WBA members from Melbourne and East Gippsland enjoyed a fantastic weekend on the Gippsland Lakes recently.
Richard Monfries has compiled a video of some of the weekend's activities, and Tony and Linda Remington have provided a written report of the weekend's activities.

Wooden boats of Paynesville, Victoria from Richard Monfries on Vimeo.

Paynesville Report by Tony and Linda Remington


Linda & I arrived, at the very pleasant “Allawah” Caravan & Boat Park, and found quite a few members already settled in. The amount of help and offers of help, to pitch our tent was extraordinary and much appreciated after a 5 hour drive. Our next job was launching ‘Ursa’ and the same assistance was forthcoming. One of the most endearing qualities of our club is how boaties help each other. I don’t ever remember a time when I have come alongside without someone there to take the end of the rope, just at the right moment.

A BBQ was soon underway with everyone congregating to have a chat, a meal and to plan the next day. After the long drive down, an early night was decided on with great expectations for the week end.


I think (vaguely) that Rob and Pat were first up (4.00am wasn’t it ??) and everyone soon followed a couple of hours later (much more civilised). It wasn’t long before you could hear the splashing of oars and the sounds of boaties getting ready for sea.

We motored/rowed up the canals and gathered on the sandy edge outside Barry & Jenny North’s place first, but the day’s destination was Newland’s Arm, on the western side of Paynesville. This meant an interesting trip down McMillan’s Strait, dodging the car ferry and other boats, while rowing, motoring, towing, or being towed. The gaggle of wooden boats moving slowly downstream seemed to attract the appreciative attention of people on shore. Something we have become used to over the years of wooden boating.

Once in Newland’s Arm, everyone went in their own direction and all enjoyed the perfect sailing and motoring conditions while exploring the inlet. Slowly everyone made their way back to Progress Jetty for lunch and ‘cleaned out’ the only bakery open in Paynesville.

After lunch we continued sailing/motoring and then travelled back up McMillan’s Strait, down the canals to home base, as this was the night EGWBA were hosting a BBQ at Barry & Jenny’s. The amount of work the EGWBA did to entertain us was great and very much appreciated by all.


Met at Barry & Jenny’s, again, for a spectacular brunch put on by the EGWBA. There were lashings of cereal, sausages, bread, rolls, fruit juice and, as always, great company.

This day’s objective was, after brunch, to sail/motor back to Progress Jetty where the trip across to Sperm Whale Head was to commence. As the wind was forecast to freshen up during the day, everyone made their choice about going across or staying closer to shore. Those of us with lower freeboard decided to stay and “mess about in boats” while the others set off to Sperm Whale Head. As expected the freshening wind provided some exciting conditions. The adventurers eventually arrived back, safe & sound but somewhat wetter than when they left. It was obvious that they had enjoyed the challenging trip. After a casual “debriefing” of the day’s events, everyone made their way back to camp. Some of our group had to return home but most were able to socialise for another night. Jeff and Jill were kind enough to allow the use of their cabin facilities and we spent a most enjoyable evening on the lawn overlooking the canal, chatting about the weekend.

It was a most pleasant end to a day and a fantastic weekend of boating and fun.


Up early again and after breakfast feverish activity took place with packing up tents, vans and cleaning out of cabins. Boats attached to cars and there was a progressive stream of members departing for the long trip home.

Before finishing this report, I would like to again thank the EGWBA members for their very kind hospitality over the weekend, with special thanks to John Rigg, John Nicholson Jenny and Barry North and all their helpers. I hope that we Melbourne members can do the same for the East Gippslander’s should they ever plan a trip down this way.

I would also like to thank all members who attended this event – we have a great group of enthusiasts and by boating together we forge a stronger club and friendships.

Tony & Linda Remington
(OOD & OODETTE for Paynesville)