Werribee South boat ramp was very busy for a Monday morning well into autumn. A fine day with light winds had beckoned to all the fisherfolk who didn’t have to be at work. There were a couple of parking spots left for Gary in Anjevi (SCAMP) and Chris in Ysolde (Stornoway 18) to prepare for launching. We had planned a mid-morning meet up for the start of our two-day trip and had the boats in the water by eleven o’clock. Despite what the forecast had predicted, the light breeze set in from ENE as we cleared the river entrance beacons.

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Leaving Werribee River astern, we settled onto a broad reach heading southwest toward Wedge Spit Buoy. Ysolde messed around with sail plans in an attempt to keep pace with the new SCAMP, but Anjevi took off at a fine pace instigating the usual race. The unexpected turn of speed left no option for Ysolde than to set all sails, wing on wing, and chase her companion down. We rounded Wedge Spit Buoy with the intention of anchoring for lunch off the mouth of Little River. In the meantime, the wind had veered a little and increased to ten knots from ESE.

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The scene was now set for the “Lee Shore for Lunch” sailing club to do their usual stunt. We anchored in 1.2 meters of water about 300 meters off the entrance bar; the shallow water kicked up enough chop to stir the tea. We seem to revel in risk, whether it be our proclivity for anchoring on lee shores, or leaving car and trailer at the boat ramp overnight. Anyway, Anjevi did a fine job of anchoring at a comfortable conversation distance from Ysolde where we enjoyed an hour’s stopover for our delayed lunch. During the lunch break, Gary decided to carry out a re-boarding drill on his new vessel using the Howard Rice recovery straps. Two dips into the brine and two successful recoveries, only a small adjustment needed. We called that a triumph and hoped never to really need it. Our return to Werribee River required a beat back to Wedge Spit and a beam reach along the coast. We enjoyed a beautiful sail returning, with Ysolde rounding the buoy while Anjevi teased the sandy spit with her offset centreboard. An hour of daylight remained as we re-entered the Werribee River.

We decided to cruise upriver to the island, just down from the K road cliffs. The late afternoon cruise with our quiet electric outboards was delightful. Our slow and silent progress barely disturbed the thousands of birds going about their evening business along the river and its banks. We moored to bow and stern anchors, parallel to the bank, as the sun set over the golf course. In the twilight, we set up our cockpit tents and prepared dinner. Our night was clear, peaceful and calm; only becoming cold just before dawn. 

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We rose early the next morning to birdsong and smoky calm waters, breakfasting as the sun rose. A strong wind warning had caused us to abandon our planned day of sailing back out on the Bay. Instead, we enjoyed another slow and quiet cruise downriver to the boat ramp. The best times to experience the Werribee River and its prolific birdlife are dawn and dusk. We had managed to include both in out overnight adventure.

You can watch a video of the cruise: