2015 December – Southend to Melbourne

Posted by on January 4, 2016

2015-12 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS

Total Sailing time : 58h19m (3499 minutes)
Travelled distance : 598.752 km (323.300 nm)
Average Speed : 10.26 km/h (5.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 28.25 km/h (15.25 knots) on 2015/12/11

Winds on the southern edge must agree with XTsea as this was our fastest average monthly speed to date at 5.54 knots.

2015-12-02 - FROM Southend TO Port Macdonnell

Trip start : 2015/12/02 04:57:50 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-01T19:57:50Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/02 13:57:20
Trip Duration : 8h59m (539 minutes)
Start Point : 140.116897,-37.567199
End Point : 140.703933,-38.058528
Travelled distance : 92.766 km (50.089 nm)
Average Speed : 10.32 km/h (5.57 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.53 km/h (10.54 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 75.127 km (40.565 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.36 km/h (4.51 knots)


Love an early start! Most of the cray boats had left before we woke, so the trip out of the anchorage was less stressful for Colleen. We turned the corner following the path of a cray boat, and started for Victoria!

We arrived into Port Macdonnell mid-afternoon and again found a harbor full of cray boats. There must be some money in crays!

2015-12-03 - FROM Port Macdonnell TO Portland

Trip start : 2015/12/03 06:22:34 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-02T21:22:34Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/03 19:39:10
Trip Duration : 13h16m (796 minutes)
Start Point : 140.703933,-38.058391
End Point : 141.610794,-38.342430
Travelled distance : 106.508 km (57.510 nm)
Average Speed : 8.02 km/h (4.33 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.30 km/h (8.80 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 85.305 km (46.061 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.43 km/h (3.47 knots)


A long day’s sailing. Wind had died down so our speed was less, and our progress was further slowed by having to navigate around the many craypot floats. We only snagged one, but it was just stuck under the starboard rudder so came off easily.

Cape Nelson lighthouse near Portland

Cape Nelson lighthouse near Portland

With dusk approaching, we considered staying overnight in the bay west of Portland, but with winds from the south-east it would have been uncomfortable so we pushed on. We cut the corner nice and tight around Cape Nelson to get a photo of the lighthouse, and waved at a few walkers on the trail. Dolphins escorted us towards Lawrence Rocks, and then just as the sun set, we found ourselves travelling through a swarm of craypot floats.

David arranged for someone to weld up the split in the port holding tank, but he was in Warrnambool. To ensure a quick turnaround, David hitch-hiked his way the 100km to Warrnambool on the Friday. Needing a ute to carry the tank, he struggled more than usual to get a ride, but eventually someone picked him up.

2015-12-06 - FROM Portland TO Port Fairy

Trip start : 2015/12/06 09:14:29 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-06T00:14:29Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/06 16:48:40
Trip Duration : 7h34m (454 minutes)
Start Point : 141.610687,-38.342658
End Point : 142.241058,-38.386199
Travelled distance : 61.640 km (33.283 nm)
Average Speed : 8.14 km/h (4.39 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.42 km/h (7.79 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 55.172 km (29.790 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.29 km/h (3.93 knots)


Wind died away shortly after leaving Portland, so most of the trip was done under motor. The sheer cliffs of Lady Julia Percy Island looked to be the place to fish from the number of boats over there.

We tied up at the visitors berth in the river, and enjoyed a lovely couple of days. We visited Colleen’s brother-in-law’s brother Jeff and his wife Michelle and family for a nice dinner, caught up with David and Leanne on Priorities (and fixed a tricky AIS problem he had) and recovered the repaired holding tank from Warrnambool.

2015-12-09 - FROM Port Fairy TO Apollo Bay

Trip start : 2015/12/09 04:43:33 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-08T19:43:33Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/09 16:34:19
Trip Duration : 11h50m (710 minutes)
Start Point : 142.241134,-38.387008
End Point : 143.675674,-38.755489
Travelled distance : 149.753 km (80.860 nm)
Average Speed : 12.65 km/h (6.83 knots)
Peak Speed : 22.13 km/h (11.95 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 131.269 km (70.879 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.09 km/h (5.98 knots)


We left Priorities at Port Fairy as they did not want to face the strong winds forecast, and enjoyed a fast sail to Apollo Bay. Happily the wind turned just as we rounded Cape Otway so we had pleasant wind in both legs of our journey.

We decided to wait for Priorities to recover a hard disk we had loaned them, so David thought it would be an opportunity to complete the repair of the toilet. He had picked up seacocks, hoses, and clamps in Warrnambool so we had everything on hand, but it was a brave step to replace a seacock on the water. If anything had gone wrong, there was a chance we could flood a hull.

Replacing a seacock ON THE WATER!! Brave.

Replacing a seacock ON THE WATER!! Brave.

A few swims under the hull to install a temporary bung and stop it leaking too mach, David soon had a working seacock installed. The holding tanks was then maneuvered into place, hoses and fittings run, and we had a toilet again.

2015-12-11 - FROM Apollo Bay TO Sorrento

Trip start : 2015/12/11 06:31:01 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-10T20:31:01Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/11 14:59:06
Trip Duration : 8h28m (508 minutes)
Start Point : 143.675567,-38.755531
End Point : 144.740722,-38.325019
Travelled distance : 114.057 km (61.586 nm)
Average Speed : 13.47 km/h (7.27 knots)
Peak Speed : 28.25 km/h (15.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 104.276 km (56.304 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 12.31 km/h (6.65 knots)


With time running out to get to a family event in Melbourne, we felt that we should make for Melbourne despite brisk winds. We made very good time, and as we approached the entry to Port Phillip We needed to consider the trip through the Rip. With very strong wind (25-30 knots) from the south and a transit time at the start of an ebbing tide, conditions might have been treacherous so we considered popping in to Barwon for a few hours. However we made a call on the radio and were reassured that the state of the Rip was reasonable.

We dropped sail, donned lifejackets, closed the rear doors, and started through. Some swell from the rear looked scary, but XTsea rode it out beautifully. We wondered what all the fuss was about.

Dodging some ferries, we pulled into Sorrento and settled down for the night.

2015-12-12 - FROM Sorrento TO Williamstown

Trip start : 2015/12/12 08:23:25 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-11T22:23:25Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/12 15:16:06
Trip Duration : 6h52m (412 minutes)
Start Point : 144.740905,-38.324970
End Point : 144.896697,-37.873588
Travelled distance : 61.972 km (33.462 nm)
Average Speed : 9.02 km/h (4.87 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.20 km/h (8.21 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 52.009 km (28.083 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.57 km/h (4.08 knots)


A sedate cruise up the bay, we enjoyed reminiscing about our times diving in the area. We struggled to find a place to anchor for the night, but eventually found a spot. We had a visit from Colleen’s sister and family who waved to us from the shore while we chatted on the phone.

2015-12-13 - FROM Williamstown TO Docklands

Trip start : 2015/12/13 05:34:45 (Adjusted Local) (2015-12-12T19:34:45Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/12/13 06:55:08
Trip Duration : 1h20m (80 minutes)
Start Point : 144.896713,-37.873889
End Point : 144.940902,-37.818901
Travelled distance : 12.053 km (6.508 nm)
Average Speed : 9.04 km/h (4.88 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.66 km/h (6.83 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 7.241 km (3.910 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.43 km/h (2.93 knots)


Up early for a motor into the d’Albora Marina in Docklands. We’ll stay for a couple of months and hopefully find some work. We tied up in front of Lauren Marie, a Seawind 1250 with our long-time friends Rose and Gavin.

Colleen pleased to be back 'home' in Melbourne.

Colleen pleased to be back ‘home’ in Melbourne.


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