After a restful night at Refuge Cove, and our first night at anchor, it was off to Bermagui with a stop at Lakes Entrance. The trip from Refuge Cove to Lakes Entrance was uneventful but we had to cross a bar to get into the harbour. Bar crossings are always a little stressful and you never know what the conditions will be like when crossing the bar. Whilst we had an uneventful bar crossing, this Youtube video by Giles Lesser shows just how difficult this bar crossing can be.
With Great Escape safely tied up it was time for a hot shower but the public shower only had cold water. Geoffrey called in at the nearby gym, Fitness 4U Lakes Entrance, and they kindly agreed to let us use their showers. Absolute bliss! Many thanks Laura!
After filling up with fuel and water and doing the laundry it was time to head off to Bermagui. This would be our final stretch of Bass Strait. Geoffrey casually mentioned that we had so far had a relatively easy trip through Bass Strait which somehow jinxed the last trip through Bass Strait. The weather forecast for the trip from Lakes Entrance to Bermagui was for 10 to 15 knot winds for a few hours with the wind dropping after that. Somehow the weather didn’t read the weather forecast. After a few hours in 15 knot winds, the wind picked up and for the next 24 hours we were in 25 to 30 knot winds. To say we got hammered would be an understatement. Bass Strait was determined to not let us get away scot free. It is difficult to describe how frightening it was. The wind was howling and to make matters worse the wind and waves were coming straight at us making the going very slow. The motor was running at maximum speed and there were times when the wind and waves were so strong that Great Escape was brought to a stop before slowly making headway again. It was a tough 24 hours and Margaret was really ill.
To give you some idea of what the conditions were like, this is a Youtube video by Lester Hunt of the ferry Spirit of Tasmania crossing Bass Strait in 30 knot winds. To put this in perspective, the Spirit of Tasmania is 637 feet long whereas Great Escape is only 38 feet long.
It was a very happy crew once we arrived in Bermagui.
Bermagui is a pretty town and well worth a visit. We were finally in New South Wales and heading north.