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Old 17-02-2016, 03:50   #1
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Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

I am planning a trip leaving from Airlie Beach in Queensland in a couple months time and returning around September.

Was wondering if there is a common route that yachtys take?
What the estimated time to make the crossing from Queensland to Polynesia is? And any reefs lagoons or anchorages worth visiting between?

Any insight and other peoples experiences would be good to hear from.

Thanks
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:25   #2
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Hi Captain Yosh,

Im planning a very similar passage myself this season so am very interested in any information that anyone can offer! Im currently in Brisbane but plan to sail to Airlie before heading out.
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:44   #3
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Yosh,

What's your current plan?

What reading have you done on the passages you are thinking of?


Mark
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:44   #4
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Captain.
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Old 17-02-2016, 13:41   #5
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

My first suggestion is to look at the Pilot charts for the South Pacific. You will note that there are a lot of SE winds between Airlie and Fiji. You might consider what that means in terms of passage making. A read of Cornell's book on ocean passaages would also help you visualize the situation.

But the short answer is that most folks who wish to get from northern Qld to those areas will sail down the coast to somewhere between Bundy and Coffs before departing Australia. For a passage to the Societies, many will go as far as Tasmania and sail via New Zealand.

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Old 17-02-2016, 14:21   #6
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

I have done that twice from Cairns to Tahiti. Stop at Mellish Reef if you like diving with sharks then to Vanuatu then to Fiji. You will be beating your head on the nav table if you don't like sailing upwind in 25-30 knots for days on end. I was on a 76 footer which made it easier.
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Old 17-02-2016, 15:36   #7
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

We are planning to sail from Bundaberg to New Caledonia after the cyclone season - probably May. We expect head winds (SE trades) most of the way unless we can pick a sympathetic weather window. I have sailed the other way (Noumea to Queensland) - an easy downwind sail. The further south you pick as a leaving port in Australia the better as you are more likely to have head winds at a more favourable angle. If time allows, a better cruise is across to New Zealand and then head north to Fiji. Good luck.
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Old 17-02-2016, 16:23   #8
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

thanks for your insights people. I knew it would be south east trades to battle, sailing far south before making the crossing is a good idea. I know lots of yachtys sail north from new Zealand to the pacific islands because of the trades, I was just hoping there might have been some sheltered reefs on the crossing so I could remain in warmer weather haha thanks for your insights.
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Old 17-02-2016, 16:45   #9
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Your trip will be a very interesting one at this time of the year, April/May heading off, the SE winds should have established themselves from that direction, but not yet at full strength. I would suggest that the best departure port from Australia would be as far south as you are prepared to go or you will be beating most of the way, maybe Brisbane or Coffs Harbour and pass south of New Caledonia or make a stop there. Had a friend that did the trip a few years ago in a 60 ft schooner and he went as far as Eden in southern NSW before heading north of New Zealand......... Good luck.
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Old 17-02-2016, 17:03   #10
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Hi Capt'n Yosh,

we did Bundaberg to Fiji in 2013. My biggest concern was a hard upwind slog but we got lucky. The first 7 days was light N, S and West winds which took us just south of New Caledonia. The SE trades eventually came and strengthened but by that time we had a good reaching angle to Fiji. I think it far better to head south down the coast first. I believe Alan Lucas recommends Coffs Harbour and then head due east if possible on a favourable wind. Then when it turns SE you have a better angle on the wind. We ended riding the tops of low pressure systems as far as New Cal but as mentioned it is just a matter of time when the SE trades kick in. I thought we were pretty unique in getting good winds for the trip but after asking around it is not that rare. I am actually planning Brisbane to New Cal this year and will wait for favourable winds again to make as much E as possible before the SE inevitably arrives.

regards

Andrew
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Old 12-03-2016, 15:17   #11
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Re: Airlie Beach QLD to Fiji and Pacific islandss

Did a trop from Sydney to Fiji. Left in April in. NE winds. Had good info from weather man at Sydney airport. LOOK AT THE UPPER LEVEL TEMPERED, IF THEY ARE THE SAME ALL OVER THE Tasman Sea it's good, you don't want a very low temp anywhere as it will give you a Low presume later. I had SW winds for a week could see lightning down south from cold fronts. People leaving a week later had 60 kt in the cold fronts.

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