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Old 04-02-2009, 17:41   #1
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How Much Offing on a Lee Shore?

Hi Folks,

We are currently cruising the coast and although our charts are good its an unknown coast. The prevailing winds are SE and NE so it makes the basically N/S coast a lee shore. Winds generally 15-25kts.

Depths are OK. Headlands have, generally, a few rocks out from them for a few hundred meters.

ON a 150 mile passage I guess we hang off the shore about 10 to 20 miles and rounding a headland no less than 1 NM and normally 2 NM's off.

We generally wouldn't go inside an island or reef that a local might.

I would like to get closer to the shore to see more of the towns we pass etc.

Are my offins too great? Would 2, 3 or 5 miles still be OK?

How close do you round an unknown headland?

How far does a seamanlike seaman go?

Please make a disclaimer in your reply if you have grounded the boat!

We are going to an island this afternoon so we may be out of internet range (oh the horror!) for a day or 2.


Thanks for your advice


Mark
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:06   #2
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If it was charted like some third world countries, no closer than 5 n.m. on a black night (by GPS position)!
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:12   #3
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Yeah I don't know if all of Australia counts as a third world country but I imagine NT would ROFLMAO. I would stay five plus miles off. If the winds start getting any stronger I would get closer to the ten miles. If you lose a mast and an engine It will give you more time to figure out what to do.
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:21   #4
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When we sailed up the Queensland coast, our distance offshore was different every day. In southern Queensland, we tended to be within a few miles of shore, and further north we were farther offshore. Once we were north of Lizard Island, we pretty much followed the shipping channels, especially close to Cape York.
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:43   #5
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Providing there's plenty of water under my keel ....in clear weather, my comfort level us usually no less that 3 nm miles. I tend to prefer 5 nm at night. Further puts me in the shipping lanes. If it's blowing, I'll head out, I can dodge ships, better than a shoreline.
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:50   #6
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Around here Cape Hatterass would be 40 miles. The shoals extend more than 20 miles. Here on the Chesapeake I mostly do 2 miles plus here on the south end. The shallow water just comes up in the middle of everywhere. It's not an always type of question. A shift or the wind might make a tack very uncomfortable depending on the shore and how far you are away. The depth is not always limited to "close to shore".

Once you are 2 miles out you can't see much. I would say it's the one disappointement of sailing here.
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Old 04-02-2009, 22:28   #7
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Mark, where on the coast and what island?
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Old 06-02-2009, 22:52   #8
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"Port 10!"


Thanks everyone we shall go a bit closer.

It was, by the way, a general question for whatever country we are in. Dependant as mentioned by the quality of the charting, economic level of country concerned (LOL) and special areas such as capes whose names are now folklore

As an aside to the last aside, we recently came around a cape called Tacking Point by explorer Matthew Flinders. I now know why he called that stinker Tacking Point!




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Old 07-02-2009, 03:19   #9
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Mark, not sure where you currently are but in the years I spent on the water on the Qld coast I found that as you move north (especially once you are inside the Great Barrier Reef) and as you move into the dry season, the prevailing winds settle down to be SE and often SSE. The coast essentially become NE / SE so the wind is usually off the starboard quarter or further aft. After passing Bunderberg, we never really worried to much about a lee shore epecially as the fetch decreases all the time as you move north - IMO.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:46   #10
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Mark, not sure where you currently are .
Anchored off Fraser Island between White Cliffs (named for some white cliffs - so creative) and The Bluff (a bluff)

We will be in Bundaberg is a few days and then wait till we can get a gap in the monsoon trough and head to the whitsundays and check out some cyclone holes. We want to do this to get a months cruising of the Whitsundays before the end of the cyclone season.

The question about offing is a general one I have often pondered wherever country we are cruising. Lots of variables. But I do want to be close enough to coasts to seethem.

Lots of mozzies and sandflies here

And NO fish! I'm about to sack Nicolle and get a better fisherwoman


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Old 07-02-2009, 13:21   #11
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After passing Bunderberg, we never really worried to much about a lee shore epecially as the fetch decreases all the time as you move north
Could that have anything to do with the rum?

You made any more progress with your boat yet?
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Old 07-02-2009, 13:29   #12
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We are currently cruising the coast and although our charts are good its an unknown coast. The prevailing winds are SE and NE so it makes the basically N/S coast a lee shore. Winds generally 15-25kts. Are my offins too great? Would 2, 3 or 5 miles still be OK?
How close do you round an unknown headland?
How far does a seamanlike seaman go?
This is one area where paper charts do provide better information than the latest electronic marvel.

By studying the chart (at least UK Admiralty versions) you can see the age of the survey for the data. You can then look at the bottom type.

If the bottom type is rock, and survey is relatively recent, I would be quite happy coming in to sensible depths (note check the distance to the nearest point of land - downwards)

However, if the survey shows sand in particular, it doesnt matter how new the survey, it is probably still out of date.

Thus there is no one answer suits all, the prudent mariner takes into account all the factors including crew experience, crew fatigue, shipping channels, weather etc before deciding what distance is prudent.
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Old 09-02-2009, 00:38   #13
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Anchored off Fraser Island between White Cliffs (named for some white cliffs - so creative) and The Bluff (a bluff)

We will be in Bundaberg is a few days and then wait till we can get a gap in the monsoon trough and head to the whitsundays and check out some cyclone holes. We want to do this to get a months cruising of the Whitsundays before the end of the cyclone season.
Is this to beat the dry season hordes or for some other reason????

Where are you planning to spend the dry season?

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<snip>Lots of mozzies and sandflies here
Yup .
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Old 09-02-2009, 00:41   #14
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Could that have anything to do with the rum?
Possibily, no probably .

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You made any more progress with your boat yet?
Just more varnishing, sanding, varnishing, sanding, painting - been a bit a hot to work too hard .
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:13   #15
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I suppose it depends on the area. I sailed the north coat of south america which as almost a lee shore but we tacked back and forth rather close since the depth was fine for hundreds and hundreds of miles and it seemed the sea was a bit more settled close in.

I like to have plenty of sea room in challenging conditions and take into consideration what the motor can do when needed. YIKES!
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