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Home » Weather and Routing » Australia east coast to Fiji

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20/12/2012 08:34:59

Andrew Herwig<br>Australia
Andrew Herwig
Australia

Posts: 2
Hello all, I am planning on sailing to Fiji from the west coast of Oz around April 2013. I know the winds will be predominately south east so it will probably be a tight reach at best. However are there any suggestions for improving the passage from those that have done this passage. I was thinking of heading as far south as Sydney (currently in Queensland) to get a better angle on the wind. The boat is a Dufour 50 that actually sails well to windward so the boat won't be the issue, just the crew!

thanks for any forthcoming advice, suggestions

Andrew
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16/07/2013 06:31:37

William Fea<br>Australia
William Fea
Australia

Posts: 1
Andrew,
Did you end up making the trip? - And can you tell me how it went for you?
Where did you exit Australia - Duration, cnditions ?
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16/07/2013 07:27:20

Andrew Herwig<br>Australia
Andrew Herwig
Australia

Posts: 2
Hello William,

yes I did end up making the trip and are currently in Savu Savu Fiji.

We started the passage on 13 June departing Wide Bay Bar at the south end of Fraser Island and made landfall in Fiji 13 days later. In short it was a good trip with following winds almost the entire way although they were generally light at about 6-13 knots. We did this by riding the tops of the low pressure systems that had a westerly component in them. I think we were quite lucky but having discussed this a few experienced people over this way it is certainly not that unique. The plan was to head directly east from Wide Bay Bar which we did and I did not start heading north until I was confident that when/if we were headed by the normal E-SE trades it would be a reach to Fiji and not a beat. This meant staying at this latitude until well past New Caledonia.

Would I try it again? Not sure about that. Approx 1700nm upwind (the wind normally has quite an easterly component) is a long slog in normal conditions. Of course you could break the trip at Noumea if you encountered E-SE conditions. I checked the Grib files for the 7 day forecast and waited for a reasonable forecast but after 3 days days they are not that reliable as you are probably aware. I think it would be preferable to leave as far south as practicable which may mean NSW. But then you have the southerly winter weather to contend with but this can be generally be avoided by the available weather info.

Fiji is a beautiful place and Savu Savu is particularly easy to be at. Well worth the trip.

Hope this helps

regards

Andrew
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