Delivering Cordalga – Part 1

September 23, 2019 Peter No comments exist

It is a long way from Wyee in NSW to Lakes Entrance in Victoria and even with the good Australian public transport system it would still take 2 days to get from Wyee to Lakes Entrance. It would be a combination of train and bus trips of varying lengths with an overnight stop in Canberra. First was the train trip from Morisset to Sydney Central followed by a 3.5 hour bus trip from Sydney to Canberra with Greyhound. The early bird fare for the Greyhound bus trip was all of $5.

I normally have no objection to spending the night in YHA hostels, they are on the whole well run and offer good value for money. The YHA hostel in Canberra proved to be an exception. I was in a 4 bed male dorm room and as soon as I walked in the smell was overpowering. Someone had clearly overindulged and thrown up in the room not long before and they couldn’t get rid of the smell. That’s the risk one takes when staying in a hostel I guess. It was my first visit to Canberra and I did get to see some of the city even though I was only there for a few hours.

It was an early start on Friday morning to get a bus from the YHA hostel to the train station and another 6.5 hour bus trip to Lakes Entrance where Geoff would pick me up from the bus stop.

Cordalga is on the hard with Glenn and Pera, the owners, working furiously to get the boat ready for the trip. There is a fair bit of work to do before the boat can go back in the water and the plan is to splash the boat on Tuesday 24 September although the weather may delay that.

Geoff has shown that he is not just a competent delivery skipper but a competent tradesman too.

  

With Cordalga being on the hard we are not allowed to stay on the boat and Geoff had arranged for us to spend a few nights on MV Pride, a boat belonging to the owner of the catamaran he delivered a few weeks ago. MV Pride, previously MV Selena, was built at Williamstown in 1942 and served as an Army work boat for most of her early life. The current owner bought her in a dilapidated state 30 years ago and has restored her. Pride is 40’ long and in mint condition and an absolute pleasure to spend time on.

Geoff and I had arranged to meet Glenn at Cordalga on Saturday morning but Glenn was still working on the repairs and there was nothing we could do to help him. Instead Geoff gave me a tour of the Lakes Entrance area with a side trip to Metung. It was while driving into Metung that Geoff happened to see SV Metung.

Metung is a 47 foot ketch that was built in Gippsland Lakes at Bulls Shipyard in 1956 for Dr Toby Beatty, the town’s doctor. She circumnavigated the world in the 1970’s and competed in Sydney to Hobart races when in March 1974 in 40-knot winds the propeller got caught in the sea anchor resulting in the boat tipping 80 degrees and taking on water. The crew set off a distress signal and were picked up by a naval helicopter. Metung was abandoned at sea but eventually found her way to Sydney where she was left to rot.

Picture courtesy of ABC Gippsland

Metung was offered for sale on eBay and a not-for-profit community group was set up to try and buy the boat. They managed to purchase her for $4 128 with six seconds remaining on the auction. The boat was returned to the town of Metung by truck where she will be restored to her former glory using traditional boatbuilding techniques.

 

On Sunday 22 September Judy Blion, a professional photographer, took this photo of Metung at Chinamans Creek in Metung. The colours are simply amazing.

Picture courtesy of Judy Blion Photography

The Cordalga delivery crew.

 

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