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Old 14-08-2017, 00:46   #1
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Circumnavigating Australia

Ok looking for opinions, tips, advice or just a chin wag. No urgency required as I have plenty of time.

Plan to circumnavigate Australia Anti Clockwise from Melbourne

The plan
Purchase 38-45 ft Cruiser Roberts or Adams are really interesting me at the moment and have been for years. Something that can average 120-150nms per day

Plan is to sail with friends or advertise for crew here and there so single handling not really important but could be considered. I do like my own company but could be fun and safer with crew.

2022 is the year I will be purchasing boat at latest but could be sooner if financial maturity happens earlier.

2022 or 2023 latest for set departure (thats when youngest turns 21 and I hope that emotionally I can separate myself from my family. At this stage no as he is dependent and still at school)


Looking for what people think is a ideal expectation on time line.
I do like adventure and dont like sitting around in 1 spot for too long.

Day sailing a preference but will do 1 -2 night passages without an issue.

So far I have been suggested a 12 month plan
Leave Melbourne March April
Be north of NSW QLD border by May
Be at top end rounding into Gove around late August at latest
Clear top end and into Exmouth by December
Sail down West Coast and be at Albany by Feb/March
Sail across to King Island and into Melbourne by May

Thats the brief at this stage with in detail planning still to come.

So how does this outline fair is ones mind??

Your thoughts are appreciated in advance.
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Old 14-08-2017, 01:35   #2
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Great to have a goal and it looks like you have heaps of time to refine your timing. Try not to up top during the wet season, not the best time due to cyclones and humidity/temperature. Also coming down the west coast during the early summer can be hard going with the seabreeze making it tough going to windward. Might be better to allow more time in Qld and go over the top in the dry season and therefore heading down the west before end of October. That will also allow you to cross the bight early and therefore beat the easterly. Hope that assists you but try not to rush your trip, there are so many amazingly places. Especially in the Kimberley.
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Old 14-08-2017, 01:36   #3
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Based on the arithmetic (16,006 mi of coastline), it would be doable as long as no lengthy stops were made. Mostly cruisers allow 2 years, in order to play the seasons, but there are groups who do it en masse and on a schedule.

Imho, where the rub comes in is if any serious boat repair becomes necessary, or a people repair, it can REALLY mess us one's schedule.

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Old 14-08-2017, 02:24   #4
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Great input and the sort of stuff I was looking for.

Originally and still might be the plan is for 2 years but lately my son and his friend (which I get along with well) are interested in coming during a gap year. This has made me think of the year journey as it it would be fantastic to have the boys join.

Many options to consider
1. Such as parking the boat the boat somewhere and doing the journey over 2 years but at different times.
2. Joining and or creating a fleet of similar interested sailors to create and follow a schedule
3. 16000 mi at 100nm per day = 160 sailing days and at 120 nm per day = 133 sailing days. Sounds very doable as I dont intend to spend alot of time in one place.

However the timing thing is interesting as Diamond life points out

Talking to a 30+ years experienced sailor who has circumnavigated Australia more than once.

March - April ----- Melbourne to NSW/QLD border
May, June July --- Up the East Coast enroute to Top End
August ------------ Round over pointy bit of Australia and into Gove
Sept, Oct, Nov --- Top end and Kimberleys
Dec -------------- Enter into Exmouth
Jan-Feb ---------- Sail down West Coast into Albany
Feb March ------- Albany
March April ----- Across the Bight via King Island and over to Melbourne
April May -------- Journey End Melbourne

However I will investigate further on your thoughts Diamond Life as I have also heard sailing with the prevailing winds in your back is the preferable way to sail

Yes I do have time to plan properly and it looks like I will need it

This journey stared 30 years ago and it will finally realise itself in the next few years.
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Old 14-08-2017, 02:34   #5
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Something to consider: the 120-150 mpd AVERAGE that you blithely propose is difficult to achieve in the boats you propose... sailing downwind. When you throw in windward sailing, those ambitious numbers turn into reality jokes.

You really need to acquire some sailing experience, sailing offshore a bit in an assortment of wx conditions before you start these distant plans. When you make statements like " I have also heard sailing with the prevailing winds in your back is the preferable way to sail", the credibility of your planning is diminished.

Jim
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Old 14-08-2017, 02:50   #6
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

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.
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Old 14-08-2017, 03:00   #7
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey26 View Post
....

March - April ----- Melbourne to NSW/QLD border .. March April = chance of gales as quite late in the season.. I would leave earlier...
May, June July --- Up the East Coast enroute to Top End
August ------------ Round over pointy bit of Australia and into Gove

Sept, Oct, Nov --- Top end and Kimberleys Dec -------------- Enter into Exmouth
You want to be south of Carnarvon before October....
Jan-Feb ---------- Sail down West Coast into Albany
Feb March ------- Albany so far so good
March April ----- Across the Bight via King Island and over to Melbourne ..April May -------- Journey End Melbourne.... Once again very late in the season
Comments based on a cupla years or so south of the Tropic of Capricorn in Strayan waters
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Old 14-08-2017, 03:12   #8
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

March - April ----- Melbourne to NSW/QLD border .. March April = chance of gales as quite late in the season.. I would leave earlier...


How much earlier?? Jan? Feb? or earlier?
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Old 14-08-2017, 03:42   #9
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey26 View Post
March - April ----- Melbourne to NSW/QLD border .. March April = chance of gales as quite late in the season.. I would leave earlier...


How much earlier?? Jan? Feb? or earlier?
Hmmmm.... I would be looking at Jan or Feb... watch your wx windows... don't sail to a schedule... its not a race... leave time to get to the next 'gate'...

Listen to Jim... he may sound like a cranky old yankee but he and JPA know their stuff
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Old 14-08-2017, 04:29   #10
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

once your sailing all plans are lost. things will need repairs. it'll happen at the most inopportune moments. unless you're entering a regatta i'd stop planning and start doing and see what comes of it :-)
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Old 14-08-2017, 06:17   #11
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Melb to syd no drama leaving when it suits as you have pretty accurate 7 day forcasts. 100 miles heads to refuge cove, 100 miles to lakes enterance. 130 miles to Eden, all with current going your way until vic/ nsw border then se current against you.
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Old 14-08-2017, 07:01   #12
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

All good as I am aware that if I wanted a total winds and current in my favour most if not all the way I would have to do the trip in small parts and doing what some do and leave the boat in port for months at a time then return when the season returns to favour.

However thats not exactly what I want to do and a continual circumnavigation is the plan.

To stop planning!! unfortunately is not in my make up. I am totally aware of the unforeseen events that can happen as thats life period.

My strength is planning and research and yes I do sail when I get the chance on invites onto other peoples boats. I am trying to do as many open water sailing as I can and my experience will increase as my desire increases.

I will never believe I know it all or have the experience to be totally safe without proper preparation. I try to learn from others mistakes by watching many you tube videos and listening to many stories. All with a purpose to exposing myself to others hindsight.

There are many experienced sailors on the bottom of the ocean floor so in a way I believe my thirst for information at this stage is in my interest.

So for now I will continue to plan, research and take every opportunity I can to experience open water when I can.

Thank you for every ones input so far. Its made me look in the right direction for weather windows.
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Old 14-08-2017, 07:03   #13
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

While not wanting to seem as though I am discouraging you, I do want to point out one huge conflict between a statement in your original post and all of your subsequent scheduling mockups.

Mathematically, I agree that 100 nm a day is roughly 4 knots. However, to make 100 nm you have to sail for 24 hours at that (approximate) 4 knots. Yet you seem to want to daysail mostly. To look at it another way: How many periods of daylight (10 hours or so?) does it take to travel 16,000 nm at 4 knots?

If you are limiting yourself to daysails, will there be an anchorage or marina every 40 to 50 nm all the way around the coastline?

Your goal is an admirable one. To achieve it safely (which is important with family on board, I assume) requires a significant amount of knowledge and skilll that you will need to acquire. You need to start now, by getting on boats as much as you can, sailing, learning navigation, ship's systems, repairs, etc. Planning out 5 years in advance is wonderful, and you have time. Get started now with as much sailing time as you can, you will not regret it.

I am not attempting to rain on your parade, or tell you not to go. I got excited for you just reading the title of the thread. Rather, I am gently pointing out that there are some things in your posts that show you don't yet know what it is that you don't know.
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Old 14-08-2017, 07:21   #14
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

You are 100% correct SFS and yes I realised the distance conflicted with my original statement totally.

My estimates were based on excitement of a recent ocean passage where yes, I did sail 24 hrs a day for 2 weeks .

Its writing things down that is exposing my lack of knowledge and I am seeing it unfold with every post. But just in writing posts is learning and its only these sort of discussions is where I learn.

You haven't rained on my parade in the slightest but you have pointed out the obvious.
1. Things I need to genuinely consider and learn.
2. A realistic port by port plan with weather times and windows that reflect true data history and expectations.
3. True speed and miles that can be covered in the time I have set for that leg

On boat experience will develop and I will do my refresher courses and mechanical repairs and maintenance in the meantime.

This thread has started just as an open discussion as part of my process and I asked for thoughts and certainly got them. As better qualified questions arise I will post for thoughts but for now I will sit down and look at the plan just a little deeper.
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Old 14-08-2017, 08:05   #15
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Re: Circumnavigating Australia

Good on ya' mate! It is clear that you have two enormously powerful things going for you. You have an open mind, and you are willing to ask for help.

One additional thought came to mind. Spending as much time on boats as possible will teach you about sailing and seamanship. But spending as much time as possible on DIFFERENT boats will also help you decide what YOU think is important in a boat (layout, handling characteristics, sail plans, keel types, storage, equipment, etc).

This will be critical when you actually start shopping. There are very few people who manage to buy the best boat for them the first time around, because all boats are compromises. The more you see, the more accurately you will be able to list the things that are important to you. Two examples relative to our first boat: a) we quickly eliminated boats with relatively narrow side decks. That was a good choice for us. b) we did not give enough consideration to sleeping arrangements, and the v-berth was really smaller in practice than we thought it would be. That was an error on our part.

You are already on your way. Remember to enjoy the process.
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