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Old 01-03-2013, 01:04   #16
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Re: Townsville Qld to Perth WA

Originally Posted by resilientg View Post
WOTNAME, thank you,

That's a bit better set of info you gave me.

Remote is cool for me, and yes i will wait until after the cyclone and moonson seasons are both done.

If anyone's got names of any good cruising books for the trip i would like to have the names so i can get a copy.

Thanks all,

Alan Lucas "Cruising the Coral Coast" used to have good info up to Thursday Island but I am not sure how up to date the later editions are - e.g. does it have the info that Ian R posted earlier.

Given you stated experience level, I would recommend the inside route through to the tip of Cape York rather than Boatman's suggestion of the outside route.

The inside route can be day sailed all the way to the tip and has plenty of SE protected anchorages for you to get your sea legs into top form. By the time you get to depart the Torres Straits, you will be ready for the several day crossing of the Gulf. Sure day sailing is slower but you do see more!

The outside would be best in you are in a hurry and you have the experience - al la Boatman.

As others have suggested, going over the top is no mean feat but each stage is only a little more difficult than the previous section so you will have a chance to develop your skills bit by bit.

As I see it:
Townsville to Port Douglas - level 1
Port Douglas to Cooktown - level 2
Cooktown to Thursday Island - level 3
Thursday Island to Cove - first multiday passage - level 2/3
Cove to Darwin - either off-shore or coastal level, level 4

After Darwin you will probably know whether you want to continue exploring remote coastlines or want to do fast passage making to say Broome (or perhaps Derby). The Kimberly is a tough but interesting coast, you will be using all your skills developed by now and then some. Either way, it will test you a bit. Let's call that level 5

IMHO, from Broome you will just want to head for Perth perhaps via Carnarvon or Geraldton. Port Hedland, Dampier and Exmouth (also Ningaloo) are possible provisioning points if necessary - well Exmouth and Ningaloo not so much.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:32   #17
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Re: Townsville Qld to Perth WA

Good advice Wotname you are spot on with your skill levels except perhaps the Kimberley which can be 8, 9 or 10 depending on the tides and turbid water and how much gung holing you do.

To save time, we do the TI to Cape Dawn run in one go. Go with the wind and do the miles. There is plenty to see further on, and the clock is ticking. You do not want to be leaving Broome after October, the southerlies then are merciless.

Usually het trades begin in April, and that's when we have leave to go north - but that is if man hasn't f--ked up the world's climate too much. Sheesh what a worry. Darwin by June. Cape Leveque by September then don't doddle heading south. The cray season starts in November and pots are put our in droves up to 30 NM out. Plus there's that savage south wind. I recommend reading Two's Crew. Give you a good idea of what you're up against and what you can see and do. The library will probably have a copy too.

Matthew, On our website are free Cruising Guides you can download. Queensland was contributed by the very experienced Ocelot, and the Kimberley Mud Maps are by several others that have a wealth of Kimberley experience.

We are toying with the idea of going around again this winter. There are still a few miles to go and issues that need to be resolved. But we have had a desire to do a proper guide in electronic format for the Kimberley and top of WA. That could be fun. Just need to deal with the crocs.

Dampier is a good restocking place. Karatha has a big Woolies and Boozatorium. Broome we go past. it's not the best anchorage and miles from town.

Hope that helps

Jack and Jude
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:14   #18
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Re: Townsville Qld to Perth WA

My tip for if you need extra hands along the way. Backpackers make enthusiastic if not somewhat unskilled hands. But they are in good supply anywhere from Airlie to Darwin.

They pack small, are used to different sleeping arrangements and are happy to live cheap.
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Old 01-03-2013, 20:58   #19
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Re: Townsville Qld to Perth WA

Thanlks for all the replies everyone,

you all have sort of confirmed what i had already thought of doing.

I still have some time here to do some more day trips around where i am prior to setting off.

Then cruise from northwards in day hops of 25-50 nm etc, play it safe and use all the anchorages that i can find to practice my anchoring skills.

When i find a good spot i can use it as a bolt hole and play around it for a few days testing different weather conditions safely

Even though the outside route would be cool, my experience dictates the closer to shore route, just in case.

Once ive got myself sorted and feel comfortable i still have a big window to get up to Darwin.

And yes, if i feel the need i can always get another set of hands on the boat, sadly though unless there experienced i trust myself more alone that having a dead coconut hanging around my neck.

One more question would be, on the west coast going south, as there are few spots to stop at etc, is it possible to go out wide there and pick up a current or is that not a viable thing to do?

For those that have posted email address and websites, thanks too, i have looked at your sites and liked them and will use the email sparingly if i have further direct questions.

Regards and Thank you so far,

Do but once what others say you cant, and you will never be judged by their limitations again.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:18   #20
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Re: Townsville Qld to Perth WA

Dear Matthew,
Hot off the press, we just finished a delivery from Sydney to Esperance around the bottom. As with the east coast, very short weather windows, 4 days at best. The Highs were below the bight giving us the wind at our backs every leg, very favourable but if one looks now the Highs are up in the top of the bight so that is the end of the easterlies, will be replaced by west to sw for until later in the year.
This trip was on a Fusion 40, great sailing but not sure I would do it in a small boat. We have been round the top 4 times, south of the Exmouth Gulf presents exactly the same winter problem as does the east coast. The rest is easy, I suggest Seisha rather than Thursday Island (you can keep your fresh food this way) and Gove Yacht Club is a must visit and very helpful. Hope this helps.
Regards Michael

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