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Old 09-11-2010, 20:09   #1
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Advice Needed: Sailing from Townsville, Australia to Bowen, Australia

Your advice needed: I am researching sailing from Townsville, Australia, to Rockhampton and would appreciate input on anchorages in the first section of the voyage, primarily between Townsville and Cape Upstart.

I was told by some knowledgable locals to bypass Cape Bowling Green as dangerous with moving shoals. Others have said they have anchored there, following the cruising guide by Lucas. Can be a bit rolly though.

Since I am sailing solo with good nav skills and general boat skills but more used to sailing a dinghy than a 27 footer and with prevailing winds from SE, then I am not expecting to go very far in one day. This means I will do best with several places to stop rather than trying to do 90 nautical miles to Cape Upstart in one looong day.

Looking at maps and Google Earth, I was wondering about places like Barrata Creek and other creeks, such as the Haughton, between Townsville and Cape Bowling Green. On the other side of Cape Bowling Green is the Burdekin River and Plantation Creek. Do you know if any of these places provide reasonable anchorage given my boat, Endeavour 27 (Aussie brand), has 4' 6" draft?

From Cape Upstart to Bowen seems reasonable, then south is the Whitsundays which should present no problem as far as choice of anchorage goes. I think the problem there will be running out of time as I will want to visit every anchorage . . . and stay a week at each .



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Old 10-11-2010, 05:55   #2
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I have anchored behind Cape Bowling Green without problem (in SE weather). Yes it does have a lot of shoal areas and they move around a bit so you do have to be careful.

I would only enter between between 10 am and 2 pm but perhaps I was overly cautious as I did not have local knowledge and just piloted my way in using eyeballs and sounder. I had a 6 ft draft.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:20   #3
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I make it about 72nm from Magnetic Island (Horshoe bay) to Upstart bay
65 from behind Cape Cleveland to Upstart.

We do about 70 miles of course per day into that sort of wind

What does Lord Alan of the Sandflies say about anchoring behind Cape Cleveland? Could you go there, and relax for a day then do a 24 hour non stop to Cape Upstart?

the creeks before Cape Bowling Green just look so far off your route.

Do you have an auto pilot? Steering by hand for 24 hours would be too much.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:14   #4
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FWIW, I have anchored at Cape Cleveland and Cape Upstart but I don't recall any details so I expect they were pretty normal anchorages while I do recall Cape Bowling Green as it is a very low lying cape and hard to distinguish from the sea. There were a lot of shoals to work through once behind the Cape and really it is just a long sand spit rather than a bold cape.

I agree with Marks comment about the creeks. That part of the coastline north of CBG is not very exciting to my way of thinking.

For the record, this was pre GPS days so Mark would not have been able to get to close to the coast back then
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:17   #5
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I still remember a bad night off Cape Bowling Green--rolly, with wind against tide. Next time I might go the 5 miles out my way and really tuck up into the bay. Cape Upstart was fine.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:35   #6
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The trouble with you guys is you have no concept of modern navigation!

Sail out from Magnetic Island following one of the tourist dive boats heading to the wreck of the Yongala Latitude: 19 18.274' S Longitude: 147 37.341' E
By the time you get there the dive boats will have gone home. Tie to one of the dive boat mooring balls.
Leave for Cape Upstart next morning after being awaken by Dive Boats horn


Don't even need a GPS for that!
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Old 10-11-2010, 17:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troppo View Post
Your advice needed: I am researching sailing from Townsville, Australia, to Rockhampton and would appreciate input on anchorages in the first section of the voyage, primarily between Townsville and Cape Upstart.
..........]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The trouble with you guys is you have no concept of modern navigation!

Sail out from Magnetic Island following one of the tourist dive boats heading to the wreck of the Yongala Latitude: 19 18.274' S Longitude: 147 37.341' E
By the time you get there the dive boats will have gone home. Tie to one of the dive boat mooring balls.
Leave for Cape Upstart next morning after being awaken by Dive Boats horn


Don't even need a GPS for that!
This is the true value of CF, not only are your questions answered; everyone else is keep abreast of the latest methods, ways and fads of modern cruising and notice how we are returning to the age old methods of navigating - namely, using the MK 1 eyeball.

Enjoy your trip Troppo
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Old 10-11-2010, 18:59   #8
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Thanks for your replies folks.

MarkJ, I have autopilot. I think it is a solo sailor's best friend since, in my limited experience, I found it difficult to leave the tiller without it functioning.

Is my thinking right here? Say I have 80 nm to sail against the wind. If I can sail upwind at 45 degrees at 4 knts, with tacking, I would need to travel approx 114 nm (using Pythagoras) to achieve my goal and that would take 28.5 hrs.

That is about double the time it would take if I was on a faster beam reach and going direct.

What am I missing? I think I could sail the 70 nm or so in a day with favourable winds but not against the wind. Sailing at 4 knts close hauled for say, 12 hrs, I would cross about 50 nm of sea but in a straight line that would only be about 35 nm. That is way short of the anchorages. Is my maths wrong or boat too slow or do folks just keep sailing, sailing, sailing, taking naps until the destination is reached? (My questions may seem strange to you but they don't call me troppo for nuthin.)
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Old 10-11-2010, 19:04   #9
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Wotname, I have enjoyed the trip so far, though that has mostly been on the mooring doing fixing and cleaning and calculations on how far I can stretch my budget for repairs.

The views are fantastic.

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Old 11-11-2010, 01:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troppo View Post
Thanks for your replies folks.

MarkJ, I have autopilot. I think it is a solo sailor's best friend since, in my limited experience, I found it difficult to leave the tiller without it functioning.

Is my thinking right here? Say I have 80 nm to sail against the wind. If I can sail upwind at 45 degrees at 4 knts, with tacking, I would need to travel approx 114 nm (using Pythagoras) to achieve my goal and that would take 28.5 hrs.

That is about double the time it would take if I was on a faster beam reach and going direct.

What am I missing? I think I could sail the 70 nm or so in a day with favourable winds but not against the wind. Sailing at 4 knts close hauled for say, 12 hrs, I would cross about 50 nm of sea but in a straight line that would only be about 35 nm. That is way short of the anchorages. Is my maths wrong or boat too slow or do folks just keep sailing, sailing, sailing, taking naps until the destination is reached? (My questions may seem strange to you but they don't call me troppo for nuthin.)
Just a couple of quick points:
In you nav calculations, you haven't allowed for leeway and you will have to work hard at achieving the 45 degree off the wind. Realistically you will probably only achieve 50 degrees.

But mainly you are on track with the idea that going to windward takes time; which is why you might try and wait for some northlies if you have the time. You should get some soon this season although Jim (I think) is not experiencing any on the mid north Qld coast.

Remember gentlemen don't sail to windward.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:39   #11
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Yeah, Wotname, while we are in the season for the northerlies, they just have not been here. Another party I was talking to were in the same situation, just bought a boat, expecting some useful wind from the N but after a few weeks of waiting they gave it a go against a SE but came back to the mooring and flew out to come back another day.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:46   #12
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Hey Troppo,
We've been through there a number of times. Leaving Townsville, you may have to motor towards Cape Cleveland. Pick your weather and you should get a tack towards Old Reef (way past Cape Bowling (rolling) Green). Then tack/gybe to Upstart. If it is a Northerly Bowling Green and Upstart will be horrible to overnight. So If a northerly, just keep on to Gloucester Passage and moor at the Eco Resort. This wil only be a 24 hour trip

If an easterly either Bowling Green or Upstart can be just tenable. Upstart is about 77 from Horseshoe (maggie) so a long day.

It is a good trip to get behind you as ships are all around. I would recomend a 24 hr - just do it and get to Gloucester.

Take some photos and tell us about it.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:57   #13
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What am I missing? I think I could sail the 70 nm or so in a day with favourable winds but not against the wind.
Our day sailing legs are ever only 20 or 30 n miles. It just takes ages to get anywhere at times.

Even though you don't have much experience I would tend to think you could do the whole bit to Cape Upstart in one go.
Leave at the crack of dawn from the closest point on Magnetic island (Horseshoe bay?).
That gives you a good chance to get around Cape Bowling Green in daylight. Thats good because the shipping lane is reasonably close to the point.
Then a relaxed over nighter further away from the ships to arrive at Cape Upstart sometime the next day. If you are going to arrive before dawn you can just slow down a bit.

After Cape Bowling Green you could do a few 20 minute cat naps but probably better to stay awake.

I think you could well do without sleep and not worry if you don't get a kip for 36 hours.

Make sure the few days before you get good sleep. Have a big thermos of coffee and come bottles of coke to keep you alert and ceffeeeeened up

It would be a great learning experience
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Old 21-11-2010, 09:16   #14
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Some good advice there from a beautiful trip.

Beating into those southerlies can be frustrating, but always keep an alternative up your sleeve just in case.

Let us know how the journey went !

That pic of Townsville has made me homesick already !!

FV
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