After our weekend at Nagambie Jenny and I stayed on for another couple of days, but the wind got up so we did not use the boat again.

We headed to Benalla where I had a days work and clients to see, before heading across into the Strathbogie ranges to the east of Euroa. Here we visited friends on a farm at Gooram. This is an amazing area only a short distance from the flat areas of the Hume highway but worlds away with hidden valleys granite boulders and beautiful rolling hills.

Penguin endured some dirt roads and cattle grids on the way into the property.

From here we headed north east through Beechworth to the Murray valley and the upper reaches of the Hume dam to Corryong. Then up through Tumburumba and Tumut into the snowy mountains where we spent nights at Old Adaminaby and Jindabyne. Lake Eucumbene is only 54% full and at the end of the snow season this would seem to be a bad omen for the coming summer down stream. Big warnings signs on all boat ramps here warning of the cold alpine water and that Hyperthermia is a real threat if you fall in. Consequently no water skiers here.

We drove up to Thredbo and took the chair lift to the top of the range. We were warned that the temperature was -14C with wind chill and that we needed to dress accordingly. We donned all our layers and bought beanies, and yes the wind was icy. Days later we noticed our skin was dry and cracked even after just a few minutes at this temperature. Snow was still on the ground in patches.

Around in the next valley at Charlotte Pass the weather was milder with no wind chill even on the same day. We could see the start of the snowy river flowing down the side of Mt Kosciusko into the valley below, which was interesting as later in the trip we planned on going to Marlo at the other end of the Snowy river .

Heading down out of the mountains we went down Brown mountain to Bega and then North to Narooma. Some of this road was very steep with first gear and regular braking required at times to maintain a steady descent of our rig..

At the Narooma festival this year there were 54 registered boats which was a big increase on the 9 boats 9 years ago for the first festival. Eight of the local boats are electrically powered which work well with sufficient range for this small inlet. They move along silently compared to our putt putts, and can put on an acceptable turn of speed. Three steam boats also attended.

Weather was perfect for the weekend and we launched and cruised around on the Friday prior.

Saturday morning the rest of the fleet launched and moved up the inlet.

It was a great sight over our stern with all the boats in convoy. Morning tea stop, was in an idyllic bay tucked away out of the wind, with plenty of mooring along the bank. Scones, jam and cream and bush tea were enjoyed by all.

A highlight of the festival is the sail past the boardwalk along the edge of Wagonga inlet. There was a great crowd out to view not only along the boardwalk, but on the bridge and along the shoreline. Traffic along the Princes highway even slowed as it crossed the bridge to view the spectacle.

Wagonga inlet is a beautiful water way with very clear water. Apparently this inlet has few creeks of any significance flowing into it, so there is no silt. A good tidal flow each day sees the water refreshed and replaced.

After an extended weekend at Narooma we moved off down the coast heading for home for an overnight stay at Marlo. This is at the mouth of the Snowy River, and an area WBA has been before some years ago for our weekend away.

Returning home from here the trip was at an end with 2,500 km’s under the wheels. Penguin survived this well with no additional leaks and no ill effects of all the road distances. The rudder we knocked together at Nagambie worked well and was still in action this past weekend at Werribee South, but now I do need to build the new rudder.

David Stott


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Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

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