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Old 15-08-2011, 00:59   #1
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Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

So we are looking at heading up the coast and we need to know when is the best time to head north?

Some of the factors for us are the boat is a 28ft full keel sloop so not the fastest boat on the planet and I wanted to know if the East Australian Current drops down at any time during the year as we will be going against it from what I understand.


Any advice or knowledge of this trip would be greatly appreciated.

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Damien & Jess
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Old 15-08-2011, 04:42   #2
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to go?

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Originally Posted by Dame.n.Jess View Post
So we are looking at heading up the coast and we need to know when is the best time to head north?

Some of the factors for us are the boat is a 28ft full keel sloop so not the fastest boat on the planet and I wanted to know if the East Australian Current drops down at any time during the year as we will be going against it from what I understand.


Any advice or knowledge of this trip would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Damien & Jess
Now is a good time. The winds are more southerly in the cooler months and you get more nor easters in the warmer months. You don't want to stay too far north when it gets warm because that's where the hurricanes develop. As far as the East Coast current goes, when heading north the trick is to keep inside it (ie very close to the land) which usually means no more than 1 - 2 miles offshore. If you have a water temp guage, the current from the north is warmer so if the water temp goes up a few degrees then you are likely to be hitting a bit of current. The coastal shipping going south likes to stay in the current so you can at least avoid the ones coming that way by staying inshore.

Wish I was going too

Greg
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Old 15-08-2011, 05:53   #3
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to go?

Why not wait 3 weeks and enjoy slightly warmer weather of September ? The temperature typically turns up a little in the last week of August. Make a few stops for the first few hundred miles such as Pittwater, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Port Macquarie, Coffs. Each of those legs is only a one day sail on a slow boat (maybe I lied about the second last one ). Big noreasters are unlikely before October.

By the time you get to Coffs the weather will be warm one day and perfect the next, or something like that.

Nnnnniiice !
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Old 15-08-2011, 17:24   #4
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

In planning for our big move I've been watching the NSW coastal weather.

There seems to be a series of bad weather events broken by shorter periods of good weather.

For example we've just had several days of quite nice weather, but the next week is looking awful.

Most of the coast should be possible in short day hops but I've only looked at it in terms of motoring at 7 kts. Days are still short though.

So I'd suggest looking for forecasts of at least two days of good weather and seriously moving as you get them. Carrying extra fuel so that you can motor for all of each leg would be a very good idea.

I've been backing off the boat work as the weather has been pretty cold, but its started to warm up now so if you can manage with it being chilly in the morning it could be OK.

You will, of course need Alan Lucas' Guide, the relevant charts or Waterways maps, a GPS, EPIRB, VHF, PFD type 1's (do wear) and some way of getting the weather on the move (G3 phone to BOM?).
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Old 15-08-2011, 18:11   #5
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

I assume you are gunkholing. Now and the next month or so are pretty good. Nice SE winds "usually" . Stay out of the current by sticking to the coast somewhat. The current is well marked on your charts and also will be revealed by your temp guage if you have one.

By gunkholing, you wont be going that far seaward and actually getting into the eac for the most part. Eg Syd to Nelsons, Nelsons to Coffs, Coffs to Yamba, Yamba Gold coast etc. This lets you select your weather windows somewhat. As you can hide in one port or the other for a rainyday or two if needed.

That being said, assuming your boat is in crackajack condition, there is nothing wrong with putting to sea in 25-30 knots from the south. (aside from the cold). A well reefed main and number 3 headie will push you up the coast very quickly. Even better if its a Souwester as the sea state will be flattened somewhat.

The time not to go north is High summer. The 20-25 knot Noreasters would be a real bearrch to beat into .
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Old 19-08-2011, 17:58   #6
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

All the contributors above pretty much nailed it. That was our first ever trip and we left in June and got soaked the first few days. Wiser now, we'd wait till September or go if ready take the good conditions to Port Stephens or one of the rivers, just watch the bars, Trail Bay is lovely if swell is south. Ballina Bar is nasty right now, several spills lately. Gold Coast and motoring up the inside to Brisbane can be a fun alternative.
Looking out now, if you were hunkered under a storm jib, you'd be flying north right now.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:49   #7
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

Bumping this thread. Is May a good month to make the trip fron Sydney to Brisbane?
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Old 07-01-2017, 16:28   #8
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dame.n.Jess View Post
So we are looking at heading up the coast and we need to know when is the best time to head north?

Some of the factors for us are the boat is a 28ft full keel sloop so not the fastest boat on the planet and I wanted to know if the East Australian Current drops down at any time during the year as we will be going against it from what I understand.


Any advice or knowledge of this trip would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Damien & Jess
Winter westerlies are good for going north - stay in close to avoid the current which can run fairly fast during winter as it is produced by the SE trades hitting Aussie east coast. But close inshore you can find a counter current. Mind a 28' vessel will be knocked about by some of these westerly winds. Maybe in fall when the winds go every which way.

We have done that voyage quite a number of times coming up from tassie, our preference is to go wide, real wide, say 80 miles out to avoid the shipping and current. Alternatively close in. Last May we had gangbuster west winds and little current. See the BOM site for current strength. New South Wales

Hope that helps,
Jack and Jude
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Old 07-01-2017, 16:52   #9
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

The met bureau website also shows the EAC, both temps, and what directions it is flowing. With that boat, northbound, I would stay as close inshore as I dared (we've done it on the radar at night, never more than 1/2 mi. off. A bit nerve wracking, and you do need to keep track of the hard bits, but being in close allows you to duck in for stops when you want, as currents permit.

How you actually approach it has most to do with your own cruising style, or delivery style. If you approach it as a delivery, it won't take terribly long, the extra 12 hrs. or so per day of progress add up.


Ann
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Old 07-01-2017, 16:59   #10
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

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Bumping this thread. Is May a good month to make the trip fron Sydney to Brisbane?
It can be, for sure.
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Old 07-01-2017, 22:28   #11
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

Thanks. What wind patterns should we be watching for prior to departure around May? Any pattern to be careful of?
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:33   #12
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

Just a note for the OP: seachange has a 40 footer; inevitably his half day's runs will be longer than yours.

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Old 08-01-2017, 02:05   #13
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

May is change of seasons so you get either a feast or a famine. The breeze will tend to be either 3 knots or 30. The 30 will most likely come from the south or south west. The wind will become more even once you get north of Coffs Harbor. You might go the whole way without seeing any NE breeze.

Carry plenty of diesel for motoring through the light bits.
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Old 10-01-2017, 15:04   #14
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

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May is change of seasons so you get either a feast or a famine. The breeze will tend to be either 3 knots or 30. The 30 will most likely come from the south or south west. The wind will become more even once you get north of Coffs Harbor. You might go the whole way without seeing any NE breeze.

Carry plenty of diesel for motoring through the light bits.
Sounds pretty darn good, to be honest.
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Old 10-01-2017, 16:44   #15
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Re: Sydney to Brisbane - When to Go ?

Motoring for 12 hours plus can get pretty hard on the nerves.
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