We had a bet each way for the Melbourne Cup long weekend – on the sailing weather rather than the horse race! The extra long break (we add 2 days to our normal 3 day weekend) is often the time to enjoy the start of warmer days on the water before all the serious boat maintenance work starts. This year it was a mixed bag weatherwise: heat one day, cold temperature, rain and storms the next two, then sunny again… But we decided to take a chance and stay on board Take It Easy in the Gippsland Lakes for the 5 days. The bet paid off.
Although we were moored for two days without being able to move out of the cabin, we made good use of our time, enjoying reading, resting, blogging, and finalising the details for our imminent purchase: a wind generator. More electricity production will be a good thing, so Captain Stingy does not stress about our power consumption. We did a lot of research: power production in given wind strength, reliability, weight, noise from the blades, price… As usual with big purchases, we needed to choose the gear for our long term cruising and live aboard needs. We have bitten the bullet and are buying an AMPAIR 300. It will be installed when the boat comes out of the water in a couple of weeks.
We kept cabin fever at bay. On the better days there were of course many photo opportunities. The bird life is abundant on the Lakes. We observed some small terns fishing and were thrilled when we found they were a new sighting for us: “Whiskered Terns”. I could hardly contain my excitement when I reviewed the many close up shots I took of their fleeting, hovering and diving behaviour. There is enough material there for a dedicated bird post! Seals and dolphins also came to the party, a good sign that the Gippsland Lakes are healthy.
We even had a couple of nice sails, albeit at a slower pace than usual, and God forbid, some serious practice at tacking… something is definitely not right there!
Here are a few images, especially for our absent friends, scared away by the weather forecast. As usual, click on any photo to scroll through in full screen.