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Old 31-07-2010, 14:50   #16
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G'Day again, Sigma,

Here in Oz the definitive cruising guides are "Cruising the Coral Coast" (by which is meant Queensland) and "Cruising The New South Wales Coast" both by Alan Lucas. They are fairly detailed and contain a wealth of general info on the areas. There are several more detailed books, including "The Hundred Magic Miles" covering the Whitsunday Islands chartering area, and "Cruising the Curtis Coast" by Noel Patrick, which covers roughly from Bundaberg to Mackay in loving detail. Tasmania sports its own guides, one published by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and one by John Brettingham-Moore, "Cruising Tasmania". All of these would be available from Boat Books who can be found with Google.

I won't get drawn into the mono vs multi arguments -- we chose mono and are still happy that we did, but there are lots of happy multi owners, especially on the Qld coast where conditions are ideal for them. There are far fewer seen in Tassie where the weather can be a bit more severe and the temperatures lower.

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Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly Qld Oz
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Old 31-07-2010, 16:01   #17
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You can fly diect from Holland to Sint Maarten. Both Sunsail and Moorings have large fleets there; Horizon also has a few boats. Sailing there is a little more strenuous than the BVI's.
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Old 31-07-2010, 21:56   #18
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I was wondering what you are going to do for a boat? Rent or buy one? Renting for months and years is a mightly expensive situation.
- - The Pacific Islands are definitely the top end of a cruising experience if you can afford the time and money. It is very seasonal sailing but if you stay in the upper islands you can cross over to the northern hemisphere to avoid the typhoon season.
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Old 01-08-2010, 00:50   #19
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G'day, Eric, SPOT X CRUISING NEW ZEALAND - Northcape to Eastcape
By Mike Pigneguy and Mark Airey seems to be the crusing guide "du jour" for the crusing fleet these days. We have an old copy of the COASTAL CRUISING HANDBOOK, now in it'sTenth Edition By the Royal Akarana Yacht Club and are quite happy with that. The C-map charts for this part of N.Z. are pretty much spot on.

In regards to the mono/multi questions, it's your choice, there's heaps of both around, heck down here, we even share an adult beverage together now and then. You can also charter either of the two out of Auckland or Opua. Hope that helps. Cheers
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:08   #20
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I was wondering what you are going to do for a boat? Rent or buy one? Renting for months and years is a mightly expensive situation.
- - The Pacific Islands are definitely the top end of a cruising experience if you can afford the time and money. It is very seasonal sailing but if you stay in the upper islands you can cross over to the northern hemisphere to avoid the typhoon season.
I know that flying to the pacific is more expensive than to the Caribbean; that's the main reason we haven't been there yet; for 2 or three weeks it's simply un-affordable. My goal (still have to persuade my wife) is to sail for a couple or up to 5 years some 4 years from now leaving plenty of time to plan and complete our saving and sell the house. The cost of getting there becomes less of a worry that way. I guess we would buy a boat, keep it for the duration of our cruising life and sell again. I did note that finding the right boat (40 ish foot cat ready for cruising) is easier around the Caribbean islands.

I'll start by ordering some of the guides mentioned in other posts. I guess it's also doable to buy in the Caribbean, pass through the Panama Canal and sail to the pacific islands from there. Would be looking for some experienced crew if it would all happen that way. Our sailing experience on the open ocean is limited by (day trip) crossings between the Caribbean islands (the two of us sailed a Lagoon 380 from Antigua to Bequia last March).

Thanks all for all the good info we are getting.

About the mono/multi debate. I was a 100% mono sailer until our last trip in March. The space and stability at anchor of the Lagoon could not be beat by even a 50 Ft mono. On the downside we really had the get used to the strange motion while underway. I also learned that you can no longer trust your instinct as you were used to; the Lagoon gave (0o me) no signs of being overpowered while we later learned that sailing at 10 knots with a full rig on with 25 knots wind on our beam is considered extreme sailing by some; we simply enjoyed the ride and felt nothing of it. The Lagoon manual agreed with us; later learned that the charter company advises to reef at 18 knots. We did this and it took 'all' the fun out of it but sailing was less noisy and just a little slower. Bottom line: the only change persuading my wife it the cat.

That does bring op a new question: what's it like in NZ and Oz, doe you anchor and use the dingy (which we prefer) or do you stay in Marina's?

Oh, and what's seasonal about the area; yep still have a lot to learn so apologize for the stupid question.

Thanks again all; next step will be to order those guides.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:25   #21
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We typically live on the "hook" for 8 to 10 months of the year. We have the boat in 16 meter slip for $480 NZ/month now for a couple of months while we are watching over a motel complex for some mates. You can sail and liveaboard all year round here around this area. Days, now are around 55 to 60 deg F during the day and 45 to 50 at night, so you might need a little heat if you hang around here and don't head to the tropics. Cheers
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:53   #22
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You can fly diect from Holland to Sint Maarten. Both Sunsail and Moorings have large fleets there; Horizon also has a few boats. Sailing there is a little more strenuous than the BVI's.
Thanks for the info. We never chartered from St. Maarten (been there though) but chartered BVI, SVG, Guadeloupe and recently sailed from Antigua to St Vincent. We really enjoyed the area but see too much change. Lots of those ugly big cruise liners and everything seems to be developed. We saw what has happened to Marigot Bay and felt sad. Reason to look beyond the horizon.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:12   #23
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Thanks for the info. We never chartered from St. Maarten (been there though) ....
Here is the proof we've been to St. Maarten; guess who's screaming like an idiot? It is by far the most spectacular runway we have ever seen.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:22   #24
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I have done alot of sailing around NZ and it is incredible there...most the summer..but winter is cold, stormy and windy..........
I live in St. MArtin at the moment and sail around the Caribbean....warm easy transits between the islands...but pretty much August through December is hurricane season..beautiful time to sail around tha islands...but you need a good haulout spot.....

I guess both places are great for cruising but I imagine cruising New Zealand in winter is pretty well limited to East Coast safe harbors and only if you don't mid the rain in winter!

Problem with St. Martin....everyone seems to get there and never want to leave!
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:36   #25
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The best cruising in the world is in the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific--great sailing, less developed, friendly people. Buy a boat in the Caribbean and spend a season in Polynesia while getting to Australia. Then spend a few years sailing the Australian coast in the cyclone season and going up to Vanuatu and the Solomons for the winter. Australia has such a long coast that you can chose your conditions from tropical to something like you have at home.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:35   #26
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If you think of the Caribbean as a monolith you haven't delved deeply enough. Lots of differences in cultures, language, costs. On the minus side, it gets very expensive to clear in and out all the time when island hopping. If you want total solitude, cruise the 600+ islands of the Bahamas and have a different beach all to yourself every day. Minus here is that winter winds can be cold and scrappy and in hurricane season you should have a hurricane hole in mind. Again, paperwork is expensive so plan to stay as long as you're allowed. The nearness to the U.S. is a plus for re-provisioning.
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Old 16-09-2010, 18:55   #27
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The only problem I have with Australia is all the "stingies" and other nasties in the water. The thought of having one of those saltwater crocs following you down a beach is a little unnerving. Then there are those box jellies, and other things. When I was there last December I did a cat tour and did some snorkeling on the GBR. You have to swim inside a net just to keep the stingies at bay. Then there are these really nice big tiger sharks swimming around. In fact, I watched 6 biguns eating a dead whale about a mile from where I did some snorkeling.

I remember that Australia did a tourist promo by sticking some guy on a deserted island for 6 months. It went great until he got stung by a toxic jelly and nearly died.
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