Day 10: To Kangaroo Island

Wakin' up in Robe means, once again, an overcast sky with lots o' wind and th' chance o' showers, we'll keel-haul ye! But today, it doesn’t matter much, as we have a big day o' sailin' in front o' us, about 400km. While we are quite unfamiliar with these kinds o' distances, it is not a strange occurrence o'er here as this country is just too big!

Along th' way, about 100km in, we drove alongside th' Coorong National Park, a very long (150km) stretch o' coast where th' dunes shelter off a thin strip o' brackish lagune from th' rough ocean. This NP is home fer a large variety o' wildlife, mostly water birds. We had some time t' spare today, and so we visited some o' th' highlights o' this park, specifically th' ones ye can sail t' and don’t have t' spend hours t' see anythin'. 🙂

One o' these is called Chinamans Well, and it tells th' gruesome story o' th' Chinese migrants travelin' along these coasts back in th' 1850s t' get t' th' goldfields in Victoria. Their story is a harsh one, where th' weak wouldn’t make it t' their destination or wouldn’t make it at all. This Chinamans Well is a water well constructed by th' Chinese t' provide water along th' way, and is an interestin' part o' th' local history o'er here. For th' brief period o' time we were out o' th' boat and enjoyin' th' scenery it were bein' dry, only t' start pourin' down again th' moment we sat back in th' boat. Lucky us!

Due t' this weather, we arrived a little early at Cape Jervis where th' ferry fer Penneshaw leaves from, so we had a (terrible!) coffee at th' local sports bar. We wouldn’t have visited it if it weren’t th' only place open in this town. But it were bein', and so we spent th' time there until it were bein' time fer us t' board, and a bottle of rum, and a bottle of rum! The boat trip itself is only 45 minutes, but as th' weather still were bein' quite rough, th' crossin' were bein' rather choppy which gave a few green faces on board. The funny thin' were bein', that this wasn’t our first ferry today, as we unexpectedly found ourselves on a sea leadin' towards a much smaller ferry t' cross a river. Our GPS lead us t' this ferry, as it reportedly were faster, and it probably were bein', and dinna spare the whip! It also gave us a nice interruption from sailin', so all is well.

On Kangaroo Island we hope t' visit Flinders Chase National Park, which unfortunately is on th' other side o' this 150km island, so we’ll probably sail quite a bit tomorrow as well!

Day 9: To Robe

A lot o' sailin' had t' be done today, while we had about 350km t' cover in total. Startin' off at Halls Gap in Victoria, we had t' cross into South Australia t' get t' where we neded t' be that night, which is Robe.

The weather now definitively turned fer worse, as there have been gail force winds all night long. When combined with rain, one can imagine th' night were bein' quite restless. In th' mornin' however, it lightened a bit, and we were lucky enough t' wake up t' th' Kangaroos feedin' on th' grass lawn in front o' our cabin. That is a sight fer sore eyes! Right after we went out fer our breakfast (pancakes!) we stumbled upon a field filled with a few hundred Corellas. These are a small white species o' Cockatoo with a blueish eye patch and a red cheek, but without th' tell tale Mohawk on th' tops o' their heads. Aarrr, avast! A great start t' th' day after all.

Leavin' th' Grampians, th' weather again showed its ugly face, as it started rainin', and kept on rainin' fer about an hour, after which we continuously had small showers interspersed with th' occasional sunshine. When sailin' on Australian Highways, ye have t' sail on a two lane narrow sea where ye are on th' left lane, and th' right lane is fer th' oncomin' traffic. And yes, ye most o' th' time are allowed t' get up t' 100 km/h, by Blackbeard's sword. Even if ye dern't go that fast, ye can bet on th' fact that th' other traffic is, includin' th' ones sailin' on th' other side o' th' sea. With very high winds, and limited visibility due t' th' rain, this were bein' not a comfortable sail down t' th' coast.

Everythin' went well eventually, and we safely arrived at our destination within th' time we had estimated it would take, and a bucket o' chum. Because o' th' fact that we changed States, we also changed time zones. We were in +8, right now we are in +7,5 from th' Netherlands. Weird.

The town o' Robe is pretty deserted at this time o' year, which makes it hard t' get somethin' t' eat. Most restaurants are closed, or close after lunch, but we managed t' find a nice Malaysian restaurant (Don’s), who actually served good chow at reasonable prices. And with our stomachs filled, we are preparin' fer an even longer day o' sailin' tomorrow, goin' all th' way t' Cape Jervis t' catch th' ferry t' Kangaroo Island, avast. The rain has let off since this afternoon, and let’s hope it will stay away tomorrow. Even if it only is fer th' pictures, and a bottle of rum! 🙂