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Old 10-11-2014, 22:37   #1
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East Coast Australia Currents In Summer

Does anyone have advice on what to expect regarding the strength, direction and likelihood of significant north to south flowing currents on the south eastern Australian coast during mid to late summer?

I am particularly interested in what to expect either closer inshore or further off the coast and any strategies to deal with the current.

Many thanks

Peter Mc
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Old 10-11-2014, 23:01   #2
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Re: East Coast Australai currents in Summer

For starters:

1. work through the recent and also the historical data at

IMOS OceanCurrent

2. look at the near real time SST work, in the area of relevance to you, at:

Sea temperatures and Currents


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Old 10-11-2014, 23:35   #3
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Re: East Coast Australai currents in Summer

G'Day Peter,

If you follow the second link above you will find all the data that you need. And what you will find is that the EAC isn't the smooth, even flowing stream that is suggested by the arrows on the regular charts. Instead, it is a band of swirls, eddies and other non-linear patterns, and that they change speed and direction DAILY in any given place.

So, one must refer to the BOM site frequently to plan one's coastal voyages efficiently, and no generalizations re seasonal flow really mean much.

It is great to have this tool, and it has saved us a lot of grief since it became available.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-11-2014, 23:43   #4
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Re: East Coast Australai currents in Summer

The standard strategy is to stand well off the coast if you're heading south and want to use the current, but to come inshore if you're heading north and want to stay out of the current or pick up some possible counter-currents.

All of the BOM web sites showing daily current activity is useful.

I've had good success on southbound trips by running due south of a point just outside of the Ballina bar. i.e. don't run a direct line from there to Sydney heads, just keep your heading on 180 true until you're almost abeam of Newcastle and you'll have good use of the current. I have done that trip a few times and had around 1.5 to 2.5 knots behind me.
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:10   #5
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Re: East Coast Australia Currents In Summer

Heading north in late Feb, early March, we did the trip from Sydney to Gold Coast in several hops. Each time we headed off a couple of days after a front had produced strong southerlies - we had to wait a bit until the swell let us over the various bars. Travelling like this we had no current against us until Cape Byron- even then only a knot or two.
We didn't have to hug the coast hugely. The current seemed to have moved out to sea with each front. Great trip - we took about 3 -4 weeks.


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Old 11-11-2014, 18:31   #6
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Re: East Coast Australia Currents In Summer

One year, we had 3 k. against us, northbound at Cape Byron. It took for bloody ever to get past it! Another time, we had countercurrent all the way from Cape Byron to the Gold Coast seaway. Look at the BoM site for the info that is now available, a huge help not there in years past.
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:58   #7
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Re: East Coast Australia Currents In Summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter McNamara View Post
Does anyone have advice on what to expect regarding the strength, direction and likelihood of significant north to south flowing currents on the south eastern Australian coast during mid to late summer?

I am particularly interested in what to expect either closer inshore or further off the coast and any strategies to deal with the current.

Many thanks

Peter Mc
Be more concerned about the winds and storms. Cyclones can also come down as far as Brisbane.
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Old 30-11-2014, 22:16   #8
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Re: East Coast Australia Currents In Summer

Many thanks to each of you for your helpful comments I have replied separately,

Cheers

Peter Mc
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