Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-05-2018, 14:58   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 6
Torres Strait in October

Hi, new to the forum.

We are looking to cross the Torres Strait westward in mid October. Due to schedule, we can't get there for Sept and as I understand May to Sept is the optimum time for crossing to the west.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience on how feasible it is to do this during October? Are the trade winds prevailing with occasional reversal which allows eastward crossing, or is an opportunity for a westward crossing unlikely? Really don't want to get trapped for the whole of cyclone season.

TIA for your comments/suggestions.
__________________

TabbyTig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2018, 15:33   #2
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 8,540
Re: Torres Strait in October

TabbyTig, welcome aboard CF, nice to see a first post about the Torres Strait. I have very good memories of the the two years when I lived there.

While it is getting late in the season, you should experience the regular trade wind flow of 20+ kts SE. The wet season build up normally starts sometime in November and is characterised by calms and evening thunderstorms. When the wet season monsoonal weather sets in, the trade winds are replaced with a mainly much lighter, patchy and irregular NE flow with a series of line squalls (also NE'ly) that can be strong at times.

However it does vary year by year. Occasionally the SE'ly persists much later and occasionally simply decreases during the southern summer (Dec - Feb).

You haven't told us your destination once you pass though the Torres Strait but presumably you will continue west towards Darwin, if so, the trade wind there will be far more east than SE and the NE'ly change can occur earlier and/or be stronger.

There are few CF members who live in Northern Aus and PNG who will hopefully chime in with much more up to date information.

Presumably you will be clearing into Aus at Thursday Island.
__________________

__________________
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
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2018, 16:39   #3
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

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: 13,055
Re: Torres Strait in October

Are we talking about crossing or transiting the Straits? I'm slightly confused (as usual).

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II on the Clarence river once again, awaiting the next N'ly.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2018, 17:13   #4
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 8,540
Re: Torres Strait in October

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Are we talking about crossing or transiting the Straits? I'm slightly confused (as usual).

Jim
That is, of course, a very good question! Is the Torres Stait bounded by the Arafura Sea and the Coral Sea or by the land masses of PNG and Cape York Peninsula. One has to be a smarter navigator than I to know.

Suffice to say, I reckon the OP is planning to travel (sail?) westwards though the TS originating somewhere from the east. If they were coming from either PNG or Qld, they would probably know enough about the regional already.

So I'm thinking they are transiting the TS and as a first poster, I give them a warm welcome on all accounts.

FWIW, the tidal flows are really the thing to watch out for in the TS although close attention to the GPS and normal prudent navigation is sufficient for a safe passage. IMO, the OP should read up on tidal situation there to get a good understanding on what can occur daily. I have seen five high tides in a 24 hour period with hardly any change in tidal height yet on another day, there might be only one tidal change with a 3m (10') change. The flow can be spectacular!

Here is some good reading http://www.ga.gov.au/webtemp/image_cache/GA8729.pdf

or for something simpler Torres Strait - About Tide Predicitions - Bureau of Meteorology
__________________
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
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2018, 17:15   #5
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 8,540
Re: Torres Strait in October



In my first post to this thread, I referenced NE and NE'ly a few times. That was a huge brain failure on my part, it should have read NW and NW'ly in every instance.


__________________
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
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2018, 21:02   #6
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

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: 13,055
Re: Torres Strait in October

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post


In my first post to this thread, I referenced NE and NE'ly a few times. That was a huge brain failure on my part, it should have read NW and NW'ly in every instance.


I suspect that the paint fumes from your fuel tank have rotted your brain, Wottie!

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II on the Clarence river once again, awaiting the next N'ly.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 01:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,984
Images: 7
Re: Torres Strait in October

I have done the Darwin Cairns thing three times during October-November and on all three time had to wait in Gove for the easterlies/south easterlies to decline sufficiently to make the Gulf crossing. On the first occasion I waited in Gove for five weeks, the second about ten days and the last about three weeks in order to have a calm period in which to make the crossing. Consequently my experience indicates that easterly winds are still common during October.
RaymondR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 05:01   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 6
Re: Torres Strait in October

Great info! Thank you all!

Wotname is correct, we would be crossing the straits and heading west towards Darwin however, looking at sailing directly to Indonesia to be well away from the Cyclone area and to get an early start on Indian Ocean crossing.

Any suggestions/experiences on sailing direct to Indonesia would also be appreciated


TT
TabbyTig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 14:06   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,984
Images: 7
Re: Torres Strait in October

You used to be able to clear out from Gove and I got fuel there in October last year which might help shorten the trip to Indo without adding excessively to the mileage.
RaymondR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 19:01   #10
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 8,540
Re: Torres Strait in October

Without knowing your previous departure point and the size of your boat or crew but knowing you want to get to Indonesia at the end of the southern trade wind season, you just transit the TS and continue right onto Indonesia assuming you have already arranged whatever permits Indonesia requires. I don't have any current knowledge of their requirements.

However if you need to sort Indonesia paperwork in Aus first, then Darwin will be your best bet rather than Thursday Island (or Gove). In that case, transit TS and enter / depart Aus in Darwin. Of course you will be missing some of the best of the beautiful remote tropical north of Aus...
__________________
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
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 19:47   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2016
Location: mackay, queensland. australia
Boat: e.a jack (builder), g.l watson (designer), 6.2 mtr wll sailboat
Posts: 527
Re: Torres Strait in October

when there is a high in the bight there is usually a south east wind across the gulf of Carpentaria / October is not too early for a cyclone / last time we were in the gulf waters there were strange sea conditions as a result of earthquakes in new guinea and Indonesia / intermittent earthquakes are common and play around with the currents / but thankfully seldom build a large wave
knockabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 20:20   #12
Registered User
 
Simi 60's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Australia
Boat: Milkraft 60 ex trawler
Posts: 1,018
Re: Torres Strait in October

Following as we to intend to head trough in the next year or two and onwards to Indo to Thailand on one of the rally's around August.
Still undecided as to Darwin to Kupang or Thursday Island to Tual as being the better route through.
Simi 60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2018, 20:48   #13
Registered User
 
daletournier's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seychelles
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,778
Re: Torres Strait in October

I've cleared out from Darwin and from Thursday island. Unless you specifically want to see Darwin I would clear out from TI, they are easy going and it's an easy passage. Cross the gulf and rest up at the wessels then onwards to Kupang to check in, depending on where you want to enter Indonesia.
The take away from this thread is the SE trades can vary year to year, they aren't to concerned what the cruising guide says.
daletournier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2018, 18:26   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 211
Re: Torres Strait in October

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Following as we to intend to head trough in the next year or two and onwards to Indo to Thailand on one of the rally's around August.
Still undecided as to Darwin to Kupang or Thursday Island to Tual as being the better route through.


When passing through the area between Cape Yorke and PNG there are several Routes
If you want Thursday Island to be your port of departure then sailing into TI is necessary.
The main concern is not the wind but the tides. Work the tides and you will get sucked in and eventually spat out.

The variable breezes of Summer in the equatorial waters between Far north Australia and Singapore are generally light, wet and storms can be a frequent interruption they are often intense but pass quickly generally.The winds are generally light controlled by cloud/storm build up.
It's hot and sweaty. Some years back I spent 3 summers in the region the cyclones are generally very small but there are exceptions. The quicker you move north towards the equator the safer you are from cyclones. But the short intense tropical storms can be a daily event.
__________________

james247 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Torres Strait Routes theway Navigation 13 18-06-2017 00:29
Torres strait East to West Oliver L. Pacific & South China Sea 13 01-06-2016 02:27
Crew Wanted: Cairns To TI And Torres nickcompass29 Crew Archives 3 06-09-2015 17:52
Cook Strait Weather, NZ seafox General Sailing Forum 124 17-12-2007 01:24
pilotage through the Torres straight micoverde General Sailing Forum 7 08-06-2006 14:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.