Originally Posted by DtM
Have you left from as far south as Sydney
I assume that the reason for going from Coffs or Southport is to get the tail end of the southerly from the low pressure. How long have you had that southerly effect last on the way to Noumea?
Daniel, yes we have departed from Sydney... and got caught in an unforecast East Coast
low north of Lord Howe. Worst sea conditions we have ever encountered, lead indirectly to being dismasted a few days later. Bad scene!
And yes, our scheme is to be far enough north that when such a low forms we get a couple of days of westerlies. Starting from Southport, they tend to be pretty benign in strength. We sail around due East as long as they last, and by then, as the wind
backs to the S and then SE, it's a close reach to Passe Boularie. One special voyage, the westerly lasted just to when we were rounding Torch Banks, south of Il de Pins (we were headed to Vila) and in an uncanny way, it backed just as we started the NE leg of that passage. Hardly had to touch a sheet, all the way to Efate... unreal!
Our favorite time of year for this is August-September. Going much earlier finds it kinda wintery in NC, and water
is pretty cold for our old bones. The local weather just keeps getting nicer as cyclone season approaches, and we usually start back in late November or very early December, usually encountering moderate trades as we go... a very nice passage most of the time.
The possible advantage of a Sydney departure is that if there is no low formation, you have a decent sailing angle in the trades. It just didn't work out that way the time we tried it!