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Old 13-11-2020, 16:23   #1
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Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Hi all,

I am new to coastal sailing as all my sailing has been in Moreton Bay, but having recently up graded to a 38ft Lightwave, I am now planning my first coastal cruise.

I looked up a 2010 post about Byron bay anchorage and some believe you can anchor there in SE light winds, anyone done this? There was also talk of the infamous Ballina bar, which sounds very daunting and I am not so keen on it, anyone done the Ballina bar and whatís the best approach?

Of course the alternative is to do a day/night sail all the way from Yamba to Southport, but given this is my maiden voyage I was hoping to avoid it.

All and any advise would be extremely welcome, thanks, Dan the man
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Old 13-11-2020, 16:35   #2
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

We've anchored in Byron Bay many times, and in many different wind and sea combinations. In even fairly strong southerly quadrant through west to west northwest it is quite tenable. In lighter northerly quadrant winds it is tolerable, but not particularly nice. Its main drawback is rolling in refracted swell coming around the point, but in a cat that shouldn't be a problem.

We have avoided Ballina ourselves, both because of the risks on its bar whilst entering and because once entered, becoming trapped by the bar worsening whilst one is inside.

And FWIW, the passage inside Cook island is easy and pleasant in most conditions and saves a few miles compared to passing Danger reef on the outside. At that point one could stop in the Tweed for a rest. We have never done so, so can't comment on its desirability, but it is accessible, especially for shallow draft boats.

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Old 13-11-2020, 17:26   #3
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Thanks Jim that gives me confidence, to anchor at Byron and certainly seems better than the Ballina option, in terms of position, have you anchored at the chart anchor label just south of Julian rocks in 15+m or between the two yellow markers in 10+m further in?


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intending on the passage in a month so will let you know how I go! Thanks.
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Old 13-11-2020, 18:43   #4
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Oh, my goodness Dan... The anchorage shown near Julian Rk is for ships, not yachts!
We go much further in, usually ending up somewhere near 28d 38.1m S, 153d 37.0 E. That puts you in somewhere around 15 feet at LW, clean sand bottom with reasonable holding, some weed patches, but clear water so you can dodge them.

And that's with our 2.2 m draft... you could get further in if you needed to, but I doubt if there is any advantage in doing so.

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Old 13-11-2020, 19:34   #5
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Thanks Jim great advise
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Old 14-11-2020, 12:40   #6
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

I have sailed the Oz east coast many, many times. The guys are correct, Byron is pretty active in strong conditions, but our main difficulty has been getting ashore. The dive boats were great, as a free taxi , just make sure you give them a cold slab before leaving. I surfed over the Tweed bar once, in moderate conditions and this was before the Gold Coast seaway was built. Since then I believe it has silted up badly and the trawlers all moved up to GCS.
Ballina is a deep and fairly stable bar, but very dangerous on the ebb in poor weather.

Yamba is an exceptionally good bar, very deep and you have the choice of Illuka or Yamba once across. Just beware the mossies at dusk.

I would recommend the Lucas book for sailing the new coat

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Old 14-11-2020, 13:08   #7
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Will pm you re help with sail.
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Old 14-11-2020, 14:02   #8
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Hi Dan,

We've transitted between Yamba and Southport several times and here are our findings.

Yamba is the mouth of the Clarence Rvr which is a considerable body of water and it's tidal overruns affect the bar considerably. The last time we left Yamba was about an hour after low tide, the seas and swell were quite benign and we thought the tidal overrun would not be an issue given the offshore conditions. Unfortunately we were quite surprised to find the waves on the bar, while not breaking, were very steep and the crossing, while not dangerous was very uncomfortable. I would now only cross Yamba bar on the last couple of hours on a run in tide.

Byron Bay. We have only overnighted once there and in theoretically good conditions. There was a small southerly swell and a secondary very small NE'ly swell. The winds were light SE'ly. We arrived near low tide and were surprised to see cresting small waves breaking in the area on the Navionics charts bounded by the dotted line. That chart only indicates a few rocky areas but there are several unmarked and I believe more serious unmarked reefs in that area. Lucas' publication should be followed and anchor to the west of the foul area . During the night a light westerly breeze came in (as we'd expected) but it held us beam on to the light NE'ly swell and we had a very rolly night. Not unsafe , just uncomfortable! Landing on the beach was very easy and we did this well in towards the protected SE corner.

I have only been into Ballina once before and will probably not revisit due to the chances of being "captive" for long periods.

I've only been into the Tweed once and had no issues so would consider it again happily.

Generally our bar experiences up and down the NSW mid coast have shown how important it is to get the tidal conditions right ..... run in and near high tide. I really enjoy surfing .... just not in our yacht!

As for the open roadsteads of Trial Bay and Byron Bay .... Trial Bay is fantastic but getting ashore can be a bit tricky while Byron just has the rocky area to avoid.

Hope this helps a little.

Regards,

Brian
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Old 14-11-2020, 15:41   #9
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

There is a small marina in the Brunswick river. I have no experience of what the Brunswick Heads bar is like but I recently saw a Leopard 40-42 in the marina. So it must be possible.
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Old 14-11-2020, 15:48   #10
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Weíve sailed that stretch several times. Unless itís totally benign conditions, My advice would be to leave yamba in the dark and allow plenty of time to get to the seaway before dusk. Itís only around 100nm which is pretty doable. Both the bars can be dodgy so try to make sure you do it with not much swell.
Itís an awesome sail. Have fun.
PS make sure youíve got good holding if you anchor at Iluka. Plenty of people drag in there.
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Old 14-11-2020, 16:39   #11
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Morton View Post
Hi all,

I am new to coastal sailing as all my sailing has been in Moreton Bay, but having recently up graded to a 38ft Lightwave, I am now planning my first coastal cruise.

I looked up a 2010 post about Byron bay anchorage and some believe you can anchor there in SE light winds, anyone done this? There was also talk of the infamous Ballina bar, which sounds very daunting and I am not so keen on it, anyone done the Ballina bar and whatís the best approach?

Of course the alternative is to do a day/night sail all the way from Yamba to Southport, but given this is my maiden voyage I was hoping to avoid it.

All and any advise would be extremely welcome, thanks, Dan the man
We have not anchored at Byron Bay, preferring to avoid rolly anchorages.

We had no problems entering or departing Ballina in Jan 2001. We stayed for 2 days.

Our Yamba visit was uneventful and we've got friends who spent months, on more than one occasion, on the Clarence river.
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Old 14-11-2020, 19:45   #12
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

I forgot to mention that if you are in doubt regarding the bar conditions, a call to the local Marine Rescue hq will set you right. I have found them always very helpful and friendly.
Regarding brunswick heads, I'd avoid like the plague. My friends boat was stuck there for months and eventually had to be towed across the bar by a trawler to get out
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Old 14-11-2020, 22:04   #13
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Thanks everyone for the advise, I will think on it, Dan
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Old 14-11-2020, 22:47   #14
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Hey Dan, lucky you getting a Lightwave.
Just my 2 cents. 3 weeks ago we were through the Tweed. Overnighted and left early the next morning. Surprisingly good water over the bar and no problem at all.
Also, Iíve been into Ballina quite a few times and never had a worry.
As others have mentioned, run in tide and not too early to avoid the over run, lowish swell, and check with VMR.
Lucas is a legend, and I wouldnít go far without his books.
Just btw, is that his boat in Yamba marina?
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Old 14-11-2020, 22:56   #15
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Re: Anchorages Yamba to Southport, east coast Oz

Most of the inlets up the coast have web cams on them,
Google, Then type in web cams on the area you want to see,
Its free and they are live cams, So you can see the conditions as its happening,
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