Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 16 Apr 2023 10:43

Position: 38 18.43 S  145 11.57 E
Alongside Westernport Marina, Hastings
Wind: calm
Sea: calm Swell: nil
Weather: clear, cool
Day's run: 6 nm

This morning, as usual, my first act was to review the weather forecast over breakfast in order to determine the plan for the day. Yesterday's plan was to move from our present anchorage to somewhere with a bit more shelter form the SW but, looking at the morning's forecast, the wind was not expected to be any further south than WSW and I thought our current position would provide sufficient shelter from this direction. Tomorrow the wind was forecast to be light from the NW and it was and is still my intention to start heading back to Port Phillip tomorrow morning.

The dinghy had a significant amount of water in it from the rain that had fallen overnight. I needed to bail it out before getting it inboard preparatory to sailing in the morning. However, during the forenoon the wind was against the tide and I thought it would be easier to bail it out when the tide turned when the dinghy would lay more quietly alongside Sylph's hull, so I put this chore off until the afternoon and settled down to a quiet day at anchor.

And it remained pretty quiet until early afternoon when the wind freshened out of the SSW. This direction, more south than forecast, made our anchorage more boisterous than I was anticipating. Nonetheless, the dinghy needed bailing. I put on my boots, grabbed a bucket and as I went to go over the side, the anchor drag alarm went off. Not to worry, I thought, we have plenty of deep water into which we can drag so I continued bailing out the dinghy then continued getting it inboard and secure. By this time it was clear that Sylph was dragging quite rapidly, at the rate of close to a knot. I needed to either let out more chain or haul it all in and reset the anchor in shallower water.

Now I also wanted to top with fuel before leaving Westernport and the only place we could do that was in Hastings at the Westernport Marina. With this in mind I decided the simplest thing to do under the circumstances was to weigh anchor and motor the five miles to the Hastings Inlet into the Marina, top with fuel and then remain alongside for the night.

Which is what we have done. Sylph sits quietly alongside, I have had a shower and a meal at the pub, and am looking forward to, I hope, an uninterrupted night's sleep (I am sure Oli agrees with me).

All is well.