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Old 13-06-2016, 06:09   #1
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Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Gday everyone,

I am a bit of a newbie around here so the usual apologies if I ask dumb questions or am posting in the wrong forum. I did search around and this seemed the best place to start.

My partner has recently got a new job at UniTas in Hobart and we will be moving down there very soon. Part of the move will be delivering my boat down there, most probably singlehanded for the bulk of the trip.

The boat is a slightly stretched version of a West sail 32 as far as I can tell. Bermudian cutter rigged. She has been recently surveyed from top to bottom and has been given a sound bill of health. I am not massively experienced but I feel confidant that with some careful planning and a degree of caution this trip is within my abilities.

This is a substantial undertaking for me, by far and away the longest voyage I have attempted so I have started my planning early and want to gather as much info as I can. I am sure I will have hundreds of questions to find answers for as I develop my plan but as a starting point can anyone advise on two things.

1. Is there any time of year when the likelihood of getting better weather for a north to south trip is higher? I guess by that I mean favourable winds and settled weather systems. Spring seems unlikely, late summer into early autumn seems possible

2. Can anyone direct me to sources of information, cruising guides, blogs, etc that I can mine for gems of knowledge. Safe anchorages, tidal info, significant currents, sources of weather (other than BOM), Hazards to be aware of, that sort of thing?

3. Crux points? Where are they, best ways to tackle them?

Hoping some wise old heads can offer words of advice or caution or anything really, all opinions gratefully accepted.

Cheers

Scarpa
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Old 13-06-2016, 06:31   #2
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Welcome to CF Skarpa.

The below link is good for anchorages down this way. If you can get a copy of the pilot guides they will give you a good indication of ideal times.

How much time have you got?



Tasmania Cruising Guide ~ electronic format immediate download
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Old 13-06-2016, 06:34   #3
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

There is a book cruising the nsw coast, thats really helpful.
Not much on Victoria.
You can island hop across Bass Strait if you want, good bay at Deal island.


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Old 13-06-2016, 06:39   #4
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

This one is really good for both Victoria and top of tassie.

https://www.boatbooks-aust.com.au/pr...d=ztxjdkicstdh
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Old 13-06-2016, 06:41   #5
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Search YouTube for "cruising with norm and pip" they've vlogged a few east coast trips to tassie.

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Old 13-06-2016, 07:24   #6
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Done it a few times. Winter sucks. (Done it a few times...) you end up waiting for a break in the SE trades until you get to coffs hbr. Then you wait for a fair while in Eden for the westerlies to quiet down. Summer you often get Northeasterlies down NSW and Tassie coasts that can really help make a fast and easy trip.

I tend to go southport, coffs, sydney (or pittwater), ulladulla(or batemans/Jervis bay) then Eden. But if singlehanded you may need to stop in a few more places.

Have done Bass Strait (this is the major Crux)many ways, obvously straight across to frecinet peninsular in a settled patch is best, but you have a bunch of other options depending on weather, such as Babel island, or the west coast of Flinders Is, St Helens, Bicheno. Or even skirting around Victoria to Wilsons Prom (refuge cove) and hopping down via Deal island to Launceston to at least be in the right state.

The EAC current really helps at times. BOM has current info. Shipping is an issue, AIS is pretty handy. I don't much like the bar harbours, and avoid them if I can.

Jim and Ann Cate would be the ones to listen to they do it most seasons.

Some wind info can be found here. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/i...l?bookmark=200

Or use climatology in openCPN to help chose a likely season. Sadly I normally don't have the choice.
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Old 13-06-2016, 15:17   #7
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

G'Day Scarpa,

We've done it a few times and once single handed.
I agree with everything SnowPetrel says.
Would like to add. Look into leaving Brisbane on high tide and going to Southport via inside Stradbroke route. That should get you through Jacobs Well area.
Be cautious entering / leaving river bars especially Tweed and Ballina.
Patient observation of weather no point heading off into S to SE winds just wait.
EAC is a real bonus so staying off the coast is a great help.
Waiting at Eden for a calm crossing avoid Eden Wharf best anchor at East Boyd Bay in S, SE, SW.
That's been my experience but would like to say not really advice because things do change.
Woody
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Old 13-06-2016, 16:40   #8
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Hi, Scarpa,

Welcome aboard. Please understand that we are cruisers, and cruises are different from delivery trips. We have made the trip across Bass Straits and return 14 times. But there are two of us, so that watchkeeping is by our schedule (6 on, 6 off).

With your boat, if the EAC is helping, you may get over 100 nautical miles per day, but for planning purposes, it is an easy number to work with. What we do is to start south as soon as we can fetch on a southbound course, and take advantage of the northerly airflows as they develop. We mostly sail, not motorsail. For deliveries, people usually just point the boat in the desired direction and go for it. As Snow Petrel wrote, the bom site has EAC current info, and it's a good idea to note what it's doing because sometimes it's stronger offshore, sometimes strong inshore, and two knots with you for one day is near 50 n. mi. boost. That's the good news.

I would strongly suggest considering taking crew, but let's try and do it your way....

Quote:
1. Is there any time of year when the likelihood of getting better weather for a north to south trip is higher? I guess by that I mean favourable winds and settled weather systems. Spring seems unlikely, late summer into early autumn seems possible

All of our trips have been in summer, never on Boxing Day.

2. Can anyone direct me to sources of information, cruising guides, blogs, etc that I can mine for gems of knowledge. Safe anchorages, tidal info, significant currents, sources of weather (other than BOM), Hazards to be aware of, that sort of thing?

We have always used Alan Lucas "Cruising Guide to the NSW Coast, and the RYCT Cruising Guide for Tassie. Also use Lucas for Qld. Those will inform you of the safe anchorages. Tide tables are available in all States; we use the programs Wxtide and "Seas & Currents", both of which have been around for a long time. Charts, show you the hazards. We have both paper and Open CPN. It's charted, but there's a rock on the way into Eden, where we often wait for an easy crossing, I'm always quite aware of it! Generally speaking, the wind is stronger offshore along the coast. No UN charted hazards, but plenty of crab pots and fishing boats.

3. Crux points? Where are they, best ways to tackle them?

After the overnighter from Southport to Iluka, we often stop in the Clarence. Do not leave the Clarence area if a Southerly change is predicted, as the marina facility at Coff's Hbr was destroyed in the storm a couple of weeks ago. The outer anchorage may still be okay, but the holding is variable in there.

We tend mostly to stop in the open roadstead anchorages, because you can get out when you want and don't have to wait on the tide to get out of the barred entrances.
I sort of think the crux points for you will be when you come to the end of your energy tether, even doublehanded, fatigue is one's greatest danger. Singlehanding for 24 hr. and more days is pretty dangerous on a coast with this much traffic. Not every boat has AIS, not every boat is a good radar target. If you're planning daylight runs only, check the cruising guides for ports within your days runs capability. Try to avoid arrivals when the sun is going to be in your eyes when you're tired.

Jim will also respond to your post.

Ann
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Old 13-06-2016, 16:57   #9
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

The Lucas book on NSW is very good. Bring a fender board as some of the NSW harbours require then also lots of dock lines. There is a South running current off the East coast look for warmer water. Summer is the best time as you can get North and northeast winds. Eden is a great place to wait for weather and no bar getting in. Enjoy Jarvis Bay if you have time. Wollongong is crowded Kaiama is surge. The Durwent Sailing Squadron is the club closest to the University of Tas. being at the end of King St. in Sandy Bay. You might get in touch with them for mooring info.
It can be a difficult passage. Try to get crew if you can.
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:34   #10
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

link is for yacht pilot east coast australia https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resi...int=file%2cpdf

the swell is usually larger in summer / if you are patient there are winds with some north in them

have heard the gulf stream has slowed near to stop / as the gulf stream drives the greater east australian current there might not be a lot of southerly flowing current

keep in mind bass strait is tidal / wind against tide in the strait is uncomfortable

there is good vhf coverage all the way including gabo island / hobart radio run regular weather skeds or 4 hourly skeds on 8176 hf from 7.30 am qld

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Old 13-06-2016, 17:54   #11
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

g'Day, Scarpa,

Well, you have already garnered a lot of good advice, and I'll try to avoid repetition.

The first t hing is a question: will you be on a schedule? This in itself iis the major "crux" point IMO. If so, please do take crew... at least one other watchstander. This voyage is potentially dangerous, and the option to wait out all questionable weather is crucial when shorthanded.

So, assuming for the moment that you will have time to be cautious, the trip down the NSW coast is pretty straight forward. There are many stopping places as mentioned by others, and as outlined in Lucas's fine cruising guide. Personally, I would take Alan's advice long before that of unknown bloggers on the www. He is an extremely conscientious writer, and has personally experienced every place he describes, made all the soundings himself, and has done so for years. I trust him...and perhaps don't so much for other sources.

When you reach Eden, things get more interesting! This is the last secure anchorage prior to jumping off across the"ditch", and where you will have to make the final departure decision. Fortunately, it is a nice spot to hang out while waiting for wx. One must do the "Twofold Bay shuffle", moving back and forth between Snug Cove on the North side and East Boyd Bay or other spots on the South as the frontal systems pass by. It's only about two miles across, with secure spots on either side, but if one waits too long to cross, the swell can get quite large in the middle. We try to anticipate the changes, and make the move early. Good provisioning is available, some chandlery items and general hardware are there too. No alongside fuel wharf, but one can engage a fuel truck to meet you at one of the wharfs. We do not recommend lying at any of the wharves if ANY strongish winds are on tap, and in fact have never done so in our 28 stays in that area! But patience is the watchword... our longest stay while waiting for weather has been 17 days, and we were quite ready to leave by then!

What you are looking for is a slow moving high system. Our plan is to wait until the center of the high is roughly overhead. This brings calmish conditions, and we set out, knowing that we may want to motorsail for a few hours until the center passes on, bringing a building N'ly quadrant wind and great sailing conditions. These conditions typically last at least 2 full days, sometimes longer.


Others have suggested various routes other than the one straight down the E coast of Tassie, and while they do offer alternatives, when your destination is Hobart, they don't make much sense to me.The rhumb line distance to Wineglass Bay is around 320 miles, and that route keeps you somewhat east of the real Bass Straits and out in deep water where the sea state is better should the wx decay... and of course, it is the shortest distance as well!

Once you leave Eden and head south, the first decent bail out spot is at Babel Island, which lies about 200 miles south. This place provides good shelter from a S'ly change (the only weather that is likely to concern you) that can be accessed without respect to tidal conditions. But, figuring that you can maintain at least 5 knots SOG, you should be able to easily get into the lee of the main island, and begin to tuck in toward the shelter offered if needed. There are lots of suitable anchorages that offer S'ly protection, scattered along the coastline. These are discussed in the RYCT and other cruising guides, and I'll skip over any additional advice.

Between Cape Howe (the SE corner of Oz) and Tasmania the commercial traffic can be busy. There is a pinch zone south of the oil rigs with a TSS, most ships are routed directly between those points. Once past that stream of traffic, it is usually pretty scant which is good news for short handed sailors... but there are enough fishermen, other yachts and the odd steamer so that watchkeeping is still required

The shortest route to Hobart involves a shortcut through the Denison canal... saves some 50 miles or so. The navigation through the Marion Narrows can be daunting, but MAST annually publishes a chartlet on their website with the latest soundings and recommended route. With our 2.2 m draft it requires a big tide, but I suspect your depth to be less, and it is an interesting trip as well as a shortcut! If you don't want to go that way, then the rpute leads you around the Tasman Peninsula and Tasman Island, a spectacular bit of geography. From there, the sail around Cape Raoul and across Storm Bay is also picturesque and often very nice sailing.

For this whole passage, the ability and willingness to seek shelter BEFORE any strong S'ly change is important, as is the patience to then wait for conditions to settle before continuing on. With those caveats, it can be a rewarding trip accomplished without much discomfort. Pressed by a schedule, you can get a serious hiding.

I hope that this has gotten you thinking about crew, and that you will have a great voyage. I'd be happy to answer any more specific questions as they arise.

Jim
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:57   #12
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

link to world weather and sea conditions app (need internet connection)
https://earth.nullschool.net/

just had a look where that 20mtr yacht is in difficulty / conditions look very bleak
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Old 13-06-2016, 19:31   #13
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Yes, we wish those guys well. Remember, the good thing about rough weather is that it eventually eases, and the drop to 35 from 45 makes you feel as if you're in a calm. The crew should be able to get the boat safely back to NZ as long as the water stays on the outside, and no more major breakages occur.

Ann
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Old 13-06-2016, 19:45   #14
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
...we use the programs Wxtide and "Seas & Currents"...
Ann
I'm not familiar with the latter. Do you have a link to it? Or at least a bit more info about who created it, my google-fu has failed me on this one
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Old 13-06-2016, 20:13   #15
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Re: Brisbane to Hobart advice wanted

Woody, Jim and Ann have given excellant advice. I will add that I normally avoid the bar harbours because I have the luxury of crew, and can sail overnight to easier harbours that aviod the risk of barways, and the chance of being bar bound for days waiting for the swell to ease. In your case you will probably need to use these harbours to get sleep, unless you can use roadsteads like Jim and Ann do.

One extra consideration is places you can leave a boat to break up the journey if needed. Batemans is probably the southernmost harbour with a proper marina, but even then finding a longer term berth might be difficult.

Boats sometimes get abandoned at Eden due to owners running out of time while waiting for weather to cross bass strait. That wharf is a boat breaker, unless a secure mooring can be found this is not a good option. So once you get south you are committed and need enough time to make the whole voyage, including weather delays.
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