Speedy Gonzales!

At long last we have left Wilsons Promontory and reached Lakes Entrance at the Gippsland Lakes on Tuesday night in record time. It was a bit like coming home, the Lakes were after all our home port for many years. But this time Take It Easy turned into Speedy Gonzales, even with reduced sails!

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Leaving the Prom behind

We had strong WSW winds, but being from our stern we knew we could cope with 25+ knots. It was an exhilarating passage, and a very fast one at that! In fact when we set off, we had intended to anchor off the Ninety Miles Beach overnight, and continue to Lakes Entrance the next day. However we were going so fast that we realised we could make the Lakes by 9pm that evening. We broke all our records: speed under the partly rolled genoa and double reefed main at 16.6 knots, fastest ever passage from the Prom to the Lakes in 14 hours. It was particularly cold with that wind, but the air was clear and the light amazing.  A few brief showers made for numerous rainbows.

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And then there were the many pods of dolphins which seem to particularly enjoy our speed. They are such endearing creatures, and so quick!  They would escort us for a time, doing S’s at our bows, but then as if to tease us, would speed up effortlessly and leave us behind, only to make a big circle to come back and join us. So much fun!

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Despite a night arrival for the notorious bar crossing, the conditions were perfect: light wind, no swell, flooding tide, all warning lights working on the breakwater walls. It was a smooth entrance.

Our stop at Lakes Entrance is allowing us to re-provision and top up water and fuel. We have done some chores, such as the laundry and clean up of the cabin. We have even caught up with a local friend from Paynesville who happened to be at the jetty when we arrived. Bengie has ventured outside several times, happy just like us to stretch her legs!

We hope to be on our way again on Friday. At this stage the weather looks right for a stop at the Skerries overnight, our last stop along the Victorian coast, then onto Eden in NSW on Saturday. But we will see what develops.

Here are a few more photos of this invigorating passage.

24 thoughts on “Speedy Gonzales!

  1. Wow, really fantastic photos! I’ve never seen a rainbow with such intense coulours! I’m excited for you both. ❤️👍🏻

    • Hi Elgar – we were all going so fast that it was hard to pan and balance at the front with the camera! So although it’s a bit blurry we both really liked that shot!

  2. Yay! Finally on your way. Beautiful dolphins and rainbows. We look forward to your posts!\.

    • Hi Craig – we have actually been going for just under 2 weeks but the weather has not been cooperative. Wade says we expect you to arrange better weather than we’ve been getting! 😊

  3. Hi Crew,

    I am pleased to hear things are going well. I am a recent subscriber to your blog but a long time follower to your posts and adventures. I look forward to keeping up with your exploits and travels around Aus. I loved reading the blog by SV-Adina which like your own stories shows both the up and down side of life afloat.

    I have a keen interest in your ride as my brother is currently building a 11m lizard cat from Peter Kerr in Gympie which he hopes to have floating by the end of the year. I have been involved in the marine industry all my life and like to think I am approaching the age where I can think about the future and the cruising life has more than just a passing appeal.

    Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance to you on your ventures and I look forward to following you up the coast and perhaps catching up when you reach our warmer waters.

    Kind regards
    Andrew Leeson

    andrew@amcboats.com.au
    http://www.amcboats.com.au

    • Hiya Andrew – yes we saw your recent follow. Thank you for the kind feedback and offer of help. It is always nice to hear people are interested in our ups and downs. You will see our progress north – we can’t wait to get to warmer climes! Sailing in southern waters in winter might be great for photography, but it is f…ing cold!

  4. W hat a great start, you sure picked the right weather. The night rainbows look stunning and even the dolphins can be seen having a ball. You are heading in the right direction, warm days for winter approx 25 degress. Will see you some day, cheers.

    • Hi Terry – nice to get your message! Yes we are taking advantage of some strong weather to make progress along the coast and leave Victoria and the winter cold behind. Glad you liked the rainbows and the dolphins. They were magic.

  5. Great images. When the sun makes an appearance on a winters day the colours are so intense. None of the humidity haze we used to get up north. I’m interested in how T.I.E handled the conditions on the passage. Was the self steering able to cope, or did you hand steer all day? Did you get a sense she was on the edge of control?

    • Hi guys – “George” the autopilot steered all the way. At no time were we feeling on the edge of control. It was always comfortable and safe. The trick with making the autohelm work well is to have the boat balanced. We had a couple of rolls in the genoa and a double reefed main as we mentioned, and it was just fine. Most of the time we were doing between 8 and 12 knots. No slamming, no vibration, just good fun!

  6. Hi Guys, great ride from the Prom. I was thinking of you on Tuesday, and reckoned you would have a fast passage. Went to call you, but have lost the number ! Reminds me of a similar ride and conditions I experienced some years ago with 30-35kts N.Westerly in my ‘First Try’. Your reference to possible visit to the Skerries interests me, ‘cos I researched it by land before visiting on a later delivery of a Bavaria 44 on route to Melbourne. Just sheltered on the East side of the rocks, but it would be possible to get my Piver 26 into the lagoon, I think. Anyway, have a great next stage !

    • Hi Doug, yes the Skerries are a good way of avoiding an overnighter to Eden. But it can be very swelly in there, so we are not sure how it will go. We were due to leave this Friday, however the gale warnings thought otherwise and we are still in the Lakes at Flagstaff Jetty. Now looks like a Sunday departure.

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