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Old 27-06-2018, 22:32   #76
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Fremantle
Boat: South Coast 36
Posts: 2
Re: Sydney to Perth over top end of Australia

Hi Gareth,

I am currently doing the "Over the Top" Brisbane to Fremantle on a tight holiday schedule. We are currently moored in Darwin.

We stuck to the side of the shipping channels through the GBR so that we could safely sail at night. Ships were common but not a problem with AIS and radar. Winds varied from occasional SW in the morning through to South and most commonly SE and ESE. Every day was a wind warning with over 20kts forecast, every few days the wind crept over 30kts. We only took shelter for one day in Princess Charlotte Bay when the forecast was for over 35kts. The day after there was no wind.

We stopped at Whitehaven and Chalkies beach in the Whitsundays and Lizard Island. Then Horn / Thursday Island on the way up. Horn Island is a nice anchorage but the flies are bad. Albany Passage at the Cape was definitely a highlight, I would anchor there if I do the trip again.

Cairns has a huge boat industry and can supply any need.

Seisia is a great place to stop and resupply. Showers at the camp ground a gold coin donation. Washing machines $3. Supermarket has most supplies and the best and cheapest meat we have found so far. Tender ride to the beach and walk across the soccer field to the super market. Service station a short walk from the wharf (Diesel $2.00 a litre June 2018).

Gove we anchored in the bay out the front of the Boat Club. Great feed. Hired a car ($65) to get supplies and fuel, cheaper than a taxi.

Hole in the Wall was great, we hit it at high tide and had a great ride. Navonics will show the tide just east of the Rip, we went by that as there was a lot of conflicting information on the net.

Darwin. Watch the current once rounding Cape Don, we went from 10 knots to 2.5 knots, so we anchored for 3 hours and then took off at 10 knots again. Swell/waves ranged from dead flat to 3m and for a short period 4+ metres.

Mobile coverage was not too bad till after Cairns, then only had it occasionally (Boost/Telstra). Inreach was great for SMS, their weather was average to spot on.

Things are going to break. I had electrical problems with the stater system, finally traced back to a fuel gauge wired incorrectly (worked fine for years, no one knows why it started shorting the starter). Autopilot stopped working in FNQ. Entire Helm/Pedestal had to be removed in Darwin to repair it. Mizzen mast traveler ripped from the deck in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Many more minor things. Be prepared to have to fix things with the resources you have on the boat.

If you need any more information feel free to contact me.

South Coast 36

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Old 29-06-2018, 04:28   #77
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Boat: Beneteau First42
Posts: 29
Re: Sydney to Perth over top end of Australia

Mark, thank you very much for all the information, greatly appreciated!

Would love to hear more about your trip thus far, i will send you a private message...

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Australia, sydney

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