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Old 13-10-2008, 17:20   #16
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They are closer to Tonga than Sydney. You would go to Cairns. We live in Sydney and wanted to do our landfall at home with the opera house and Harbour bridge... it was one shitty day! Note Nicolles gloves in piccy below!
brilliant Mark - Thanks.

Head north soon. No winters - ever - around here.

If you get up near here let us know we'll leave a light burning!
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Old 15-10-2008, 03:47   #17
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6) Don't listen to other cruisers! Make your own plan and decisions


Mark
Hey, what about sweaty Kiwi cruisers telling you how to disassemble your outboard carburettor? Didn't realise you were heading straight for Oz, we're in Fiji after a magic kite run from Neiafu. Sounds like you had a good run though. (Oh, should I mention about a little old Whiting 29 on the Friday night race beating all those big bendy toes?)
Pete & Sue
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Old 15-10-2008, 14:28   #18
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Hey, what about sweaty Kiwi cruisers telling you how to disassemble your outboard carburettor? Didn't realise you were heading straight for Oz, we're in Fiji after a magic kite run from Neiafu. Sounds like you had a good run though. (Oh, should I mention about a little old Whiting 29 on the Friday night race beating all those big bendy toes?)
Pete & Sue

Hey Pete!!!!!!!!!

I always listen to New Zealanders! They are cute and cuddley and we want one for a pet!

The outboard is happy and has now nearly completed a full circumnavigation of the world. Not bad for a 3.3hp

I'm glad your Fiji trip was good, 3 days on a kite would be fun. Our only claim to fame was splitting Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs straight down the middle at night

After you left, the boys were all backing up for another race... Wayne had slipped off behind some island for a week sulking, but was in town Friday morning press-ganging crew.... We left Friday afternnon just before the race. Everyone was jockying the start line with 15 minutes to go

What is it with ex-racers trying to do races when we are now meant to be cruising? LOLOL We are meant to be relaxing and keeping the heartbeats under 100


Have fun in Fiji! Give Sue a big cuddle from Nicolle and me. Nicolle says hi and gives you a big cyber hug!

See you soon

Mark
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Old 17-10-2008, 13:41   #19
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Mark, in both threads you didn't comment much about the timing of your run from Tonga to Sydney. Looking at the Pilots for October, they suggest one can expect a close reach in 15-20 for a portion of that run. What was the passage actually like? I ask because we were thinking of heading for Bundaberg only because we couldn't make Sydney comfortably during the Spring.

2nd Q: The issue about your Customs' boys aside (an Aussie returning home isn't received the same as a foreign vessel), what's it like to arrive in Sydney and need a berth? A good destination port usually means: decent public transport, a selection of berthing options, and no 'bum's rush' (meaning: you get a week somewhere and then must clear out). If you can, please comment about being a foreign flagged vessel and hoping for an extended stay on arrival in Sydney.

Congrats on the run. Many, many good boat buys in the Caribbean right now, that's for sure.

Jack
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Old 19-10-2008, 05:39   #20
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Mark, in both threads you didn't comment much about the timing of your run from
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Tonga to Sydney.
Jack


Dear Jack

We needed to get back so we left as soon as the winter lows dropped down to the October pilot level. The wind was meant to be a close reach to broad reach force 4 (11 to 16kts) but we found it mainly 25 to 30 the whole time from all over the friggin compass. I can see it would be better later in October or November.

Customs: We found all the people here great. Even the drug dog wore little shoes to stop scuffing the decks.

Quarantine cost $240 plus another $240 if you come in on a weekend. We arrived Sunday night and Quarantine couldn’t get on till the Monday

Sydney as a Cruising destination: No matter how hard the admin / berthing / facilities are, Sydney is perhaps the worlds greatest natural harbour entered through 2 heads 300 feet high, with 2 of the worlds greatest and most famous bits of architecture in the one photo shot: The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

You ain't cruised till you have done it.

I commend you, Jack, to sailing Sydney. You won't regret it


Mark
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Old 19-10-2008, 06:04   #21
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Mark, thanks for the reply. And folks may not realize that leaving from Neiafu (or Niua Fo'ou or some other spelling, it seems - the NW corner of the Tongan islands), you were laying a course a bit more to weather than would otherwise be necessary from most of Tonga. I make that run to be ~2100 NM, for which a 16 day passage with a mix of of winds that sometimes are forward of the beam is a very good passage, indeed. (And yikes - even without a dodger!? Have some hard tack with that rum, skipper).

Jack
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Old 19-10-2008, 13:38   #22
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you were laying a course a bit more to weather than would otherwise be necessary from most of Tonga.

Jack
Hi Jack,

Yes and no. The weather that I don't like in the Tasman is the southerly storms. So Tonga direct has them close hauled on Port tack with the ability to free up a bit and go a bit north of Sydney till the blow has gone. But coming in higher up the coast, or going to Fiji / New Calidonia first and hitting Australia in Queensland and then turning south towards Sydney we could have been plugging into a southerly head on. There is the East Coast Current that the chart says is up to 4 kts (not that it has ever been 4 kts!) and that would be helpful, sure.

One of my planned routes was to go to an ocean waypoint 100 miles off Grafton and then turn south. But why add another 150 miles to the job?

So the rhumb line was good for me and I didn't get a southerly storm. But I had the scope to be able to go between either course depending on the weather, meaning I should never have to actually beat to windward. My sails are a bit old and a tad blown out for good windward work.


All that being said, I wrote somewhere else of the great benifit of just a little current, so in the same weather conditions someone going more north may have beaten me in... but in a storm they would have had to re-stick their toupee where I could have paid off to leward


Mark
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Old 19-10-2008, 14:47   #23
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Mark, your comments remind me I need to read up a bit more on the wx & current in that neighborhood. I only meant - in the above note - that according to the pilots and absent a front, someone leaving from down in the southern Tongan islands would have a chance of wind a bit further aft. Or put differently, the pilots suggest you had even a bit tougher job at making good time in comfortable conditions leaving from where you did. I'm very impressed with that 16-day period.

Jack
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Old 19-10-2008, 20:20   #24
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We came into Oz from the Pacific Islands several times, and unless you are anxious to see Sydney, it make a lot more sense to hit the coast further north--from Brisbane to Bundaberg. The fronts are weaker the further north you are, and then you can coastal hop down to Sydney, waiting for favorable winds. We came in at Townsville once from the Solomons, and had to bash our way down to the Witsundays against the trades, but from Mackay or Bundaberg south you can get nice northerlies if you are patient.

Besides, Sydney is too much like America--everyone is in a hurry.
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Old 19-10-2008, 21:11   #25
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leaving from down in the southern Tongan islands
Yes, agreed.

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Besides, Sydney is too much like America--everyone is in a hurry.
Sorry I'll comment later.... didyouhaveanappointment?




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Old 20-10-2008, 05:53   #26
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Don, thanks for commenting. I certainly agree that the run e.g. to Bundaberg is an easier choice: it's shorter and more off the wind, it makes a visit to Fiji more inviting given the E/SE Trades...plus your point that the passage may be less influenced by frontal weather (something I need to further research re: the weather along Oz' SE and E coast). But when viewed thru a different lens - perhaps an American one less troubled by being introduced to Oz via it's biggest city - it seems to me that the choice of Sydney as the arrival port is THE critical decision in route planning. If one plans to actually stop and smell the roses, isn't Sydney - in some fashion, at some time - an automatic part of one 's agenda? And if the general plan is to eventually head N along the coast so as to see the Coral Coast, does an initial detour S after arrival to reach Sydney - and then repeating that passage N again - a sensible choice?

No doubt about it, my wife likes the shorter and perhaps easier choice that you outline. And that seems to be the preferred choice for most cruising folks exiting the Coconut Milk Run. But for those who might be planning an extended stay in Oz and who will want to spend some of that time in the national 'hub' that Sydney seems to be, it's hard to give up on that city being at least the 'destination port', even if weather forces one to opt for an arrival port further up the coast. And thus, my query to Mark about the practicality of arriving in Sydney: are there really berthing options that would make an extended stay possible? I've yet to hear whether that's actually realistic for the foreign yacht, no matter how appealing the nature of Sydney's natural harbor might be and how much 'there' that is there.

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Old 20-10-2008, 20:19   #27
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First, you will want to arrive in OZ by November to avoid cyclones. The best time to visit Sydney is from late December through January, when the weather is better and it's hot further north. Don't miss New Years and Australia Day fireworks and the awesome Sydney Festival (see Sydney Festival for the 2008 version).

Its a great sail down the coast, with stops in Maloolooba, Southport, Coff's Harbor, and Pittwater at a minimum.

I hope the Ozzie contingent will give more up-to-date info on Sydney marinas and anchoring, as my experience is almost a decade old.

We spent most of the time at anchor in Blackwattle Bay, which has dinghy docks at the Fish Market convenient to downtown, but has dodgy holding and the Waterways Police trying to shoo boats over to the less convenient Balls Head Bay. You can also leave the boat in Pittwater and take the bus. The national park next to Pittwater provides peaceful remote anchorages if you want a change of scene.
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Old 20-10-2008, 20:45   #28
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If you want to be in a marina then you might have a bit of an issue from November to February (our summer).

You can anchor in many places in Sydney Harbour for long periods. Indeed there is often a yacht anchored for weeks at a time in Farm Cove right next to the Opera House.

Arriving on a Saturday afternoon in the summer might be a little daunting given the vast numbers of yachts large and small racing on the harbour. Mind you all those yachts racing on various courses all over the place is one of the great sights you will see anywhere in the world.

daniel (sitting in my office in Sydney wanting to be on our boat)
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Old 21-10-2008, 06:13   #29
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More good food for thought. Thanks to both Don and Dtm...

Jack
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Old 21-10-2008, 23:05   #30
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If you are interested in why I went the way I wented, have a look at the forecast grib files for Tonga to Sydney ( grib.us is a good one) and see the nasty 35 to 40kt gale from the south then south west inflicting the course over the next few days. Thats the sort of cold, wet, miserable weather to avoid. Oh, the other point too is that after the long trip accross the Pacific whitout good chandlers its a good time to be very gentle with the boat!!!! 40kts on the nose aint gentle.

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