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Old 08-24-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
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Hi all,

It's a while since I've done this, so what do people here do to notify the authorities of a planned trip up or down the coast? There seems to be a range of marine rescue authorities all having different requirements for radio signals, and as many people with their own ideas of what to do -- I've been with one crew who seemed to call VMR every hour or so transiting from Sydney to Brisbane, and another that just called a few mates on HF and told them where they were once a day.

I'm a coast guard associate member so I thought I'd give them a call and find out what they had in mind, but I thought I'd also ask here first to find out what the consensus was.


= New South Wales, Queensland,
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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Vessel Name: Sandettie
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From the point of view of authorities, I would inform them of my date and time of departure and intended date of arrival. If it looks as though you will arrive late, advise them during your trip before your previously scheduled time of arrival.

I would not make contact otherwise, as long as everything is going to plan and the weather remains moderate. Between Sydney and Brisbane, depending on your distance from shore, you may be able to keep family and friends informed by mobile phone virtually all the way. If not, it may be worthwhile sending a quick VHF 'g'day' to VCG units in Newcastle, Taree, Kempsey, Coffs and Ballina.

Sailing along the north coast of Oz, I know I will be monitored and contacted at least twice a day by Coast Watch aircraft (I don't know if that is the case on the South East coast) and if I pass boats travelling in the opposite direction I always attempt to make VHF contact on Ch16. If you do the same it will give you the opportunity to say g'day to a fellow traveller, identify yourself (He should make a log entry of the contact, date time and position, and your vessel name, as you will of his) and you be thought of as a thoroughly nice bloke.

Remember, when you finish your trip to inform the authorities.

Hopefully the raging weather in southeast Queensland will have abated by the time you arrive.

Best wishes


"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 08-26-2007, 11:32 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2006
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When I delivered my boat from Moloolaba to Hobart, I used the volunteer coast radio service pretty much the whole way. Basically, you provide your details (boat name, sail number, number of crew, destination, etc) at your point of departure, and that information gets sent (by fax or e-mail) to the next monitoring station, and you call in (VHF in my case) when you get to a position given to you... for me that was typically about once per day. The advantage of this system, to my mind, is that it gives a pretty clear plot of your last known position and your average speed, should you go "awol".
You what?
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:32 PM   #4
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Good advise from Auzzee and Weyalan. I cruise the coast logging on a trip with the local VMR/Coast Guard(For all intents the same helpful folks). If it is a short haul I ask them to notify my intended arrival port of my ETA then log off with the locals on arrival. Longer runs gets you a transit sheet with them. I find that there service in this area is faultless and missing a sceduled check in will bring a radio call for you within a short period. I'm of the habit of letting them know when I'm moving location then again when anchored again on a short coastal passage. Longer passages I play it by ear and a little loose but always let them know what time I will contact them again, not by location, unless asked. When weather forecasts are transmitted as a scheduled forecast I like to acknowledge receipt of the forecast as a matter of courtesy.

Enjoy your cruising

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:07 AM   #5
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When last cruising North Queensland, I made contact with the local volunteers based in Innisfail. I anchored in the almost perfectly protected Mourilyan Harbour for a couple of nights. There we were met by the 'voice' on the radio. He then drove us to Innisfail, helped us provision....took us to the local pub, then took us to his home where he insisted we get really rotten drunk on his home brew. Unfortunately, we complied....

His, and his jovial wife's personal assistance, sociability, contact and advice both before we anchored and as we made our 'escape' northward, will be with me forever. As a result of his blindingly powerful booze, I have forgotton many details of the land based portion of our adventure...but I know it was seasoned with a rare breed of hospitality and generosity.

Long live volunteer radio ops and others who do their best to assist cruisers even as the government continues to reduce service through cost saving centralisation.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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