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Old 05-10-2013, 15:46   #1
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Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

After leaving Southport yesterday a strong wind warning was announced for today, so we changed our plans and stopped at Byron Bay instead of going ahead to Coffs.

It now seems that the earlierst window from Byron to Coffs might not be till Thursday, however we had a very uncomfortable sleepless night last night. We have been searching for a better anchorage and we havnt had any success, Anyone has any ideas? Your input is very much appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2013, 16:05   #2
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Nearest good anchorage with a safe entry in a fairly developed sea would be back at Southport! In the direction you want to go, it would be Yamba/Iluka. About 48 miles.

Brunswick Heads is closer to Byron, but you need REALLY good conditions to enter there. Ballina is another option, but again is a bar with a reputation. There's also the Tweed river, but again, not so good in heavy weather.
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Old 05-10-2013, 16:14   #3
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Nearest good anchorage with a safe entry in a fairly developed sea would be back at Southport! In the direction you want to go, it would be Yamba/Iluka. About 48 miles.

Brunswick Heads is closer to Byron, but you need REALLY good conditions to enter there. Ballina is another option, but again is a bar with a reputation. There's also the Tweed river, but again, not so good in heavy weather.

Thanks very much 44'cruisingcat, those are exactly the conclusions that we came up with but thought we might had missed something and someone with local knowledge came up with something.
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Old 05-10-2013, 16:34   #4
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Sorry I couldn't offer more help. Unless you're on a timetable, easiest option would be to go back to Southport. There seems to be no shortage of Northerlies this year, so you shouldn't have too long a wait for better conditions for going South.
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Old 05-10-2013, 19:56   #5
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Not sure if you are still heading South or back North to Southport, however sure you're up to date and aware the BOM warning was cancelled and forecast now 15 to 25 NW to Monday. In any case, for what it's worth, just saw a great amalgamation of local weather from the VMR Ballina site here: http://www.vmrballina.com/local-weather-maps

Of course you can also raise them on VHF, sure they are happy to advise local conditions, anchorages, bar crossing info, etc. All from their website at http://www.vmrballina.com/contacts

VMR Ballina Base Numbers
Phone: (02) 6681 4700
Fax: (02) 6686 4355

Call Sign = VMR 250

Frequencies monitored
27.88 + 90 MHz
VHF 16, 73, 77, 14 and 20
21 and 22 repeater, 70 DSC
MF/HF 2164, 2182, 2524, 4182
UHF 33 and CB 5

Let us know how you're travelling, keen to hear how it goes to Coffs (while I polish the stainless diligently here on mooring at Careel Bay!) ;-)
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Old 05-10-2013, 21:58   #6
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

If yous are anchored where Lucas has marked on the map in his guide then that is most likely the best spot.

My understanding is that Ballina has a particularly nasty bar and may be very dangerous in the current conditions. There may be so few yachts going in (or out) that there may be no local knowledge. Again refer to Lucas' guide.

A quick look at Google earth suggests it may not be that far to Yamba.

We found the entrance to the Clarence River to be Ok but careful navigation is essential. I ended up entering our course into the plotter and following it carefully. Lucas' guide has details.

As previously noted the weather doesn't look that bad, though if you didn't leave this morning then it may be a bash into the south easters. If it were me I'd motor.

I found the BOM maritime weather to be reasonably accurate.

Seabreeze is indicating that Thursday/Friday may be the worst time to go.
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Old 05-10-2013, 22:09   #7
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Sorry I couldn't offer more help. Unless you're on a timetable, easiest option would be to go back to Southport. There seems to be no shortage of Northerlies this year, so you shouldn't have too long a wait for better conditions for going South.
44'cruisingcat, we really appreciate your input it sort of confirmed what we were thinking

Cheers Ines & Steve
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Old 05-10-2013, 22:13   #8
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBrake View Post
Not sure if you are still heading South or back North to Southport, however sure you're up to date and aware the BOM warning was cancelled and forecast now 15 to 25 NW to Monday. In any case, for what it's worth, just saw a great amalgamation of local weather from the VMR Ballina site here: Local Weather Maps - Volunteer Marine Rescue Ballina

Of course you can also raise them on VHF, sure they are happy to advise local conditions, anchorages, bar crossing info, etc. All from their website at Contacts - Volunteer Marine Rescue Ballina

VMR Ballina Base Numbers
Phone: (02) 6681 4700
Fax: (02) 6686 4355

Call Sign = VMR 250

Frequencies monitored
27.88 + 90 MHz
VHF 16, 73, 77, 14 and 20
21 and 22 repeater, 70 DSC
MF/HF 2164, 2182, 2524, 4182
UHF 33 and CB 5

Let us know how you're travelling, keen to hear how it goes to Coffs (while I polish the stainless diligently here on mooring at Careel Bay!) ;-)
Thanks Boombrake for all these info its very much appreciated, we are not that keen on going to Ballina but its always handy to have these information. Willl keep you informed on how we go and keep on polishing lol
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Old 05-10-2013, 22:20   #9
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
If yous are anchored where Lucas has marked on the map in his guide then that is most likely the best spot.

My understanding is that Ballina has a particularly nasty bar and may be very dangerous in the current conditions. There may be so few yachts going in (or out) that there may be no local knowledge. Again refer to Lucas' guide.

A quick look at Google earth suggests it may not be that far to Yamba.

We found the entrance to the Clarence River to be Ok but careful navigation is essential. I ended up entering our course into the plotter and following it carefully. Lucas' guide has details.

As previously noted the weather doesn't look that bad, though if you didn't leave this morning then it may be a bash into the south easters. If it were me I'd motor.

I found the BOM maritime weather to be reasonably accurate.

Seabreeze is indicating that Thursday/Friday may be the worst time to go.
thanks very much Boracay, we are anchored where Alan Lucas recommends, we are thinking of making a move in the morning, it cant be worse than here .

We normally rely on BOM weather but we found that the last couple of weeks have been really out, we are also checking whirly and seabreaze often they all contradict each other which makes it a tough decision but we figured that BOM being a government body should have the most money

anyway will let you know
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Old 05-10-2013, 23:54   #10
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If you are at the Byron Bay anchorage indicated in Lucas' Cruising NSW on p330, it is not recommended in anything other than W to S and even then not comfortable. I've never anchored there, but surfed a great deal that beach and you'll be getting quite some fetch with the Northern swell! Latest Warning from BOM is now Strong Wind Warning for S to 30 knots in Coffs coastal water. Maybe where you are is best!

If you can raise VMR Ballina, whether you intend to go in there or not, they certainly will be helpful on any local knowledge weather or advice for even further South. As far as bar crossings, (mind I've only read this) Ballina/Richmond River bar is not too bad providing attempting in low swell and end rising tide. By 8:30am would be ideal if wind and swell is not an issue, which it most likely will be in the morning.

I wouldn't go near Brunswick Heads - even salt hardened locals mostly stay away from that. My uncle lives in Byron and drives there to sit & watch the show in nasty conditions.

As per other's advice, Yamba/Clarence is the best pick after this forecast Southerly abates.
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Old 06-10-2013, 00:09   #11
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PS here's a link I just found for myself, all VMR and Coast Guard phone and VHF from where you are all down the coast.

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rc...53537100,d.dGI
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:42   #12
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

I'd be looking at Evans Head.

The bar faces north, so is protected in southerly conditions. Not too far from Byron.

Much easier bar than Ballina, but not a very big harbour once you're in. Like all bars, best on a flood tide. VMR will give you advice.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:58   #13
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

So, what are the current wind conditions that are causing you so much discomfort?

We have anchored in BB many times and have found it to be satisfactory in S'ly quadrant winds. It is not recommended in any N'ly quadrant winds, but is quite ok in SSE through W, often even WNW. The usual problems there arise when the wind dies out at night, and the boat lies beam to the refracted swell coming around the cape with the resultant rolling. This can be mediated by using a stern anchor to hold the boat stern into the swell.

So, if the winds are anywhere in the North, one presses onward to the Clarence. That entrance is usually ok... one of the best mannered bar crossings on the coast. Coming from the north, one sails roughly parallel to the beach and only about 100 meters outside of the end of the breakwater. Once past the breakwater hook around into the channel and follow the leads. We prefer to anchor in the harbour at Iluka rather than utilizing the marina at Yamba. There is complete protection there, easy shore access with a floating dinghy dock and a small town with all the basic supplies needed within a short walking distance. It is quite a lot farther to stores from the marina...

Hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip south!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-10-2013, 13:43   #14
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

A useful way to check out bars before you cross them: Coastalwatch :: surfcams :: surf reports :: swell forecasts :: news
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Old 06-10-2013, 16:23   #15
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Re: Calm anchorage at Byron Bay?

Make sure you watch for a long enough time to see the worst swell. It is easy to just glance and then get caught out.
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