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Old 15-09-2013, 07:21   #1
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Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

I am planning on leaving Morton Bay heading to Lake McQuarrie next Monday. If leaving the Gold Coast early in the morning where do you think would be the best place for the first night stop heading Southwards? Allowing 4.5 knot average speed in 44ft mono hull 1.5m draft. Will it be fast with the EAC at this time of year?
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:29   #2
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Also with the high tide being in the middle of the day next week is this going to cause me trouble?
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:49   #3
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

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Also with the high tide being in the middle of the day next week is this going to cause me trouble?
Are you talking about the Southport Bar?


Wind direction comes into the equation too!
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Old 15-09-2013, 15:25   #4
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

If not going non-stop, we generally break after an overnighter to the Clarence. IF there are S'ly winds then Byron Bay can be used, and easily reached in a daysail from the Seaway.

Do have a look at Alan Lucas's NSW cruising guide. His advice is conservative and accurate. You might even encounter him on his boat Solearis.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 15-09-2013, 15:44   #5
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

Agree with stopping at Yamba/Iluka first. Ballina is a dodgy bar. You'll want about the 4th to 6th hour of a rising tide to enter any of the barred entrances, so the tide time is important. (You can arrive even an hour or so after high tide at Yamba)

It's not as critical at Southport.

so based on your estimated cruising speed, time your departure so you'll reach Yamba at the right tide height.

Also important is the wind direction and there are a lot of northerlies around right now, so that's a plus!
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:35   #6
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

Are you leaving from Moreton Bay, Morton Island, the Cannals or Southport???

You got to get the Allan Lucas cruising guide, the east coast has a bit of a reputation and his guide is the cruisers bible, $70 well spent.

Yamba is good, got to make a few turns through the channels once inside including going through a hole in a rockwall if you are heading to the marinas on the southern side of the estuary.

Never been through Ballina but often heard it is tricky sand bar. Further south I don't think there are so many options for your next overnighter.

Trial Bay is good for a rest in a southerly, not necessarily a good overnighter though.

Coffs Harrbour is very good.

Port Macquairie have heard is tricky, never been there from sea.

Port Stephens is safe and stunning although marinas are said to be expensive.

Newcastle is good if somewhat industrial. Pretty friendly at the yacht club there.

And of course Lake Macquarie, although unless they have done some dredging since last time I went through a few years ago you probably need to go through close to high tide.
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Old 15-09-2013, 17:30   #7
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

I have got the Alan Lucas Guide and I meant Southport, will spend the first few nights inside then head out to sea from there, thanks for your info, first time heading south. Only other trip done so far was in April from Bundaberg to Morton Bay after buying my first yacht. Been at Scarborough Marina for last 3 months, now looking forward to getting the yacht to home, sick of travelling up and down. Thanks
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Old 15-09-2013, 18:10   #8
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

Unless sea conditions are pretty bad, the entrance at the Clarence can be accomplished at most times of the tidal cycle. You don't actually want to cross the bar, which lies a cable or so outside the ends of the breakwaters. Normal approach is nearly parallel to the shore, just outside the end of the northern breakwater giving it a 100 foot clearance, then hook around and head in, following the conspicuous leads. We nearly always favor going to the Iluka side and anchoring inside the fishing harbour there. Safe in most conditions, free, with good shore access and a selection of shops a short walk away. The marina at Yamba is a long way from groceries and other necessities, although there is a chandlery there. Fuel is MUCH cheaper at the Iluka boat shed across the river if you need to top up... often 30+ cents a liter less!!!

And if you are not in a hurry, a trip up the river is very attractive and a stop at Maclean is a cruisers paradise: a free pontoon mooring with electricity and water laid on, a supermarket, bottle shop and butcher less than 50 metres down the road, as well as all the other things found in rural towns... great spot!

Enjoy your cruise!

Jim
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Old 15-09-2013, 18:29   #9
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

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I have got the Alan Lucas Guide and I meant Southport, will spend the first few nights inside then head out to sea from there, thanks for your info, first time heading south. Only other trip done so far was in April from Bundaberg to Morton Bay after buying my first yacht. Been at Scarborough Marina for last 3 months, now looking forward to getting the yacht to home, sick of travelling up and down. Thanks

Pity I won't see you out there...I'll be leaving Manly 2nd week in Oct on the way to Tassie...slowly!

Jim thanks for Clarence tips....I'll call into Iluka and enjoy a run up the river.
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Old 15-09-2013, 18:55   #10
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

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Pity I won't see you out there...I'll be leaving Manly 2nd week in Oct on the way to Tassie...slowly!

Jim thanks for Clarence tips....I'll call into Iluka and enjoy a run up the river.
Well, good onya, mate!

I didn't mention that if you want to get upstream form Harwood a bridge opening must be booked. I don't have the number to call here in the States, but it is in Lucas or can be obtained from the VMR at Iluka. Craig, the bridge tender, needs around 24 hours notice, and at times there are restrictions on opening hours, but it is free of charge and an interesting experience. Maclean ls just a couple of miles upstream of the bridge.

Other good stops are at Lawrence and at Ulmarra (before you get to the big smoke of Grafton 43 miles from the sea), but really, you can anchor anywhere along the way. Some spots suffer from wind over tide issues if it is blowing hard, but there are always sheltered spots to be found. It is likely that you will have the river to yourself, for there is very little traffic most of the time.

Wish that I was there too...

Jim
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Old 17-10-2013, 06:07   #11
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Made it down to Lake Macquarrie. It took us nearly 2 weeks with all the southerly fronts that kept coming through. Stayed at the spit at the Gold Coast for three nights then made it to Ballina, Iluka, Coffs Harbour 2 nights, Camden haven 2 nights, Newcastle then Lake Macquarie. Got caught out in one big storm on the way down to Camden haven but had to keep going as the tide was too low be going safely to Port Macquarrie Took one wave over the top in about 38 knots of wind. Had a couple of long days, but everything seemed to work out pretty good. When the wind was behind us it really pushed us along, one day with the headsail furled half in we were speeding along at 8 1/2 knts. Had to motor several days when the wind was coming from the south and we knew we had to make the tide in the afternoon. For my first long trip I couldn't be any happier. I never actually got to see Iluka as it was pitch black when we arrived and black when we left early in the morning. But we did get to smell the pub food.
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Old 17-10-2013, 09:27   #12
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

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Made it down to Lake Macquarrie. It took us nearly 2 weeks with all the southerly fronts that kept coming through. Stayed at the spit at the Gold Coast for three nights then made it to Ballina, Iluka, Coffs Harbour 2 nights, Camden haven 2 nights, Newcastle then Lake Macquarie. Got caught out in one big storm on the way down to Camden haven but had to keep going as the tide was too low be going safely to Port Macquarrie Took one wave over the top in about 38 knots of wind. Had a couple of long days, but everything seemed to work out pretty good. When the wind was behind us it really pushed us along, one day with the headsail furled half in we were speeding along at 8 1/2 knts. Had to motor several days when the wind was coming from the south and we knew we had to make the tide in the afternoon. For my first long trip I couldn't be any happier. I never actually got to see Iluka as it was pitch black when we arrived and black when we left early in the morning. But we did get to smell the pub food.
Well done, Mate! glad that it went well for you. You did the right thing by bypassing Pt Macquarie in dubious conditions. I find it to be an awkward entrance, and the channel shifts fairly frequently so that info is often out of date.

Where will you be keeping the yacht in the Lake? And what is the current state of the drop-off? We had a hell of a time exiting after our last visit there in 2012, despite the "dredging" being done. i reckon that they were just moving the sand around to different parts of the so-called channel!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 18-10-2013, 02:46   #13
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

Hi Jim, I have a berth at Marmong Point Marina. I have a winged lead keel with a draught of 1.53m and it got to .4m below the keel at high tide. We went thru almost 2 hours after the high tide and it was still running in fast. Hope to head up towards the Whitsundays next winter, and then in a couple of years head of to explore the Pacific. Cheers
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:55   #14
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Re: Southwards Morten Bay to Lake Macquarie

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Hi Jim, I have a berth at Marmong Point Marina. I have a winged lead keel with a draught of 1.53m and it got to .4m below the keel at high tide. We went thru almost 2 hours after the high tide and it was still running in fast. Hope to head up towards the Whitsundays next winter, and then in a couple of years head of to explore the Pacific. Cheers
Hmmm... I was afraid of that! Our 2.2 m draft will once again cause a problem there... drat! We have left Insatiable II at Marmong whilst back in the states on previous trips and have many friends there and on the lake in general, so would like to have access. Maybe one day one of the schemes will succeed in keeping the channel open, but so far the track record ain't so good!

PErhaps our wakes will cross when we next come north...

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 22-10-2013, 01:20   #15
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We just had a story on the local news saying that they will start dredging Swansea channel in December
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