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Old 06-04-2006, 19:40   #1
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What to do after Oz?

Will be in Oz Septemberish and was wondering what to do next season. PNG? Indonesia? Malaysia-Thailand-Nicobar/Andamans? Emphasis on diving & cultural experiences, preferably away from population centers. Big nature freak. Am circumnavigating and will be generally heading west, but am not attempting any speed records (as laughable a concept as that is, applied to a sailboat). Any experiences in the area and recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-04-2006, 22:18   #2
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Hi Starfish, were are you heading to Oz from?? I hope NZ is in the list! All the above have their pluses. I think it is more dependant on your time schedule. If you want to fill in, oh say just your life time, then it takes about 5 years to see allof NZ alone. Oz would be about the same if not more. Just depends on what you want to see and how much of it for how long.
If you can handle cold water and want to see some very special Diving grounds like probably no where else on Earth, then Fiordland and Stewart Island down the bottom of our South Island is simply spectacular. Fiordland is famouse for the very rare Black Coral, normaly found in the great Ocean depths out of reach of divers.
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:28   #3
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Thanks Wheels. Coming to Oz from New Caledonia and planning on coming in at Brisbane, hooking up with some friends and seeing most of Oz by land. Plan on flying to NZ for several weeks, but nothing firm on that, yet. I work 6 months or so, then travel 6 or so, but have to come back to the States to earn income. The idea is that I'll complete the present circumnavigation in about two or three more years, then buy a larger boat in Florida and start all over again. My family has suddenly grown, so I need a bigger boat. Right now I'm limited to the few months of travel.

I've a 7 mil semi-dry suit that's good for water temps into the low 60's. Will that suffice for south Island diving? Or is it dry suit only?
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:38   #4
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Starfish:

Haven't brought a boat in to Oz inyears but used to be that you needed to pay import duty if your boat was there more than 6 months. Check on that if it is going to be a problem.

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Old 07-04-2006, 08:43   #5
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Thanks Charlie. That prospect hadn't occurred to me.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:06   #6
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Don't forget Western Australia

Hi Starfish,
If you like to dive it would be worth gettting out to the north west and spending some time underwater there. The eastcoasters rave about the Great Barrier Reef (and so they should) but even most Ozzies forget Ningaloo Marine Park over west.
Clearest waters you'll ever see and a chance to swim along with Whale Sharks and lots more beside...........
Check it out - you will not be dissappointed.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:28   #7
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Just recently. The Australian government pass some kind of law to sailboat owners. That you may not enter their country providing that your anti-foul is in decent shape. They are trying to control what "foreign" marine creatures, that sticks to boat hulls from coming in?

They also provide that if you intend to stay. They'll arrange having your boat hauled out. And for services to have new anti-foul paint applied onto your hull. Through one of the local yards in the area.

This was posted about 3 or 4 moths ago on a post in here. You also might want to look into that subject as well?
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:03   #8
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I've got Petit Trinidad, and the bottom is clean (I mean really clean, as she's been on the hard for several months while I've been away and I really laid a nice bottom on her on the previous haulout). I'll check that out, though. Are the regs more relaxed in Auckland?

Hey John. I've heard good things about the Ningaloo park and would love to see it. Hope to get over there, but don't know whether I'll sail it or take the convenient route. The distances are pretty impressive. It is warmwater diving?
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:07   #9
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Are the regs more relaxed in Auckland?
The best man to ask that question to. Is Alan Wheeler. A regular on this site. He is from New Zealand. And he could answer any of your questions for you pertaining to their laws there?

Good luck?
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:54   #10
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My screen name has been hijacked!!

I found this board and signed up. Now I can't get my husband off of it! Thanks for all the good advice. Elie is leaving next week for the boat in Raitea and I will be meeting him in Fiji beginning of June. Maybe I will be able to get on the board once he finally leaves!!
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Old 11-04-2006, 16:27   #11
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Greetings Starfish62. Entering Australia with your boat... Customs may issue you a one year crusing permit for the boat or the duration of the skippers visa, whichever is shorter... OR ... they may require you to import the boat lodging a deposit of the fees obtainable when you check out. Apparently some official somehwere has the power to decide which depending on their mood. For a full report on the "Bio-fouling" issue you can download my article in TCP # 17. (see web details below) Australia makes a brilliant stepping off point for Asia and Indian ocean. I have been publishing accounts of a boat that used last years Darwin to Kupang rally that has been a hit to the point this years rally is booked out but tag alongs do happen! The insiders diving destination is Koh tao (turtle island) off east coast os thailand. Reputed to be one of the best in the world and not on the "A" list... yet.

On Ningalo reef.... you will be amazed at the next TCP... I am running a feature by west Australian boat "Platypus" and they report on thier time there. I will probably have one of their photos on the cover.

for a free download of the editons go to www.thecoastalpassage.com and check it out. the new edition will be up around mid may.
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Old 11-04-2006, 22:13   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob Norson
...Australia makes a brilliant stepping off point for Asia and Indian ocean. I have been publishing accounts of a boat that used last years Darwin to Kupang rally that has been a hit to the point this years rally is booked out but tag alongs do happen! The insiders diving destination is Koh Tao (turtle island) off east coast os thailand. Reputed to be one of the best in the world and not on the "A" list... yet...
I have spent quite a bit of time diving the seas around Koh Tao: 3 visits of between 7 and 14 days each, over the last 10 years. Koh Tao is located to the NE of the more well known Koh Samui. About 20km NE of Samui is Koh Phanyang; (in)famous for its wild "full moon" parties. About anothe 30km NE is Koh Tao.

Koh Tao is no undiscovered paradise - it is well known in the diving world, and has at least 30 dive shops (mostly PADI) and lots of accommodation. Basically tourism drives the Island's economy, but unlike Samui, it is more of the low budget and backpacker tourism that seems to be the target. Personally, I prefer the backpacker / budget crowd, which is why I still head to Koh Tao.

The diving is very cheap - last time I was there I was paying AUD$20 per dive (thats US$14 per dive) which was boat diving and full gear (excpet wore my own mask and snorkel because I prefer that). This was with a PADI 5star diving centre too, not a dodgy backstreet outfit. The diving is pretty good, but not fantastic. The area is, IMO, over-dived, plus the local fishermen overfish, and dynamite fish, and as a result, the coral is suffering. Don't get me wrong; it is good diving, and there is the opportunity to see whale-sharks and turtles, etc. But it is not the pristine coral diving that you might expect in the Andamans, or Similan Islands or in the NW Phillipines. Having said that, its cheap and friendly and beer / food and accommodation are cheap and plentiful.

Koh Tao is also a great place to get dive qualifications - they offer all the courses, from basic Open Water, all the way through to Instructor, and many of the specialist courses too...and very cheap relative to almost anywhere else I have seen (Utila, off the coast of Honduras being the only cheaper place I have found).
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:58   #13
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I have dived in Coral Bay and Ningaloo reef (north west australia). Unfortunately it was close after a storm so there was a fair amount of sand still suspended in the water.

First dive was with 3 large manta rays in the middle of feeding, and we were in the middle of their flight path. They passed within inches of us. The dive on the reef include some more manta, lots of smaller rays (too numerous to count) lots of fish - and a shark in the distance. My first encounter with a shark underwater, and I can guarantee that its is really good for the muscles of the bum! We were there too soon for the whale sharks, but did get to see a turtle hatch.
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Old 12-04-2006, 13:19   #14
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TCP sounds great. Us cruisers can use all the free resources we can get our hands on. The "import of the boat" sounds ominous. Any idea as to the fees involved? Analagous to sales tax here in the US? Hope not. I'll have to look into alternatives if that is the case. I'll check out your link.

On a more mundane note. I always dive my anchor (it's easier to sleep that way), and recently came across an account of a sailor in New Caledonia being eaten by a croc while diving on his. I'm planning on coming in at Brisbane, then heading north. Will this be an issue on that shore? If so, how does one identify areas where crocs are present? We do a lot of freediving and spearfishing, and while I've had numerous encounters with sharks, crocs scare me a bit. My sense is that they are predominately estuarine, so ocean-side anchoring is relatively safe (excluding box jellies, blue ring octopi, and all of the other, various little nasties that Oz seems teeming with!) Is that correct?
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Old 12-04-2006, 14:41   #15
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Import duty - yacht will attract duty of 5% and GST of 10%.
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