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Old 14-08-2017, 15:28   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 14,692
Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Joey, I have good news for you. Download Open CPN, and check this for yourself. It is the coastline of Oz which has 16,006 mi. However, you sail across the bays, right? So the actual distance is closer to 6,000 n. mi., Jim just did it, but you will want to become competent at measuring days runs, and will have to trust yourself at that.

The first part of your journey, there are many places to stop for specialist help, not so much beyond Cairns. Not to be too sharp with you, what you learn between now and when you arrive up there will determine whether you have a good chance at completing the goal. What you lack, and what classes often fail to teach is seamanship, which is largely good sense, and respecting what might go wrong, with appropriate planning beforehand.

If you can crew with a successful skipper on a couple of Melbourne to Hobart races, that will be informative, expect to have to work your way up to better boats, as your crewing skills increase. Absorb as much as you can, ask questions in the pub after the race. You probably already know this, but be prepared to work really hard to qualify as junior crew.


Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 15-08-2017, 03:29   #17
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Thanks all for your great replies and a great start to what has been and will continue to be a great journey.

I intend to do all of the above and Melbourne to Hobart crew runs are definite's.

Learning is the main thing for now and research as much as possible and learn from those whop have been before me. I always ask people if they were to do it again what would they change and why. You get some interesting answers.

There are some things that stick because they have very valid points and some are just personal opinions . Either way knowledge is knowledge and if I can talk with hindsight enough I might get to meet his brother, foresight!

Downloaded and going through OpenCPN as I post. Looks like the one the skipper of my last trip was using. He did mention that he uses open source charting software.

In summary this thread is all part of my process and enjoying living it with planning, discussion, crewing and manifesting its realization of setting off to reality. With the kids are almost finished school and financially maturity close by the reality is very real.

Lots to learn and it will be lots of fun doing so.

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Old 15-08-2017, 05:37   #18
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Joey the NSW coast is a rather unforgiving place. From Sydney there are only 2 all weather entrances, with Newcastle & Coffs Harbour almost all weather, but not quite. Many rivers are fine in motoring weather, but not on in good sailing winds, & even then, are only suitable on a flood tide. Arranging to arrive on the flood under sail is somewhat difficult. It is best to consider Port Stephens to Mooloolaba as a non stop sail, with any stopovers possible a bonus.

From Mooloolaba to Port Douglas day sailing requires you to cover about 55 to 60 miles in fair daylight. You are entering anchorages to the west, & with many, without local knowledge, it is best to be anchored before 4.00PM, Entering an unfamiliar anchorage into the afternoon sun is not fun.

To make these passages under sail is not easy. At a 5.00 AM start there is often little wind, which can be light to about 8.00 AM. I have done the trip quite a few times in a fast yacht, cruising at over 7K. Most slower boats spent much of most days motoring to make the next anchorage with good light to navigate their way in.

Don't forget to take a few bottles of Bundaberg rum along with you. You'll be amazed how many prawns a bottle of Bundy will get you from a trawler that has been out for a few days, & is all out of grog. They spend the days in some of the anchorages you will use over night.
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Old 15-08-2017, 11:41   #19
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Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Originally Posted by Joey26 View Post
Thank you Jim for your input but I am not quite sure whether your comments are encouraging or mocking in some way.

Yes you have probably heard people say they are going to sail a million times and like in most things in life only the small percentage say 5% actually do it. I dont intend to be the 95% and the more times I experience sailing the more times I am encouraged to achieve the ambition.

Currently I work and have a small business and I refuse to buy a boat at the moment as I will not have the time to spend on it nor the desire to watch it foul up and provide a cosy home some aquatic sea life. My time will come and it not far away.

I dont claim to be a sea expert or have great knowledge but I feel confident enough to quickly acquire skills needed to embark on my journey safely.

That is why I have decided to join this forum to seek knowledge from those who have sailed before me.

Winds in your back may not be a total reality all the time but are you telling me that its a statement made without sense and not a possible planning concern.

I did also mention 100 nm per day (thats 4 nm per hour) even possible if I blew hard enough into the sails with my own breathe pardon my sarcasm

Anyway just putting it out there. Far from departing yet but looking for genuine encouraging knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Cate has 30+ yr experience.
To me Jim's comments were not mocking nor were they particularly encouraging. He pointed out that you have unrealistic expectations.

He offered suggestion about how to create more realistic expectations.

If you think you can read a lot, then buy the boat of your dreams and be ready to go 4mo later then for the first 6mo or so underway you will be getting by on luck.

A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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