Crusoe was the first venue to have one of our boats sailed on it by myself and most of the other 20 or so participants we have at this time.
Initially it was much lower than the current 50%, possibly only 20% in 2009. You can read all about our groups development at Crusoe up until late 2015 and it shows how people tend to influence even the most unlikely to join in with themThe section on this blog called HISTORY pretty well covers the evolution, small in years but large in change so click here to go to itCrusoe has a long history in local terms, it’s been functional since 1870.
There are a few early photos of the construction years (all two of them) and it’s simply amazing how it was all done without any of the technology used in the past hundred years or so. I’ve put together a gallery of photos from that era along with some of the general history that it gave birth to. HISTORY
Crusoe is no longer a domestic supply of water to Bendigo and in recent years saw it declared a state park under the management of the Bendigo council It is also a wildlife sanctuary which means you have to walk into it or ride a bike.
There are a massive 64 solid timber park seats evenly spaced around the entire 3.3 km perimeter. I have only heard that they possibly came via a State grant and were positioned according some guidelines in regards to those who are physically restricted to some degree. Some of us are getting into that category. Whatever, you haven’t got far to walk to find a seat. We actually plonk ourselves around Seat No. 1 but only because that’s where the seat numbering starts.
Crusoe can deliver some very demanding sailing days when the wind is really up but such days are few and far between. Then we do have a good few lively days with southerlies and easterlies but westerlies come to the water over a ridge and through heavy forest so the wind or breeze is invariably what we call fluky, or like a dog’s dinner and so on. But we have fun anyway as it makes you stay on your toes. Northerlies come straight up and over the bank behind us and do all sorts of unusual twists and turns as they come down on to the water. Rarely do we get a completely calm day, well, never a whole day but sometimes up until mid-morning.
Update. May 2018
These past two summers Crusoe has become to difficult to sail on due to the over abundance of long stem weed. It grows in dense beds along the more fertile shallows but as the water level drops it breaks away and drifts with the prevailing breeze. As a consequence some of it gets wrapped around the keel and /or rudder making things difficult if not outright annoying.
The only period free of this is the winter months and into early Spring. Of late, with Neangar suiting us pretty well anyway, Crusoe is seldom sailed on. A great pity as it is very clear water and being a State fauna/flora park, more attractive to those who like being in the bush. It is hard to see it ever returning to the state it was.