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Old 06-25-2009, 05:08 AM   #1
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Have taken the leap and bought a Compass H28 in Auckland NZ. The last month has been spent replacing standing rigging , beefing up the main compression bulkhead and lots of other jobs... thru hulls, bilgepumps...etc. I'm hoping to sail her home to Brisbane Aust. sometime ,preferably this year, but am having trouble finding info on the best time for the passage .

After studying synoptic charts on the BOM website archive for the last few years I'm almost coming to the conclusion that there is no best time . Although winter doesn't ever look good so thats a start.

Anyone have any experience or info that might shed some light.

cheers
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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I have sailed this route once before, and half of it 3-4 times (Lord Howe Island leg). It's actually reasonably benign as you will find the winds behind you for most of it. As it heads into late summer, the weather gets clearer and the wind will be more favourable, so delay your trip as long as you can into summer. Last time I sailed that stretch of water we had 2-3 days of tail winds at about 15 kts with very few lulls or gusts and flat seas, 1m or less. Even when the wind did pick up one night it only got to about 38 knots and even then the seas were < 3m. Having said that it can at other times be rough and uncomfortable so check the weather some time ahead and just sit and wait for a good window.

The only real trick to note is that there is a sea mount about half way between Lord Howe Island and Brisbane on a straight line. Head well north of that.

You may consider breaking your journey at Lord Howe Island. It's a nice stop over and not entirely out of your way.

Fair winds and safe sailing.

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for that Yep late summer/autum seems to look best . April in particular. Lord Howe is definitely well placed for a stopover and rest. Any experience with middleton or elizabeth reefs for a stopover.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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I haven't personally stopped at Middleton Reef (note that Elizabeth Reef is now a Habitat Protection Zone and you need a permit to stop there) but I'm told that the fishing nearby is good by one guy who I met at LHI last summer. You have to fish outside of the sanctuary zone but the seas nearby have good numbers of pelagic fish and they all seem to want to bite. I plan to go past this coming summer so I may see you there.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:29 AM   #5
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Ended up departing Opua on 6 nov 09 at the beginning of a tasman high and arrived in Brisbane on the 20 nov after a great trip. Was becalmed the first night about 30nm Ne of Opua until about midnight when a SSE breeze came up . This strengthened to 20- 25kn for the next few days and we ate up the miles ,it then eased and finally droped out completely around halfway on about day 6. Sat around for 1 1/2 days . motored about 100nm ,then got a 10- 15KN breeze from the SW for a couple of days . This then swung NW and rose to 25-35kn with a lumpy, sea with a confused swell.. Hove to for a day and a half. This was very comfortable first under storm trisail with the tiller lashed , then under double reefed main with the aries steering as high as it could . This was better as we actually made slight headway with less leeward drift. Not strictly hove to as we were making about 1 kn of progress westward. After this it dropped out again and the remainder of the trip was light with calm periods.

I took a northerly route so that I headed up above 30 degrees towards Norfolk Is to try stay out of the middle of the high or any late cold fronts that came along. I think this worked except for a couple of calm days . The high dominated most time with no fronts to worry about.

All in all an uneventful trip with No breakages or problems . Clarity II handled all the conditions very well and felt safe and controlled at all times . Had only one wave in the cockpit which half filled but drained quickly . Saw many whales and dolfins and a sea lion. Past two yachts heading East, and one ship going south right on the shipping lane.

Where to next ? . Maybe north to Cairns ,across to the Louisiades , Solomons ........... probably a way off yet. Have to make a living again.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the great update.
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