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Old 16-02-2014, 22:11   #1
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Anyone sailing from the East Coast of Australia to Darwin this Year?

My partner and I have a grand plan to sail to the Kimberleys from Mooloolaba.

Our intention is to sail to Darwin this year and then leave the boat there over summer then sail to the Kimberleys in 2015 and return to Darwin in the same year.

Whilst we have covered some miles sailing from Sydney to Townsville and returning to Mooloolaba last year we are novices and are seeking advice from those that have done the trip.

We would also be interested in joining others that may be planning a similar journey.

Our boat is a Seawind 1200 catamaran.

Cheers

Brian and Marcelle
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Old 16-02-2014, 23:41   #2
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

All I can say is I am jealous and have a great trip However I am told one has to watch for those ridiculous tidal flows around the Kimberly.
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Old 17-02-2014, 01:46   #3
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Hi, I sailed to Darwin 2011. A fast great sail inside the reef, the sailing does not get better. Be patient and wait for the right weather across the gulf. I know a number of people that were impatient and got beat up crossing. We had a spinnaker run, once again great sailing. Do not underestimate Cape Don, as l did! Due to trying to accomodate my crew's timetable l convinced myself conditions were fine to go around Cape Don. Wind against tide is huge here,not like Ive seen anywhere else. Be patient and choose your weather and its fine.
cheer's Dale.
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Old 17-02-2014, 02:28   #4
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Welcome to CF.

We're in Lake Macquarie at the moment. Our plan is to head north in April and exit Darwin in July.
We're actually looking for any information about the coast from Darwin to Broome too because we may exit Aus from there.

We may well cross paths along the way, but we've found sailing together is difficult with vastly different boats.
When we left Panama we left with 3 other boats and we all thought it would be good to keep loosely in a group. Within 24 hours we'd all lost sight of each other, although we did keep in radio contact some of the time.

Vic (and Sandy)
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Old 17-02-2014, 03:11   #5
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We are planing for that next year from Brisbane ,only got our boat at Xmas so we plan to do Arlie beach in August ,and spend this year getting to know our cat "Applejack" currently installing new electronics and updating lighting etc, wish we were able to go this year ,but not to be.
Good luck with your trip
John
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:00   #6
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Did Sydney to Darwin a few years ago and its a great trip. Good fun, varied just great
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:29   #7
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Did Sydney to Darwin a few years ago and its a great trip. Good fun, varied just great
Hi Mark,
What time of year, and how long did you take?
Vic
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Old 17-02-2014, 05:47   #8
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Hi Mark,
What time of year, and how long did you take?
Vic
Left Sydney immediately after New Years Day and arrived in Darwin about mid june for the Sail Indonesia Rally.

But if it was done quickly its only a short voyage, probably less than three weeks straight shot.

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy trip, we did a fair few overnighters and did
Lizard Island to Darwin in one shot of about 7 days.

There was a fair bit of misinformation around...
A) people told us you cant sail the reef at night, but we found it easy sticking in the shipping lane. All clearly marked.
B) we were told crossing the gulf of Carpinteria is difficult and boats should head SOUTH into the gulf before going across. Well, thats just stupid. No reason at all to do that. We went across.

Lizard Island is wonderful and we stayed there many weeks, tripping out to the Cod Hole every time the trades dropped. The water there is like liquid glass.


Lizard Island. In the dark bits around the boat is more coral species and fish species than the entire Caribbean.
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Old 17-02-2014, 06:43   #9
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polks View Post
My partner and I have a grand plan to sail to the Kimberleys from Mooloolaba.

Our intention is to sail to Darwin this year and then leave the boat there over summer then sail to the Kimberleys in 2015 and return to Darwin in the same year.

Whilst we have covered some miles sailing from Sydney to Townsville and returning to Mooloolaba last year we are novices and are seeking advice from those that have done the trip.

We would also be interested in joining others that may be planning a similar journey.

Our boat is a Seawind 1200 catamaran.

Cheers

Brian and Marcelle
Welcome to CF!!!
I have to be honest and tell you I clicked on the thread solely because of the location Mooloolaba... I thought... *they're making this up* Now I wanna go there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Welcome to CF.

We're in Lake Macquarie at the moment. Our plan is to head north in April and exit Darwin in July.
We're actually looking for any information about the coast from Darwin to Broome too because we may exit Aus from there.

We may well cross paths along the way, but we've found sailing together is difficult with vastly different boats.
When we left Panama we left with 3 other boats and we all thought it would be good to keep loosely in a group. Within 24 hours we'd all lost sight of each other, although we did keep in radio contact some of the time.

Vic (and Sandy)
Vic...

You dropped off my radar so to speak... Great to see you guys are progressing along so well... Jealousy isn't a normal trait of mine, but honesty has a stronger foothold... Glad you skipped the luncheons in the Marquesas...
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Old 17-02-2014, 13:59   #10
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Left Sydney immediately after New Years Day and arrived in Darwin about mid june for the Sail Indonesia Rally.

But if it was done quickly its only a short voyage, probably less than three weeks straight shot.

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy trip, we did a fair few overnighters and did
Lizard Island to Darwin in one shot of about 7 days.

There was a fair bit of misinformation around...
A) people told us you cant sail the reef at night, but we found it easy sticking in the shipping lane. All clearly marked.
B) we were told crossing the gulf of Carpinteria is difficult and boats should head SOUTH into the gulf before going across. Well, thats just stupid. No reason at all to do that. We went across.
We've had that advice too. It does make some sense, in that if the tradewinds are fairly strong and have a bit of south in them, going down toward Weipa will reduce the fetch and give you a better angle to Gove.

But the time I sailed across the gulf, we just left from Seisia, had a very easy comfortable sail. Winds were slightly north of east though.
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Old 17-02-2014, 16:44   #11
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Welcome to CF.

We're in Lake Macquarie at the moment. Our plan is to head north in April and exit Darwin in July.

Vic (and Sandy)
G'Day Vic and Sandy,

Glad that you made it "home". We were wondering where you were these days!

Enjoy going north... we will likely be back in the Pittwater/Lake area in April or May, hope that we might catch up for a gam before you bugger off.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 17-02-2014, 19:57   #12
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Vic and Sandy,

Glad that you made it "home". We were wondering where you were these days!

Enjoy going north... we will likely be back in the Pittwater/Lake area in April or May, hope that we might catch up for a gam before you bugger off.

Cheers,

Jim
Hi Jim and Ann,
Good to hear from you.
I hope we can catch up.
We had a hell of a time getting into the lake. Had to be dragged over 2 sand bars, the last by Maritime at high tide, and even then it took a smart stink boat driver to get us over. He came up close and slow, then hit both throttles and buried his transom. He set up an enormous wave that lifted us, and with Maritime pulling we slid over.

Good news. The channel is being dredged right now and we will be able to get out easily in a week or so. Even better, funds have been allocated for a massive dredging operation starting in winter to open it up permanently with maintenance dredging after that.
Could become a bit crowded in here

Vic (and Sandy)
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Old 17-02-2014, 21:10   #13
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Left Sydney immediately after New Years Day and arrived in Darwin about mid june for the Sail Indonesia Rally.

But if it was done quickly its only a short voyage, probably less than three weeks straight shot.

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy trip, we did a fair few overnighters and did
Lizard Island to Darwin in one shot of about 7 days.

There was a fair bit of misinformation around...
A) people told us you cant sail the reef at night, but we found it easy sticking in the shipping lane. All clearly marked.
B) we were told crossing the gulf of Carpinteria is difficult and boats should head SOUTH into the gulf before going across. Well, thats just stupid. No reason at all to do that. We went across.

Lizard Island is wonderful and we stayed there many weeks, tripping out to the Cod Hole every time the trades dropped. The water there is like liquid glass.


Lizard Island. In the dark bits around the boat is more coral species and fish species than the entire Caribbean.
The Cod Hole has to be one of the world's best dives. Fill up your lenses with 100lb Potato Cod , maori wrasse and moray ells. If I ever visit the Caribbean it certainly will not be for the fish life and corals.

Most that traverse the GBR waters do so via the shipping channel and hardly visit the GBR proper which are well charted and have excellent anchorages. Are some great coral cays, corals and fish life to visit. Don't miss the Capricorn Bunker Group at the bottom (southern) end of the GBR.

Cheers
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Old 25-02-2014, 16:11   #14
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polks View Post
My partner and I have a grand plan to sail to the Kimberleys from Mooloolaba. Our intention is to sail to Darwin this year and then leave the boat there over summer then sail to the Kimberleys in 2015 and return to Darwin in the same year.
Our boat is a Seawind 1200 catamaran.
Hi Guys
We did the same in 2011 (not really sure, life has become a blur in the last few years). Went from Gold Coast, day sailed up the Qld coast. However, overnighting is feasible, though I only do it on full moons (much nicer). We left from Seisa and had a good sail across the Gulf. It took 40 hours which is good for our overloaded cruising life.

We went to the Kimberlies but not all the way to Broome. You could spend months in the Berkeley River & at Jar Island. Plenty of watering spots but a water maker lessens the hassles. CROCS are a big nuisance and having a dog added to the risks.

The only cruising book is "Northern Territory Cruising Guide" but it is expensive & hopeless. It is very out of date despite a supposed reprint. It seems to have been put together by someone cutting & pasting from other old publications while on acid. I am on my way back to Oz via Irian Jaya, PNG, Solomons & Vanuatu and am in Jayapura now. PM me in 2 months and I can post you my copy of the aforementioned book (gratis), for what it's worth.

re Darwin
everyone hangs off Fannie Bay Yacht club in the dry but come August / Sept you will need to find a marina berth which can be difficult. Cullen Bay is VERY expensive. They all can fit your beam in their locks, we were too big for all but Cullen Bay. Bayview is worth emailing in advance.

Best of luck
Paul
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Old 26-02-2014, 00:56   #15
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Re: Anyone sailing from the east coast of Australia to Darwin this year ????

Enjoy Vanuatu, and if you can it's well worth visiting Huon reef and Chesterfield reef on the way home to Oz!
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