 14th October, we make our way over to Savages Wharf Williamstown a day prior. Practice makes perfect, Michael gives me plenty of time to get set up before entering Savages Wharf ... tying off the fenders and setting up all the mooring lines, ready for action. Michael's Dad John, flew in from Tasmania to be in Williams town for the installation of the mast. Having been there and contributing for every other step of Roam's construction, it was nice to have John with us to see the mast go on.
The Mast installation all went smoothly , The All Yacht Spars team delivering a highly professional procedure. WOW, Roam now looks like a sailing catamaran with the rig on, one of the finishing touches. For more detail on the Mast installation check out Michael's blog -'Roams Rigged'.
With the mission to Williamstown complete and the mast standing tall we say goodbye to John and Jill and head for the Big smoke for some big city adventures.
Hellooo Docklands , central city living at its best. I was so impressed by the Melbourne city marina. With the Bolte Bridge, Etihad stadium and the giant ferris wheel all in sight. The Marina facilities are modern and more than comfortable with, a big kitchen, lounge, internet, nice bathrooms, washing facilities and all overlooking the water front, for $50 a night for us to berth at the floating Marina, I was blown away. We spent three nights in Melbourne exploring, catching up with friends and getting the rig measured up for the sails to be made.
Having the mountain bikes aboard Roam is such a great idea, We had so much fun riding around Melbourne city, over to St. Kilda to watch the wind surfers as the sun went down and back to Roam after dark in the city lights.
Fitting in study when we are at sea is pretty hard, staring at a computer screen or reading text books leads to me feeling sea sick, so I took full advantage of the Melbourne city Marina. A great spot to bury my head in the books. After half the day studying I wander back to the Boat and find my partner in crime has set up the tender for a Yarra river adventure ... complete with the helm seats snugly positioned for comfort cruising, a picnic, beats and a bottle of Jansz, how did i get so lucky ?
Melbourne city life was better than expected , time to move on to check out Geelong. Having borrowed a head sail, from Dave, owner of catamaran Kavarla, we were able to get the sail out on the way to Geelong. With the engines off, completely relying on the wind to move us through the water. Mick teaches me how to trim and furl the head sail and get the feeling of steering Roam under sail, such a different feeling to motoring. With only about 8-12 knots of wind, one sail and not the ideal wind conditions we were able to do about 5-7 knots sailing along. Practicing a couple of tacks, tightening and easing the sail (trimming to suit the wind shifts) and learning how to use the winch... so much to learn. Luckily I can learn one step at a time one sail at a time with Roam's sails still being made.
Dave who we are borrowing the head sail from, is also a member of the Royal Geelong Yacth club, he so kindly organised a spot on one of the clubs floating berths for us. With family and friends in the Geelong area and Roam in a safe sheltered spot we took the opportunity to do some socialising. Enjoying a night and a delicious dinner with friends Alex and Anna, another home cooked meal with my Grandparents, a night out for dinner with Micks friend Bill plus his lovely Girlfriend and a catch up dinner out with family I hadn't seen in a long time. We were also able to borrow a car and road trip down the great ocean road. Stopping in at Thirteenth beach for a surf, Bells beach for a look, Torquay and all the way down to Lorne. The Great Ocean Road is such a scenic and iconic coast line. We enjoyed Geelong with everything you need within walking distance and great tracks for running all the way around the water front as well as spending time with friends and family we don't get to see often enough .
History on display in the form of wooden carved statues all around Geelong foreshore, the statues made our run's around the water front even more amusing.
Bells Beach ..
Split Point Lighthouse, is located at Aireys Inlet beach on the Great Ocean Road. I have fond memories of the light house from one of my favorite childhood programs .. Going Around The Twist, re living childhood memories I couldn't help myself having the sing the theme song.
Its time to go back to Sea, with an over night passage planed so we can get to Lakes Entrance before the weather turns to unfavorable conditions. Once we were through the heads we motor sailed, eager to to get there before the weather got too rough, we motored through the night. Over night we took three hour shifts each so we were able to both get some sleep. I'm pretty certain Mick may of given me a little extra lay in time. We arrived at the entrance the next afternoon, the plan was to go through on slack water. As we approached there was a bit of swell and still a lot of water moving out ... a little nerve racking but Mick kept his cool and we got through no problems.
Lakes Entrance is a really cool spot, with lots of jetty's to tie up to, the town center easily accessible, swimming holes and walking tracks on the lakes side and surf on the beach side. We made ourselves at home at Flaggstaff Jetty, which we ended up having all to ourselves. Flaggstaff is on the opposite side of channel from Lakes entrance town center. Five minutes walk to the beach and the Entrance itself, a perfect spot. After getting all sorted, we strolled over to the entrance to watch some fishing boats come in, a pretty spot to watch the sun go down, with seals flopping around in the water, an abundance of bird life and the colorful sun set .. Lakes Entrance put on a show for us.
After enjoying four nights in Lakes Entrance we head further up Gippsland lakes system, making our way to Boxes creek. Michael is Nailing this getting on and off jetty's thing and I am starting to get in the routine too... time to try something new. As we come into Boxes creek Michael lets me know we are going to anchor, "Med moor" ( tie off to shore from the stern ). He gets all lined up, with the bow anchor out, then informs me" ok Liss grab those white ropes and jump in, your swimming the mooring lines to shore". Feeling a little surprised, but ready as ill ever be I leap off at the stern and swim in and tie us off. We are lucky enough to have this little corner inlet paradise to ourselves for most of our time in Boxes creek. Being able to take your home somewhere different each week is true escapism, and this spot is unreal.
Taking the opportunity to study, get some boat jobs done, as well as enjoy our last couple of days of time together. Close to Metung ( a quaint, quirky little water front town ), Mick took me on a fun dinner date to the Metung Hotel. The Hotel is right on the water front, with great food, reasonably priced and friendly locals. The Tender fly's with the two of us in it and our trip across for dinner was an adventure in its self. Tender missions are always a good time and Metung is a must if visiting the Gippsland lakes.
October has flown by and it's time to collect Andy. Finishing up work back in Tassie and watching our adventure so far, he must be pumped to get on board. Michael and I are super excited to have Andy join us..... so in preparation we decked out his cabin with some pirate paraphernalia.
With Andy now aboard and the Roam family complete we plan our route further up the lakes system to Paynesville, but first the boys manged to fit in a fun little surf and I snapped a few pics as well as sneaking up on some fat sun bathing seals.
With Michael getting the call for work and only four days until he flies out, we take the opportunity to brush up on boat procedures, jobs to be done and getting some more practice parking Roam. With a little bit of breeze, we were able to un furl the head sail. A bit of fun for the boys and a good opportunity for me to learn the ropes. As we come into Paynesville we are met by a storm front, with thunder and lightning in the distance and heavy rain and wind.
With a bit of researching, we learnt the Bairnsdale cup was on the Tuesday and with the weather forecast looking good we decided it would be a fun day ashore. We were winning before we even got to the cup .... Andy parking us perfectly at Progress Jetty, we scored free tickets to the cup from some local cup goers and a free bus service to ran us to and from the cup. A fun day out at the Races was a great way to spend the day before saying good bye to Michael on Wednesday.
Progress Jetty Payneville at Sunset
Next John and Lois Join us for some more Lakes exploring ......