Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-10-2013, 05:45   #1
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Around Australia in 6 months?

Hello cruisers,

Just a bit of tyre kicking going on here...

Would you consider it practical to circumnavigate Australia in 6 months if you were willing to forgo stopping long enough to do each port justice but instead were more interested in a whistle stop tour. It is about 6700 miles.

This on a well equipped 42 foot monohull with a five knot cruising average and two capable sailors?

How much difference do you think it would make if the journey were broken into smaller chunks, say one to two months each? Would this be a good or a bad thing do you think?

How much difference do you think it would make to enlist the help of one or two good crew from time to time ( this is assuming none would be able to commit to more than a month at a time).

Also, which direction would you travel? I assume from what I have read anticlockwise is faster...

Really very interested in your ideas on this one.

Matt
__________________

__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 06:33   #2
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Finders did the trip in 1802/3 taking just over a year, however he did it in HMS Investigator, a Royal Navy "sloop" of some 334 tonnes and 100' length with a crew of around 74.
__________________

__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 06:33   #3
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

I think its anti-clockwise.
If you do it in one block it would be easier to get the seasons to work for you, depending on where you are leaving from.
If its Adelaide you have a problem. The southern ocean needs to be done in summer.
Leaving from Brisbane in August you have 3 months to get south of Broome, but you'd really want to be further south. Then do Bussleton to Eden in decmber and the last bit January.

But leaving from Adeliade.... you bump into the Cyclone seson
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 08:43   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

I too think anticlock and you take off northwards from Bunda around the second half of the right season then continue S from Perth in the early part of their good season.

But actually in the cruising context I would rather give 6 months to the top part and then 6 more to the bottom end. It is a great place well worth the time allocated for such a project.

I say this because we sailed Cairns to Darwin in about 1.5 months and I think it is simply 'too fast'.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 09:03   #5
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,719
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Anticlockwise, but don't think 6 months is a smart idea for it. Remember the high centers usually move with the seasons. Remember, you can easily spend 3 months alone in the Kimberleys and not see all you'd want of that spectacular area. I think it's way too big a bite for a 6 month sabbatical sort of deal, and you'd have a more fun time hopping off for New Caledonia late-ish in the season, then returning. Lovely, boat stuff available if needed when you get there (often a big issue with newish to cruising folks). French wine, cheese, and ridiculously easy to get off the beaten path. Plus, unlike the French, they'll love it if you try using phrase books.

...And, best of all, an ocean passage, vs. the stresses and dangers of coastal cruising.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 14:42   #6
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Ok, first, I would never have picked the problem with the cyclone season, thank you.

And I totally agree with the sentiment of giving it enough time to appreciate the journey too.

But from a pure mechanics of sailing point of view, and what is possible/practical nobody is saying six months is out of the question? (Unless we are in a 334', 100 ton square rigger, thank you for putting that boundary on the question Boracay)

I should explain, this is clearly on our agenda, but before we try to plan this into our lives, which will be very difficult, I would like to understand what we are committing to in terms of actual physical sailing. From there I would then feel more comfortable adding time to the journey at the special locations, plus adding such excellent additions as Ann proposes.

Thank you for your advice so far,

Matt
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 15:26   #7
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,719
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Ok, first, I would never have picked the problem with the cyclone season, thank you.

And I totally agree with the sentiment of giving it enough time to appreciate the journey too.

But from a pure mechanics of sailing point of view, and what is possible/practical nobody is saying six months is out of the question? (Unless we are in a 334', 100 ton square rigger, thank you for putting that boundary on the question Boracay)

I should explain, this is clearly on our agenda, but before we try to plan this into our lives, which will be very difficult, I would like to understand what we are committing to in terms of actual physical sailing. From there I would then feel more comfortable adding time to the journey at the special locations, plus adding such excellent additions as Ann proposes.

Thank you for your advice so far,

Matt
Okay, Matt,

Part of the terms of actual physical sailing have to do with what kinds of strategies you adopt, and which areas you want to spend more time in, and also, remembering the large tidal variation across the top end that you will not make regular 5 knot progress, I think it's impossible to advise you, except in the most general terms. For instance, if you were to leave the boat in Cairns for the cyclone season, boats have to leave the marinas and go be in the mangrove creeks--they are not allowed to remain docked and damage the docks. You'd have to figure out how to do that.

If you wanted to sail 12 hr. days (and there are reasons why you might find that a little wearing), that would be about 110 out of your original 180 days. When would you stop for provisioning? repairs? Where? Availability of stuff is much less in far north Qld than in your neck of the woods. If you want to skip bits, you could ride SE's from Cape Howe all the way north of Lizard Is., but there will be times when the SE's are gone and you'll be beating, and if gobbling up nautical miles is the name of the game, you need to do your own time/distance figuring. In gray conditions it's lots harder to see the reefs, and flat and glassy is very hard. In bad visibility across the far north, your navigation will need to be spot on. It's more than just the sailing. And it's not that it can't be done, it has been and will be again. We know some guys with a H-28 who did it, took about 14 months, IIRC. How nice the sailling is will depend entirely on the weather, and you'll want westerlies as you return to the Bight, but not too big, and that means the high centers have to be north. The only problems are the 6 months, and being tied down to a schedule, and unplanned stuff happens. Yes, I think 6 months is very short, not impossible, but soon falling out of the fun category. One small "for instance." Suppose it's light SE's. Are you going to go out to the far reef anchorages and take advantage of the opportunity to snorkel, spear fish, and enjoy the settled conditions, or put the pedal to the metal to make that days's 50 or 70 miles?

Maybe you guys could hold this question in abeyance until after you've had a chance to plan your Tassie trip and compare your expectations against what actually happened. You'll learn a lot about what kind of pace you are comfortable with. Incidentally, for thinking purposes, the round Tassie rally has mostly 25-25 n. mi days in their planning, with a longer jump from, for instance, Hunter Is. to Port Macquarie. I'm thinking that the experience you'll gain will help you to plan the next adventure. Answering the question depends on a whole lot, like do you want to take road trips inland? Canberra? the opal country? the gold country? Are you wanting to do the tourist thing, or combine it with cruising? Every 120 miles you don't make represents another almost 24 hrs. run under good conditions. And yet, those reef anchorages, or something like the trip up the Clarence river, are very damn special. With a 6 month schedule, do you think you'd want to take the time?

It might help to sit down with copies of Alan Lucas Cruising the New South Wales Coast, and his Queensland book, and a big chart of all Australia, and look at where you might stop, and how much time it will really take. Remember also, that the EAC will be against you a long way, and I've seen it running at 3 knots off Cape Byron. Stuff like that slows you down. One time when we were in a hurry to get to Hamilton Is., we left from Brisbane, did an overnighter, then spent the night at NorthWest Reef, then on to the Whitsundays. Big bites, for the purpose of covering ground. But overnighters are tiring, and don't allow you to fall into your passage making watch standing schedules. And I don't recall you mentioning your thoughts on that, as yet.

Lots of grist for the mill.

Hope it helps.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 15:33   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
Factor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia
Boat: Corsair Dash MKII
Posts: 4,088
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Well you can do it in 38 days and 21 hrs (thats the record for a solo trip anyway) and yes 6 months is doable, its anticlockwise but traditionally it yakes around a year cause you play the seasons and the wind for each area.
__________________
Factor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 16:39   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,471
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

G'Day Matt,

Having done a few pointless things in my life, I'm not in a position to criticize your plan!

But really, why would you want to do this? It isn't cruising, more like nearly back to back overnighters... and they are my least favorite sort of sailing. It isn't racing or record attempting, 'cause the time scale, while challenging, is nowhere near record speed. It isn't educational, since you will be bypassing most of the interesting stopping places. It won't be relaxing, for obvious reasons. You won't even have time to stop and sample the local breweries or vineyards. It will be hard on your newly set up boat, because you will be so pressed for time that you will (likely) defer some maintenance and always be pressing the boat hard. You will be motoring on stretches where a more leisurely pace would allow slow sailing. If you change your mind along the way, there are no realistic bail-out schemes. And when you can finally stop for a longer stay, it is because you are right back where you started from!!!

Seriously, I really don't like the idea of having the time/distance factor looming over any prospective cruise. It will always be there niggling at you as you progress along your scheduled route, and from experience I know that this detracts greatly from the joy of the life. As Ann has suggested, a six month trip to New Cal and possibly Vanuatu will give you some blue water experience, some delightful destinations, some new cultures, and a schedule that has only loose boundaries at either end (cyclone season).

Give it some thought...

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 19:27   #10
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

OK, I should perhaps rethink what I am trying to do here a bit...

Let's put it this way....

Taking due regard to the seasonal limitations, and applying the common sense advice given so far, it seems such a trip would either have to be broken into smaller stages, or would have to take at least a year. (And yes, full points to you MarkJ, we would be leaving from Adelaide).

So, let's say I could break the trip up into manageable chunks, and treated the land based activities as a totally separate time issue, how much sailing time am I commiting to? From what I read here, 6 months "under way" is reasonable, and by this I mean taking into account the point that the boat can't be left in just any bit of Australia at any time of year, some some sections will have to be "finished completely" before we park the boat and return home for a break.

Does that make more sense or less?

And I do concede that we are totally untested in this regard, we may find that we love four and five day continuous sailing or we are much happier with overnight hops. I hope to know a lot more after we "do" Tassie next summer. Hey, we might hate cruising and sell the boat, but I am hopeful that will not be the case.

Matt
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 19:58   #11
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

I noticed a curious set of coincidences while doing a search of round Australia attempts and completions - virtually every person that I found doing it had bad luck after, starting, of course, with Flinders.

It could be my warped take on the world though.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 21:15   #12
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
I noticed a curious set of coincidences while doing a search of round Australia attempts and completions - virtually every person that I found doing it had bad luck after, starting, of course, with Flinders.

It could be my warped take on the world though.
Oh... er... great. Thanks. I feel much better about the idea now...

Any lessons I should learn from your observations of their failures? Aside from not starting out in the first place?

Clearly I can rule out the whole 100 foot square rigger option... but any more modern failings?

M
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2013, 23:40   #13
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

The only conclusion that I can draw from the large number of failed attempts is that the undertaking is far more difficult than may first appear.

It would appear to be fairly straightforward to prepare and provision a boat, get a crew (or even to do it solo) and then to simply sail the distance as is evidenced by the number of successful record events.

My guess would be that the main difficulty lies in the diverse nature of the environments and the damage that occurs to both boat and crew. As time draws on the damage increases but there still remains large distances and difficult passages to make.

As to the bad luck that appears to have befallen some participants after my guess is that it is just that - bad luck.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2013, 00:07   #14
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

I wonder how many set out "adequately prepared", whatever that means in reality. Probably no such thing really.

When I first looked at it I felt it would be really easy. Then I saw the total distance and did a bit of a double take. Even then, if I had not done the 500 mile delivery run bringing the boat home in January I would have been tempted to think it was just distance... whatever. But I know how much went wrong with the boat in just 500 miles, so extrapolating that to 6700 was a bit sobering.

I need to understand more about the sailiing conditions in other parts of Oz. I have studied Bass Strait in great detail, and, strangely enough, from Dampier to Perth, but the rest of the sailing conditions are still a mystery to me.

More reading to do. Lucas is recommended reading, though dad reckons he's a bit of a drama merchant and makes everything out as terrible.

Matt
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2013, 00:36   #15
Registered User
 
Wraith_Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Boat: Avon Rib, 65hp
Posts: 304
Re: Around Australia in 6 months?

Matt,
There is another side to Alan Lucas' writing that may help you balance your Dad's opinion somewhat. Or maybe not! LOL
Multihulturism
Cheers,
Mac
__________________

__________________
NEW SCIENCE: You fund the research and we provide the desired facts.
NEW ECONOMICS:See Above, obfuscation extra.
Wraith_Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Australia

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:03.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.