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Old 05-12-2017, 04:33   #1
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Cooktown to Cairns in May

I'm staying in Cooktown through the cyclone season but plan to exit Australia from Cairns in May, heading to PNG. Can I expect any breaks in the SE monsoons which will allow me to motor sail to Cairns?
Thanks, Jim
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:58   #2
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

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I'm staying in Cooktown through the cyclone season but plan to exit Australia from Cairns in May, heading to PNG. Can I expect any breaks in the SE monsoons which will allow me to motor sail to Cairns?
Thanks, Jim
Yes.

What about tomorrow?

Even better Thursday and Friday forecast is E to NE about 10 knots.

Cooktown Coastal Waters Forecast: Cape Melville to Cape Tribulation
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:08   #3
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

SE trades will be well established by then and you could have to wait weeks for a lull. If you are going to PNG have you checked whether you can clear out at Thursday Island and not have to go south to Cairns?
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Old 05-12-2017, 16:47   #4
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

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Originally Posted by catflap View Post
Yes.

What about tomorrow?

Even better Thursday and Friday forecast is E to NE about 10 knots.

Cooktown Coastal Waters Forecast: Cape Melville to Cape Tribulation
I don't think this week is in May

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SE trades will be well established by then and you could have to wait weeks for a lull. If you are going to PNG have you checked whether you can clear out at Thursday Island and not have to go south to Cairns?
What RaymondR said +1.

You sometimes get a slight lull late at night / early morning but you can't count on it.

Can you motor into 25+ kts; if so, try staying close to the reef to keep the fetch down to a minimum.
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Old 05-12-2017, 18:54   #5
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

Agree with Raymond about the SE trades being fairly well set in in May, but Cooktown to Cairns is not too hard even then. Just be prepared to do a lot of tacking between shore and the reef.
(I did Lizard - Cairns back in September in the same sort of conditions in a Farr 1/2 ton)

I would definitely NOT recommend going via TI. That last 300 NM will be a b*tch.
The trip from Cairns to PNG will have a much more favourable wind/sea angles (I'd recommend going the long way via Lizard/2 mile passage rather than straight out through Trinity passage)
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Old 07-12-2017, 17:39   #6
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

Don't rule out spending some time at TI, it is a safer port than Cooktowm with respect to cyclones and you can clear out from there. The run to Daru or Morsby is not that difficult I did the trip some years ago and while TI can be hot and humid the run to Port Morsby was one fo the best passages of my cruising life.
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Old 15-12-2017, 04:46   #7
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Re: Cooktown to Cairns in May

Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge and experiences with me.
Cheers Jim
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