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Old 21-04-2012, 03:42   #1
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Suggestions for cruising around or near Thursday Island?

A *very good* Mate of mine has said I can use his 10metre Yacht for 2 weeks.

Moored at Thursday Island (Cape York). Would need to leave from and then return there.

November 1 - 14th 2012.

I have no sailing experience north of Cairns.

What do the forum members think of 2 weeks near T.I. ?

The charts look interesting : a trip to Moa and Mabuiag an Badu?

Winds ? Heat ? Believe a little early for a cyclone?

Suggestions / comments welcomed
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Old 21-04-2012, 04:19   #2
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

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Originally Posted by Scare_Rab View Post
A *very good* Mate of mine has said I can use his 10metre Yacht for 2 weeks.

Moored at Thursday Island (Cape York). Would need to leave from and then return there.

November 1 - 14th 2012.

I have no sailing experience north of Cairns.

What do the forum members think of 2 weeks near T.I. ?

The charts look interesting : a trip to Moa and Mabuiag an Badu?

Winds ? Heat ? Believe a little early for a cyclone?

Suggestions / comments welcomed
Well I did live in this area for two years (Bamaga) and even though it was a while back, I guess the weather and local conditions haven't changed much.

Lets look at the negatives first.
Weatherwise November is the worst time (except perhaps February) as it is the start of the build up - hot humid and not that much wind, usually from the NW in fits and starts. The SE trades may linger into November and that is a good thing although they are often 20+ kts. If not, then thunderstorms will build up over land and occasionally over water. It is a bit like Cairns but more extreme.
Tides in the area are extremely interesting! It can vary from one tide a day to five a day and ranges from many metres to almost zero and can flow over 7 kts at times. I understand the tides are all over the shop due to the differences between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean tidal systems meeting across a narrow and shallow (~50 Ft) strait. Without local knowledge, they can be very had to predict what will happen in say 6 hours time.

The western islands tend to be low sandy cays while the eastern ones are more mountainous.

I guess how you like it or not will depend your attitude to adventure. There are interesting places near the mainland coast (both sides) as well as Prince of Wales Island with anchorages suitable for either weather systems. Both west and east rivers (Jardine and Escape) offer interesting exploring but be aware of the crocs and mossies. Further afield to the north offer reefs and many islands. The Qld border extends to a couple of miles the PNG coast.

Can't think of anymore right now but if you have other questions I will try to answer as best as memory allows!!!
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Old 21-04-2012, 06:19   #3
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

Explore windward areas first then return downwind. Plenty of coral there and not all charted, use common sense and your EYES. A good deal of anchorages at small islands and some on the shore side too. Most lovely area. Have fun.

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Old 23-04-2012, 18:47   #4
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

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Explore windward areas first then return downwind. Plenty of coral there and not all charted, use common sense and your EYES. A good deal of anchorages at small islands and some on the shore side too. Most lovely area. Have fun.

b.
Absolutely - a wonderful answer
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Old 24-04-2012, 04:20   #5
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

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Explore windward areas first then return downwind. Plenty of coral there and not all charted, use common sense and your EYES. A good deal of anchorages at small islands and some on the shore side too. Most lovely area. Have fun.

b.
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Absolutely - a wonderful answer
Err... except that the OP is thinking November which is a time of change in this area and what will be windward one day could be downwind the next and vice versa. In this respect November is the most (and perhaps the only) unpredictable month. 9 months of constant SE winds 20 to 25+ kts, 2 months of variable NW winds (and squall lines) depending on the monsoonal lows and some weeks of uncertain conditions (in November and February).

Otherwise, excellent advice
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:07   #6
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

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Err... except that the OP is thinking November which is a time of change in this area and what will be windward one day could be downwind the next and vice versa. In this respect November is the most (and perhaps the only) unpredictable month. 9 months of constant SE winds 20 to 25+ kts, 2 months of variable NW winds (and squall lines) depending on the monsoonal lows and some weeks of uncertain conditions (in November and February).

Otherwise, excellent advice
PLS quote your sources.

I base my understanding of what happens there in November on Pilot Charts. These give 40% E F3, 37% SE F4, the reminder being S and SW F3, other directions F2 (total 20%). (Pilot Charts data as virtualized in VPP 2.1.0.5)

The month when conditions shift about is apparently December, much as we all understand in any particular year the season may be early or late.

This could tempt one to explore the continent and islands to the E of TI first.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:35   #7
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Re: Suggestions for cruising araound / near Thursday Island?

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PLS quote your sources.

I base my understanding of what happens there in November on Pilot Charts. These give 40% E F3, 37% SE F4, the reminder being S and SW F3, other directions F2 (total 20%). (Pilot Charts data as virtualized in VPP 2.1.0.5)

The month when conditions shift about is apparently December, much as we all understand in any particular year the season may be early or late.

This could tempt one to explore the continent and islands to the E of TI first.

Cheers,
b.
Well the pilot charts are probably more accurate than my sources Local knowledge and memory; I spent 3 wet seasons (& 2 dry) pushing around the area in a 14 dinghy and Cessna 150 plus a couple of other years talking with mates in the area swapping information (and tall tales ).

However I am quite happy to accept that my experience is quite limited cf the years of data that goes into Pilot charts and that my experience could very well be an aberration. A year or two before I arrived the SE trades held right though to January and returned again in mid February IIRC.
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:51   #8
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Re: Suggestions for cruising around or near Thursday Island?

Wotname: you stop pulling my leg! ;-)

We both know local knowledge prevails and we both know stat data is stat data and the averages are just averages.

I live in Canary Islands where there is an event called ARC: people congregate to sail across the Atlantic. So, they look at Pilot Charts and they say: "OK, it is all downwind from here, broad reach at 15-20 knots...". Hahaha - sure! - all headwinds in 2010, fantastic downwind ride in 2011...

Averages, pilot charts, you know.

Best reagards,
b.
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Old 24-04-2012, 07:15   #9
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Re: Suggestions for cruising around or near Thursday Island?

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Wotname: you stop pulling my leg! ;-)

We both know local knowledge prevails............
But does the memory
Cheers....
BTW, where's the OP gone???
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Old 24-04-2012, 07:20   #10
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Re: Suggestions for cruising around or near Thursday Island?

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But does the memory
Cheers....
BTW, where's the OP gone???
eaten by large salty crocodile,after getting washed up on beach by nw squall?
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Old 26-07-2012, 04:29   #11
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Re: Suggestions for cruising around or near Thursday Island?

We were there for a few weeks in the early summer ... en route to Indonesia. Favorite place in Oz ... lots of locals and local color ... keep in mind that the waters are unswimmable ... if the crocs don't get you, the iriganji jellyfish will ..

That said, sounds like an offer you want to consider seriously, given the earlier posts ...
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