At Anchor Hobsons Bay

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 29 May 2024 06:58

Position: 37 50.52 S 144 55.32 E
At anchor Hobsons Bay, Port Phillip
Wind: N, F6 - strong breeze
Sea: wavelets Swell: nil
Weather: sunny, cool
Day's Run: 69nm sailed, 48nm made good

It has been a long and tiring passage from Narooma to Port Phillip, with lots of head winds and light airs, but overall on looking back still a successful and rewarding sail.

Yesterday was perhaps better than the previous two days. While it was upwind the whole way, including when we got into Port Phillip, we enjoyed a nice breeze and the sailing was mostly pleasant.

We arrived off Port Phillip Heads at 1600 at high water. This meant that the stream would be flooding strongly, at some four knots according to the tide tables. However, conditions were benign with a light N'ly breeze blowing, a long low swell from the south and no sign of any white water in the vicinity of the Rip. I decided to proceed while we still had plenty of daylight and the winds remained light.

As was to be expected, as we passed through the entrance there were numerous swirls and eddies, but apart from these disturbances the water was smooth and we were carried in with the tide, our speed touching on eight knots as we did so. Once inside Port Phillip, as light was fading, we short tacked up the Western Channel, watching the depth sounder and the plotter closely as we did so, avoiding the numerous shallows that surround the relatively narrow channel.

At 1818, we were clear of the channel and were able to relax a little for some long tacks up the bay against the light breeze, with some 22 miles still to go. With the navigational constraints, shipping and other small craft, the opportunity to get any rest was almost nil, consequently it was to prove a long tiring night.

By 0140 we had worked our way past the large merchant ships at anchor waiting for cargo, and had only eight miles to go to our chosen anchorage in Hobsons Bay, near the old Princes Pier. With the wind fading and starting to feel the need for some sleep, I started the engine and we motored the remaining distance in a straight line, rather than tacking another sixteen miles or so. With the assistance of the BRM, we thus came to anchor at 0329 in five meters of water. After a quick tidy up, I turned in and slept, waking a few hours later to hear the wind picking up. Feeling grateful that we had made it to shelter and a warm bunk, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Needless to say I enjoyed a long sleep-in.

We have strong N'ly winds forecast for the next two days so we will stay hunkered down here in Hobsons Bay until they abate. Then, on Friday, we will likely move to the Ferguson Street Public Pier in Williamstown for the weekend to top up with food and water. We also need to refuel at some point and of course we will be wanting to catch up with brother Mark before continuing on our way to Adelaide. At this stage the weather pattern looks good for continuing west early next week.

All is well.