Sunday, November 24, 2013
Cape Jaffa to Port Fairy
Up before first light and prepare to get underway by 0500 hours, as we prepared to leave the fishing boats were also getting underway we waited for the last of these to leave so we did not hold them up. The seas had settled down which was good in the sense that ports on the side of the GAB have the SW swell roll in and going out of these port places the sea on the port side beam of the boat, this can push the boat sideways.
'Banyandah was in front of us so we took a track a little further to the north to head out to sea which was close to the track that we came in on, our plan was to get out at least 8NMS off the coast and if there were problems with lobster pots we would go further off the coast.
We are fortunate with our boat that we have a good view from the shelter of our cockpit, we noticed that Glen and Nigel were taking turns on standing out on deck looking for lobster pots and it must have been freezing cold out there. We learned later that not long after leaving they actually picked up a lobster pot, the first they noticed the yacht slow considerably, as it would dragging a lobster pot behind them, they got it free but that gave them concern enough to keep a watch out on deck.
(Glen standing on watch for lobster pots)
Many of the fishing boats went well out to sea when they left the marina which pleased me but a few went south in the direction we were heading. There was a positive in this as when we went along you could see the boats working in the distance so that gave some pre-warning that there were lobster pots in the area. Initially we came across a large number of pots that we had to change course to get around, however, as we got south of Southend they seemed to be closer inland than the 10NM from the coast and we had a clear run although we still kept a close watch.
When we left the marina we knew that we would have to motor sail most of the way, we did sail out to sea but then had to motor sail until near the Victorian Border after passing Port McDonnell where we changed course and was able to sail until near Port Fairy. It was a long overnight sail with the bitter cold weather, everyone we meet complain about not having a spring it has been winter all the time with very strong winds.
As we arrived at Port Fairy Nancy contacted the Harbour Master who was actually the Dredge Operator standing in for the Harbour Master who was away. This proved handy as he was dredging the entrance of the port and was able to give us directions. The port is a narrow river with docks along each side as you get further in. It pays to book well ahead as there is little space left on the docks.
I was quite taken with Port Fairy, the port itself is very attractive with all types of boats lining the river on docks and a small marina at the end near the bridge. Many of the houses go back in time but have been well looked after.
(Port Fairy water way and Alana Rose alongside)
'Banyandah' was about 20NMS behind us so after we docked we went for a walk and a look around, we chatted with a local and the dredge operator and got information of where the best place was for a feed for tonight. We figured we deserved a night out. As we walked Glen called on the phone and said he was about an hour away. We told him the directions in and that he would have to raft up with us and we would be back on board to assist them.
(A shady street)
(No 16 Wishart Street)
(Below: great old buildings)
We walked some of the streets, one street in particular had a lot of heritage with the old houses all in good order. I really liked the character of the place, Nancy said to me "you like this place don't you?" I said yes I could retire to a place like this if it was in a warmer climate, if I had to give up sailing there would still be the waterfront and boats and boaties to chat with. Let's hope that day is a long way off yet.
We returned to the boat and waited for 'Banyandah' they came up the river and secured alongside us then when they were settled we all headed off to the Caledonian Inn locally called 'The Stump', it is the oldest hotel in Victoria established in 1844. It is very homely and the meals are very good and reasonably priced, plenty of food served up on the plate.
(Banyandah coming up the river)
It was a quiet night as we were having another early start tomorrow morning, it was a very nice night.
('The Stump' or Caledonian Inn)