Forums > Sailing General

Sail Lake Macquarie to Port Stevens.

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Created by Moppo 2 months ago, 9 Sep 2017
Moppo
42 posts
9 Sep 2017 7:25AM
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Ok I have been making plans to sail (or motor if winds are not favourable) from Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens in early October. Having a few brews last night with a few mates and my trip came up. One of asked me about sailing during the night I said no. He said unless stop at Newcastle I will have to. So my question is if I leave Swansea heads at 6am and travel at say around 3 to 4 knots p/h how long will it take as I said dont want to travel at night a I will will use the motor if I can't get a good heading. Can anyone help me with this.? ? ?

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1930 posts
9 Sep 2017 10:20AM
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We did swansea to port stephens recently in a day. About 40 miles. Leave early she'll be fine. I wouldn't go into Newcastle. Your mates wrong as are most that offer advice. Dont listen to anyone. Do research yourself. Enjoy!

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1930 posts
9 Sep 2017 1:29PM
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Anyway get navionics and punch in the route it will tell you

Bristolfashion
VIC, 251 posts
9 Sep 2017 3:19PM
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I quite liked Newcastle. Nice marina and club, good cafes nearby and Whitworths only a short bus ride away.

Cheers

Bristle

EC31
NSW, 246 posts
9 Sep 2017 4:15PM
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It is about 35 nautical miles, so at 4 knots average, about 9 hours. Heads to heads. Sit on the moorings outside the Swansea bridge overnight, then leave at dawn (about 5.30) and you should be in there easy before dinner. A tip is to stay well off Stockton Beach. There is a courtesy mooring inside at Shoal Bay, past all the boats and the wharf heading west just off the beach. If not available, still a good anchor spot in about 4 metres of water.

sirgallivant
NSW, 985 posts
9 Sep 2017 5:00PM
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I understand your apprehension of sailing at night but l honestly tell you, in good weather there is nothing to it.
I arrived to Newcastle at 23.00 and on the way in, my crew, who was on duty at the time, quit. He could not handle the plethora of lights. I enjoyed piloting into the harbour and after contacting Port Operations and asking them about in or outgoing traffic - there was none - l just motor sailed in, laughing, to the NYC. Arrived at 02.00 tied up and slept.
No worries.

Same, coming home to Sydney, l arrived at 22.00 at North Head and motor sailed to my mooring in Drummoyne. No worries.

It was actually a very pleasant trip.
All the way l was assisted by my chart plotter with fresh C-Map on it and the paper charts, on both occasions.
A good quality binocular and knowledge of the different navigation lights is a must as Newcastle is rather confusing at first sight and Saw and Pigs and the islands in Sydney are not to be missed.

As far as Lake McQ and Port Stevens are concerned, common sense, good seamanship and prudence should make the trip a very enjoyable one after proper research and planning.

Red lights all over inside the yacht for night sailing are necessary not to kill your night-vision. Normal white light destroys night vision for a long time, 10-15 minutes!

Perhaps going out at night couple of times before the trip would help.

Fair winds!

southace
QLD, 3448 posts
9 Sep 2017 5:20PM
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If your going to sea you firstly need to learn how to make a passage plan.
Navionics or a chart will give you distance and secondary ports also familiarising yourself with the coastline,currents and general dangers that should be avoided.

Ramona
NSW, 3827 posts
9 Sep 2017 6:14PM
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Select to expand quote
Moppo said..
Ok I have been making plans to sail (or motor if winds are not favourable) from Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens in early October. Having a few brews last night with a few mates and my trip came up. One of asked me about sailing during the night I said no. He said unless stop at Newcastle I will have to. So my question is if I leave Swansea heads at 6am and travel at say around 3 to 4 knots p/h how long will it take as I said dont want to travel at night a I will will use the motor if I can't get a good heading. Can anyone help me with this.? ? ?


skipr.net/cruising/docs/Passage%20Planner%20V2.0.pdf

nswsailor
NSW, 924 posts
9 Sep 2017 10:30PM
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EC31 said..
It is about 35 nautical miles, so at 4 knots average, about 9 hours. Heads to heads. Sit on the moorings outside the Swansea bridge overnight, then leave at dawn (about 5.30) and you should be in there easy before dinner. A tip is to stay well off Stockton Beach. There is a courtesy mooring inside at Shoal Bay, past all the boats and the wharf heading west just off the beach. If not available, still a good anchor spot in about 4 metres of water.


I was told that NPWLS had removed all of their moorings in Shoal Bay but the RMS was negotiating to put some back in,
don't know if that's happened yet.

Don't forget to fish for squid while overnighting on the moorings at Swansea bridge

EC31
NSW, 246 posts
10 Sep 2017 6:58AM
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I used it early July when heading north.

andy59
QLD, 949 posts
10 Sep 2017 3:25PM
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Good luck with your trip Moppo the only thing I would add is not to be too worried about night sailing especially if you have an AIS transceiver and you stay well out to sea so you don't have to worry about running into Australia

samsturdy
NSW, 974 posts
10 Sep 2017 3:32PM
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How far exactly is 'well out to sea'.

andy59
QLD, 949 posts
10 Sep 2017 4:43PM
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Ha ha Sam I'm always more comfortable when I am at least 4 hours sailing from the closet thing I could bump into. Say 25 miles.

cisco
QLD, 10151 posts
10 Sep 2017 8:36PM
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^ You got it right there Andy. Ocean navigation is a lot safer than coastal navigation.

There are less things to run into.

Kankama
NSW, 97 posts
11 Sep 2017 7:24AM
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Gday Moppo

My two cents would be not to plan some details too obsessively - like when you go. You tend to have a better trip when you get a bit Zen about sailing. Especially the where and when - don't try to specify both - just one is all you want to get in concrete.

So you want to go north, sometime in October. Good. You will still have some southerly flow, maybe a westerly or two and few noreasters yet. If you leave on a certain date you may fluke a good day but I would recommend you get flexy and watch the weather closely as the prospective date approaches.

Meteye is a great tool on the BOM website. Use it to check when you get nice winds - beam or aft, or gentle just off closehauled. Meteye forecasts up to a week in advance. Ensure the winds are what you feel comfortable in and then refine your timeline. Then keep checking the forecast. Pull your day forward or push it back so that you get the correct weather. Do not think the way you do in a car or when catching a plane. You could have a great trip on Monday and by Wednesday it could be atrocious.

If you have to, you can get the boat up early and then leave it on a rented mooring. Then it is there for the start of your holiday.

Never set both the date and destination in stone on a cruising boat. It is only a short trip but if it is your first it pays to get the basics right.

cheers

Phil

BlueMoon
447 posts
11 Sep 2017 6:25AM
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G'day Moppo,
what a great trip it is from The Lake to Port Stephans, you get the sense of being well 'offshore' when you take the rhumb line, good advice above. I'd do it during daylight it's more fun, and easily do-able time wise.
stay overnight on courtesy moorings on the east side of the Swansea bridge and leave at first light on the right tide.
Its a good trip, but you need to get the weather right, and only go when it is right. If you are in experienced I'd avoid any weather and wind with any "east" in it, avoid any seas over 2m.
There are a few back up plans if things go pear shaped (like unexpected weather from the east)you can head for Newy, or if for any reason you are very slow, you can easily enter Port Stephans at night on the leads. The hardest part of the trip could well be when you round the lighthouse and start heading into Port Stephans, be prepared to expect strong gusts(although usually from the current prevailing direction, or no wind).
Shorten the strop on the courtesy moorings there so you don't run over them causing hull damage, lots of wind against tidal current there.
cheers

dreamliner
NSW, 97 posts
11 Sep 2017 9:31AM
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Whales , there still out there heading south , sailed Pittwater to the Lake Saturday in the big swell and came across about 4 , didn't see them until they were close by. Channel was ok on almost low tide 1.9 keel depth. few 0.02 spots near marks point and the drop over.

Bristolfashion
VIC, 251 posts
11 Sep 2017 10:27AM
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If you wanted to get 25nm out on a 40nm coastal hop, you'd end up doing 64nm instead of 40 and hit the EAC at some point. A mile is fine in good conditions and you can see the various lights well

A nice clear moonlit night is good.

Cheers

Bristle

andy59
QLD, 949 posts
11 Sep 2017 10:36AM
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Bristolfashion said..
If you wanted to get 25nm out on a 40nm coastal hop, you'd end up doing 64nm instead of 40 and hit the EAC at some point. A mile is fine in good conditions and you can see the various lights well

A nice clear moonlit night is good.

Cheers

Bristle


Ha ha too true Bristol but what's another 25 miles on a beautiful starlit night

sirgallivant
NSW, 985 posts
14 Sep 2017 9:15AM
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Basic, very basic run to Pittwater and back last Monday and Tuesday
No bars and chanels to complicate things. No 25 miles out either.
Swell was SE ten feet, thou, heading up.

The difference btwn planning and reality:
Blue line: Planned route,
Orange line: Track north,
Pink line: Track south











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"Sail Lake Macquarie to Port Stevens." started by Moppo