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Old 16-01-2011, 21:39   #1
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Tasman Sea Videos

We are planning to cross from Sydney to Auckland in Oct this year. My wife is wanting to see some videos or read some tales of folks that have made this crossing before.

Any info you have is greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
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Old 16-01-2011, 21:49   #2
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Ian and Jan Mitchell have done that trip lots and Jan has an excellent article in a recent 'Cruising Helmsman magazine'.
You could also visit some meetings of the Coastal Cruising Club of Australia, as there are lots of helpful experienced people there.
Regards, Richard.
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Old 17-01-2011, 00:04   #3
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I've done it about a dozen times, what do you want to know?
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Old 17-01-2011, 02:27   #4
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The Wife Replys

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana-tenacity View Post
I've done it about a dozen times, what do you want to know?
My wife is really new to sailing and is excited to give cruising (starting with the Tasman crossing) a go and is hoping to experience other water sailing">blue water sailing as well, but most people she has mentioned this idea/dream too have said negative things and she is now getting worried. She would really appreciate hearing from people who have actually done this trip and can comment on their experience of doing the crossing.

She has said to me she is scared but having this kind of life experience is well worth the challenge and any information would be really welcome in helping her prepare for the reality of what it will take.

Dana-Tenacity,
What size boat did you cross in?
What kind of safety gear did you have?
What kind of winds/weather did you encounter on your crossings?
Where did you start from and where did you land?
How was your experience of clearing in once you arrived in NZ?
When did you cross (what time of year)?


Thanks for the info
Damien & Jess
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Old 17-01-2011, 02:56   #5
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Answers first

Smallest Chico 30 ( Gary Mull design); largest 70ft Brigantine, lots of ordinary boats in between.

Cat 1 regs are a good starting point if you are new to the business (but don't let them scare you, they tend to be a bit overly dramatic - maybe look at them when the wife is at work.

Last trip was a piece of cake, 10-15kn up the bum. Motored most of the way once, but have also seen 70kn.

NZ - only round the top, but I'd love to sail to Nelson and the Sounds one day. Most places on East coast of Aus.

Clearing into NZ is no worries, but they want to know you are coming, lots of info on the NZ customs website, Aus is more of a headache going the other way.

Year round (delivery skipper)


Now some unsolicited advice you are welcome to ignore.


Syd- North Cape I would go later in the year, the weather will be better - do you have time constraints?

If you are looking to introduce your wife to cruising I would start with something warmer and statistically easier than a Tasman crossing, on a scale of 1 to 5 it's about a 1.5-2 (1 would be Cape Horn) unless she is a real adventurer type personality with a background in high altitude mountain climbing (they make great crew).

My wife was a real "sissy sailor", we spent a year inside Baja, one of the easiest most pleasant cruising grounds on the planet, she enjoyed it and now has over 10,000 miles behind her.
Over the years I have met lots of single handers crying in their beer coz the wife won't join them, but they start off with a trip to Antarctica.

Not saying you can't do it and that you won't be feeling pretty good about yourself on arrival, just that it may not be the best introduction to sailing around.
What about going north to the QLD and the Barrier Reef, or if you want to see blue water go Lord Howe then Noumea?
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Old 17-01-2011, 03:43   #6
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First off thanks for the response its AWESOME, great to finally get some down to earth advice on what we are planning.

No real time constraints, we are thinking of an October crossing as from what we can research this seams to be the time most people cross. We will be on the boat full time from June onwards, with regular training so we are both 100% with the boat, its gear and each other. We are planning some coastal trips to start with (from Sydney), building to overnighters and then a shakedown to Queensland and back prior to the Tasman.

My wife has asked what makes the crossing a 1.5-2 (on the cape horn rating scale)? I'm from Nelson and have heard a few tales of the Tasman being a monster to deal with but I have never heard the specifics.

Damien
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Old 17-01-2011, 05:43   #7
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Hi Dame N Jess,

I did the trip 10 years ago on a Davidson 55. Big boat with water ballast of 1300kilos. 3-up. Its was pretty cruisy most of the way (Gladstone to Auckland btw- so a little longer in distance). We had the odd blow of 30-35 but mostly around 20 knots on the quarter so speeds were great. Seas were anything from two meters to 5 ish depending. But we found them managable with crests some distance apart. BUT, we didnt experience any of the real rath of the Tasman. Some storms out there can be ferocious. The boat was Cat Zero Safeties including crash bulkheads, 2nd sailtrack for the trisail (which stayed permanently attached throughout the trip) etc.

I am glad you are doing the shake downs. With limited experience, any long ocean crossing can be that extra bit challenging. I would suggest that on your return shakedown, from qld, you try to do it in one leg, rather than stopping at all the ports along the way. This will give you a better idea of how you will handle sleep deprivation and crew watches etc.

Keep us posted
Cheers
Oz
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Old 17-01-2011, 12:08   #8
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Or go Bris - Lord Howe - North Cape

The Tasman has a reputation, lows from the Southern Ocean kinda spin up from the bottom of Tassie, the water is cold and hard (warm water is softer, don't really know how to explain that) and there are strong currents so the surface can get churned up.
Later in the year will be warmer with higher probability of decent weather, I'd have no problem waiting till December,
The books will tell you that cyclones can happen in Dec, but in reality very rare and not as scary as a late winter storm in Oct.
If the boat was big enough you could consider an experienced third person.
The route suggested above and late Nov/ Dec would make it a lot more reasonable proposition.
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Old 17-01-2011, 12:17   #9
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Crossed Launceston to Nelson early March, left on the back of a front with a fairly stable 4-5 day system coming, It was my wifes first offshore passage so wanted to get it right, said first 4 days should be pretty good and after that she should have settled in and be able to deal with the rest. Took 8.5 days and never saw more than 30kts. We sailed hard during day and reefed down and motorsailed at night. try and carry plenty of fuel. the Tasman not really somewhere to sit around waiting for wind
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Old 23-01-2011, 07:17   #10
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Read Jo Cannon's book "Storm and Silence: A Portrait of the Tasman Sea".
Very interesting, well written and captures much of the experience.
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