Arrived RBYC

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 18 Apr 2023 07:58

Position: 37 54.45 S 144 58.88 E
Alongside Royal Brighton Yacht Club Marina
Wind: N F3
Sea: slight Swell: nil
Weather: partly cloudy, mild
Day's run: 84 nm

The wind eased late yesterday afternoon as forecast such that at 1500 we had to motor. Fortunately an hour later sufficient wind returned for us to continue sailing most of the way to the Heads where, at 2130. again the wind fell light. With only five miles to go to the entrance and not wanting to miss the end of the flood tide as well as wanting to avoid the numerous ships that were at that time exiting Port Phillip, I once again resorted to the BRM to get us through the potential hazards of the Rip.

We rounded Point Lonsdale an hour later and once clear of the turbulence were able to shut down the motor and continue sailing. Normally when transitting Port Phillip I use the Western Channel as it is the shortest route, has plenty of depth, is well marked and easy to navigate. However, with the northerly breeze if I wanted to use this channel I would have had to motor once more. On the other hand, if I wanted to keep on sailing I could use the Southern Channel, but the problem with this route, apart from the fact that it is used by all the large ships, is that it would have added some 20 miles to the passage, which I was not keen on as one cannot get much sleep when sailing around Port Phillip at night due to navigational constraints and the numerous shipping movements.

On studying the chat a bit further, Symonds Channel looked feasible. It is not marked at all (apart from one very weak quick flashing red beacon at its northern entrance) and has numerous shoals. But we were heading that way, the tide was full and, most importantly, it meant we could keep on sailing. So for the next hour I watched the GPS plotter closely, along with the depth sounder to make sure the two tied in together. At 0030 we were back in deep water and able to relax a little more.

From here we continued tacking up the bay against the light to moderate N'ly breeze. It only took two long boards to get to the northern end of the bay, dodging a few a merchant ships along the way, and eventually we arrived off the entrance to the Royal Brighton Yacht Club marina at a little after eight. We handed sail, started the engine and proceeded to our berth. After a quick tidy up and a second breakfast I dislodged Oly from my bunk before falling into it for some uninterrupted sleep.

All is well.