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Old 14-03-2012, 22:27   #1
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Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

For anyone planning to head in or out of any northern NSW port, there looks be some big swells heading that way!

Northern New South Wales Weather Forecast (Swell, Wind, Tide, Rain & Temperature)

Over 7 metres on Tuesday.
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Old 14-03-2012, 22:52   #2
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

looks like a low is dropping down south from the Gulf.

Stay in the nearest pub for an extra few days unless you like surfing!
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Old 25-03-2012, 23:59   #3
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Forecast 7 metre swell didn't happen. We stayed in Iluka then and live readings showed about 4 meters. Took until yesterday to be quiet enough to get out and sail to Southport. Did the 100 miles in 13 hours in lumpy seas but a good wind. Not many cruisers on this coast at this time!
Frankly I think we'll stick to QLD. Much better cruising.
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Old 26-03-2012, 00:03   #4
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

There are no safe harbours north of Coffs. River bars all the way to QLD and then some. The Tweed is brilliant if you can get in to the lagoon on the north side. You get the same view that others pay $300/night for.
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Old 26-03-2012, 00:13   #5
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

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There are no safe harbours north of Coffs. River bars all the way to QLD and then some. The Tweed is brilliant if you can get in to the lagoon on the north side. You get the same view that others pay $300/night for.
I'd agree but add that even the Tweed can be a little scary as well - a few miles further up and the GC Seaway can usually be crossed easily and a nice anchorage close by.
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Old 27-03-2012, 04:23   #6
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

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There are no safe harbours north of Coffs. River bars all the way to QLD and then some. The Tweed is brilliant if you can get in to the lagoon on the north side. You get the same view that others pay $300/night for.
Well, I would far rather enter the Clarence than stay in Coffs... a decrepit and often dangerous marina or a very iffy anchorage is your choice there. The Clarence can be entered in nearly all conditions, but does occasionally close out with a big swell (as does the Gold Coast Seaway). Once inside one has many anchoring choices or one can use the marina at Yamba if anchoring isn't your thing. One then has the chance to sail clear up the river to Grafton, some 43 miles of lovely countryside with safe anchoring everywhere you look and some interesting little towns to visit.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 28-03-2012, 03:50   #7
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Coffs marina, showers and toilets could do with a good clean as well. On the plus side a great little surfing beach right next to the marina.
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Old 28-03-2012, 04:23   #8
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Well, I would far rather enter the Clarence than stay in Coffs... a decrepit and often dangerous marina or a very iffy anchorage is your choice there. The Clarence can be entered in nearly all conditions, but does occasionally close out with a big swell (as does the Gold Coast Seaway). Once inside one has many anchoring choices or one can use the marina at Yamba if anchoring isn't your thing. One then has the chance to sail clear up the river to Grafton, some 43 miles of lovely countryside with safe anchoring everywhere you look and some interesting little towns to visit.

Cheers,

Jim
Hello Jim. Travelling up the Clarence River what is the bridge clearance (Pacific Hwy). Haven't been there myself and was wondering if the bridge had sufficient clearance or it opens.?

cheers
Frans
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Old 28-03-2012, 20:00   #9
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Harwood bridge opens to 36.5m MHWS. 24 hours notice required. Public holidays it may not open. Call 02 6682 8388 to book. Great booklet available at Yamba marina with all info about boating on the Clarence.
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Old 28-03-2012, 23:44   #10
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

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Hello Jim. Travelling up the Clarence River what is the bridge clearance (Pacific Hwy). Haven't been there myself and was wondering if the bridge had sufficient clearance or it opens.?

cheers
Frans
As Teeto said above, it is an opening bridge, and will clear any mast that can get into the entrance I reckon! The bridge operator is on call pretty much full time, but does require around 24 hours advance notice. It is often possible to tag along on someone else's opening on shorter notice... a call to Craig will sort that possibility out.

It's a lovely river except when in flood, something that has been happening all too frequently of late. We sat through a fairly big one a couple of years back. Had to move to get out of the debris flow, but otherwise not such a big deal... comes up fairly slowly, so one has time to consider ones fate!

The little Scottish town of Mclean has a floating pontoon with water and electricity laid on, and there are now a couple of other towns with similar facilities for transients. Folks are pretty welcoming, provisioning is easy and anchoring is possible in a multitude of spots. There is a serious lack of bright lights and tall buildings, though...

We seem to spend a lot of time there!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-03-2012, 00:13   #11
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

We're at McLean right now. Very friendly town, a guy walks down to the wharf and gets you to sign a visitors book! Bit let down about it's "Scottishness" - was hoping for haggis and chips! Good chinese restaurant though.

Harwood bridge is no hassle, we didn't even need to give 24 hours notice - rang in the afternoon and they opened it for us in the morning. Still a good idea to give 24 hours if you can.
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:12   #12
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Re: Crossing Bars on NSW's North coast

Did mean to add though, due to work, presently the Harwood bridge has restrictions on it's opening times. They won't open between 7am and 7pm.
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