The inside story on what its really like to cruise the east coast of Australia.

22 June 2008 | Airlie Beach
20 June 2008 | 'Hammo'
19 June 2008 | Hammilton Island
17 June 2008 | Mackay
16 June 2008 | Curlew Island
15 June 2008 | Middle Percy Island
14 June 2008 | Townshend Island
13 June 2008 | Pearl Bay
12 June 2008 | Yeppoon
11 June 2008 | Cape Capricorn
06 June 2008 | Bundaberg
05 June 2008 | Hervey Bay
31 May 2008 | Mooloolabah
27 May 2008 | At Mooloolaba
26 May 2008 | Tangalooma
24 May 2008 | Sanctuary Cove
15 May 2008 | Hope Harbour Marina
12 May 2008 | Ballina
02 May 2008 | Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour - Champagne sailing!

03 May 2008 | Coffs Harbour
South Westerly - 10-20 knots
Lyn rugged up as we slide past Crescent Head

Absolutely superb conditions took us from Part Macquarie to Coffs Harbour. We had been advised against entering Port Mac because of the bar, but found it easy to enter in light southerly winds and a great anchorage with easy access to moorings not far the entrance.

After waking at 5:30am - early morning starts ensure we get to destinations in daylight - we had sails set by 6am to catch the first of what was supposed to be a 15/25 knot cold front coming through. In fact we never saw more than 20 knots all day, but with the wind mainly from the South West, which kept the seas flat, we had a fantastic trip up hugging close to the coast. The winds lightened off in the afternoon, but we made Coffs Harbour (78nm) by 4:00pm.

The sailing was like a giant sleigh ride. One of the strengths of catamarans is that they provide a wonderful sensation of effortless speed. Wheras in a monohull a 20 knot puff would have the boat tipping substantially, and generally things becoming unpleasant, in Andamon we just accelarated faster but at all times the boat felt 'hunkered down'. Without a spinnaker, we were travelling at about 1/2 the wind strength, e.g. in 20 knots wind we'd be travelling at 10 knots. It is possibly this sensation that lulls the unwary into over canvassing their boats, leading to mishaps that we all know about.

We have decided that long passages are much more interesting if we stay close to the coast. We can hear the waves breaking, can see cars and walkers on the beaches, Lyn has her binoculars out looking for that yet-to-be-discovered beachside hamlet in which to build her fantasy beach house. Out at sea, you can't see much at all, and what can be seen passes very, very slowly.

Another reason for hugging the coast is to avoid the southerly current. In some areas, especially near headlands we noticed our northing drop considerably, if we are tacking more than 30 degs off north our VMG (Velocity Made Good - speed in the direction to your destination, as distinct from speed of the boat actually travelling) -would almost dissappear completely. If we sailed back to hug the coast, the current was unnoticeable. We all became a little obsessed with our VMG and had endless discussions about when to tack in or stay out and by the time we reached Coffs Harbour we were all highly attuned to the boats potential and actual performance.

One part of the coast we came in really close was South West Rocks. It is an area that we and our friends have holidayed for many years. About 10 familiies would get there at the end of January to eat, drink and go sailing on an assortment of 'water toys'. We've spent so many hours in Trial Bay, under the jail, blasting all over the place on sailboards and Hobie cats, so it was great to go past it on the ocean side. With Marco in control {click here} , we sneaked ever closer to the shore and seawall, and all fell silent as we paid homage. (Note on the video how Marco talks about speed, as you can see he is obsessed with speed - probably why the Swiss keep winning the Americas cup)
Vessel Name: Andamon
Vessel Make/Model: Seawind 1160
Hailing Port: Cronulla, NSW, Australia
Crew: Jon and Lyn
This is a story about two really nice people who are heading north for the Australian winter. Jon has a background in IT and specialises in talking about sailing stuff to sailing friends. [...]
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Andamon's Photos -


Who: Jon and Lyn
Port: Cronulla, NSW, Australia