Phillip Island

A small adventure, sailing right around Phillip Island.

Getting the boat sorted the day before takes the pressure off and leaves time for messing about with boaty bits.

We gathered a keen, if not quite crack, crew of four crusty blokes, enough food for two days, and a bottle of celebratory wine. (OK, a couple of beers, too).

Squeezing past Tortoise Head on French Island in the late morning after a lazy start, we are finally into it, away… so, time to park next the beach at Rhyll, on the Nth side of Phillip Island, and wander off in the rain for a cup of coffee and a toasted sandwich at the General Store.

A quick sail along the Nth side, past Churchill Is and Newhaven, found us before the Phillip Island bridge. Crikey, the tide was nearly high but still running enough to pile up water against the bridge pylons. We pushed through and plonked ourselves at the pier in San Remo.

Walking through town then out toward the coast led us to a spot where we could see the channel to Bass Strait. It was fairly wild. Waves breaking onto sandbars, the sea cold and grey. It is about 4 km out to Bass Strait from San Remo. There is some protected water under Cape Woolemi. We stayed there. I dumped the guys onto the sand, through a small swell, so they could walk over to Woolemi Beach. We motor past a huge sandhill where the local kids were sand skiing. Awesome!

Day two. Breakfast onboard then a gentle sail past Cape Woolemi on our way out to Bass Strait.

The weather forcast was promising a gentle offshore breeze. What we got was a 20 knot headwind over a six foot swell. Lumpy and wild for light 24 foot trimaran. Once I got the idea that the boat was really enjoying these conditions, I started to enjoy myself too. It took three long tacks and three hours to get us past Seal Rocks and back into Westernport Bay.

A fast sail through Cat Bay, reaching 16 knots, then a last skim along Phillip Island, before crossing our tracks and lunch in the lee of Sandy Point.

A quiet sail up past Stony point and around an old Oberon class submarine, then home…

57 Nautical Miles. Average speed 5.5 knots. Two days.

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