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Old 27-02-2016, 02:55   #1
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Wide Bay Bar Experiences

I have been reading a thread on the Wide Bay Bar which has become unpleasant so have started this new thread. As a recent sailor I have been across the bar 3 times in good conditions and intend to go across regularly in the future. I'd be interested in hearing of the experiences of others in crossing the bar especially if things didn't go as per plan.
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Old 27-02-2016, 03:21   #2
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

WBB is an interesting place, I have crossed it many times both coming and going. The accepted wisdom is cross in the morning on at least a half rising tide. To do that either time your departure from Manly/Tangalooma/Mooloolaba to get their a few hours before high tide, or , as I mentioned in the other thread, anchor up in Double Island if there is any south in the wind at all. (see attached)

Entering is always a bigger deal than leaving, leaving you can wait happily in Pelican Bay and even go for a walk across Inskip Point and have a look. Should never be a reason to have an issue when leaving, if if is very calm and of a half tide or more I have regularly gone along the Fishermans Gutter, i.e. just turned right and followed the beach a bit. (see attached)(thge red line should be a lot closer to the beach but it gives you an idea.)

Entering I have used the gutter but invariably will come in using the waypoints, AND my eyes ensuring that I look for the breaking water.

One issue I noted in the other thread was people saying no sail. I beg to differ, I always have some sail up, usually a reefed main as it provides a dampner on motion and I always have the engines running and in gear.

I don't see the point in entering at night unless its benign conditions, and its shouldn't be, cause there is no reason to leave Moreton Bay or Mooloolaba if you know its going to be crap when you get past Double Island.
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Old 27-02-2016, 04:48   #3
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

We crossed Wide Bay Bar twice last year. For those not aware, the first section through the breaking waves is about one nautical mile. The next section behind the breaking waves and parallel to the line of the break. It is about two nautical miles. The map shown in the first post is not the normal entrance to Wide Bar Bar, it is the Fishermens Entrance (I think that is what it is called).

The first time was going in and it was quite calm, although our chartplotter froze as we approached the first waypoint which meant we had to circle around till it rebooted.

For the second one we had new waypoints. However, using them it became obvious as we went out that they were far too close to the breaking waves (to the south of us), so I went 50 metres to the north. A few days later Tin Can Bay was telling people to go 100 metres to the north of the line between the two waypoints. This is how quick the channel moves.

When we exited there was a mono ahead of us and I caught it as they were going so slow. I was almost in idle and were still catching them, God only knows why they were travelling so slow. I ended up having to pass them or I would have been dead in the water.

I would never cross this bar at night, that is for sure.
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Old 27-02-2016, 04:59   #4
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

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Originally Posted by clownfishsydney View Post
. The map shown in the first post is not the normal entrance to Wide Bar Bar, it is the Fishermens Entrance (I think that is what it is called).
Fair Point

attached is a very rough guide to the "waypoint" entrance (AND I MEAN VERY VERY ROUGH GUIDE)
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Old 27-02-2016, 05:58   #5
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

Our track out last year.
2nd reef in the main full headsail and both motors running in gear to cross the bar outbound.
Strangely I also needed to pass a couple of boats only doing about 2 knots as I did not feel comfortable or in control going that slow.
I have known and watched this bar for about forty years addmittedley most of those years from my 4x4 coming and going from the island but have seen it in conditions that I do not know how any boat could survive.Have also been across it on a fishing charter vessel in conditions that scared the hell out of me.
Pretty simple for us these days in our own boat as my better half refuses to cross it in anything over fifteen knots,daylight hours and correct tide.Easy done going out as others have said as you can anchor nearby.Last year going in we planned to overnight at Double Island from Mooloolabah for an early morning crossing but arrived quicker than planned and in very benign conditions for an afternoon entry with favourable tide and fortunately no sun in the eyes as very overcast.I don't mind admitting I don't like bars and always feel relieved after crossing.
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:33   #6
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

Fascinating area. I think the depths must be in fathoms, right? I tried to Google feet or fathoms for Aus. charts, but wasn't getting anywhere.
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Old 27-02-2016, 10:18   #7
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

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Fascinating area. I think the depths must be in fathoms, right? I tried to Google feet or fathoms for Aus. charts, but wasn't getting anywhere.
They're meters.
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Old 27-02-2016, 10:46   #8
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

My views entirely , Clownfish ! Over the years my only problems occurred when the chartplotter packed up , once, ( strange that i'm not the only boat to have experienced this ? ) I now keep a manual plot on the crossing , every time !
In the good old days , when navigation was a necessary art , I once touched , going out. It was disturbing because I could not determine which way to steer !

I noticed that the land beacon has been cleaned and the bush cut back , on last year's crossing. That " seagull white " was a great disguise !

However , today with VMR's updates and good seamanship , the WBB is a doddle !

Does anyone know the name of the cat that stranded last week ?
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:04   #9
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

The first time i crossed was at night when I was bringing my purchase down to Brisbane. I had organised a couple of old salts to come with me. Seemed to be safe enough though was a dark night and was like a washing machine. The reason we went at night was to meet the incoming tide near its peak.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:09   #10
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

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My views entirely , Clownfish ! Over the years my only problems occurred when the chartplotter packed up , once, ( strange that i'm not the only boat to have experienced this ? ) I now keep a manual plot on the crossing , every time !
In the good old days , when navigation was a necessary art , I once touched , going out. It was disturbing because I could not determine which way to steer !

I noticed that the land beacon has been cleaned and the bush cut back , on last year's crossing. That " seagull white " was a great disguise !

However , today with VMR's updates and good seamanship , the WBB is a doddle !

Does anyone know the name of the cat that stranded last week ?

As a pilot (aeroplanes) you learn alwas to have a secondary plan whether it be take off, landing or navigation. I suppose this is also good advice for mariners. Though i rely heavily on the plotter i also correlate that with the beacons, wave action, depth sounder and compass.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:23   #11
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

We've set our personal limit for the WBB at 2 metres of swell. If the forecast is for more than that, we don't go.


Haven't had any problems, although we did surf for about a mile on one crossing. (It felt like more)


If the wind is favourable, we'll usually have some headsail up on entry, as I feel it will help keep the bows in front of the sterns. Exiting, we'll usually have the main up too.


This is one of the few places I use 100% throttle, both engines. I don't see any point in hanging around here.


I wouldn't cross at night. The waypoints and beacon aren't always correct. A couple of years ago they were seriously wrong, taking you into shallow water and breaking waves. (This was the year we did the long surf in) Much easier to see this and adjust in daylight.


There are certainly worse bars. Brunswick Heads, Tweed heads, maybe Ballina, and others too... probably close out in conditions where WBB would still be navigable. The real danger with the WBB is the length of time you're exposed. It's a very long crossing.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:40   #12
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post

There are certainly worse bars. Brunswick Heads, Tweed heads, maybe Ballina, and others too... probably close out in conditions where WBB would still be navigable. The real danger with the WBB is the length of time you're exposed. It's a very long crossing.
Don't forget that Southport Seaway.
We had been waiting off there a few hours in rough water when the V coast guard says: "yeah, mate you oughta be right now"
That was a nice surf in!

My problem is I have only done each once. The first time on any of them is hair raising. Experienced locals probably have little trouble, but I could happily have none for the rest of my life.

The WBB is just so long. Just keeps going.

Here's a link to a Nordhavn motor boat that was put 70 degrees onto its ear. The roll meter is fun!

http://mvdirona.com/Trips/Australia2...A+69.1+degrees

.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:52   #13
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

Southport can be rough, but it usually needs some pretty bad weather to get it that way. But yes, there's the famous video of the Perry surfing in, and there photo's of a ~ 50 foot yacht near vertical EXITING the seaway in wild weather. (I can understand someone desperately wanting to get IN in bad weather, but going out????)
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Old 27-02-2016, 15:23   #14
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

has anyone got the latest way points please

Sent from my SM-G900P using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 27-02-2016, 15:26   #15
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Re: Wide Bay Bar Experiences

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has anyone got the latest way points please

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WBB 239.pdf WBB info Sheet.pdf

But contact Tin Can Bay Coast Guard before crossing, they will give you the latest info.
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