Magical Mystery Tour


Updated 25 January 2018:


All boats Arrived with 3 hours of each other at Refuge Cove, fortunately the temperature had dropped to around 18 degrees from that of 43 degrees the previous day.    Whimaway had also texted the previous night and opted to sail overnight and arrive first in to Refuge Cove Followed by the others about 3 hours apart.

The conditions approaching Refuge were 25 to 30 knots from South while passing South East point until entrance of Refuge, and on arriving the sun came out and the outlook was amazing, the area had many back packers on the beach making it look like a Queensland tourist beach including a new tourist boat that brings walkers around from Port albert to visit for 3 hours a day The conditions were very comfortable in Refuge up in the south corner as we had only a total of seven boats in the surrounding anchorage.

The crew decided to do a walk up to the telegraph hill and collect messages from home and alert people we had all arrived in good condition. Later that afternoon on Marni we had a succession of visitors to celebrate the voyage and discuss the social events for the following day, being a social cocktail party on the beach at 16.00hours. All parties to bring drinks and gourmet snacks and line up for the group photo opportunity and outline the plans for the return trip to Port Phillip.

Earlier next morning another boat ENGINUE arrived and rowed over to let us know he had electrical problems with his engine battery charging The owner had purchased the boat from previous CYAV members a few years ago and was in transit back to Portland. The previous owners were Dr Rosie Callahan and husband David who had sailed it to Osaka and done many ocean miles. The new owner had managed to jury rig the alternator direct to his batteries and fitted a switch to stop it over charging   the system. We quickly agreed to include him on our radio scheds for the return trip to Port Phillip and exchanged details in case of emergencies.

Richard on Marni felt it was time to venture outside Refuge Cove and see if we could capture our next evening meal and donned a wet suit and sported a spear gun and we motored off in the rubber duck and monitored his activities and witnessed him bring two large butter fish on board suitable to accommodate the next evening meal. We chose a suitable white wine to compliment the catch of the day.

After our cocktail hour on the beach and photo opportunity all boats agreed they would leave Refuge at different times to cover the different boat speeds they were capable of and the plan was to monitor them on our radio schedules for the return trip to Port Phillip

This proved successful and the weather god was kind to us all as light south easterlies persisted and some of us found time to spend an additional night at QCYC   and a very light sunny day to motor home with the follow morning

Once again a great trip and some of us avoided becoming sunburned  

We look forward to putting on another trip for those who can make it

As coordinator for this trip I would like to say thank you to you all for making this trip a successful event.



11 January 2018

The Magical Mystery Tour took place this week, venturing out into the Bass Strait and off to Wilsons Promontory, making port at Refuge Cove. As expected the fleet did deplete as we got closer to the event, however there were lots of well-meant intentions, and in the end four boats set off, meeting up at QCYC on the first night for a briefing over a liquid refreshment and a barbeque. The four boats were lead by Marni as the mother ship, with Richard Burgess as skipper-owner, Ian Reichelt as Cruise Coordinator, and Andre Lamb and Bryan Snakey O’Neill as crew. There was also Next Moment (Liz Meyer, Sandy Doull and visiting crew member Matt), Whimaway (Hanse Kopans as skipper and colleague Mitch Davis as crew and ‘Navi-guesser’) and Mondavella (Barry Preistly and boat partner).

We departed Port Phillip at 7.05am on Saturday 6 January with a stiff North-Easterly breeze and a very slight see, looking comfortable for about 6 hours before an expected change that arrived late in the day to take the pressure off the 43 degree heat. While the change was expected, it posed some interesting conditions and we did not have time to photograph some proceeding tricky events. We all made it safely to Waratah Bay and anchored at Bird Rock, settling in for an early dinner and tidying up our boats. The smaller boats in our fleet opted to continue on overnight to Refuge Cove – with a great effort on the part of Mitch and Hanse (as this was his first outing in Bass Strait).

We all arrived safely in Refuge Cove about 4 hours apart, and a restful day was had, with some swimming and walking up to Telegraph Hill to send messages home. We conducted radio scheds at 10.30am and 4pm each day, and some texting in between to keep up the communications on the trip down. Speaking from the crew of Marni, there were a number of hikes and swimming to the beach. There was a social event on the beach and each boat arrived to share some gourmet nibbles and an assortment of drinks, with pictures and stories shared from the trip down. Everyone had thus far considered the tour a great success, enthusiastic about doing a similar trip with the group in the future. Thank you to the crews for persisting with regular emails and communication that kept us aware of what was happening.

Keep an eye on future communications for a more details summary of the trip – we’d even be happy to convert our images into a slideshow presentation for a further Royals Friday Night Dinner.

A big thanks to all boats and skippers who attended the event. Let’s hope we can encourage more boats to take part in future events and join in the fun.

Ian Reichelt
SS Rendezvous Cruising Co-ordinator