Z wanted to sleep in the boat last night. No problem… except she wanted to sleep in the crawl space up forward where *all the boat crap* is put. (note: head on sail as pillow)
Not a problem… sigh. I slept on a bunk near her. Her nightly wee was done in the boat toilet under the seat. A stinky option but one filled with wonder for Z.
Did i mention that the boat is currently in the driveway, near the footpath?! I dozed half listening to late night conversations and clops of footsteps.
Z awoke and, not knowing where she was, sat up and clonked her head.
She didn’t let me know she did this. She woke then crawled/wriggled into bed with me for while. She told her mum about the head clonking.
Noodling South down Cannons Creek. 40mins to the Bay.
Cut the motor and up goes the jib. 2NM to go until the Bay.
Westernport Bay is wintery and bleak. Wild and kinda lonely.
I’m by myself and am a little spooked that there no boats at all out here. A reef in the main and the little Tri scoots along at around 10knots. Wind is around 20knots. A beam reach. We sail the length of French Island to leeward of a sandbar, so the water is flat. Nevertheless I keep both sheets in my hand… just in case.
Past French Island. Bass Strait swell sneaks in.
East for 10NM to San Remo. A broad reach. Keeping an eye on bullets, but an easy sail/surf for an hour or so. Tricky to get into the dock. Tide is racing against us at 5knots under the Phillip Island bridge. Water pushed up onto the pylons. Sail under then out toward the Strait. Motor back with current and get the pier and cafes to myself. You gotta love winter.
Back on the boat early arvo and a quick poke out toward Bass Strait. Rough as guts. Ouch! Turn tail, shake out the reef and crank up the boat, it’s getting late! Sunset at 5pm. A tough 6NM beat across to Rhyll where I anchor for the night.
Next day, Sunday, it’s 10 to 15knots. Sunny. I planned to eat on board but sneak an awesome breakfast at a cafe in Rhyll. Skim along the northern Phillip Island coast to Cowes. A long run to Stony Point. A poke around the Navy areas and industrial side of the Bay. Finally see my first and only other yacht and also one fishing boat.
Back to Warneet in late afternoon. 50Nm under our keel.
Up early and chase the tide to the top of the creek. Snug Surfarosa to the dock and drag myself back to work.
Small Z had a hoot. She loves the idea of a party and opening presents. A day for mum was fine by her. Her Nana and Nanas partener came too.
We left from Warneet peir at around 11am after a surprise motor swap. Getting out onto the bay was such a balm to my soul. Small Z knows all about boats. She knows her port and starboard. Knows what a mast does and a boom. Names the sails. Knows bow and stern and rudder and anchor etc etc. She was in boaty heaven as we sailed out onto Westernport Bay and over to Hastings to anchor and eat cake and drink coffee.
Wind was around 15 knots all day. Both sails up and a clean bottom saw us hooting along nicely.
B slept on the net.
Dropped family off at peir in late arvo. I slept on boat and noodled my way back to boatyard in morning.
Still and quiet except for a surreal humming coming from the rigging. A few red wines and ’20 Questions’.
PGR mocks the Maldon Folk Festival within 30secs of waking up…
First fish of the morning.
12345 once we caught a fish alive. 6789 ten. Then we put him back again.
An amazing day on the water. Azure blue. Still.
Only… we have run out of water… Well… Honeybone has some.
The Lord of the Flies.
So after a brief trip back to port for bait, water and advice from a very wise but very wrong man we are back on the water.
PGR had the biggest fish fight of recent history in the last hour of our adventure. He had the monster on for so long that the rest of us lost interest and made coffee and fished on the other side of the boat. Eventually i pulled up the anchor and motored toward his catch. The monster had reefed out a lot line and PGR was getting none back. After a few circles of the boat and huffs and puffs the monster called it a day. Broke the line and swam off.
Good mates turned up out of the blue. They dropped what they were doing and grabbed cheap flights down here from thier home in the Nth NSW hinterland. We dropped what we were doing and hung out with them for a week. We got out on the boats and got stuck into some good food and wine.
Us dads and C got to sleep the night on Surfarosa. What do you do with a drunken Sailor?
OK. Dr of Grass, PGR, has been mocked in dog shedding supplements
these pages for not only not catching fish but enabling anyone fishing with him to catch fish... um, the fishing Gods being playfull?.
This time was VERY different. We headed out onto Westernport Bay on the the trusty trimaran for two days of blokey fishing/sailing. Armed with the latest fishing rigs, fish pheromone (PGRs' idea...), good red wine and tasty food.
Once outside Rutherford Inlet and onto the bay we stop at a handy sand bank for some fishing action... Only this time Dr PGR goes off like mullet gut in the sun. He catches a whiting in the first 5 minutes.
Ok, after I get over being ecstatic for him I begin to get very nervous. If he doesn't catch another fish for the next two days then I will be the wide eyed witness to his slow decline. One fish is just a cruel joke. But no! He begins to land more. Phew.
We sail down to the legendary 'Middle Spit' but alas, no fish. We then sail up to 'Joes Island'. Again, no fish.
Actually, the original site, just outside from I live, was where PGR got his take.
Shovelled bird shit off the Trimaran and sorted it for a Grand Creek Adventure. The forecast was for 39C and 30 knots of wind.. not good… However, the front came past early. So when we set out with our pals onboard it was 28C and 15 knots. Better!
I was amazed that the boys picked up the rudder steering thing straight away. They gave me looks of “yeah right, just more tacky adult encouragement…” but actually I was kinda gobsmacked that even when I would say, in a vague way, “Oh, we are about to hit that boat… you better go over there…” they just did it.
Dad sings instructions to his navigator…
This time I think Z really got the idea that she was on a boat… maybe…
It was good to be on the water and small Z agreed. She flaked for a couple of hours in the cabin as the shore slipped by and coffees were made and conversations had.
Well, after a good Boobing.
We stopped for a pet joint supplement
beer at a beach, as you do. I plonked the rudder down against the motor which broke the pin that lets the propeller spin... hmmm, a bad thing... Naturally I had left spare pins at home so I made one out of a drill bit and we limped back to the house. Phew.
A whopper BBQ and a few nice ales saw us through to about 10pm.
I slept on the boat and woke a few times in the night certain that I was being boarded by pirates or at least bored Bogans...
The little boat is now back on her mooring gathering guano, waiting with big hopeful eyes for her next adventure.
It was seriously easy to catch fish when living in Queensland. High tide in among the mangroves, no lead, some tasty chicken gut for bait… endless Bream. A trip up Beelbi creek in ‘Moo‘ saw… endless Bream. Ok, so i only really caught Bream… but there was always a supplements for dogs
mudcrab in the pot and I became a dab hand at catching prawns using the cast net.
Who cares? Me! Now that we reside in Victoria it seems catching a feed of fish becomes a slim possibility. Westernport Bay, where I live, is Fished Out.
Enter my lucky talisman. My muse. Fellow fisherman - Dr PGR.
Without him there can be no bounty. He has become the Yang to my Ying. The Boom to my Bang. The Bubbles to my Michael... For not only does PGR not catch fish his rotten luck insists that anyone fishing with him will catch fish.
Surfarosa may look serene but don’t be fooled. Her decks are writhing with Life Size Snakes. They are meant to cure my problem with poo. Big gobs of poo. Bird poo. All over her decks
…and all over the snakes.
Hmmm… so I did what anyone who has sat through an episode of Hornblower would do… I climbed the mast and installed wires along the spreaders and plonked spikes on the mast head. Eureka! No more poo on the cabin roof. However, try as I might, the dear little (edible?) Shags would sit on the edges of the boat and drop their guts.
Next assault was to bring in a Life Size Goshawk and suspend it from the rigging. “Well, hi!” said the Shags. “Nice feathers… snicker snicker.”
Now, with UN peacekeepers keeping us apart, we have an uneasy truce. I give them the bows to Shag on (…couldn’t resist) and the rest of the boat is covered in netting.