November 2015 Cruising the Goulburn

by

The Cruisers

         The Guv’ner General - Brian (Wrong Way) Coman & the Lady Merilyn Gracenote - Warren (the Piper) Matherson Flying Circus - Rob Heath FreeWind - Kevin Long Arakana - John & Jenny Lockie Shamrock - Ken, Jenny and Paddy Coulson Bumblebee - Greg and Helen Goodall (The Goodies)     Mid November and the last planned cruise for 2015. Once again the Cruisers gathered. This time the destination was for the Goulburn River at Seymour and to cruise downstream to Nagambie. Mr Google had been consulted and the journey mapped out. Unfortunately when we arrived at the boat ramp we found the river running fast and the ramp not as we had hoped. Rapids and some trees downstream were also a problem. There was a good chance if we were to slip the boats in there some damage would have been done. The decision was made to turn around and travel from Nagambie and go as far as we could up the Goulburn from there. The Goodies (who were still in transit) were notified and we headed for Nagambie’s rowing centre.    It wasn’t long before we reached the lake, slipped the boats in and were on our way. Of course it wouldn’t be a Bendigo Cruisers cruise without some sort of directional problem. No prizes for guessing who was leading at the time. Mistake corrected and we headed upstream enjoying being on the water on such a lovely day. In what seemed to be a very short time we were passing Tahbilk Winery and then Mitchelton. Passing a   winery??...... Something unheard of for this group of cruisers. Ah, but the cruise wasn’t yet over.

Cruising the Goulburn November 2015

We passed several good camping sites and decided on a cleared, flat spot just downstream of the old Mitchellstown bridge. The boats were secured, chairs and goodies for sharing were put out, and happy hour began.

Saturday dawned and once again blue skies greeted us. We past under the old bridge and continued on. John, aboard Arakana radioed informing us that the centre board cable had come adrift and he was going to pull up and attempt repairs and that they would catch up as soon as possible.  

Bumblebee headed upstream while four of us stopped for a cuppa. The day was warm and Brian, Merilyn, Warren and Rob decided to have a snooze. Kevin, Ken, Paddy and I continued on enjoying the peace and quiet of this lovely river. The news of the Paris bombings had just come through on the radio but as we watched a family of swans glide amongst the willows and azure kingfishers and blue wrens flit amongst the branches, the madness of the world seemed not to exist.  

By this time the river had narrowed considerably and we met the Goodies on their way back. Unfortunately fallen timber across the river had brought their upstream passage to an end. Arakana, with her centreboard now repaired, radioed to say that they were on their way to join us. Freewind and Shamrock continued up to the blockage where the Goodies had been forced to stop. We pulled up to a sandbar for lunch and then turned downstream. We passed the crews of Bumblebee and Arakana lunching under the willows and continued on to meet up with the snoozing cruisers.

We pulled into a bank just downstream from Mitchelton Winery. Cuppa time again. The lure of Mitchelton was too much for Flying Circus, Bumblebee and Arakana who called in to pick up supplies for the evening happy hour. For me the chance of getting some good shots looking back over the vines was too good an opportunity to miss, but as I returned to the boat I found out just how easy it is to slip down a steep bank into the river and just how difficult it is to get out. The end result being a very agitated dog on the bank above, an extremely sodden and muddy Jen and a completely ruined SLR camera .   That evening was spent at Majors Creek not far from Tahbilk Winery where we were booked in to have lunch the following day. A strong breeze made happy hour a little chilly, but watching the sun set across the creek was very relaxing. Later that evening some of the local lads decided to do a bit of yahooing on the opposite bank. They continued well into the night but we all must have been pretty tired as none of us were particularly bothered by their caterwauling.

Our seven little boats slipped neatly into the bank at the winery jetty. Tahbilk is well known, not only for their beaut wine, but their meals as well. Some of our group took the opportunity to take a nature walk through the wetlands before lunch while others wandered around the winery and it’s gardens and of course took a little bit of time to sample some of the products. Wendy and Peter Rogasch drove over to join us and we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch on the deck overlooking the wetlands.   It was a perfect way to wind up the cruise.    

A quick trip down the river and we were back at Nagambie’s boat ramp. Apart from a damaged camera and Gracenote’s slight confrontation with the Guv’ner General’s rear end the day before, we all agreed it had been a very successful and enjoyable cruise. In hindsight the reverse trip of Seymour to Nagambie would have been a mistake. Mr Google tends not to show fallen trees blocking rivers.   With each cruise we learn.  

                                               Jenny




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