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Melbourne to Gold Coast by boat

Melbourne to Gold Coast

This trip was to be the Big Test before our Big Trip. Although we didn’t have very long – only two weeks to get the boat from Melbourne to the Gold Coast in the Christmas break of 2021 to 2022. But we would be living on the boat together, with no one else to help, and have the two kelpies with us – Scout and Terra.

Port Phillip Bay to Refuge Cove

We left Wyndham marina at about 11pm on 23 December 2021, and just trolled across Port Phillip Bay.

We went through the Port Phillip Bay heads at about 2am. High tide was due at 4:15am, so the tide was incoming and there was a southerly breeze – it was all going in the right direction, so the heads were pretty flat.

We trolled most of the way (we didn’t bother putting rods out), until we could see Wilson’s Promontory, and then we motored. We got into Refuge Cove at 1:30pm on Christmas Eve.

We cooked lunch, and had a nap. Then we emptied the 500L bladder that we had on the back deck, since we had used that much fuel to get to Refuge Cove.

Refuge Cove to Bermagui

We left Refuge Cove at 3pm on 24 December 2021, and ran until 6pm, and then trolled.

Daniel drove until 1am, after the full moon had risen. Then Jacqui drove from 1am until 4:30am, while Daniel slept.

The weather was so fine, that we would have arrived into Eden at 9am, so we decided to keep going and aim for Bermagui instead.

We arrived at Bermagui at 1pm on Christmas Day, and filled up the tanks. It took 1,730L to fill.

Bermagui to Jervis Bay

We left Bermagui on 27 December 2021, with a southerly wind behind us that was picking up. We were chased all the way up the coast by a storm, and got into Jervis Bay just in time.

It was about 150km, and we used about 300L of diesel.

Jervis Bay to the Hawkesbury

The southerly continued to blow, the following day, but we had a window on 29 December 2021 to get past Sydney.

If we could get up past Sydney that day, we would miss the next southerly, which didn’t seem to be effecting waters north of Sydney.

We did a bit of fishing on the way, trolling mostly, and arrived into the Hawkesbury in the early evening. We met up with the crew of Relentless Pursuit (who often fish from Bermagui), and rafted up with them for the night near Bobbin Head.

Hawkesbury to Port Stephens

Only a small window remaining, we had to keep pushing north. This time, the wind was turning, and we were due to hit a northerly weather pattern, being blown down the coast by the beginning of a cyclone.

So 30 December 2021, we ran most of the way, and got into Dal Boro marina just as the northerly breeze hit in the early evening.

This was one of the tightest marinas we’ve ever parked in, and without thrusters on Just One More, it was a bit difficult to get into the little spot they allocated to us.

We had New Years Eve here, and it was very festive, with the fireworks on a barge right outside the marina from out pen.

Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour

One day when the northerly eased off a bit to the east, on 2 January 2022, we decided to take out chance.

We ran up the coast and made it to Coffs Harbour. Just. The easterly swell was horrible, pushing us in through the heads, and then we had to turn 90 degrees against it to get into the marina.

They didn’t have much room, so we tied up to the old wooden marina for the night, with bumpers.

Waves were pounding the marina wall for the next two days, and they closed it off to tourists because gravel and rocks were coming loose.

The Coffs Harbour marina crew moved us into a safe pen. We were stuck for a few days.

Coffs Harbour to Gold Coast

Last leg – running all the way on 7 January 2022. The cyclone winds and the swelled had eased a lot, but the conditions still weren’t ideal.

We were just wanting to arrive now, because the boat was due on the Gold Coast to have work started on it on 10 January 2022.

We didn’t have any other option, because this was the only window until another northerly came through for a few days.

We made it!

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