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Old 13-06-2015, 17:01   #1
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Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

Looking for any advice on weather pattern choices and passage plans for a trip from Perth to NSW departing later this month (June). No choice about timing.
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Old 13-06-2015, 17:42   #2
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

Better then than around the equinox.
Be prepared to wait down around Busselton for a good wx window to get around the corner.
Don't go too far south in the Bight as you may get below the 'lows' and cop easterlies.
Don't get caught on a lee shore between Kangaroo Island and Otway.
Weather can , in my experience, be quite settled in June July.
Then again it can be quite nasty....
Thats it... good luck
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Old 13-06-2015, 17:51   #3
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

Give Cape Leeuwin a decent berth both for the offlying reefs but especially as visibility can be very poor due to salt haze.

Albany has totally protected harbour with easy safe entrance and is the last really safe haven.

Others should be able togive better information and I concur with el P above.
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Old 13-06-2015, 20:36   #4
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

Agree with all above, but in addition:
* Do not hang on the hook around Busselton because as a big approaching front will expose you to short steep waves that have caused many boats to drag and end up on the beach there. Check the newpaper articles of such event in early April of this year!
* Leave Fremantle/ Bunbury / Busselton marina on an approaching front, you will have then NE or N winds, but make sure you get into Albany prior to the front overtaking you!
* Allow 48-84 hours for that trip to Albany depending on how fast you can sail, although there is a small marina now in Augusta.
* Wait in Albany (in one of the marinas or at anchor) and let the front pass, and if the window to the next front is large enough leave then ie with SW or S winds.
* Can do the same thing from Albany to Esperance, using the fronts to your advantage
* Crossing the Australian Bight in winter you will have at least one front overtaking you, I imagine.
Wishing you all sunny skies above, clear water below, gentle winds behind and a safe port ahead,
and when coming this way check,_Australia
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Old 14-06-2015, 14:52   #5
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight


You've just been given some very wise advice. Combine all those answers and you need little more than good weather to make to voyage safe. I've done that voyage several times and it can be difficult or even dangerous if you are not alert to the dangers regardless of the time of year or the conditions.

I wish you fair winds and following seas,
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Old 14-06-2015, 15:00   #6
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

The above advice is all good but it is impossible to give any specific advice without knowing what you are sailing. There is a huge difference between a 50ft lightweight cat and, say, a heavy teak 33ft yacht. Tactics would also depend on what weather information you are capable of receiving on board and you or your crew's ability to interpret it. The difference in a couple of degrees of latitude crossing the bight can mean the difference in experiencing 60kt winds or 40kt winds, or conversely, 0kts to 15kts. Big difference.

As you are limited in your departure time to the next 2 weeks and if you are unsure of your ability to read the weather my advice is to just pay a professional onshore weather router (google yacht weather router), provided of course, that you have the ability to receive such information on board.

The slow moving high that travelled across the bight a weeks or so ago would have had the best route way down as sailing the normal winter route would have had you in calms and dead on head winds. There is no reason to expect, or not expect, similar conditions in the few weeks ahead.
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Old 14-06-2015, 16:24   #7
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

All good advice, used to Fish for tuna out of Albany during the winter and weather is quite often all or nothing, leave Albany on the back of a front with a reasonably stable system behind it and carry enough fuel so that it calms right off, which it quite often does this time of the year, you can motor flat out and hopefully make Port Lincoln/ KI before next front.
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Old 16-06-2015, 16:33   #8
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Re: Sailing West to East across the Australian Bight

There are a couple of articles in a recent edition of Cruising Helmsman about crossing the Bight. June issue if I recall correctly. I think you can get access on line. Seems there are a few places to stop.

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