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Old 18-08-2015, 03:54   #46
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew G View Post
Sorry I've been missing in action (on a boat) for a while. Some points:
- yes Lonsdale Light is no longer staffed (Lonsdale VTS is now in Melbourne)
- I disagree with El P about his aversion to the Eastern route, I'm not aware of any deaths off cruising yachts on the Eastern route (plenty of surfers, army commandos and commercial ship-wrecks 50+ years ago, plus a pilot vessel inside the heads - not on the eastern leads). The pilot boats use the fishermans' channel largely because their base is west of the heads (Queenscliff marina) and it leads them strait to the pilot boarding area. They are shoal draft and have power that we don't. The western side has more kelp to wrap around the prop. The rough water is in between the east and west routes - both avoid the worst of it.
- there can be quite rough water several miles south of the heads, the eastern route avoids this whereas you may have to travel 3 or more miles SW of the heads to avoid it before turning to the east (not a problem if heading west)
- I'm saying that either route is OK IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS of tide and wind - both can be very bad if not
- if I were coming or going west of the heads I would use the Four Fingers West, if the east I'd use the eastern leads
- the two moorings in Queenscliff may be too shallow for a deep keeler, the marina is OK but not cheap and the Queenscliff Crusing Yacht Club (50m NE of the moorings has a timber whaling in total shelter)
- there are courtesy moorings just east of the Sorrento pier
- Blairgowrie further to the east has a marina (undergoing expansion at present)
- yes there is some tidal effect to the east of the heads (several miles to sea too) and you can use that to good advantage if you time your entry/exit to be at the right slack water
- re Flinders it really can be rolly (or calm), another option in the right conditions may be Cowes (courtesy moorings just west of the pier or better holding to its east). McHafie Reef can cut up really rough on a full ebb tide, particularly into a S-SW sea.
Have a good trip,
Andrew
Thanks Andrew, I've got to go get some charts tomorrow so I'll have a good look then. Plan what I'm doing on the weekend. Weather is looking good for Monday Am departure.
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Old 18-08-2015, 07:34   #47
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

May I ask what four fingers mean, I havent heard that term before,
What is the minimum depth of the Rip, At low tide,

Where are the best places to get charts of Westernport Bay and Port Phillip Bay,
I need to replace mine as I lost them all when I got sunk on Broughton Island,
My Boat is currently at Yaringa,
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:05   #48
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Hi Mr B, "Four Fingers West" is the local name for the transit (about 50deg True) where the four major structures on Shortland Bluff (Queenscliff) appear like a four-fingered salute, equally spaced. If you search the web you should find some pictures. The rip depth is more than 12m (90 in places - hence the rough patches) except Corsair and Lonsdale rocks which are just over 2m LAT. You have just over 0.6 nm between them.
You can get charts from Boat Books (St Kilda Rd) or Whitworths (Elizabeth St), I'm not sure if the chandlery at Hastings has them. In about 2 months a new book "Cruising Victoria" will be out - it answers all these questions. PM me and I'll give you more details. Cheers Andrew.
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Old 18-08-2015, 17:43   #49
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew G View Post
Sorry I've been missing in action (on a boat) for a while. Some points:
- yes Lonsdale Light is no longer staffed (Lonsdale VTS is now in Melbourne)
- I disagree with El P about his aversion to the Eastern route, I'm not aware of any deaths off cruising yachts on the Eastern route (plenty of surfers, army commandos and commercial ship-wrecks 50+ years ago, plus a pilot vessel inside the heads - not on the eastern leads). The pilot boats use the fishermans' channel largely because their base is west of the heads (Queenscliff marina) and it leads them strait to the pilot boarding area. They are shoal draft and have power that we don't. The western side has more kelp to wrap around the prop. The rough water is in between the east and west routes - both avoid the worst of it.
- there can be quite rough water several miles south of the heads, the eastern route avoids this whereas you may have to travel 3 or more miles SW of the heads to avoid it before turning to the east (not a problem if heading west)
- I'm saying that either route is OK IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS of tide and wind - both can be very bad if not............
Have a good trip,
Andrew

hmmmm
There is absolutely nothing wrong with going in or out past Corsair rock but I would not suggest it as a good move for someone who doesn't know the heads area quite well.

No loss of life? There was a cruising yacht in the late 90s found herself east of the leads in settled weather. A big sea came out of nowhere... helmsman dead with a broken neck when the mizzen came down on top of him, skipper and the other crewmember in the water. Luckily was daylight and both surviving crew rescued and yacht saved as well. Late 80's maybe early 90's a yacht with two crew was lost east of the leads when outbound... operator error.... both crew died.... bits of the boat ( it was wooden ) came ashore on the Lonsdale side... biggest bit I saw was a piece of planking maybe 18 inches long..... the rest was kindling.
I've known of a couple that have struck Corsair Rock and at least one that was a total loss on Lonsdale Reef

The pilot boat with her entire crew was lost outside after taking the pilot off an outbound Maersk car carrier... maybe Maersk Sky. Tide brought the hull back inside and she was found .. buoyancy in the forepart keeping her afloat.. at the southern end of the Symonds Channel.
That storm had been building for a week and it was one of only two occasions where we 'pulled' a sailing. We anchored off St Leonards for the night , there were also couple of small ships anchored in the quarantine anchorage. Overnight a Russian ship westbound in the Strait lost four crew when securing deck cargo down near Otway.
The next day the weather moderated a bit and we got underway again in the evening with conditions looking not too bad but everything is relative. The pilot boat was lost a few hours later.
Sadly the pilot who was lost had been saying the day before that the conditions were the worst he had ever seen and that the pilot boats should stop working.

Enough of that....there are reasons why I recommend what I recommend.

Bit like Chilean caletas... I will say 'avoid'... others will say 'no its a lovely spot'... I will say 'what was the weather like when you were there ( invariably for a single night )' ? 'Oh, fine and sunny, no wind............'

Ping
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Old 18-08-2015, 18:08   #50
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Late 70's, I was fishing in a very small runabout off the North road boat ramp, Out next to the Buoy about two miles off the ramp,
It was a millpond, Wind changed, and we had two metre waves, Zero visibility, I ended up at Port Melbourne trying to find my way back, Came back along the beach to North road,
With the following seas, It sank on the ramp, 6 inch clearance on the transom, I expected the first wave following to sink us, But it took three of them to be submerged, and I towed it out with my car,
Beside the ramp up on the rocks, was a 70 odd foot sailboat, And I do mean up on the rocks, It was well clear of the water,
13 boats sank that day out there, I dont know if there were any fatalitys,
I have always stayed well clear of the RIP, Ive heard too many bad storys about it,

But I want to take my sailing boat from Western port to Port Phillip, So all info I can get on it, I need, I want to get through safely,
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Old 18-08-2015, 18:17   #51
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Click image for larger version

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ID:	107546Thanks El P, now my ex-wife can confirm I've been wrong at least twice.
This pic is of a pilot boat on the fisherman's channel in THE WRONG CONDITIONS. (In the book we use a high res. image supplied by the photographer, Wes Bowler of Lonnie Snaps, with his permission). Cheers, Andrew
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Old 18-08-2015, 18:54   #52
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
hmmmm
There is absolutely nothing wrong with going in or out past Corsair rock but I would not suggest it as a good move for someone who doesn't know the heads area quite well.

No loss of life? There was a cruising yacht in the late 90s found herself east of the leads in settled weather. A big sea came out of nowhere... helmsman dead with a broken neck when the mizzen came down on top of him, skipper and the other crewmember in the water. Luckily was daylight and both surviving crew rescued and yacht saved as well. Late 80's maybe early 90's a yacht with two crew was lost east of the leads when outbound... operator error.... both crew died.... bits of the boat ( it was wooden ) came ashore on the Lonsdale side... biggest bit I saw was a piece of planking maybe 18 inches long..... the rest was kindling.
I've known of a couple that have struck Corsair Rock and at least one that was a total loss on Lonsdale Reef

The pilot boat with her entire crew was lost outside after taking the pilot off an outbound Maersk car carrier... maybe Maersk Sky. Tide brought the hull back inside and she was found .. buoyancy in the forepart keeping her afloat.. at the southern end of the Symonds Channel.
That storm had been building for a week and it was one of only two occasions where we 'pulled' a sailing. We anchored off St Leonards for the night , there were also couple of small ships anchored in the quarantine anchorage. Overnight a Russian ship westbound in the Strait lost four crew when securing deck cargo down near Otway.
The next day the weather moderated a bit and we got underway again in the evening with conditions looking not too bad but everything is relative. The pilot boat was lost a few hours later.
Sadly the pilot who was lost had been saying the day before that the conditions were the worst he had ever seen and that the pilot boats should stop working.

Enough of that....there are reasons why I recommend what I recommend.

Bit like Chilean caletas... I will say 'avoid'... others will say 'no its a lovely spot'... I will say 'what was the weather like when you were there ( invariably for a single night )' ? 'Oh, fine and sunny, no wind............'

Ping
Your making me nervous Ping
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Old 18-08-2015, 23:24   #53
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Your making me nervous Ping
You ain't heard nothing yet

Once in late August ( OK made that up but it was winter ) clearing the Heads outwards about 2000 give or take. Hard SW blowing, ebb tide.
There was a big box boat west of the leads picking up a pilot.... not any easy operation in the conditions.... finally POB.
As I pass Lonsdale the pilot on the BBB calls me up suggesting we go green to green as he will be a while getting up onto the leads.... 'OK' sez I and soon thereafter I brings her around to 180* which I plan to steer until 3 miles off.

Ooooops... not a good move.... a bit premature in fact...

The night was as black as the inside of a cow but all of a sudden all we can see is a bloody great bit of white coming our way..... crashbangthudcrashbangwallop..... pause... ship shakes her self... bridge enveloped in spray....then along comes its mate... crashbangthudcrashbangwallop.... speed through water goes from 14k to 0k on the instant... both engines spit the dummy on overload and stop....in the engine the room bow thruster compartment high bilge level alarms are going off... Chief plumber sez to second plumber ' go up the front and see what that is all about'... 'piss orf' sez second plumber ' you go up the front.....'

Deck lights gone from top of foremast, every thing not bolted down on the focsle and a lot that was has gone including two mooring lines...... weather door in Baltic shroud punched through its frame...

'Bugger..' sez I

A place to be treated with respect but you'll be right....

Just avoid this bit Ive marked in the attached chartlet on the ebb... approximate but I'm sure you get the idea.. Look at the chart and see the horseshoe that is the Rip Deep... thats pretty much how the ebb runs. It cuts from westgoing to eastgoing in a boat's length.

In good weather on the flood you can just go straight up the guts.....if there is no traffic....
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Old 18-08-2015, 23:53   #54
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Re Corsair rock (and steel keels&#128515.
The builders of my new boat tell the story of a steel Freya 47' (which they were on for a trial sail) which ploughed into Corsair Rock under full sail and tide. Pretty startling but no lives lost and check of keel found just a bit of paint scraped off.

I recount this just to let others know that it IS at periscope depth and not so obvious in some sea states.


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Old 19-08-2015, 01:11   #55
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
You ain't heard nothing yet

Once in late August ( OK made that up but it was winter ) clearing the Heads outwards about 2000 give or take. Hard SW blowing, ebb tide.
There was a big box boat west of the leads picking up a pilot.... not any easy operation in the conditions.... finally POB.
As I pass Lonsdale the pilot on the BBB calls me up suggesting we go green to green as he will be a while getting up onto the leads.... 'OK' sez I and soon thereafter I brings her around to 180* which I plan to steer until 3 miles off.

Ooooops... not a good move.... a bit premature in fact...

The night was as black as the inside of a cow but all of a sudden all we can see is a bloody great bit of white coming our way..... crashbangthudcrashbangwallop..... pause... ship shakes her self... bridge enveloped in spray....then along comes its mate... crashbangthudcrashbangwallop.... speed through water goes from 14k to 0k on the instant... both engines spit the dummy on overload and stop....in the engine the room bow thruster compartment high bilge level alarms are going off... Chief plumber sez to second plumber ' go up the front and see what that is all about'... 'piss orf' sez second plumber ' you go up the front.....'

Deck lights gone from top of foremast, every thing not bolted down on the focsle and a lot that was has gone including two mooring lines...... weather door in Baltic shroud punched through its frame...

'Bugger..' sez I

A place to be treated with respect but you'll be right....

Just avoid this bit Ive marked in the attached chartlet on the ebb... approximate but I'm sure you get the idea.. Look at the chart and see the horseshoe that is the Rip Deep... thats pretty much how the ebb runs. It cuts from westgoing to eastgoing in a boat's length.

In good weather on the flood you can just go straight up the guts.....if there is no traffic....
I'll be coming from around Flinders, how do I avoid that big square you drew? And why did you draw it that big?
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Old 19-08-2015, 02:08   #56
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

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I'll be coming from around Flinders, how do I avoid that big square you drew? And why did you draw it that big?
Firstly.... you realise that this is all 'all care... no responsibility'?

Righto...lets proceed...

The ebb can be felt all the way down to the Shanck so...if you are planning to arrive at the Heads at the start of the flood... you need to come up either inside it or outside it depending on whether you want to enter on the east or the west.

After slack water at the Heads the last of the ebb is still tootling off to the SE...

Anywaze... you pays your money you takes your chances

If entering up the guts on the flood you will be getting pushed first this way then that so if any big ships around they may not be all that happy... however 0300/0400 is the busy time with inbound ships looking for an early cargo start up in town.

Thats about it really.... one pic of Lonsdale Light, Lonsdale reef in foreground, in settled conditions, and a cupla pics of busy times....

Monitor Ch 12 well before you get there.... you will get a feel for the traffic...
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Old 19-08-2015, 03:24   #57
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

I sailed though the rip once about 25 years ago when I was navigator on my uncles yacht on the return sail after the Melbourne-Devonport race.

I recall that we did have some sort of pilot book, paper charts and a compass. No idea what way I chose for us to enter. All I remember is that there was no shipping, light winds and little swell. We spent the night before tied up at Flinders pier.

I'm grateful that the internet and this thread did not exist back then. Ignorance is bliss 😃


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Old 19-08-2015, 03:26   #58
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

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Monitor Ch 12 well before you get there.... you will get a feel for the traffic...
Sounds like AIS would be handy to have there just for checking on traffic



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Old 19-08-2015, 03:38   #59
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

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Sounds like AIS would be handy to have there just for checking on traffic



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AIS ? Didn't have that newfangled stuff back in the dreamtime ... but yes... as long as when coming up from Flinders you could 'see' ships in the South Channel which you most probably would....

In fact AIS turned up a year or two before I retired but I don't think any yachts had it then..... it was a big boy's toy....
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Old 19-08-2015, 03:51   #60
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Re: Sailing The Rip into Port Philip Victoria

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AIS ? Didn't have that newfangled stuff back in the dreamtime ... but yes... as long as when coming up from Flinders you could 'see' ships in the South Channel which you most probably would....



In fact AIS turned up a year or two before I retired but I don't think any yachts had it then..... it was a big boy's toy....
When I did my trip, satnav was the new fangled hi tech gizmo for the big boys which we weren't.

I wonder if Rustic has AIS on board. At least a receiver might be a good investment. I guess there are many more ships than there were 25 years ago. Back then when we raced out of St.Kilda marina we regularly crossed the channel and hardly ever needed to avoid ships, pretty quiet back then.


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