We Are Now Home

We’ve been home for 5 days now.

I got 2 lovely crayfish which we devoured the second day. We then set off in a much more settled sea for Portland. The wind , did not play ball and we mostly motored into it. On arriving at Portland we met our new friends, Ryan and Elizabet from Adelaide , on Riversea, who had sailed, tacking way out , and , to their delight, nearly bumping into a big whale. We also met a couple, Steve and Jenny , in their big steel Roberts 53 , Ellebo. They had sailed across from Albany to Kangaroo Island , in one big jump, despite storms . After a great sundowners, we got up early and again motored to Port Fairy where we got a berth on the wharf , a few hundred meters from the entrance to the Folk Festival. We met up with lots of friends and got to see some of the acts.

From Port Fairy onward, we were able to sail . The 3 m swells were no problem until consideration was given , by the somewhat sea sick captain, to entering Apollo Bay harbour. Good judgement got the better of the need for relief and we forged on to the heads, entering at 2 am at slack. It was perfect timing.

After catch up snoozes we sailed up the bay and back into the waiting pen.

Doing stuff in Robe

Yesterday, Don & I had another go at stitching the solar strip back onto the headsail. It took most of the morning . Gradually the wind crept up to gusts of 30 kts and the jib tried to escape. I had to spread eagle across it as Mel adjusted the restraints.

To escape the boat , I took the bike and rode to the back bocks to Mahalia Coffee Roasters. Outside, the building blends into its industrial setting , but inside is an elegant treasure trove of tea & coffee accoutrements, gifts, a coffee shop and the roastery(?) at the back. Suitably caffeinated, I set off to find the bike path around the southern coastline. Wind nearly blew me off the bike. There are plenty of signs warning not to go near the cliff edges and it’s easy to see why , if you walk along the beaches underneath. They’re limestone cliff and heavily eroded with caves and hollows.

The highlight of the day was dinner at the historic Caledonia Hotel which has been beautifully restored. It was very well patronised and it was lucky that Don had booked earlier. Unfortunately, you have to order crayfish early in the day if you want it for dinner, but the various meals we had were pretty delish.

The troops are getting restless but the wind has not no finished with us yet. Likely take off early for Portland tomoz . I’m hoping that the sea state is a little more settled too. Meanwhile, what to do? A swim, a bike ride, a rifle through the designer shops? Tough.

A Bouncy Trip to Robe

The predominant wind direction in SE South Oz , at this time of year, is south easterly. This is the same Direction one must head, to get back to Victoria. The lightest winds this week were last night..10-15 kts so the ff we went. The stb. motor did not miss a beat and we got some propulsion from a reefed main. Not quite the angle to sail, unless of course, heading for Tasmania. The seaway was quite lively and so was my stomach. Despite this, we had risotto for tea ( though Don who never gets the mal de mer had to stir) , kept the log and didn’t bang into any thing. 24 hrs it took us. Now we’re parked outside the Robe Marina waiting for enough tide to get in. Oh SO pleasant to stop.

Back to Adelaide

The weather continued to be overcast and we overnighted at Hawks Nest/ St George’s Bay at a lovely , sandy beach on the north coast of KI. From there , it was a sail then motor to Christmas Cove where a much needed( by me) marina berth was to be had for the overnight blow C/- cyclone Kelvin. We , again, hired a car, bid farewells to Halina, went to Bay of Shoals Winery to get more yachties discounted wine and then on to American River. We shook of the sloth and did a little walk to the old fish cannery. It must have been very old and the was little left but the views over the estuary were pretty. We returned to the jetty to find the buoy from the mooring that had let go, tied up ignominiously . Onward we went in pursuit of the high life at American River, to the Shed. Friday night is the big deal with volunteers providing three choices of meal.

We met Alan and Janet from the Adelaide yacht, Blue Dog and had a bit of a chin wag. The excitement was too much and we retreated to the boat . After the big shop at Penneshaw IGA we had sundowners with our neighbours Ryan and Lisbet on Riversea, a Beneteau Oceanus 43 . They are heading east and up the east coast in the next 18 months but Lisbet has yet to do an overnighter we so was a bit apprehensive.

Backstairs Passage behaved itself and we had a pleasant passage to Wirrina Cove then a motor sail to CYCSA and back into our old pen.

On arrival we were greeted by shouts of “Look Mum, we have neighbours!”.

Three boys were jumping around on their 55 ft Outremer Classic , Singa. They are from Margaret River but got a delivery crew to get the boat across the Bight and here, where they are setting off for their year or more up the east coast. Mum and Dad , Maria and Craig , are waiting for their daughter, who has been working in the Barossa, to jump on board and they are off up the east coast. Laurel and Dick from the Melbourne yacht Capricorn 2 and fellow members of CYAV joined us for sundowners before they head off to Spencer Gulf. They are on their last leg of a 2 year Aussie circumnavigation.

We’re waiting for Don, Barb and Mel to arrive in 2 days then we’ll be off to Robe and back to Melbourne.

Did I mention that we made it to the Spinners and Weavers shop at Kingscote. Couldn’t resist this lovely hand spun.

Singa… from Singapore of course!

West Bay at Wedge Island, SA

Anchored in West Bay , Wedge Island. Wing is winding up for a bit of a blow tonight. Off to KI tomoz when the wind winds down. We met Fred & Scotty, local crayfish fishermen, who gave us a big Aussie salmon, which used at bait for the crays.

The price for Commerical crays is $95 per kilogram with all lgs attached.

King George Bay on KI

Looks very boring but this is a really lovely anchorage on the north coast of KI….King George Bay. Lots of sand to anchor in and a reef extending from the NE end to give some protection from NE wind. More great snorkelling. I do wish the sun would come out though. It’s damp and a bit tropical except for the water temp.

We Made It

We are now in The Bay of Shoals anchored at the foot of The Bay of Shoals Winery. We didn’t make it to the cellar door today but that is definitely on the agenda tomorrow. They give a 50% off for yachties.

What a beautiful sail across the Investigator Straits. We took off , or attempted to but the port motor was stuck in reverse so a lot of shouting was done until the diagnosis was made. There was a big operation to repair a cable thingie. Brendan was a handy assistant. We also made the tide.

Now the wind has eased and the champers are flowing and we’re going to the big city tomoz.

Brendan & Catrina enjoying the sail.

Trying to get South

We are at Wirrina Cove Golf Resort. We are waiting til tomoz when it rumoured that the wind will ease and we will head across Investigator Strait to Kangaroo Island. It would have been quite possible this arvo but the forecast was a bit misleading. We , thus, hiked up a big hill to find a golf resort , going the wrong way , having to dodge golf carts , gold balls and kangaroos whilst walking on the fairways…no no no. Gin & tonic as a reward.

Birubi is down there somewhere.

Crossing Backstairs Passage to Wirrina Cove


go early- less wind but wi d against the late ebb

Go late – wind and tide together but 20 kts+ and late arrival

So we went early and had a superb sail with only a little bumpiness. By thetime we got to to Wirrina Cove /Marina St Vincent it was blasting and no better in the marina which sits below a valley which funnels blasts of already strong wind. It was tricky, under these circumstances, to locate the allocated berth as there is no layout on the website nor was I sent any. Words were said but we got Birubi into a berth then met Maria , Kim and their grandson , Brodie. They have a Shionning design cat and had some good tales of sailing in the Kimberly on a Leopard 42