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Old 02-06-2016, 03:54   #1
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Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

Hello all,
we are currently finalising some plans for when we leave our current berth at Urangan Boat Harbour on the shores of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia to start this years cruise north. We are thinking of heading out to Lady Musgrave Island first. I have not been out to this part of the reef before and I am seeking any information I can. I have read the local cruising guides IE Lucas but am seeking first hand experiences in what to watch out for and weather patterns to avoid or plan for.

Greg and Sue
Lagoon 410S2

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Old 02-06-2016, 04:18   #2
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

We went there in our 440 a few years ago,
Just amazing place.
At high tide you may get some wave action coming over the outside reef.
The water is super clear and you can see the coral heads when you anchor.

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Old 03-06-2016, 01:20   #3
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

The trip out and back is pretty straight forward ... just watch the weather as for any offshore trip.

The entrance has enough depth and width for any tide. However when we arrived a couple of hours before low, the runout through the channel was pretty brisk (maybe 5 knots of more). Not knowing what to expect we waited for the current to slacken a bit before entering, although that wasn't really necessary.

Once inside, watch for a few unmarked bommies after you enter. Time your entry to ensure good visibility. Anchoring is good in about 6 metres if I recollect.

You are in for a treat.
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Currently cruising Queensland coast
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:43   #4
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

Thanks everyone for you input, very informative. Stuck in the marina sitting out some nasty weather that is about to hit.
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Old 03-06-2016, 14:07   #5
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

One of our favourite places ! Look for light to calm weather when you are there,it brings out the real beauty .Two weeks ago we weathered 20 for a few days but the wait paid off. Some years ago had to experience gale conditions but with plenty of chain ( and the odd bommie ) , no worries .
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Old 03-06-2016, 14:38   #6
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

As above, it's at it's best in calm weather and ideally, neap tides but is safe enough in fairly strong winds. We've sat out 25-30 knots there, quite comfortably.

It's easy to see where the coral heads are.

The entrance is deep and wide, (Spirit of 1770 used to go through at about 20 knots) but can get some strong cross currents, best to have a lookout up forward when you're going in/out.

It's a great spot, especially when the turtles are nesting later in the year.

If you're into snorkelling/diving, Fitzroy reef is worth a visit too, not much further north.
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Old 03-06-2016, 14:55   #7
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

We've been out there in a mono, and for us, over 25 at high tide was uncomfortable. Otherwise, it is a desirable tourist destination, and you have it all to yourself before 10 a.m., and after 3:30 or 4 p.m. In turtle season (around Christmas) it is a magical, sort of prehistoric experience to watch them come ashore to lay their eggs.

I expect you'll have a great time there, there's good to great snorkeling on the outside, too.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 03-06-2016, 15:44   #8
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

I would just add that on your first entry, ensure you arrive at least 2, preferably 3 hours before sunset (1000-1400 would even be better). You will need the light and the angle of the light to get a reassuring view of the entrance itself and the coral edges as well as the bommies as you track from the entrance to the anchorages near the island. Never try this after dark. Even an hour before sunset would be challenging if you are not very familiar with it. If you arrive at a time when vision is poor, anchor at the 10m contour to the northeast of the island where there is invariably reasonable protection from the prevailing swell and then wait. The tidal flow at the entrance in my experience (10+ visits) is never more than 3-4kts. Fitzroy to the north can be 5+kts as it is much narrower (arriving here in the middle of the day's light is a must for 1st timers).
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Old 03-06-2016, 19:26   #9
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

Lady M I is a great destination and while not overly challenging you need to take care. I have often sailed there overnight leaving Rooney Point about midnight to arrive in good light. If the tide is unfavourable you may anchor in the lea of the island in 18M. The runout tide is strong and last for some hours after the low. This is due to the sea coming in over the reef. You might consider stopping at Lady Eliot on the way or even Round Hill (1770) to get your timing right. The island can be a bit smelly and covered in bird droppings but well worth a look. Water can be had at the toilet block in an emergency and would need to be boiled for drinking. The tourists will be thin on the ground as the Spirit of 1770 tourist vessel sunk recently.
Follow Lucas or Noel Patric's advice if you intend to do any scuba diving I can supply gps coordinates for many of the great dive sites snorkelling is excellent in the lagoon, the bommie with the isolated danger mark is a good spot for either. Be careful of the entrance as the current is strong in fact strong currents abound outside the lagoon.
Enjoy and if you like it try to get to Fitzroy reef only a day hop away next is Northwest reef then The Keeples makes a great trip
S/v Rainbow Dreaming
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Old 04-06-2016, 00:45   #10
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

Lady Musgrave is a great stopover on your way north. You will find lots of other cruisers anchored in the lagoon as well. Hope you have a good reliable anchor, preferably one of the new age styles like the Super Sarca or Excel or Rocna etc. We had a Super Sarca on our boat & it held solid.

Here is one of my YouTube clips taken from a powerboat trip I made which clearly shows you the entrance into the lagoon. As you can see the entrance is fairly narrow but you will have no trouble in your cat.

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Old 04-06-2016, 01:24   #11
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Re: Lady Musgrave Island - Australia

Thankyou all for all the information, it is very much appreciated and will make the journey so much more enjoyable. Ozbullwinkle, thanks muchly for the video it is invaluable.

Weather permitting Musgrave is now definatley on our list of must do destinations.

Greg and Sue
Lagoon 410 S2

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