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KD on Tropic 30-08-2014 05:13

Steer Me in the Right Direction
Hi all... as the title says... I need help to steer in the right direction.
I have a yacht lying on the East coast of Thailand and am looking to bring her back to Aussie waters... timing etc will depend upon answers from this forum and other information gathering exercises.
No.. I did not take her to Thailand... someone else did... but I need to know what is the best time and route to bring her back to say.... Darwin.... then a round the coast to Brissy or there a bouts.

Thinking of sailing to Koh Samui.... then down the West Malay Peninsula .... but to where and when.... this is the multi million dollar question
Yes... I may need to bring more experienced people... but I will decide that down the track.
Where do I find the correct info on sailing routes and times for such an adventure????.... not asking people to tell me how too.... just where too find the info.
Pirates are not on my favourites list.... so avoiding these areas is high on my "to do" list

Would greatly appreciate to hear from those intrepid among you that have recently performed the journey and are will to continue with their advise till I get it right.

Always up for good advice as this will be my first longer sea voyage.


GordMay 30-08-2014 05:54

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, KD.

Ex-Calif 30-08-2014 06:46

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
My brother bought a boat in Thailand in August/September and we started to plan his return to Oz. He/we decided he was too late and he waited a season. He's still in Thailand 4 years on...

We decided that September was the latest one wanted to go reliably. So in my estimation you are running late.

A good overall view is had by looking at pilot charts for the route and month.

Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World

These give you an idea of the historical expectations for weather.

As for the route You can reverse the course of one of the popular Australia to Indonesia rallies. Check the sites out and you will find information on ports of call etc.

Here is one sample.

Sail 2 Indonesia: New Rally by the Island Cruising Association for 2014 €” Noonsite

I am sure you've looked at the regs and rules for importing the baot to Australia - another major headache.

KD on Tropic 30-08-2014 17:56

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
Thanks ever so much for the info Ex Calif... what a great start for me.
As far as imports go... she is Aussie registered.... did that before she left for the warmer waters of Thailand...
Did not even know of the pilots charts... so I can see some late nights coming up....

As for the rallies... brilliant...

Has your brother got his yacht moored in Thailand??? and living aboard.... or just as a holiday retreat from Aus every so often.

Am happy to move to other sailing grounds during the trip.... just have to look at the practicalities, weather and fees associated with moorings.

Again... thanks so much and looking forward to any more advice.

Ex-Calif 30-08-2014 18:21

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
My brother bought a 40 footer with the idea of taking it back to Oz, primarily west coast. He had this idea to run backpackers up and down.

Anyway he was "getting back" into sailing and I suggested he get some time on the boat to get to know the boat before launching across an ocean.

Anyway, long story short(er) he an my sister in law are retired and after a season in Thailand and Langkawi they decided that living on a boat in Asia for about $3,000 a month or so was pretty cost effective.

So, yeah. they split their time between Thailand and Langkawi. Unfortunately the Oz gov't will time out her resident visa if they don't go back and set up residence so they are probably going to be looking to sell the boat.

I just hope i don't get tempted to buy it...

blackswan 30-08-2014 20:21

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
2 Attachment(s)
I use both the NGIA pilot charts:
Maritime Safety Information

and Jimmy Cornells newer version:
Cornells Ocean Atlas, by Jimmy and Ivan Cornell

I plan my passage in a rough form with rough monthly windows.
For example, I've just completed stage 3 of a 4 stage plan (timed around my monthly off swings) to get from borneo to fremantle.

I find it best to work backwards from weather windows that cannot be changed. For the borneo to freo trip I had to dodge:
1. Seasonal winds in Asia.
2. Cyclone season (which gives six months of sailing time in northern australia)Headwinds from Shark Bay south which start to crank up in October.
3. Headwinds from Shark Bay to freo which start to crank up in October.

For your passage work back from the most challenging weather sections. As a rough idea the two difficult (ie headwind) area will be darwin to cape york and then down the coast to brisbane.

Once I have my rough passage plan with timings I leave enough time for each leg so that I have the flexibility to change my timing based on the local weather being experienced now and for the next week (I use a grib service to get an overall picture of expected weather). You will find with east thailand to oz that each leg is only a small distance and internet via cellular is available in most areas (if you dont have HF onboard) so weather forecasting is a breeze.

Other resources:
Current Tropical Cyclones
High Seas Forecasts
INMARSAT Forecast texts / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window

Cruisers who have or are about to do the same passage whom you will meet enroute
Navy and Coast Guard for piracy and cruising trouble hot spots.

Piracy: Live Piracy Map
Travel Advice: Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service | Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Good luck and fair winds:smile:

Ex-Calif 31-08-2014 02:17

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
Nice summary blackswan - So how did I do on timing?

Do you agree that the OP is getting a little late to head back?

blackswan 31-08-2014 07:41

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
Hey Ex-Calif,

I dont know mate I have never gone that way before so I havn't taken the time to study the correct timings.
I have heard other cruisers discuss going east over the top end of oz and I believe November is seen as a good month to do this so yeah it's getting a bit late.. Possibly doable if the vessel is ready but they would have to get a move on and it'd be more a delivery than cruising..:smile:

daletournier 31-08-2014 23:36

Hi , check this out .

I've studied the options and agree with above author . I've sailed down the east coast of 0Z from Cape York and it can be quite a bash . Rounding the Cape approx start of Dec end of Nov in my opinion is the best option, and it also depend's on the year .

Cheer's Dale

blackswan 01-09-2014 02:45

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction

Originally Posted by KD on Tropic (Post 1617550)

Am happy to move to other sailing grounds during the trip.... just have to look at the practicalities, weather and fees associated with moorings.

You will find mooring fee's for marinas in se asia to be pretty cost effective compared to oz.
Suggestions for safe places to berth a yacht enroute (depending on route) with access to local cruising grounds:

Nongsa Point Marina & Resort - Where The City Ends And Relaxation Begins
Miri Marina - About Us
::: MEDANA BAY MARINA ::: Medana Bay, Marina in Lombok, Sail Indonesia, Beach, Island, Sightseeing, Tours, Transports, Dining, Activities in Lombok.
Lombok Marina, Bali Marina, Indonesia Marina, lombok marina for yacht

KD on Tropic 04-09-2014 21:51

Re: Steer Me in the Right Direction
Thanks all... I was looking to start the trip next year... but with this info... will look at the end of the year for the Oz part... but looking at early to mid year for the West Malay coast... have spent mega time looking at the web sites offered... and coming up with more questions than answers... Have gone to boat books in Melb and ordered up suggested readings.
Be back soon with more questions... Thanks again.

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