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Old 21-10-2008, 02:34   #1
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Request Advice - Galapagos to Western Australia

Been doing some thinking about future trip, and plan to end in Parth area Western Australia.

From what I have seen, and experienced, going south round Aus is not for the faint hearted

I want to call in to Brisbane anyway, but does the panel consider that I should go New Zealand, Sydney and then up the coast to Brisbane and around the top.

I have also considered going well past Aus (? Christmas Island?) and then getting a better angle to make it down to Perth, but would quite like to go down to shark bay.
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Old 21-10-2008, 03:16   #2
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What a great trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The route takes you exactly through the Marquesas! And then through Samoa before Thursday Island at the top of Aiustralia, then Darwin and coast huggin' down the coast of Western Australia with the trades and a beat to windward for the last few miles to Perth from Shark Bay. Total trip 10,180 miles and easily do-able

2 1/2 months in one hit or as long as you like if you want to go slow


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Old 21-10-2008, 05:29   #3
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Definitely will not be under any time pressure other than weather.
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Old 21-10-2008, 22:46   #4
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Great, traditional cruise route

The route you've started to describe is one of the great migratory routes of the fortunately not-so-rare South Pacific Cruiser (this may be a problem if you were truly hoping for complete isolation.)

On the other hand, there's lots of experience here and collected in books to help you avoid making decisions others have found problematic. Yes, a lot of cruisers go by way of New Zealand->Sydney->Brisbane, etc. There are some complaints approaching the northern leg, but they don't seem to be from Aussies... (distance between anchorages) You can also avoid NZ and go straight to Darwin, iirc, but the problem is usually timing with both the monsoon season and the tropical depression season. It's often more convenient to head to NZ for the season, using the opportunity for maintenance and resupplying in a place you can find the latest gadgets and high tech gear.

While I'm not envious of your final destination, I'm sure wishing I were aboard for the trip.
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Old 21-10-2008, 23:46   #5
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The southerly route around Australia requires a strong boat with excellent windward sailing abilities. You need what I call a high latitude sailing design.

The northerly route around OZ is probably easier as long as you do it in season. We sailed from Brisbane to Cape York and across the top of Australia, and it was dead easy. For the majority of that trip, you don't need a high latitude sailing design because most of the time you will be in the tradewinds.

So for me it would come down to the yacht design and whether I enjoyed high latitude sailing. If I was doing the southern high latitude route, I would want a large multihull with an extremely high bridgedeck clearance. For the northern route, a small catamaran would suit me just fine. I would be happy to do it in my Privilege 39 catamaran.
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Old 22-10-2008, 02:01   #6
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Which way around Aus?

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
The southerly route around Australia requires a strong boat with excellent windward sailing abilities. You need what I call a high latitude sailing design.

The northerly route around OZ is probably easier as long as you do it in season. We sailed from Brisbane to Cape York and across the top of Australia, and it was dead easy. For the majority of that trip, you don't need a high latitude sailing design because most of the time you will be in the tradewinds.

So for me it would come down to the yacht design and whether I enjoyed high latitude sailing. If I was doing the southern high latitude route, I would want a large multihull with an extremely high bridgedeck clearance. For the northern route, a small catamaran would suit me just fine. I would be happy to do it in my Privilege 39 catamaran.

This section of the trip, once again, depends on the season. The northern route around aus is deep within the cyclone belt. Cyclone season is from November to May (summer). During summer the prevailing winds across the southern regions of the continent are predominantly light and variable with a freshSouth easterly sea breeze as the High pressure systems move out over the southern ocean. This is a great time to transit east west from Sydney to Perth. A high latitude windward bashing vessel is certainly not a requirement at this time of year.

Try ths discussion for more info:Safest way to get from NZ to Perth? - Boat Design Forums
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Old 22-10-2008, 02:14   #7
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Dave and Catty - great stuff thanks

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
If I was doing the southern high latitude route, I would want a large multihull with an extremely high bridgedeck clearance. For the northern route, a small catamaran would suit me just fine. I would be happy to do it in my Privilege 39 catamaran.
Do you mean you would be happy doing either in the Privilege?
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Old 22-10-2008, 03:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amgine View Post
........

While I'm not envious of your final destination, I'm sure wishing I were aboard for the trip.
I resemble that remark

Quote:
Originally Posted by catty View Post
This section of the trip, once again, depends on the season. The northern route around aus is deep within the cyclone belt. Cyclone season is from November to May (summer). During summer the prevailing winds across the southern regions of the continent are predominantly light and variable with a freshSouth easterly sea breeze as the High pressure systems move out over the southern ocean. This is a great time to transit east west from Sydney to Perth. A high latitude windward bashing vessel is certainly not a requirement at this time of year.

Try ths discussion for more info:Safest way to get from NZ to Perth? - Boat Design Forums
I would have to agree with Catty.

As to which route (across the top or round the bottom) given you intend to start at Brisbane (which is essentially the mid point); I think it would come down to 2 considerations.

1. Season - if you want to sail during the southern summer, then it's round the bottom; if you want to sail during the southern winter, then its around the top.

2. What do you want to see. If you are just passaging making to get to the destination, then probably the southern route (if summer) is easier and quicker. If you want the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Darwin and the Kimberly wilderness experience, then its around the top in winter.

Hope this helps.

BTW, the only time I did this trip, I back loaded the boat (28') by road transport - certainly was much quicker and cheaper than sailing but I understand this is not an option for most of us most of the time
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Old 22-10-2008, 04:54   #9
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Quote:
While I'm not envious of your final destination
I lived in Sidney for two years - nuff said

I dont plan on having time constraints - but any plan can be amended!

I do fancy being able to spend some time in Witsundays etc. I have been there before for a month, but was in a grey war canoe so wasn't quite the same

I had not really expected that a trip across the bottom was even a possibility, so will add that to the planning docket as an alternative dependent on timings.
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Old 22-10-2008, 05:05   #10
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...I do fancy being able to spend some time in Witsundays etc. I have been there before for a month, but was in a grey war canoe so wasn't quite the same
I am biased to the north and IMHO, it gets even better that the Whitsunday's as you go further north to the Cape (York) and get best in the Kimberly - but that is just a personal view .
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Old 22-10-2008, 08:57   #11
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As you are "biased to the North", what would be your ports of call and approx time allocation whilst going across the top.
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Old 23-10-2008, 01:41   #12
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As you are "biased to the North", what would be your ports of call and approx time allocation whilst going across the top.
Its all easy sailing until you get to Exmouth. The last leg from Exmouth south to Fremantle is best attempted before the summer southerlies set in. This section is generally to windward with no protection from the swell rolling up from the southern ocean.
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:17   #13
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As you are "biased to the North", what would be your ports of call and approx time allocation whilst going across the top.
Talbot,
I am not the best person to ask about time allocation. I once took 6 months to cruise Brisbane to Cairns and 3 months for the return trip and even then I felt I was rushing it a bit . I am (was?) the type who likes to stop at every half decent anchorage and almost every port.

Apart from that, considering ports north of Cairns, I would consider Cooktown and Thursday Island (both for historical reasons), then Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton (maybe, depending on weather experienced south of Exmouth) and Perth as main ports of call.
Tim88 (on CF) recently single handed from Darwin to Fremantle, he would have better info than me.

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Its all easy sailing until you get to Exmouth. The last leg from Exmouth south to Fremantle is best attempted before the summer southerlies set in. This section is generally to windward with no protection from the swell rolling up from the southern ocean.
I am no WA expert, but my limited experience here would support Catty's comment.
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:27   #14
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I certainly intend to include Shark Bay/Monkey Mia ad Kalbarri.

Not so sure about Geraldton - the last time I was there, the marina was miles from anywhere, and used by a lot of commercial fishermen, who seemed to have left a lot of waste fish lying around everywhere to judge from the smell.
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Old 23-10-2008, 09:53   #15
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Talbot,
Are you planning the trip from Brisbane to Fremantle as mainly passage making or coastal cruising and enjoying the sights.

If the latter, I would include the Abrolhos and all of the Kimberly. Again I can't be specific about the Kimberly having not had the opportunity to see it from a deck, only from the land side and by air. However it is well worth investigating if remote tropical wilderness cruising is your cup of tea. Of course all the coast from Cairns to Broome really qualifies in that regard.

For me, places like Wyndham and Derby are worth stopping at just to get the feel of these towns but many people would never consider them as a sailing destination - and they are not postcard pretty (IMO), add to that 30 ft tides, mud flats, crocs and mangroves = not many cruising boats
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