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Old 27-03-2020, 10:49   #31
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Hi Jim, lots of advice already that I won't add to or comment on. I just wanted to say that I have sailed that route single-handed on my own boat many times and the time of year was never a real deterrent. At the risk of self-agrandisement, maybe my blog might be of some small interest. Good luck.Where Next?
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Old 27-03-2020, 11:50   #32
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

The guide "Cruising Victoria" published by Cruising Yacht Association of Victoria is a must. If your local Whitworths doesn't stock it they can get it in for you or you can buy it on line.
Also check your insurance, most companies do not cover single handed sailing for periods of more than 24 hours.
Make sure you have a reliable AIS transceiver with a good alarm and that it is working. There are a lot of ships plying the route you are taking and being able to see them coming is very comforting. We had to radio a ship that was coming up behind us between the Prom and Melbourne last December to ask him to alter course, which he did immediately.
Get all the weather forecasts that you can and work out if you really do have the window to get where you are going before it closes down. And remember that the Prom has its own weather, last May we had a forecast of 15 to 20kts gusting 25, but went around the Prom with 40kts behind us.
Happy sailing
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Old 27-03-2020, 14:27   #33
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

A goldmine of information; joining to see what else is added. Thanks to all.
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Old 27-03-2020, 14:54   #34
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Greetings, as a sailor in Vic Iíll put my two bobís worth in too. Youíve had a lot of good advice, notably get the guide ďCruising VictoriaĒ, Boat Books should do mail order if not get back to me, it was put together by fellow members of the CYAV.
Advice....if you can get an experienced crew member. Iíve sailed around the world mostly solo in an Adams 40 but would strongly recommend a crew along the coast so you can rest. It seems you have time, so thatís a plus. Just wait and watch BOM weather. Itís about 80% right and remember itís a forecast not a Swiss train service, they do a great job. Donít get yourself mossed out by weather ďanalysis paralysis ď! Iíve seen people who look at 5 weather sites and scare themselves so they donít go anywhere. I havenít been west on the Vic coast past Port Fairy, which is a great little spot. You can also get into Apollo Bay but be careful of depths and seas at the entrance. The RIP is ok if you strictly follow the rules, youíll find all of that and channels to use in ďCruising VicĒ. Once in you can stay at Queenscliff or Marthaís Cove or come up to Marinaís in Melb subject to isolation requirements. You can wait for suitable weather which in winter will likely be SW or northerlies then jump around to Westernport, then Cleeland Bight on the east side of Phillip Island. That will shorten the distance to the Prom- just wait for suitable weather, you only need about 14 hours moderate sailing .At Refuge Cove just wait again, climb up the hill to get phone reception. You can go up the shipping channel to Welshpool if needed or to shelter from easterlies which are unlikely in winter. Lakes Entrance is a good entry now, and about 17 hours from Refuge, itís my home port and fishing boats use it daily subject to weather.There are webcams at the entrance so you can see whatís going on.( Gippsland Ports site )Wait until tide is flooding.Itís a great place to restock or chill out. Eden is the longest leg but watch weather around Gabo. From Eden itís day hops but follow Alan Lucasí guide on crossing river bar entrances up NSW coast.
Finally....get a good crew if you can and wait for the right weather, itís not that hard if youíre patient, youíll be ok.
S/V Eliana.
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Old 27-03-2020, 15:10   #35
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

I have no experience to share, never been to Australia much less the Bass Strait, however, one of my favorite Youtube couples just crossed it. You might want to contact them. They post under "Free Range Sailing". This is their latest, after they crossed:
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Old 27-03-2020, 16:15   #36
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

It can be a mill pond a lot of the times as well, With a dead flat sea and no wind,
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Old 28-03-2020, 03:40   #37
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Bass Strait is often beautiful, any season.
If I were in your position, Iíd be planning to ride the lows, and the fronts. Coming from the SW. Probably only headsail. Following winds and sea, very fast and very safe.

Hereís a path.
Kingscote (donít know where you are starting from, but hereís a focus).
130 nm to Robe (get into the marina)
130 nm to Portland - great protected harbour
40 nm to Port Fairy, up the river
About 80nm to Apollo bay, harbour can be tricky to enter, but anchor snugged up off the town if westerlies. Into the harbour if easterlies
130 nm to Oberon bay, west side of the prom and perfect in easterlies - or:
Waterloo bay if westerly, benefit being you get mobile coverage
100 nm to Lakes Entrance. Not as frightening as some make out, but very careful navigation entering (down the blues)
100nm to Gabo, east or west side to anchor. Very snug.
35 nm to Eden, the traditional haven
100nm to Uladulla. Careful that you stick closely to the leads
100nm to Sydney, or a whisker further to Pittwater

Each of those legs is ďdo-ableĒ in less than 24 hours. Presuming you can do a couple of short naps in the day, you should be capable and alert.

Substantially, obviously, go with westerly streams.

As a previous post noted, Wilsonís prom can be boisterous. In fact every
Promintory (cape) in the world is boisterous. Wind changing direction and accelerating.

Tides at Otway and Wilsonís prom can be significant. My little aide memoire (relating to Port Phillip heads) is leave on the low, home on the high. In other words, if you are heading for Port Phillip, plan to be at the cape (either one) at the time of high water heads, or leaving Port Phillip, plan to be at either cape at the time of low water heads.
Remember that low and high water heads is the time of maximum flow. Slack water half way in between.

If you have to come into Port Phillip in **** conditions, try to run up the old river bed. It is very evident, and waves donít break in this water. But do in the shallow ďplainĒ on either side.

Obsevations from someone who has worked Bass Strait a fair bit in all seasons.
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Old 28-03-2020, 13:28   #38
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by desdestiny View Post
Hi

On 03 July 2016 I crewed on a Gulfstar 66 sailing from Melbourne to Gladstone.

The crew were experienced however had not sailed together before we departed.



The Bass Strait component Melbourne to Wilson's promontory was harrowing and rough, we motored into Refuge Cove to recover.



However the Refuge Cove - Eden part of the trip was very mild with insufficient wind to sail.

While we motored in calm conditions close to the shoreline, another smaller yacht which left Refuge Cove sailed out into the middle of bass Strait and experienced 50 knot winds. They made it safely to Eden about 15 hours after we arrived.



I wrote a detailed note of the trip with images which I can share with you if you like - it is a pdf 4 Meg.

Des


Thanks Des, Iíd be very interested in that. Iíll PM you.
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Old 03-04-2020, 19:24   #39
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Hi Matt. Iíve Cruise Bass Strait many times and done deliveries from Melbourne to Newcastle (twice in May). Iíve always depended on Meteye from BOM and rarely had a complaint. Iíve also rung BOM to speak to a meteorologist if I want to do a long passage with a short weather window. There are a number of bolt holes that I know between VIC and NSW for example Portland, Port Fairy, Appolo Bay then after Port Phillip try Cat Bay, Cleland Bight (very good SW protection especially near the bridge, Refuge Cove of course, Port Welshpool, Lakes Entrance,the back of Gabo, Eden, Bermagui, and many others going North. You can nearly always day hop. From Adelaide to Portland, Iím unsure. This is all great cruising when, as youíve said, you have time. Fair Winds. Craig.
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Old 04-04-2020, 01:07   #40
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

Would never have thought of phoning the BOM, what a good idea.

I assume they were happy to chat?
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Old 04-04-2020, 01:32   #41
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

I rest my case re equinoctial gales.... Latest Coastal Weather Observations Hogan Island

There has also been a bit of rather dodgy advice here re PPH...
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Old 04-04-2020, 02:59   #42
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

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I rest my case re equinoctial gales.... Latest Coastal Weather Observations Hogan Island

There has also been a bit of rather dodgy advice here re PPH...
I have only sailed out of the heads once, and was surprised with the swell and waves even though it was at the right tide in calm conditions.

Recently went in and out on the Bass Strait Ferry, even then it was pretty bouncy.

What is the deal here, should you expect breakers and a big swell even when conditions are supposed to be right?
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:42   #43
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Re: Bass Strait in early winter

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Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
I have only sailed out of the heads once, and was surprised with the swell and waves even though it was at the right tide in calm conditions.

Recently went in and out on the Bass Strait Ferry, even then it was pretty bouncy.

What is the deal here, should you expect breakers and a big swell even when conditions are supposed to be right?
Simple answer... yes and no..

If you look at the chart you can see that pretty much SW of the Heads lies the gap between the top of King Island and Cape Otway... so if a SW swell is running out past there then it can work its way up to the Heads. That is often the case and that is why there are good surf beaches both east and west of the Heads.

However you can get periods where very little swell is evident.

Best time to enter is slack water at the start of the flood.. be aware slack water is 3 hours different to High and Low water within Port Phillip itself.

Safest place to enter if any weather around is on the western side either close up to or inside Lonsdale Rock. Out of the tide this is track the pilot boats use in any sort of heavy weather.... there is even a special leading light with - as I recall a 2ļ white sector - here which shows red over the rocks and reefs under the Lonsdale light itself. In daylight it is known as '4 fingers west'....

The most dangerous place - on the ebb - is a mile or so offshore south east of the entrance.
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