Departed Robe

1500 Position: 37 29.2 S 139 44.3 E
Course: 150 Speed: 6 knots
Wind: NW F4, moderate breeze
Weather: overcast, occasional showers, cool
Distance run: 27 nm

I got to the pub with the fireplace last night, at last, where I enjoyed a chat with some of the locals over a glass or two of red wine beside the cosy log fire, my first night off the boat since Whyalla. This morning I reviewed the weather situation and, while a whole lot less than perfect, one can't be too fussy at this time of the year down here. Another front is on its way, it will probably be here sometime Sunday and as I am rather keen to make it to Melbourne by Wednesday so I can meet one of my brothers there, I figured I had best make the most of things now otherwise, if I wait for better conditions, I will not make it in time.

At 10 am we motored out of the marina berth and moved about 100 yards to the fuel berth, not to get fuel, but to save me a long walk around the small lake which constitutes the marina to get to the council office to pay my fees. Once again I had just missed the marina manager but he had left an account for me to pay, only $80 which is very reasonable, and as I had managed to avoid him the whole time I was there I never had to confront the issue of insurance, no small relief. Hopefully I will get this issue resolved soon.

Once my debts were discharged I motored Sylph the short distance out through the canal and into Guichen Bay where a large swell was rolling in from the ocean.  I got the mainsail up with two reefs which steadied the roll and slowly motored close hauled on the port tack to make ground to the north and open the shoreline. Once I felt we had a bit of sea room I set some jib, killed the engine and continued north until I was confident we could tack and clear the reef which guards the entrance into Robe. This we did at 11.25, now we were heading almost directly into the swell which washed off quite a bit of speed, so I let out a reef and set a little more job which helped us hold our head into the rollers and gave us a but more drive.  Once clear of the reef we then bore away to the south and started heading for Bass Strait and Port Philip.

We have now settled on a south sou' east course with the wind fine off the starboard quarter, we are back down to a double reefed mainsail with a small amount of jib poled out to starboard. The wind is about 18 to 20 knots, gusting to 25 or so when a rain squall passes by, the swell has smoothed out now we are in deeper water but is still a good four meters high, so we are rolling around a lot. RC was clearly not at all impressed to start of with but he now seems to have settled down under a jumper of mine on the starboard settee berth and looks pretty comfortable. I might even join him for a bit.

All is well.