Melbourne and Geelong
During our time in Melbourne, tied up at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, we mixed pleasure with work on the boat. We spent time with Greg’s daughters and their families and our friends who live in Melbourne.
We hired a car, a tired Laser station wagon, for the first week to get the things we needed and to tour around a bit. I really wanted to go along the Great Ocean Road and see the 12, or is that 11 Apostles.
We headed around the bay to Sorrento where we caught the vehicular ferry to Queenscliffe. The ferry is very well appointed and quite large for the distance it goes, but we had to keep reminding ourselves where it goes – past the mouth of Port Phillip Bay and the weather and sea state can be quite exhilarating, quite different from the calmness of the day we crossed.
From Queenscliffe we headed for the Surf coast. and arrived at Barwon Heads which was the site of the ABC TV programme “Seachange”. We crossed the bridge that was damaged for so much of the time in the series, and saw “Diver Dan’s” shed, now a restaurant.
It was getting late in the afternoon by the time we arrived at Airey’s Inlet so we decided to stay there for the night and enjoyed a stay at the “Lightkeepers Motel” The Split Point lighthouse here is the light house that features in “Round the Twist”. Split Point Lighthouse
The next morning we continued our travels along the Great Ocean Road, past Apollo Bay and Lorne until we came to the 12 Apostles. They are certainly a stunning sight! The day was cool and threatening to rain but we managed to thread our way along the tracks to the viewing areas with all the other Sunday tourists. (photos soon)
Our drive lead us as far as Port Campbell where we headed inland and back to Melbourne via Geelong, the "short cut"
I cannot get over how flat Victoria is!
We discovered the “delights” of inner suburban Melbourne, with the help of the Public transport system, and spent an afternoon at Scienceworks, an interactive science display in the old Spotswood sewerage pump station, Great place to take kids. There were 8 school buses outside when we arrived!
Now for the work:
We had been having rust problems in the drinking water tanks for some time so we decided to investigate while we werein Melbourne and had facilities to do work on the boat. When Greg cut open the tank there was thick rust mud in the tank – it needed replacing. We now have 2 plastic caravan tanks that fit quite nicely in the modified space and clean drinking water. 4 days.
Another job was to find and fit a new alternator belt. This was difficult to find without a car or phonebook and took up a lot of time and energy. We didn’t find one in Melbourne – but we did finally get one of the 2 that Repco had in Australia that fits our engine, in Geelong.
We enjoyed our stay at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. Helsal II, Living Doll, and Kookaburra were some of our neighbours. After nearly three weeks in Williamstown we decided that things might be closer together at Geelong so we motored to Geelong (breeze 0-1 Kts) and tied up at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
Geelong is a lovely spot and very convenient with a big shopping centre only a block away from the marina. It is a small city and is clean and very neat. We enjoyed it here and wondered whether to stay for a few months and find work during the winter, but the cold was getting to us so we decided to leave after 2 weeks.
The “Duyfken” arrived in Geelong for a few days while we were there. It is a replica of the first recorded European ship (Willem Janszoon 1606) to visit Australian shores. This replica was built in Fremantle in 2000 and was travelling around Australia in 2006 to celebrate the 400thAnniversary of the discovery.
Compared to us they did it tough 400 years ago. There was nowhere that the original crew of 20 could go below and get out of the weather. The cargo of spices was too valuable to be out in the open while en route from the Spice Islands to Europe so it was in the hold while the crew had to live on the deck.
The Royal Geelong Yacht Club was a great place to stay and the staff were really friendly and welcoming. We recommend it to anyone cruising to Victoria.
The short days of winter are not helping our resolve to leave soon. But after the shortest day we will begin to see the return of the sun. Besides the water temperature was only 11.5 C there - not good for swimming!