Hong Kong to Eastern Australia

Published 15 years ago, updated 4 years ago

I’m just finishing building my Schioning 1230 catamaran in Guangzhou and plan on taking a sabbatical and sailing her with my gf on a leisurely cruise to Sydney Australia. We should set out on apr May 2007. I’m starting looking at routes combining places of interest with weather and tidal considerations. At this early stage have you any broad advice on the best route to choose and the best time to schedule to trip.

There are two main options: to sail south towards Indonesia, cross over to, say, Darwin, then through Torres Strait and make your way south inside the Gt Barrier Reef. Not the easiest option, but the only safe one late in the season (Sept-Dec, which because of the risk of cyclones I would not really recommend).

The alternative is to strike out ESE, perhaps go to Palau, PNG (or further east – in low latitudes – to get a better sailing angle against the prevailing SE winds in the Coral Sea), cross the equator and make your way south… As you know sailing south along the Oz east coast is never easy, so the best is to island hop from PNG to the Outer Solomons, Vanuatu, even New Caledonia, before you swing west. This route is obviously best during the safe N. Pacific season (Dec-April to the equator), then May-Sept south of the Line, as the S. Pacific cyclones should not be a threat between June and November.

Jimmy Cornell, noonsite

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