February 18th, 2022Simply messing about in boats at Paynesville
WITH overseas holidays still a long way off, for us at least, we headed to Paynesville in Gippsland for a little break and a water view recently. It was fabulous.
Kyle was a skipper long before he took on photography and business management so he was pretty rapt to get back to the water. So much so we hired a 34-foot flybridge cruiser for a few days.
Of course then we had to rent a waterfront apartment with a dock – which we did at Captain’s Cove. It’s a great place. Only about 10 minutes’ walk into town which was good because we picked up the boat at Metung, about a 40-minute drive, and left the ute parked there. (Sadly in the ute was the key to the chain locking up Kyle’s bicycle at the apartment – but the less said about that the better…)
There’s plenty of great boating down at the lakes and lots of places to tie up a boat and go exploring. Ninety Mile Beach, Metung (with its hotel), Lakes Entrance…and plenty of secluded camping and picnic areas. There are also canals to explore. I love looking at houses and there is no better way than from a boat. You get a real glimpse into the lifestyles of those lucky enough to have waterfront homes.
We have been going to Paynesville for quite a few years but very intermittently. I think the last time was probably four or five years back. And you can really see the changes. Upmarket homes, lots of fantastic and expensive vessels moored everywhere and lots of water toys on hand.
Unfortunately we had a bit of roughish weather while we were in Gippsland so didn’t take the boat out as much as Kyle had hoped for. For me, about three hours a day was plenty, leaving time to catch up on reading, just enjoying the view from our apartment and sampling a couple of the restaurants and cafes.
We went a couple of times to Pier 70 where they offer fantastic waterfront views and great food and wines. The staff were lovely, the chef/owner thanked us for coming, and we really enjoyed the atmosphere and surrounds.
We also discovered Paynesville PNC which was set in the drive-through of the Paynesville Hotel. Sounds strange but we had a pizza delivered and it is one of the best we have tasted. Their menu is really extensive, the driver was really friendly and they also deliver alcohol. The whole package.
Just round the corner, near the Raymond Island ferry terminal, is Cafe Toonalook. We had great hot chocolates there, again with great service, and they also have loads on offer.
Another place we found ourselves in was the Paynesville Foodworks. A supermarket and gift store rolled into one with some really good looking take home meals available. Again, service with a smile.
Like all tourist destinations in Victoria, Paynesville has suffered over the past two years, also being that bit further from Melbourne when lockdowns lifted. But they seem to have kept their spirits up despite some pretty empty restaurants. Nothing was too much trouble and there was always that welcome happening.
Oh, back to Raymond Island. Once we dropped the boat back, and more about that in the next par, we headed to the jetty and had a drive around the island. It’s known for its koala population but it’s also really interesting looking at some of what must be the original island homes – and the new ones. Not sure that I would like to live on an island but clearly from the friendly waves from verandahs as cocktail hour arrived, people enjoy their lifestyle here.
Yes, the boat. Now I am not a skipper but I know I am in good hands with Kyle, no matter the weather or conditions. Yes, it is true, we once ran out of fuel in the middle of the shipping channel in Port Phillip Bay but that was a one-off. And we only ran out because the boat used more than it should, Kyle told me. Hmmm.
But I had to take the helm as we returned our boat to Metung. It was pretty windy and choppy and we had rounded the land into Metung where I hoped it would calm down a bit. Almost there and an alarm sounded and then the engine stopped. We were drifting but Kyle’s instinct kicked in and he dropped the anchor and we were fine. I called the company to come and tow us in but then Kyle managed to start up the engine. Only problem was that the boat had a helm up the top, where I was, and one down the bottom where Kyle was. And when the engine stopped it was still in drive upstairs. So we were off again and pulled the anchor from the mud.
Kyle yelled at me to put it in reverse so we could back up over the anchor and he could have a chance at pulling it up. Once up, another yell, this time to hit forward and steer away from the shoreline. Although I felt I had saved the day, I was pretty happy when he came up and took over again. I think I’ll stick to telling the story, not being in it.
All up, a great trip and good fun. We returned well rested. And ready to tackle The Local, The Little Local, House.Land.Home.Premium and the ChillOut edition. I think I need another holiday. 🙂
Words & images: Donna Kelly and contributed
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