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Will I find a Berth in Ballina?

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Created by Bundeenabuoy Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019
Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:06AM
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I am planning to sail my 26 ft Swarbrick Sydney to Ballina to visit my daughter.
Has anyone knowledge of this area?

santanasaga
NSW, 89 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:56AM
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Hi Bundeena,
I am a ballina local. Mooring options in ballina comprise of some protected anchorages a couple of RMS moorings, a few public jetties. licensed moorings and a boat harbour or two. local knoledge is key.
GIve me a shout and I can let you know who to talk to or where to go.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:59AM
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santanasaga said..
Hi Bundeena,
I am a ballina local. Mooring options in ballina comprise of some protected anchorages a couple of RMS moorings, a few public jetties. licensed moorings and a boat harbour or two. local knoledge is key.
GIve me a shout and I can let you know who to talk to or where to go.



Sounds great

Insomniac
NSW, 11 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 1:13PM
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Hi Bundeenabouy

As someone who has often entertained the idea of sailing north from Sydney, (in my Marieholme Folkboat) I was wondering what the itinerary or schedule (in terms of overnight stays) would be for sailing up the coast? Given so many of the anchorages involve having to time bar crossings, I am someone what worried about ever acting on my entertainment. Also would you be sailing sole or with crew? Cheers

Tamble
98 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:52AM
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Timing the Ballina bar is critical and even then, you need a back up plan.
The bar is shallow and best crossed at the end of a rising tide in good conditions.

I'm a Ballina local and we based ourselves at Yamba; which you might think about as a last point of stopping while you look forward to see if you'll get in at Ballina.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 4:57PM
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Tamble said..
Timing the Ballina bar is critical and even then, you need a back up plan.
The bar is shallow and best crossed at the end of a rising tide in good conditions.

I'm a Ballina local and we based ourselves at Yamba; which you might think about as a last point of stopping while you look forward to see if you'll get in at Ballina.


I see the distance is approximately sixty miles.
Does that mean you have to some night sailing?

nswsailor
NSW, 1204 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 10:17PM
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Tamble said..
Timing the Ballina bar is critical and even then, you need a back up plan.
The bar is shallow and best crossed at the end of a rising tide in good conditions.

I'm a Ballina local and we based ourselves at Yamba; which you might think about as a last point of stopping while you look forward to see if you'll get in at Ballina.


Bundenabuoy, listen to Tamble, the Ballina bar is the most dangerous [in my opinion] on the NSW coast.

You could also be trapped inside for weeks awaiting suitable conditions to get out again.

My advise is the same as Tramble's, go to Yamba, or anchor free over in Iluka [get the ferry to Yamba] and bus/train up to Ballina.

I've been in once and just got out 13 hours later, was told that the conditions in those hours were the best in over 6 weeks.

I'm not going back. PS I have a 25' Top Hat, SEAKA.

nswsailor
NSW, 1204 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:13PM
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Insomniac said..
Hi Bundeenabouy

As someone who has often entertained the idea of sailing north from Sydney, (in my Marieholme Folkboat) I was wondering what the itinerary or schedule (in terms of overnight stays) would be for sailing up the coast? Given so many of the anchorages involve having to time bar crossings, I am someone what worried about ever acting on my entertainment. Also would you be sailing sole or with crew? Cheers


Hi Insomniac, I sail solo in a 25' Top Hat. This is the plan we [meaning Seaka and I] use.

Sydney to Pittwater 18nm
Pittwater to Swansea 37nm
Visit Lake Macquarie or stay overnight on the outer mooring buoys at the Swansea Bridge.
Swansea to Newcastle. 14nm
Newcastle to Port Stephens 27nm OR
Swansea to Port Stephens. 41nm
With bad weather go up to Fame Cove and take a mooring. But sail down to Shoal Bay the day before you leave.
Port Stephens to Tuncurry 45nm
Tuncurry to Camden Haven Inlet 39nm
Camden Haven to Port Macquarie 15nm
Port Macquarie to Trail Bay 38nm OR
Camden Haven to Trail Bay 50nm
[Its an open roadstead and easy to anchor in 3m at night]

Trail Bay to Coffs Harbour. 36nm
[we try not to go into the marina but use an outside mooring or the western public dock inside]

Coffs Harbour to Iluka. 60nm
[we anchor at Iluka not Yamba]

Iluka to Gold Coast Seaway 100nm. This is an overnight sail which by this time you will find easy.
And then the Queensland coast is yours for the taking!!!

I have found my average speed over many cruising miles is 4.6 knots and that is the figure I use to calculate sailing times between each stop.
Your sailing time and planned arrival time is dependent on your place of arrival. With all the bars you need to be arriving just before high tide. Don't worry if you are bit late as most tides over-run for at least an hour and longer. Always check the RMS Bar Cams the day before at high tide to see the conditions you may get. Sailing out through a bar is easier than going in. As I'm based at Camden Haven we don't go into Port Macquarie as the bar can be a bit wild but go straight up to Trail Bay. Preferred weather going north is southerly to easterly winds with the max sea around 1.5m but not over 2.5m [wipes out the bars] Coming south North East winds, but watch out for the very strong ones over 20 knots and be sailing at least 10nm off to take advantage of the East Coast Current which can flow up to 5 knots south.
All the passages are easy if you remember to have at least a day off after each one, it's not a race. There is more to this storey but if you look at ZuluWaterways.com on your IPhone you will find all the info you need. You will find that a 30nm sail is just right for daylight hours.

I'm off to Lizard Island in 4 weeks so if you sail north this winter I won't be here in the Camden Haven.

Tamble
98 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 4:38AM
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Bundeenabuoy said..


Tamble said..
Timing the Ballina bar is critical and even then, you need a back up plan.
The bar is shallow and best crossed at the end of a rising tide in good conditions.

I'm a Ballina local and we based ourselves at Yamba; which you might think about as a last point of stopping while you look forward to see if you'll get in at Ballina.




I see the distance is approximately sixty miles.
Does that mean you have to some night sailing?



We generally could manage 6 knots, even against the ECC, so not for us if we had tried to make Ballina.
But we never even tried to get into Ballina. We only ever passed it on the way to Southport Seaway (which was generally a 14 to 16 hour trip for us; best time of 12 hours on the way back)

But I was never keen on solo sailing. Night sailing was not my preferred option, but with due care, held no fears if we were properly crewed. I found navigating into the Seaway at night easy enough - the lead lights weren't hard to identify. But coming into Yamba for the first time at night was quite scary. There are lead lights flashing at you all over the place inside the river and it's hard to know what to focus on. Plus the bar is approached from an unusual angle. A chart plotter made it a lot easier.

Tamble
98 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 4:41AM
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Insomniac said..
Hi Bundeenabouy

As someone who has often entertained the idea of sailing north from Sydney, (in my Marieholme Folkboat) I was wondering what the itinerary or schedule (in terms of overnight stays) would be for sailing up the coast? Given so many of the anchorages involve having to time bar crossings, I am someone what worried about ever acting on my entertainment. Also would you be sailing sole or with crew? Cheers


Get a copy of "Rob's Passage Planner".
In a way it might only tell you what you could work out from the maps, but lays it all out neatly to make planning easier

woko
NSW, 402 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 8:22AM
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I have to agree that Ballina bar is far from ideal, as its badly silted, it's not just as sand bar at the entrance, I've seen sets of waves breaking well along inside the training walls and the sea state wasn't anything nasty. Evans head is ok with the usual precautions

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 11:14AM
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nswsailor said..

Insomniac said..
Hi Bundeenabouy

As someone who has often entertained the idea of sailing north from Sydney, (in my Marieholme Folkboat) I was wondering what the itinerary or schedule (in terms of overnight stays) would be for sailing up the coast? Given so many of the anchorages involve having to time bar crossings, I am someone what worried about ever acting on my entertainment. Also would you be sailing sole or with crew? Cheers



Hi Insomniac, I sail solo in a 25' Top Hat. This is the plan we [meaning Seaka and I] use.

Sydney to Pittwater 18nm
Pittwater to Swansea 37nm
Visit Lake Macquarie or stay overnight on the outer mooring buoys at the Swansea Bridge.
Swansea to Newcastle. 14nm
Newcastle to Port Stephens 27nm OR
Swansea to Port Stephens. 41nm
With bad weather go up to Fame Cove and take a mooring. But sail down to Shoal Bay the day before you leave.
Port Stephens to Tuncurry 45nm
Tuncurry to Camden Haven Inlet 39nm
Camden Haven to Port Macquarie 15nm
Port Macquarie to Trail Bay 38nm OR
Camden Haven to Trail Bay 50nm
[Its an open roadstead and easy to anchor in 3m at night]

Trail Bay to Coffs Harbour. 36nm
[we try not to go into the marina but use an outside mooring or the western public dock inside]

Coffs Harbour to Iluka. 60nm
[we anchor at Iluka not Yamba]

Iluka to Gold Coast Seaway 100nm. This is an overnight sail which by this time you will find easy.
And then the Queensland coast is yours for the taking!!!

I have found my average speed over many cruising miles is 4.6 knots and that is the figure I use to calculate sailing times between each stop.
Your sailing time and planned arrival time is dependent on your place of arrival. With all the bars you need to be arriving just before high tide. Don't worry if you are bit late as most tides over-run for at least an hour and longer. Always check the RMS Bar Cams the day before at high tide to see the conditions you may get. Sailing out through a bar is easier than going in. As I'm based at Camden Haven we don't go into Port Macquarie as the bar can be a bit wild but go straight up to Trail Bay. Preferred weather going north is southerly to easterly winds with the max sea around 1.5m but not over 2.5m [wipes out the bars] Coming south North East winds, but watch out for the very strong ones over 20 knots and be sailing at least 10nm off to take advantage of the East Coast Current which can flow up to 5 knots south.
All the passages are easy if you remember to have at least a day off after each one, it's not a race. There is more to this storey but if you look at ZuluWaterways.com on your IPhone you will find all the info you need. You will find that a 30nm sail is just right for daylight hours.

I'm off to Lizard Island in 4 weeks so if you sail north this winter I won't be here in the Camden Haven.


This is really appreciated.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 11:16AM
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Tamble said..
Timing the Ballina bar is critical and even then, you need a back up plan.
The bar is shallow and best crossed at the end of a rising tide in good conditions.

I'm a Ballina local and we based ourselves at Yamba; which you might think about as a last point of stopping while you look forward to see if you'll get in at Ballina.


I will contact you if I decide to cross this bar
Many thanks

sirgallivant
NSW, 1407 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 11:26AM
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Some food for thought.
Once going out - it is my perogative - l stayed out. Out, 50-80 miles from the coast line. Being a sailor happy to sail on my own out there, it never bothered me what bars l am passing or what the EAC doing as l had time in abundance. Never rushed things, never had to.
Socializing in foreign ports was not the reason of my gallivanting.
Night sailing requires a very good quality binocular. Or a night vision e-device if one is so inclined. My Steiner with it's brilliant quality lenses and a compass served me well in those times.
Coming back to the coast at night - like sailing into Newcastle - is hard on the eyes anyway and the use of a good lookoing-device and official charts are paramount.

The exlusive use of red lights at night is a must and a torch to be avoided at all cost as it's high lumen light is destroying ones night vision for 15-20 minutes, no matter what.
To read charts the chart magnifier on the photo is to be had at Dymocks for about $35 and the application of a smidge of red nail polish on the white LED's makes it night compliant. It's 3x magnification is making it a 'must have' tool at night.

To trim sails at night the tell tales ought to be made of some material visible at night without lighting the sails up with a torch.
For the same reason the wind vane must be well lit upmast.


In the case when inclement weather is closing up on one the only safe option is to get out as far away as possible from the coast especially if one's yacht is not a yare and taut vessel with a strong engine, capable of sailing or motoring off a leeward shore.

Reporting to VMR is a good insurance against the unexpected and Rob's Passage planner is available on the net free of charge.
Lucas's book is a good general guide but the data is obsolete in many instances.

Fair winds!

samsturdy
NSW, 1377 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 11:53AM
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That's excellent SirG. As a Pittwater sailor I've sometimes mused about sailing North from Broken Bay to the Whitsundays for
Winter. Straight out, straight up, straight in.....doable ???.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 12:19PM
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sirgallivant said..
Some food for thought.
Once going out - it is my perogative - l stayed out. Out, 50-80 miles from the coast line. Being a sailor happy to sail on my own out there, it never bothered me what bars l am passing or what the EAC doing as l had time in abundance. Never rushed things, never had to.
Socializing in foreign ports was not the reason of my gallivanting.
Night sailing requires a very good quality binocular. Or a night vision e-device if one is so inclined. My Steiner with it's brilliant quality lenses and a compass served me well in those times.
Coming back to the coast at night - like sailing into Newcastle - is hard on the eyes anyway and the use of a good lookoing-device and official charts are paramount.

The exlusive use of red lights at night is a must and a torch to be avoided at all cost as it's high lumen light is destroying ones night vision for 15-20 minutes, no matter what.
To read charts the chart magnifier on the photo is to be had at Dymocks for about $35 and the application of a smidge of red nail polish on the white LED's makes it night compliant. It's 3x magnification is making it a 'must have' tool at night.

To trim sails at night the tell tales ought to be made of some material visible at night without lighting the sails up with a torch.
For the same reason the wind vane must be well lit upmast.


In the case when inclement weather is closing up on one the only safe option is to get out as far away as possible from the coast especially if one's yacht is not a yare and taut vessel with a strong engine, capable of sailing or motoring off a leeward shore.

Reporting to VMR is a good insurance against the unexpected and Rob's Passage planner is available on the net free of charge.
Lucas's book is a good general guide but the data is obsolete in many instances.

Fair winds!



Thanks John for the great advice

EC31
NSW, 383 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 7:25PM
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samsturdy said..
That's excellent SirG. As a Pittwater sailor I've sometimes mused about sailing North from Broken Bay to the Whitsundays for
Winter. Straight out, straight up, straight in.....doable ???.



I found overnighters with 2 people (preferably 3) the best. So Pittwater to Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour to Southport worked for me going north (with a days break in between). Notice that these don't have nasty bars to schedule. It becomes much easier after you get north of the border (except for tides, nasty sea creatures and winds from the wrong direction for weeks on end.....).

Biggest (but surmountable) problems I found for longer stretches in a small boat generally revolves around food (preparation and storage) and power.

cisco
QLD, 10998 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 11:08PM
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EC31 said..
I found overnighters with 2 people (preferably 3) the best.
Biggest (but surmountable) problems I found for longer stretches in a small boat generally revolves around food (preparation and storage) and power.


Plus one for that.

garymalmgren
164 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 10:49PM
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Love that red light magnifier.
on my list.

gary

Tamble
98 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 4:22AM
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As tends to happen, there's been a bit of thread drift from Bundeenabuoy's original question.

Given your daughter lives in Ballina and that is the specific purpose of the question, I'd like to bring the issue back into focus.

Yes, it is a dangerous and difficult bar.
But cruising yachts visit the river all the time. There is a trawler fleet based her (about 5 I think). Many fishing boats use the bar.

On the other side of the equation, transport links from Yamba and Illuka are not great nor cheap (and there is no train)

Clearly it can be crossed. I would guess your yacht is a fin keeler, so not exactly shallow draft and that would need to be taken into account.

So I suppose I come back to my original proposition that if you're wanting to enter, you need to plan the tide and plan forward on the conditions and have a back up plan if you can't get in. The real danger with the bar is the tendency to be mission focused - I must get it.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 9:53AM
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I have learnt a lot from your posts.
I will carefully consider the advice before proceeding.

Tamble
98 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 11:00AM
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I assume you've seen this site (a real time camera feed)
www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/web-cameras/ballina.html

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 6:03PM
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Tamble said..
I assume you've seen this site (a real time camera feed)
www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/using-waterways/web-cameras/ballina.html


Yes, but not until yesterday.

santanasaga
NSW, 89 posts
Friday , 19 Apr 2019 6:35PM
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G'day all.
Ballina bar is not quite as bad as everyone makes out, however it does need care timing and prudence (and seamanship). Generally speaking there is at least 4m of water at low water. Given that the bar hasn't been dredged since the late 70's, it does change. I am trying to get the latest hydrographic surveys published regularly so that people can use the latest bathymetry. I believe that navionics may update their charts more regularly than other charts.
Definite no no' s are:
Ebbing and low tide crossings with any more than 1 to 1.5m swell.
The over-run lasts upto 1.5 hours.
On the make, upto 2m swell is fine with 2.5m on the top of the tide.
Most of the casualties on the bar have been people trying to cross (often at night) with no local knowledge at low tide.
With just 35nm from yamba, timing the tides is relatively easy, however I have missed tides and laid hove too off the bar for 5 hours before!
In terms of getting stuck inside, this isn't the a real problem as there are worse places out there. Free floating docks on the RSL wharf, 2 free moorings in the river, mobbs bay for some solitude.
Ballina bar has a reputation from people who have tried to cross it without prudence. My backup plan (such as coming back from Lord Howe), is coffs (if ballina bar is impassable it is likely yamba will be too) or Southport to the north. Evans is a far shallower bar, however has some protection from the south.
Using local knowledge and tides I often cross ballina bar at night without problems.
Generally speaking hugging the north wall into the tower is the best bet.
We have often been foiling in the river on the south side recently (at low tide).

Choose your conditions and Ballina bar is fine!

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Sunday , 21 Apr 2019 9:50AM
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santanasaga said..
G'day all.
Ballina bar is not quite as bad as everyone makes out, however it does need care timing and prudence (and seamanship). Generally speaking there is at least 4m of water at low water. Given that the bar hasn't been dredged since the late 70's, it does change. I am trying to get the latest hydrographic surveys published regularly so that people can use the latest bathymetry. I believe that navionics may update their charts more regularly than other charts.
Definite no no' s are:
Ebbing and low tide crossings with any more than 1 to 1.5m swell.
The over-run lasts upto 1.5 hours.
On the make, upto 2m swell is fine with 2.5m on the top of the tide.
Most of the casualties on the bar have been people trying to cross (often at night) with no local knowledge at low tide.
With just 35nm from yamba, timing the tides is relatively easy, however I have missed tides and laid hove too off the bar for 5 hours before!
In terms of getting stuck inside, this isn't the a real problem as there are worse places out there. Free floating docks on the RSL wharf, 2 free moorings in the river, mobbs bay for some solitude.
Ballina bar has a reputation from people who have tried to cross it without prudence. My backup plan (such as coming back from Lord Howe), is coffs (if ballina bar is impassable it is likely yamba will be too) or Southport to the north. Evans is a far shallower bar, however has some protection from the south.
Using local knowledge and tides I often cross ballina bar at night without problems.
Generally speaking hugging the north wall into the tower is the best bet.
We have often been foiling in the river on the south side recently (at low tide).

Choose your conditions and Ballina bar is fine!




Great pic and great way to finish the topic

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1964 posts
Sunday , 21 Apr 2019 8:50PM
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stayed at the fishing co op marina. was great. got bar bound in ballina and went up to wardell. river got crazy with currents. weeks of rain. never would go in there again!

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Monday , 22 Apr 2019 6:42AM
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EC31 said..

samsturdy said..
That's excellent SirG. As a Pittwater sailor I've sometimes mused about sailing North from Broken Bay to the Whitsundays for
Winter. Straight out, straight up, straight in.....doable ???.




I found overnighters with 2 people (preferably 3) the best. So Pittwater to Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour to Southport worked for me going north (with a days break in between). Notice that these don't have nasty bars to schedule. It becomes much easier after you get north of the border (except for tides, nasty sea creatures and winds from the wrong direction for weeks on end.....).

Biggest (but surmountable) problems I found for longer stretches in a small boat generally revolves around food (preparation and storage) and power.


Hi EC31,
Everything you said makes sense, but you found overnighters the best.
Would you mind expanding on that?

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1964 posts
Monday , 22 Apr 2019 7:00AM
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Having said that iluka was probably the gnarliest after leaving ballina with very high almost breaking waves we were surfing down. This was on the last 30 minutes of the ebb . The worst possible time I guess but we were fine. I went in to ballina going north also and I was beautiful. Yes you can use the wharf right on town where there's a tap and a 2 min walk to Coles. Very handy. For longer term berth the fishing Co op marina was real good. We went in there when the wind was about 30kn and it had been raining for 2 weeks straight. The river was rapid and scary to traverse in. Once on the marina it was all calm yet is right next to the river with its own break walls. I think it was 30per night.

Kankama
NSW, 192 posts
Monday , 22 Apr 2019 8:02AM
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As to overnighters - they can be great. But there are some times they are better than others.

I think I may feel the same as EC31. On a longer trip, like an overnighter, your ETA gets very dubious, so you may not be able to get to a spot at a specific time. This rules out arriving at a bar entrance at the correct time, so it can be better for longer sails to arrive a bar free entrance, such as Port Stephens, or the Gold Coast seaway, which is a really good bar.

If you don't know about overnighters you can build up to one by leaving really early in the morning - dawn is good and sailing all day and getting in around 10-12 pm. You get a lot of time offshore, about 16 hours, and still get a good rest that night. This is fine if the destination is Coffs, Port Stephens, Newcastle or the Gold Coast and maybe Trial Bay. We have used this to do long trips up and down the coast and push the boat harder for a day, knowing that we will be in later that night for a good rest. Another way to sort of build up to night sailing is to use the moon and get out there with a moon half or more full. Sailing at night with a fullish moon is great. My fav nights are when the moon rises as the sun goes down and I can see shadows on the sails in the dark.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 437 posts
Yesterday , 22 Apr 2019 9:35AM
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Kankama said..
As to overnighters - they can be great. But there are some times they are better than others.

I think I may feel the same as EC31. On a longer trip, like an overnighter, your ETA gets very dubious, so you may not be able to get to a spot at a specific time. This rules out arriving at a bar entrance at the correct time, so it can be better for longer sails to arrive a bar free entrance, such as Port Stephens, or the Gold Coast seaway, which is a really good bar.

If you don't know about overnighters you can build up to one by leaving really early in the morning - dawn is good and sailing all day and getting in around 10-12 pm. You get a lot of time offshore, about 16 hours, and still get a good rest that night. This is fine if the destination is Coffs, Port Stephens, Newcastle or the Gold Coast and maybe Trial Bay. We have used this to do long trips up and down the coast and push the boat harder for a day, knowing that we will be in later that night for a good rest. Another way to sort of build up to night sailing is to use the moon and get out there with a moon half or more full. Sailing at night with a fullish moon is great. My fav nights are when the moon rises as the sun goes down and I can see shadows on the sails in the dark.


My first experience of night sailing was on a delivery of Chancellor (a 47 Beneteau) Hobart to Sydney.
I won the lottery because the conditions were perfect for crossing Bass Straight, plus a full moon and a yacht five miles ahead of me to watch and follow.
I could line the top of the mast up with the moon. wow, great to remember again.

EC31
NSW, 383 posts
Yesterday , 22 Apr 2019 9:04PM
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First time (on my boat) I went North a couple of years ago, I went with a very experienced mate. We had a schedule for each of the ports to get to that had a bar (Swansea, Camden Haven & Yamba). Best arrival time was high tide early morning, so it meant leaving early evening to arrive in time (we generally were about an hour early). We were very blessed with the weather, Yamba was a mill pond when we entered (and left the next morning). Not so on the way back, we skipped Yamba and went direct to Coffs (Ballina looked terrifying at the time), and also gave Swansea a miss. My boat averages 5.5 knots in open water @ 1900 rpm (without sails up).

Last year I had 2 experienced friends on board and we did Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour & Southport. To make life easier, I had an autopilot installed and extended the shifts to 3 hours on, 6 off. Food was pre-prepared and reheated in the oven.
We left Pittwater at 6.30 Friday morning, arrived Port Stephens 22:00
Left Port Stephens 8:00 Saturday, arrived Coffs Sunday @ 11:00
Left Coffs Monday 4:30, arrived Southport Tuesday 7:30. We went past Ballina around 23:00

Pick your travelling companions wisely and do your homework. Know your boat and whats its average speed is in OPEN water. Overnighting will require red lights throughout, dry & comfortable sleeping arrangement and food easily prepared.

You will need a plan B, probably C and possibly D, but that is part of the adventure. Have a go and enjoy.



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"Will I find a Berth in Ballina?" started by Bundeenabuoy