We met, launched, fitted safety gear and loaded food at the Warmies, departing on-time at 10:30 in single and small groups, motoring down the channel to the marker, then crossing the Yarra and headed single file upstream. We had relatively fine weather, mild to brisk head wind to a mild crosswind after we rounded the Westgate bridge. There was very little river traffic, except for the occasional ferry craft producing wash and spray that surprised the unwary crew. About the halfway mark we slipped past some canoeists and then the odd sculler out for their morning exercise.

As OOD I tied up first at the outer floating wharf at Herring Island with others arriving minutes later, including the rowing boat and Graham’s pedal kayak. (I mentioned to my crew as I rushed from the boat that I had used the same tree that I used on a Yarra trip 14 years ago). A short wharf and the large number of boats meant 3 x 3 groups rafting.

Tables, electric bbq and toilets were accessed (not in that order). and after lunch we checked if the boats needed bailing (none did), re-fueled the appropriate engines and again left in staggered order. Of note was Graham pedalling to maintain the speed limit of 5 knots.

Roderick Smith had met us at Herring Island, and was dropped off at Flinders Street on the way back down the river. The rowers secured a tow for the last few kilometres. History almost repeated itself (readers may remember Green Pea and the VERY large ship in 2001) as the fleet had to lower speed and wait until a container ship asserted its "right-of-way".  Other than that it was an uneventful return to the boat ramp.

There was comment that one skipper was "chosen" by the Water Police and given a warning for not carrying flares.

All the skippers and crews exhibited STELLAR attitudes with their boating abilities! Thanks to everyone for a great day!

Number of craft: 11 (1 x rowing, 1 x pedalling, 2 x inboard motors, 7 x outboard motors)
Flow/current: Start (up river) at high tide, return with the falling tide.

Rob Ripley.

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