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Old 24-06-2013, 02:37   #1
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Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Hello Cruisers,

Starting the preliminaries for a trip down the East Coast of Tasmania early next year when the weather window is right, in a Swanson 42. The boat and crew are up to the job, having been recently tested in Bass Strait bringing the boat home from Melbourne. (OK, yeah, I know, wrong direction given what we are planning, but there you go.) We have up to date charts (paper and electronic) for the areas, and I will be picking up a few of the recommended cruising guides this week.

Now I am trying to work out which way to go. As I see it, the options when coming from Adelaide in the West are to either turn away from the Australian mainland at about Apollo Bay and head down past King Island OR head further East to Wilsons Prom and come down via the Furneaux Group of islands. (This is predicated on our desire to remain relatively close to land whenever practical and to make regular land stops to refresh ourselves and stretch the legs).

On the face of it, given our destination is predominantly the East Coast of Tassie, I assume the Furneaux Group would be the better option giving safer/smoother passage. I remember the North of Tassie as very beautiful (heck, ALL of Tassie that I saw was lovely) but I am not sure about whether it would be easier sailing going East via the North coast of Tassie or the via South Coast of Victoria.

Numbers: The Swanson 42 draws 6 feet, weighs something like 15 tons and averages 5 knots on these sorts of journeys. We have fuel for about 300NM of motoring, plus anything we carry in jerry cans. Although I would hate to motor more than I have to I have noted the good advice of many that by the time the wind on Bass Strait has died down enough to make the crossing pleasant, there is often not enough wind to make the boat move. So we will use the engine if we have to. Other than that we have all the essentials for the crossing, such as life raft, autopilot, radar etc. We plan on a crew of four to six.

I would love to hear what people think we should do.

Matt
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Old 24-06-2013, 03:59   #2
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Sailed Perth to Melbourne and a lap of Tassie earlier this year and found...

- Typically you face a lot of head winds that time of year heading east towards Melbourne and on the Seawind Cat I sailed which doesn't point like a mono we burned a fair amount of fuel.

You could head down to King Island then probably the Hunter Group and on to Stanley. Head east along northern Tassie coast. Then make your way down the east coast to Hobart. Do the Furneaux Group on your way back tricky tides, current and tough anchoring there I hear.

I would go to King Island then the Hunter Group and hang out there until you get a weather window for a trip down the west coast to Strahan where a trip up the Gordan River would be awesome. Again wait for good weather window and then hop down to Port Davie and Bathurst Harbour - not to be missed. Next weather window you head out to Dover area. Then Hobart etc and up the east coast of Tassie.

- Lots of anchoring in kelp in that part of the world.

- Take a good solid barge board with you as you will need it for a lot of the fisherman wharves you will want to tie up to.

Really would recommend the west coast it can be rough and wet but the scenery is spectacular and the people are friendly... you can pretty much do a circumnavigation of Tassie. All the sailing on the west coast can be done with only being at sea for a single night each. The Gordan and Bathurst Harbour are not to be missed if you get the chance. Sailing around the most southerly point of Australia is good to tick off the bucket list too.
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Old 24-06-2013, 04:34   #3
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Lots in there to consider, thank you.

Particularly good point about a circumnavigation too. Admit I am a bit scared of the West Coast, went out on a tour boat from Strahan and they really wound us up. Part of the fun of course, but the wave figures they quoted were truly terrifying. Clearly I have to keep this in perspective.

Good tip about the barge board too, thank you. Mine is about 6 feet long, would you consider that adequate?

Matt
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Old 24-06-2013, 04:56   #4
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

For me the Bathurst Harbour was a highlight.

We had a good run down the west coast. It was pretty big heading out of Port Davie and around the bottom of Tassie but I like that stuff.

For the barge board you want something a lot more substantial than a four by two and I think six feet may be a bit short. I think a eight by two (nominal) would be best with six feet the minimum but probably ok. I went with the Van Diemens Rally and some people had some ridiculously flimsy barge boards. Some big tides at Stanley but not Stahan.

You definitely want your boat to be in good order for the west coast and a crew that doesn't panic, although we had no trouble even with two inexperienced crew.

I just crew I don't yet own a boat,
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Old 24-06-2013, 05:57   #5
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

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For me the Bathurst Harbour was a highlight.
Noted, thank you.

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You definitely want your boat to be in good order for the west coast and a crew that doesn't panic, although we had no trouble even with two inexperienced crew.
Er... ok, now you have me just a tiny bit freaked. What about a SKIPPER that does not panic..?
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:00   #6
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

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I just crew I don't yet own a boat,
Which may well make you one of the smarter ones.... I am starting to spot a pattern of well sailed and reasonably cashed up guys without boats who seem to spend a lot of time sailing while the suckers who bought the boats spend all their spare time with their heads upside-down in the bilge shredding large denomination currency and pleading for credit down at the chandlery.
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:01   #7
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

i sailed with a nervous and panicky skipper once for five weeks and that is no fun at all...

luckily there was three other crew (including his wife) to share the load.
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:11   #8
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

A lot to be said for crewing... i have racked up more miles in four years than some of the owners/skippers I have sailed with.

Have three skippers keen for me to sail with them again Great Barrier reef, some of them willing to cover some of my expenses.

I catch a lot of fish usually.

When I am not racing I am crew on a Bavaria Match 38 twice a week in Pittwater, Sydney. At 47 I am the youngest and fittest on the boat and they are always glad to see me... learnt heaps and love it.

Finding work in between sailing is hard.

Right now I am trying to find a crew position up to the Louisiades, PNG for my forth trip... if not I will try and resist cruising and try to make some $$$.

Still want my own boat though.

You will love Tassie I am sure.
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:26   #9
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

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A lot to be said for crewing... i have racked up more miles in four years than some of the owners/skippers I have sailed with.
Yes, my point exactly.

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At 47 I am the youngest and fittest on the boat ...
Yes, I am 42 and sometimes feel like a kid around my club. In fairness though, many of the older guys around the club are certainly in better shape than me, so I hope that's an upside of more sailing. I actually aspire to their level of fitness... 20 years of desk work has not been good for me...


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You will love Tassie I am sure.
I loved travelling around Tassie by road, so I have great hopes for the sea journey.
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Old 24-06-2013, 08:13   #10
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

G'Day GI,

From your description, it seems that you have incorporated the most essential safety factor in Tasmanian cruising: NO schedule! If you have the time and the patience to choose your weather, and good ground tackle for the windy bits there shouldn't be too much call for panic for skipper or crew.

You can do the whole coast of Tassie in day hops with some planning, but this may involve leaving in the dark a few times to insure daylight arrival. Getting through Hell's Gate in the dark isn't a good idea for your first trip! As mentioned, Macquarie Harbour , the Gordon River and Port Davey are superb destinations. Try to allow at least a week and better two weeks in Davey... just a fascinating place!

I'm not good at answering very general queries, but will be happy to attempt answering any more specific ones that you might have.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 24-06-2013, 16:38   #11
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Hi, GI,

IIRC, when Jim and I came down from the Kent group to Beauty Point, and thence west to Hunter Is., via Stanley, it was an overnighter from Hunter Is. planned to arrive about mid tide off Macquarie Hbr. to get a good look at Hell's Gate before we entered. It was flat calm that day, and benign as could be. Do stock up (provision) in Strahan before going to Pt. Davey, because it's so beautiful you may want to stay lots longer than planned, or unfavorable weather could make you decide to stay longer, as well. There are no supplies there for cruisers, though there is fresh water available. Recently, more regulations have come into effect there, and you'll need to get a chartlet that shows the non-anchoring zones from MAST (Marine And Safety Tasmania). On the trip from Hunter to Macquarie, there are lots of uncharted waters, but we (on our little strip of route) did not encounter any hazards except unlit fishing boats, timber, which were not visible on the radar.

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Old 24-06-2013, 17:34   #12
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Coming down the West coast is more challenging than coming down the East coast, for sure. How you get there across the pond is up to you. One could easily spend a week or two (or 3 or 4) exploring Flinders and the Furneaux group. If you are less than confident, East Coast has more options / safe anchorages and shorter passages than the West Coast. If you have the time and decide not to "risk" the West Coast passage, you can always get to Davey from around the bottom - its a long day sail to Port Davey from Recherche Bay.
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Old 25-06-2013, 01:10   #13
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Read Tasmania - good info and for $5 you get real honest info.

Jim Cate, what ground tackle do you use I bought a sarca 2 sizes bigger but have not tried it in weed.
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Old 25-06-2013, 02:21   #14
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

Suggest you take a look here for some useful info... Prepared by some of the good people I work with..

http://www.mast.tas.gov.au/domino/mast/mastweb.nsf/v-lu-all/Recreational+Boating~Cruising+Tasmania?OpenDocumen t

Let me know if you need any specific questions answered & I can organise someone with the appropriate knowledge to answer you.

Hopefully by the time you make the trip, we will have commissioned a new remotely monitored and controlled VHF Base Station (Ch 16 + all the normal working channels) on Three Hummock Island that will give good VHF coverage in the NW which is only served by a repeater at the moment.

All the best

Bill
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Old 25-06-2013, 06:39   #15
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Re: Adelaide to Tasmanian East Coast via King Is or Furneaux Grp?

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Suggest you take a look here for some useful info... Prepared by some of the good people I work with..

http://www.mast.tas.gov.au/domino/mast/mastweb.nsf/v-lu-all/Recreational+Boating~Cruising+Tasmania?OpenDocumen t

Let me know if you need any specific questions answered & I can organise someone with the appropriate knowledge to answer you.

Hopefully by the time you make the trip, we will have commissioned a new remotely monitored and controlled VHF Base Station (Ch 16 + all the normal working channels) on Three Hummock Island that will give good VHF coverage in the NW which is only served by a repeater at the moment.

All the best

Bill

Terrific Bill, thank you.
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