After being away for nearly a year, Take It Easy is back at her home port of Paynesville in the Gippsland Lakes. Last weekend we took the opportunity of a short weather window to make our winter migration. Wade and friend Greg brought the boat back from Port Albert where it had been since our return from Queensland. I did the car shuffle. The passage was uneventful, just as we like it.
The boys had a quiet crossing of the Port Albert bar in daylight on Thursday afternoon, and sailed to the start of the Ninety Mile Beach. They stopped and anchored for the night, level with McLoughlins Beach. At 3.30 am on Friday, they escaped their rolly anchorage, hugged the coast and motor-sailed in balmy conditions, to get to the Lakes Entrance bar before dark. It was a different way of making this 70 nm passage. Normally we wait for a Southwest front to come through and then follow it up in generally boisterous conditions. This time we picked a NW forecast, thus an offshore wind, and hugged the coast no more than 400 meters away from the shore.
Wanting to get in ahead of a forecast change, the guys did not mess about, so much so that they were inside the Lakes by 4 pm, before I could get to the lookout at Lakes Entrance to take photos! We met up in scenic Metung for a pub meal at the hotel next to the jetty, and stayed there overnight.
The next day they continued to Paynesville while I followed them by road. It was odd seeing Take It Easy sailing past Shaving Point at Metung, then later arriving back at her berth alongside the jetty.
We now have a long list of chores to attend to over winter and spring as we continue to ready the boat for full-time cruising life. It is still well over a year away, but time will pass very quickly, and of course there is our usual Summer cruise in December-January to prepare for before that.