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Old 20-11-2009, 18:06   #1
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The Great Barrier Reef - Australia

(I note, someone has posted a very similar thread and thanks for the information already posted)

It looks like everything is going ahead and I will be in the Whitsunday’s in a couple of weeks time to buy a 28’ yacht and sat off on a sailing adventure. (The contract is signed and I have the funds).

I have got a decent camera so I will be getting heaps of photos and uploading the best to this site, my yahoo groups and Flicker pages. Given the visibility of the water on the Great Barrier Reef, it is probably just pity I have not got an underwater camera. Still, I am sure I will have a few good diving and fishing tales and get to meet some interesting people.

Maybe I might even meet a few site members while I am out on my first voyages around the islands and reef?

As an “amateur” any cruising tips for the area would be greatly appreciated.

I should mention I am a keen spearfisherman (dinner not trophies) and have already downloaded the marine park maps.

Shane
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Old 20-11-2009, 18:56   #2
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Best of luck, big it up!
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Old 20-11-2009, 21:02   #3
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Check out the current version of Cruising the Coral Coast for great info.
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Old 20-11-2009, 21:52   #4
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Thanks all

@ Lady Circumnavi

I was thinking of buying a copy of Cruising the Coral Coast - it seems to have a good combination of maps/info and even at + or - $70 Aus you would recomend I do so?


Gotta say so far I have found Google Earth handy for finding all those secluded little beaches and anchorages.
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Old 20-11-2009, 23:54   #5
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Thanks all

@ Lady Circumnavi

I was thinking of buying a copy of Cruising the Coral Coast - it seems to have a good combination of maps/info and even at + or - $70 Aus you would recomend I do so?


Gotta say so far I have found Google Earth handy for finding all those secluded little beaches and anchorages.
I wouldn't buy them again. Its got 3 pages on the Whitsundays and basically, Alan does not like coral reefs. He's a mudskipper in the mangroves and I don't like mozzies.

Best snorkeling and diving is off Lizard Island. Next time we go will be for 6 months. Sensational excepot for the wanker admin boss of the Lizard Island resort. He's a pretentious twat and sets his life on irritating cruisers. The General manager is terrific.

Best camera: Buy something with a propper box. The unboxed cameras weill fail.

Google Earth is great!

Go exploring

Best place to spend a cyclone season is Cairns, NOT whitsundays Cairns has more mangrove areas to hide in to avaoid cyclones and the islands and reefs are close

Lady Musgrave island off Bundaberg is great, so is the rum...
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:12   #6
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He's a mudskipper in the mangroves and I don't like mozzies...
Thanks Mate,

I am a real reef person as well and get enough mozzies annoying me at home, so I appreciate the advice. I will definitely have to check out Lizard Island.

I have been to Lady Musgrave before on a day trip from 1770’s and I am really looking forward to going back there and hanging around at my own pace. It is an absolutely beautiful place where the water is so clear. Similarly, I missed the outer Whitsunday Islands and have not yet been to the outer reef in proper.
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Old 22-11-2009, 17:30   #7
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@ MarkJ & Others


Re: CYCLONE SEASON

This is something I have been thinking about. From what I have seen in the past by Christmas you can expect cyclones to start hitting with the weather pattern intensifying toward the end of February? This is only an observation from the NSW North Coast, so please feel free to correct me.

With the stinger problem close too the Northern QLD coast it might even be more sensible to head south around Christmas (maybe even Tasmania) and return to the reef after Easter when things start to cool off down south?
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Old 22-11-2009, 17:55   #8
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I wouldn't buy them again. Its got 3 pages on the Whitsundays and basically, Alan does not like coral reefs. He's a mudskipper in the mangroves and I don't like mozzies.
Exactly where you need to be if you want Barra and Muddies, or safely weather a cyclone or blow


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Lady Musgrave island off Bundaberg is great, so is the rum...
But there are so many better places, limited by draught of course

And Bundy rum is ***** and tastes like friggen petrol

Try some Inner Circle a far superior Australian Rum AND quite often same price or cheaper.
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Old 22-11-2009, 18:13   #9
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The Whitsundays is great but is now completely overrun by bare boat charter boats.
Try to visit islands outside the "charter area" both to the north and south, they are not so crowded.
Also expect to get ripped off at Hamilton Island and Airlie beach.
"100 hundered magic miles" David Colfelt is better for the Whitsundays. "Cruising the coral Coast by Allan Lucas was written 20 -30 years ago and although upgraded is not as useful.
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Old 22-11-2009, 18:16   #10
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@ Cat man do

Re: Barra and Muddies....,,,,

The real thing at the moment though is I am trying to be sensible about my expenditures and want to narrow things to the necessities first. I had a look at the same book in the map shop as well as the NSW version and they seem to have all the necessary maps of the ports, which as you note might be handy when the weather turns sour.

I have to admit I have never caught a barra, but would like too, so maybe a bit of time in the mangroves might be fun and as you mention unavoidable?

Funny story about how I was trying to spear some bream around 1770’s and these big ugly looking cod kept swimming around me. In the end I shot a few of the bigger ones. The guy at the caravan park pissed himself laughing when I asked if they were edible. They were mangrove jack – dam ignorant southerners!

As a kid I also used to catch muddies at Marmong Point Marina, Lake Macquarie NSW and sell them to the boaties including the floating restaurant people (for their own consumption and I was really young so this was definitely no commercial venture!). I am sure it would not take me too long to get the hang of it again!
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Old 22-11-2009, 18:19   #11
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@ Beau,

Re: "100 hundered magic miles"

Thanks,

I checked this one out at the map shop and the format/maps etc look far superior. It also presents as a very nice book complete with heavy duty plastic cover.
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Old 23-11-2009, 14:36   #12
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Out of coincidence, since posting last, a mate’s neighbour overheard us talking about my trip and lent me a copy of “100 Magic Miles of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands”. Apparently it is now the recognised “bible” for cruising the Whitsunday’s. It is absolutely comprehensive with everything you need to know from tourist tips to anchorages. I almost think she felt guilty, worrying I would leave without it!

This lady also showed me her stinger suit. It is the kind you buy up there in a kit with booties, gloves and hood for around $25. They are readily available from shops around the area, but watch you don’t get conned into buying one of the more expensive full lycra style suits.

Unlike the lycra versions, this one is more a see through fine netting material that is really breathable and will still let you get a tan. The material is also a lot more robust than the old pantyhose people were once forced to don. Apparently, this time of year you look a lot more out of place – if not plain stupid – swimming without one that what you do wearing one
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Old 23-11-2009, 15:55   #13
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We did not find UW visibility there good. In fack it was poor. Probably because we were inside the barrier. New Cal was great though.

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Old 23-11-2009, 16:58   #14
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Get a copy of the "Australian Pilot" Volume 3 published by the hydrographer of the navy

Harden up learn to drink Bundy Rum like a man!!
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Old 25-11-2009, 02:16   #15
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Visability on most of coastal Qld compared with NSW, VIC can be poor particually with SE winds and tides however when viz is good fishing can be better than reef.

Most sailers avoid reef like the plague but it offers good anchorages and excellent fishing. Many traverse QLD coast visiting only offshore islands and Lisard Island and miss most of what the GBR offers. Just don't expect the vis of the Coral sea.

Explore the reefs when you get a vessel. You will need all chain rode.
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