Monday, July 03, 2006


June 2006 Newsletter

Tracy has been very slack but at last here is the long awaited update from the crew of Cockatoo II.

We have experienced sailing in the Roaring 40's and accomplished two successful Bass Strait Crossings. Not bad for sailors with four years of sailing experience.

We enjoyed the beautiful cruising grounds of Tasmania. It really is the most beautiful spot and great cruising areas to be found, our most favourite was Schouten Passage, the De'castreaux Channel and the Gordon River. The remoteness of Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour were appreciated too, spending over three weeks at each spot. We sat out weather at the Three Hummock Island enjoying the remote isolated beach for close to seven days before a high came over allowing us a pleasant overnight motor sail across Bass Strait and passing through the Heads at Port Phillip Bay at about 3am. They say that this area is one of the most treacherous in the world, thank goodness it was dark when we came through. We spent the day travelling up Port Phillip Bay arriving at Sandringham Sailing Club at about 2pm. We stayed at Sandringham for three days before moving onto the Royal Brighton Yacht Club just off Brighton.

We are berthed in Row five and Cockatoo II is in good company with two other Roberts next to us. The Boat next to us is preparing for the Melbourne to Osaka race in 2007, and the boat two up is doing the Melbourne to Vanuatu race so it is very interesting talking to people here. Grant and Delma's yacht is also here (that's who Paul is working for). We are finding that the club is not very friendly and it does not help that they are in the middle of renovations. Still it is a shot (20 minute walk) to the train station and the train runs every 20 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes into the city. We can see the City from our boat and watch the sunset reflect of the skyscrapers.

Spending a week or two exploring the city of Melbourne via train and tram we then finalised work. Both of us have found part time work in Melbourne, Paul working for a software company and I in a public Library. Paul works from the boat (lucky sod) and I travel 1hour and 30minutes via train to work.

As we are gainfully employed we have spent our hard earned money in advance by purchasing a diesel generator. Paul had a loan of a car for a little while from George a BMW (we felt very privileged) thanks George and Bella it helped us out a lot.

Our beautiful daughter Danielle and her partner Chris came over for a week and we enjoyed their company. They also spend three days exploring the Great Ocean Road while they were here. A week was too short and we did not go sailing either during this time. Paul's brother David and Chris caught up with us and we had dinner with them. So good to see family, they both look well and are enjoying life.

We are taking the opportunity to land cruise while we are here travelling to Geelong and Queenscliff. We went to the Rip lookout to view the heads in the daylight-did we really go though there? In Geelong we stayed in a lovely B&B with views of the Bay -just our luck there was a heavy fog and we saw nothing and heard lots of fog horns. We have caught up with Aunty Judy and Uncle John in Ballarat. We also caught up with Carolyn and Justin and their beautiful daughter Poppy.

We are enjoying our time in Melbourne, loving the multiculturalism and cultural aspects of this big city. We are doing maintenance and have installed a new diesel generator and have moved the nav table. So still busy on the boat. We also want to get the sails checked and some restitching done if need be ready to head off in September or October.

It has been bitterly cold but bearable. The heater on the boat is working non-stop and keeping us very warm. We will be in Melbourne until end of September (or maybe longer) working hard. We plan then to take a month sailing around Port Phillip Bay before heading though the heads and off to Wilson's Prom and beyond.

Hope everyone is well and happy and that life is treating you all well