Paynesville was a destination we were keen to make on time as the Classic Boat Rally was being held there on the first weekend of March. We stayed for three nights on Prince of Wales, a beautiful boat owned by our friends Jeff & Natalie. They very kindly allowed us to stay on this exceptionally well set up vessel at the marina. This was so that Brendyn could be on the spot to take photographers or media out on the water in the other boat set aside for that purpose during the event.
A feature of the rally was the Lady Nelson which had sailed up from Hobart for the event. Quite an amazing sight to see her out on the water with the sails up and mingling with the other sailboats.
The weather was perfect on the Saturday for the parade of boats going past the crowds along McMillan Strait. It was a great atmosphere in town with lots of people, boating displays, food trucks as well as all the beautiful classic boats. The afternoon was spent wandering around the boats in the marina, reading their stories and chatting to owners. Enjoyed a lovely time on Swordfish owned by friends Neil and Di.
Sunday the breeze came up a bit more which suited the program that featured the sail boats for the day. I went out in the boat with Brendyn and had a great morning of spectacular sights and photographic opportunities.
The afternoon featured various events – most entertaining of which was the Bote-Cote Quick and Dirty boat construction and race. Some inventive entries! Not entirely sure who actually won in the end….
In between all the boating and events we found time to catch the ferry across to Raymond Island – Brendyn’s home for many years. We walked a part of the “Koala Trail” and enjoyed the serenity of the place.
I was struck by the friendliness of the locals, so many of whom knew Brendyn and were keen for a chat and to catch up. It’s clear that there is a strong social and community spirit here which I found a really enjoyable experience.
Paynesville, we’ll be back!