Expressions of interest so far;
Hi Rodinal, Date is open, I said about 4 weeks which would be 30/31 May. Expressions of date would help, Maddogmatt takes kids to sport on Sunday mornings so would prefer Saturdays. Majority rules so give your preferences. I am pretty flexible most weekends so does not worry me.
Where to Launch from:
These measurements are from Google earth and are the most direct route by water (not accounting for tacking etc) so I think it would really depend on the wind as to where we might launch. W, SW, slow trip out with a tail wind return, E, SE Tail wind out with a slow return:
Portsea to Popes Eye, return 10km
Sorrento to Popes Eye, return 16.5km
Blairgowrie to Popes Eye, return 23km
A round trip Sorrento, Popes Eye, Mud Island, South Channel Fort and back to Sorrento is about 28km (direct)
This is a rough average: In a about 18 knot sw winds I can cover about 15km (direct, return)about 25km counting tacks (fishing/trolling) in just over 3 hours, Loaded with dive gear a bit slower.
Popes Eye is a Marine National Park, http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=268
(they do not give coordinates though). There is not a great deal to look at out there unless you dive or snorkel, Australian fur seals sometimes get out there and the Gannets use it for a breading site (one of the only man made sites they use).
As far as clothes go, I use a surface dry-suit and if it is real cold a thermal under-suit as well. If diving, then I wear a 5mm wetsuit, as you have already lost some core body temp due to the dive, the wind chill on a return trip in winter can get pretty bad though I find in this (would like to get a dive dry-suit for this winter). Others use waders and waterproof jackets etc and some wear long-john wetsuit with spray/waterproof jackets, gloves, hoods, hats, socks, boots etc all different.