Originally Posted by El Pinguino
at the start of the flood is the best time to enter.
Tide runs 3 hours out of synch with high and low water
Best way in is 'four fingers west'... brings you inside Lonsdale Rock.... if you have a commanding breeze you can use this track at all states of the tide.... keeps you out of the way of commercial
traffic... stand on well up towards Shortland Bluff before turning right.
Do not try entering on the eastern side close by Corsair
Keep a prudent distance off the land until on the leads... once outside the ebbing tide heads off eastwards and you can experience a lethal sea east of the leads... esp if there is a strong SWly.
Outwards same same inwards... Push on out on the last of the flood tide so that you are abeam Lonsdale when the ebb gets away.
'Lonsdale' can help with info... they work on ch 12 .
I sailed my yacht from Sydney
to Melbourne a couple weeks ago and had this thread in mind when approaching the heads. However one of my crew was very experienced with this area as he has crossed it many time when delivering "Skandia/Wild Thing" and sails
Couta's in the area.
It was a calm night with lots of fog
until we got close to the heads. Our AIS
showed us the shipping
which was fairly quiet with one arriving at the heads at the same time as us and one on the way to the heads but still near Hovell. We were hugging the coast and out of the way of the incoming ship. It was about 4am a few hours after the slack water but the tide was still coming in.
We called up Lonsdale and they told us to follow the ship in and warned us about the ship near Hovell. So we went through the rip on the east side, in a channel close to Nepean bank. Absolutely no drama what so ever and we were doing 13knots at one point on the GPS
So if you are lucky enough to get calm conditions it can be a stress free crossing