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Old 04-05-2018, 16:55   #511
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Is someone implying that you slept through all 32 of those Bass Strait crossings Jim??
I dunno! I didn't sleep all the way, nosiree... I got up at least three times to check that the autopilot was still working!

Seriously, we are conservative and quite patient when awaiting favorable weather for crossing the Strait. Once we sat in Eden for 17 days prior to departure. That means a lot of trips up "heart attack hill" to get to town.

Anyhow, Tasmania is a great place to cruise in the summer, and worth the effort required to get there and then to escape inthe fall.

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Old 04-05-2018, 19:51   #512
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Oh god. Eden, beautiful part of the world but we had a nightmare experience there on our way up Jim, dragging anchor, a hole in the porthole and my partner broke her elbow falling off the jetty into the boat. Jill thanks for your advice we do plan on trying to only day trips from here as Iím not the biggest fan of sailing at night time, I do have Alan Lucas and nsw Coast, even though we have only got as far as Newcastle, I will look at it a lot more, I am a little apprehensive about a few of the bars around though, I have been warned by a couple of saltys that some places can be a nightmare especially as we are drawing 2.4. We had hoped to spend a bit of time on Lake Macquarie but they had not dredged it yet and I was worried about getting stuck, especially being a complete novice.
Where are you guys now? Would love to hopefully meet with you guys along our travels and learn what you have learned. You both sound very knowledgeable.
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Old 04-05-2018, 20:04   #513
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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We often have debates about whether we as a general group are too encouraging to newbies with a dream. Most should go and do it, but some should never go to sea.

Can we tell the difference on a forum?

What are our responsibilities as a community?

Here's a cautionary tale from someone who tried to dissuade a dock-mate. He went anyways and put himself and his crew at risk. And learned nothing.
Well, one should always be careful not to coax someone to their demise.

I remember years ago (before GPS) we were sailing and a small power boat came up along side.

It was full of teenagers.

The pimple-faced skipper asked me how to get to XYZ (their intended destination).

ME: "Do you have a compass?"

PIMPLEFACE: "Unh yeah, right here", pointing to the round thing on the dash.

ME: "Do you know how to use it?"

PIMPLEFACE: "Well, yeah, I guess so."

ME: "See, that point over there, go around it, pull into the marina, and buy a chart."

SHE: "Who ya talking to?" (My wife popped her head up from the companionway while preparing our lunch.)

ME: "Oh, just some kids I'm trying not to send to an early watery grave."

Another time, sitting out a storm in a harbour, a fellow new to boating (just cleaned all the trim rings off his starboard ports while docking) was asking for directions to an island about 15 miles away.

ME: "Well, you head out through that pass, hold a course of XXX degrees, and you'll be heading right for it."

THEM: "Will I be able to see it?"

ME: "I guess it depends, why?"

THEM: "So I know where I'm going."

ME: "Sorry, I don't think I can help you."

THEM: "But will I be able to see it?"

ME: "What if you can't?"

THEM: "Well, we might miss it."

ME: "Visibility can change, if you can't use your compass, you shouldn't go."
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Old 04-05-2018, 20:33   #514
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Originally Posted by caldawson View Post
Oh god. Eden, beautiful part of the world but we had a nightmare experience there on our way up Jim, dragging anchor, a hole in the porthole and my partner broke her elbow falling off the jetty into the boat. Jill thanks for your advice we do plan on trying to only day trips from here as Iím not the biggest fan of sailing at night time, I do have Alan Lucas and nsw Coast, even though we have only got as far as Newcastle, I will look at it a lot more, I am a little apprehensive about a few of the bars around though, I have been warned by a couple of saltys that some places can be a nightmare especially as we are drawing 2.4. We had hoped to spend a bit of time on Lake Macquarie but they had not dredged it yet and I was worried about getting stuck, especially being a complete novice.
Where are you guys now? Would love to hopefully meet with you guys along our travels and learn what you have learned. You both sound very knowledgeable.
Cal, your intro to Eden sounds kinda grim, but it is a pretty area for sure. Re Lake Mac: with our 2.2 m draft we no longer attempt that entry. The rapidly shoaling and shifting banks at the "drop-off" have fooled us too many times! At 2.4 you don't stand a chance. Too bad, for it is kinda interesting to spend a few days exploring.

Lucas's books are a valuable source of info. Alan (an old friend) is a very conservative adviser and won't lead you astray... although his loathing of roadstead anchorages shows up in some recommendations being a bit luke warm (we tend to like them).

Bar entrances can be daunting, but following Alan's advice about timing will usually keep you out of trouble. We particularly like the Clarence river, and its bar is pretty tractable. Most of them have local VMR folks who can advise as to conditions. They won't tell you it is safe, but some canny questions can work around their CYA restrictions. Ie, "have the local fishing boats been transiting the bar recently"? Or, "is there any white water at the bar"?

Our location? Well, as it says in my signature line, we're still in Eden, where I'm recovering from an unplanned bit of surgery in Canberra. Likely be here a while longer, dammit!

Final bit of advice: for becoming more comfortable with night sailing, try doing it in short bits in areas where you are reasonably familiar from doing some day sailing. You really need those skills if you are gonna be a cruiser, and building up the practice ahead of time will be a great help when you eventually get stuck in the dark, like it or not!

Jim
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:58   #515
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Sandbars and river deltas are an amazing thing. I grew up sailing on 2 beautiful river Deltas the Sado and Tagus rivers in Portugal, Tagus is pretty tame when it comes to sand, mostly mud that will keep you in place until the next high spring tide. The Sado river is another matter, I was taught year after year growing up to PAY attention, of course at some stage I stopped listening. So one day sailing from a place I know like the back of my hands, a sandbar that had been in place for the last 50 years… shifted. I went straight for it on a 50 foot power boat at 8knots. Just PLAIN luck and fast reflexes from youth managed to avert a hard grounding. From 8knt to full reverse turning the wheel hard to port then forward full throttle. I clearly heard the hull swooshing on the sand. But miraculously we did not get stuck as I managed to steer into a corner of the sandbar. That was my only bottom contact so far. I did learn a LOT that day, I was NOT as good as I thought, I made a tone of mistakes, (first one assuming I knew the area and not checking) No lookout in the bow in close proximity to sandbars and very shallow waters and rocks. I did not even check the tide, I just looked at the water and thought, I got time.
These days I’m slightly older and I’ve accumulated a wealth of experience, so next time instead of almost touching bottom, I’ll make sure I have some food and beer to wait for the next spring tide to get out.


PS- I did get older, not much wiser.
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:59   #516
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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I've never run aground.

Of course I have anchored with my keel a few times.
Loved it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 16:44   #517
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Cal, your intro to Eden sounds kinda grim, but it is a pretty area for sure. Re Lake Mac: with our 2.2 m draft we no longer attempt that entry. The rapidly shoaling and shifting banks at the "drop-off" have fooled us too many times! At 2.4 you don't stand a chance. Too bad, for it is kinda interesting to spend a few days exploring.



Lucas's books are a valuable source of info. Alan (an old friend) is a very conservative adviser and won't lead you astray... although his loathing of roadstead anchorages shows up in some recommendations being a bit luke warm (we tend to like them).



Bar entrances can be daunting, but following Alan's advice about timing will usually keep you out of trouble. We particularly like the Clarence river, and its bar is pretty tractable. Most of them have local VMR folks who can advise as to conditions. They won't tell you it is safe, but some canny questions can work around their CYA restrictions. Ie, "have the local fishing boats been transiting the bar recently"? Or, "is there any white water at the bar"?



Our location? Well, as it says in my signature line, we're still in Eden, where I'm recovering from an unplanned bit of surgery in Canberra. Likely be here a while longer, dammit!



Final bit of advice: for becoming more comfortable with night sailing, try doing it in short bits in areas where you are reasonably familiar from doing some day sailing. You really need those skills if you are gonna be a cruiser, and building up the practice ahead of time will be a great help when you eventually get stuck in the dark, like it or not!



Jim


Jim I was just wondering. Have you guys got as far up as the Whitsundays? And if you have how did you go? Is it as dangerous as everyone says.
On my charts it doesnt look to bad ?
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Old 06-05-2018, 17:14   #518
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Hi, Cal, Jim may chime in later.

We were already fairly experienced when we arrived in Australia, and that may color how I think about it. We were told to avoid the on-shore set near Break-sea spit by Ozzies in Fiji, and we gave it a 5 mi. exclusion zone. So, we did not go in the Wide Bay Bar our first time, we came out it, which is easier, just like passes into atolls.

We have been to, and through, the WhitSundays a number of times. One route, from NSW, would be to go in at Southport SeaWay, ride a big enough tide (check this, but I think for you, this would be 1.8 at the Brisbane Bar, and if it's not enough, you'll want to go on the outside) through to Moreton Bay, and take your departure from Bulwar wrecks via the NE passage, to Mooloolaba or to Double Island Point. If there is a strong SE, it won't be too rolly; otherwise, resign yourself for a rolly night. Then, the next morning, with the sun at your back, or overhead, approach WBB about 3 hrs. into the flood tide, following the coordinates given you by the VMR, tell them it's your first time, and ask how much berth to leave at the coordinates. From inside, ride the tide up across Sheridan Flats, and stop wherever you want inside GSS.

Next, the route exits GSS, for Pancake Ck., and we anchor outside with the fishermen, making departure easier. Then you just use day hops all the way there. We usually stop at Facing Island, but you can just go outside the lot, and arrive at whichever destination you choose. You might look at Noel Patrick's Cruising Guide to the Coral Coast.

One time we left from Moreton Bay and made an overnight passage through to the Whitsundays, leaving WBB and GSS all to port, to rendezvous with family at Hamilton Is. Really, it's easier to get north up there than it is to come south-- that's where it is challenging to come south, When you're leaving from Lizard Is, and want to be in Tassie for Christmas. There, you head offshore in the morning, motor through the calm caused by the sea breeze overwhelming the synoptic flow, and head inshore to anchor on the NE sea breeze. If you get a good northerly, ride it southwards as long as it lasts...including doing overnighters. Just don't close hard bits. Oh, and a word of advice, most everybody puts their waypoints pretty close to headlands. If you move them another mile offshore, you will encounter less yachtie traffic.

Wide Bay Bar has had its share of incidents, but usually from people not being careful about the tides. When you have a boat with our drafts, the state of the tide is critical for all the shallow waterways, and to take into account in anchoring, if you don't want the dreaded thump-thump. Just my opinion, of course, but I think there are a number of more dangerous bars in NSW than WBB. It is the only one the Qlders have, though, and they talk it up a bit, imo.

Ann
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Old 06-05-2018, 19:56   #519
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Whilst there is the odd incident with folks passing over the Wide Bay Bar there are also a lot of people passing over it without incident. I've only been over it a couple of times but found it a lot kinder than some I passed over in NSW.

The longest stretch without an anchorage I have found on the Qld coast is that between Burnett Heads (Bundaberg's port) and Pancake Creek. Shoal draft vessels can get into 1770 and you can park out the front and get shelter from the southeasterly. It's generally about a twelve hour run but lit on both ends so not a problem to come to anchor after last light.

With it's many anchorages, protection inside the reef, plethora of services and great scenery and vistas the Qld coast is probably the yachty friendliest part of the Australian coast. Go for it mate, once you get clear of the Gold Coast maniacs in their cruisers it's a piece of cake.
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Old 06-05-2018, 20:54   #520
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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once you get clear of the Gold Coast maniacs in their cruisers it's a piece of cake.
Too right, mate! The Riviera factory is nearby, and they issue a "captain's hat", gold chain and cigar to each new buyer. In the rare case where the new owner has a triple digit IQ, lobotomy is mandatory before launching. What a zoo, especially on weekends. We try to blow through as fast as possible, but provisioning is very easy and there are many marine services available if needed.

Back to Cal...

Ann and others have suggested that the trip up to the Whitsundays isn't at all difficult, and I agree. Dunno who told you that it was hazardous, but I'd suggest that this source isn't a good one for future queries!

You can add in some nice stops along the way, too. Lady Musgrave is a pleasant island with pretty fair anchorage and some decent snorkeling and Fitzroy reef is interesting as well. Middle Percy island is welcoming to visitors, though the anchorage ain't the best in developed trades. Nearby alternatives abound for those days...

On the coast, Noel Patrick's Curtis Coast guide and the Hundred Magic Mile guide give much more detail than Lucas's book. I'd recommend all three for your on board library if going up there.

The Whitsundays are nice, but overcrowded with charter boats, day trips, whale watchers and general tourist stuff. Easy access to the outer reef at Hook and Line and Hardy reefs, an easy day sail from Butterfly Bay.

All for now,

Jim
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Old 06-05-2018, 22:04   #521
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Jim I was just wondering. Have you guys got as far up as the Whitsundays? And if you have how did you go? Is it as dangerous as everyone says.
On my charts it doesnt look to bad ?
Some perspective from someone with WAY less experience than Ann and Jim.
(When we left Melbourne I had never sailed north of the Prom and my partner had never sailed outside the bay)
Southern NSW was the roughest water we saw - in part due to better weather planning further north.
Northern NSW we did in 3 hops. Pittwater to Nelson Bay. Nelson Bay to Coffs Harbour. Coffs to Southport. They were all pretty easy overnighters, and it meant that we had no real bar ways to cross. (We draw just under 2m, so appreciate your stress over depth) We did most of these in company with a few other boats, which made it companionable.
Yes we missed some cool spots on the way, that I'd like to check out later, but it meant that all we needed to do was find 3 lots of two day weather windows.
We found that 50 NM was as far as we liked sailing in a day, however 150 NM overnight was OK. So a single over nighter will get you as far as we'd go in the best part of a week, by the time you stop to check places out, for weather, and then need to reprovision.

Check air draft if you go inside at SouthPort. There is one wire that is around 20m minimum from memory as you go north into Morton Bay.

We sat in Mooloolaba for 10 days waiting for Wide Bar Bay to be flat calm. It was so calm that the boat didn't roll at all at Double Island Point overnight. Going through with sub 1m swell made it a non event, at 2m swell it is a lot more exciting.
Once we were north of Fraser Island, it was all easy and relaxing. My partner describes sailing to Southport as an adventure, and sailing North of Hervey Bay as a holiday.

Great Sandy Strait will be a bit of a challenge for you at 2.4m. We had a minimum depth of 30cm under keel two weeks ago with our 2m draft. That was probably 1.5 hours before HT, on a not particularly high tide. It's soft bottom though, so don't get too worried about a little bit of plowing.

Don't miss Lady Musgrave. It's a long day sail from Bundaberg, but well worthwhile. On the way north we went overnight from Musgrave to Great Kepple, but on the way back south we went day sailed Kepple -> Hummocky -> Fitzroy Reef -> Musgrave -> Bundaberg over a couple of weeks and it was all nice and relaxing. (Also it's best to go into Lady Musgrave so that you get some practice with reef entries. It will make places like Hardy Reef a bit less daunting)

Like Jim said, Lucas is probably a bit pessimistic about open roadsteads. We anchored in a few that he called marginal, and they were fine in reasonable weather. But trust his maps over paper charts / navionics etc. For instance Digby Island is a delightful anchorage in ~ 5m of water even though though the charts have it as < 1m.

Don't feel daunted about visiting different islands to the crowd. The route that folks take delivering yachts to Hammo (ie Port Clinton, Middle Percy, Scawfell, Hammo) is merely the quickest, not the most interesting. We enjoyed all the Islands between Mackay and the main Whitsundays group the most.

Hope that has you relaxed and enthusiastic. It's a great place to cruise.
Mike
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Old 29-06-2018, 09:19   #522
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

I was discouraged by many here on the choice of my boat.
But fortunately I know the limitations of my boat and the limitations of my knowledge and experience.
With all said, I eat the meat and spit out the bones of forum information.
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Old 29-06-2018, 09:54   #523
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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I was discouraged by many here on the choice of my boat.
But fortunately I know the limitations of my boat and the limitations of my knowledge and experience.
With all said, I eat the meat and spit out the bones of forum information.
Great Line.

If only those boats and cruisers deemed acceptable by the internet chat rooms went cruising, then the anchorages and destination marina's around the world would be empty. Ah....maybe that is their plan after all. Make cruising sound too difficult and dreamers "not worthy" to keep room in the anchorages and marinas!
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