QCYC to Refuge CoveWe were up at 3.45 (Tuesday 27th Feb) & all ready to leave dockside by about 4.30. Following some kaos on the wharf from a Brighton boat, behind us we were able to be on our way.Only 4 of the 13 Brighton boats left (stating weather as the reason) & sadly one of our yachts pulled out last night. Richard was disappointed but was the right decision for he and Ruth. Our group's catamaran joined "Kate" & "Imagine" from Queenscliff marina. We joined the convoy of Brighton & QCYC yachts proceeding out through the heads, tootaling via 4 Fingers West Channel. Going at those 5 knots was interesting, however thankfully John decided almost at the washing machine that Imagine needed a few more revs so we quietly slipped passed one the yachts for a more comfortable exit. This was our first night cruise, it certainly is very different and as John said "character building!" I for one was pleased to be safely through and then to see the sunrise a couple of hours later. We stayed with our two yachts for awhile but then picked up the revs again. The sea was still lumpy hence we could only average 10-15 knots all day, sometimes down to 7 kts. So other than seeing a school/pod of penguins floating on the surface and then diving for food and the obligatory dolphins it was a slow and at times rough day.As the plan was to leave Refuge Cove on Thursday we needed to go past Refuge onto Port Welshpool to fill up with fuel. Turning north around the bottom of the Prom we were meet with very choppy seas slowing us again, then into the channel to Port Welshpool was another experience of "character building" for us. The water was rough & the boat kept wanting to round up - John did well navigating seas to get us safely into Port Welshpool. Very helpful staff at the wharf and within about half an hour we had turned around to head back to Refuge. By this time it was about 3.30 and we were feeling the long and demanding day - John particularly as he has to do most of the driving. We spoke with Mike briefly, he will be on the other motor cruiser leaving from Port Albert. He informed us that the cruiser was hopefully having an exhaust fitted tomorrow, test run Thursday and hopefully be seaworthy for a Friday departure. This did not sit well with John & I, apparently the engine has had issues for the past three weeks - we really don't want to be the only motor cruiser on the trip. We would prefer one other for purely safety reasons. Anyway back out the channel we ventured, the chop and seas had really come up, we were hammered all the way through the channel which took about 45 minutes. We were very thankful to turn right ( south) as we were now travelling with the seas, which made for much more pleasant cruising. We finally arrived at Refuge at 6.30pm grateful we had safely arrived, but totally exhausted. Our two yachts arrived 8.30 and then 9.30. We didn't wait up for the last yacht we were too tired and the swell in the cove hence the rolling of the boat didn't even keep us awake. Note to selves: no more long days!
We love our Australian country and sea. We have travelled many thousands of kilometres in the beautiful outback of Australia, into quite remote areas. Sometimes not seeing anyone for some days or weeks! The sunsets, history, fauna and flora are just what our gorgeous Australian country land is about. Sitting around the campfire, even in 45 degrees heat, is magical, watching the sunset and then engulfing the majesty of the stars!
We often follow the old stock routes, the Murranji Stock and the Humbert River area are our favourites. One day when we're too old for the camper and the remot... full info