sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Crossing 'the Ditch' - how, when, where? (Why is easy)
Crossing 'the Ditch' - how, when, where? (Why is easy)

'Crossing the ditch - the Bay of Islands beckons'    .

New Zealand has some of the greatest cruising in the world, but many Australian sailors are put off by the horror stories they have heard about how difficult that crossing can be. Here, John Martin of the Island Cruising Association gives a few simple rules to achieve a pleasant and successful crossing - and to be rewarded with some dreamy cruising grounds.

Yes, making the choice to 'Cross the Ditch' will place yourself first up in New Zealand with it’s fantastic cruising and as the Cyclone season tails off towards the end of April you’re perfectly placed for getting to the SW Pacific and enjoying those trade wind breezes and a downwind run home.

There are a lot of myths surrounding the passage to New Zealand from Australia. Most are the result of inexperience and lack of knowledge. I’ve done the trip personally only once and had a great trip. Too little wind would have been the only complaint.

But I’ve listened to the experiences of many that have made the passage, both good and bad and have successfully weather routed more than a few across from as far north as Brisbane all the way south to Tasmania.

Weather is the governing factor when making this passage and your strategy will vary depending on your departure point. What doesn’t change is the nature of weather in this region. In the South West Pacific, Tasman Sea and the Australian continent the weather systems migrate from west to east, low follows high follows low in a never ending succession.

Summer to winter however sees a subtle change in these patterns as they move toward the equator in the winter months and south toward the pole in the summer months. This affects the wind on the periphery of the high pressures systems.
The effect a high pressure system has on the winds at its edge depends on two factors, the centre pressure and the latitude of the centre. A 1020 centre pressure high will give 15 to 20 knot at the perimeter of the system. As the centre pressure increases so do the winds along its top and bottom edge.

This area of wind is the squash zone between the high pressure cell and the inter tropical low in the tropics and the low pressures south of the high in the roaring forties. The latitudes of these squash zones is dictated by the latitude of the centre. This also dictates where the band of Westerly’s lies on the bottom edge of the high. It’s these westerly winds that we’re looking for to have a successful passage across the Tasman.

As the high pressures migrate east the direction of the winds change. In the southern hemisphere the winds around a high pressure system rotate in an anticlockwise direction. As the high presents itself, usually after a frontal band associated with the departing low pressure system, the winds on the front edge on the lower hemisphere of the system will be SW. This is often what’s known as a disturbed flow in the wake of the trough or front.

Imagine sweeping your arm across the surface of your pool, the water that follows in your arms wake is roiling with eddies and a rolling motion. The same happens with a disturbed SW flow. The air tends to roll, as it does so the air rises and cools causing showers and squally conditions. Then falls and starts the cycle again picking up moisture as it warms again closer to sea level.

As you travel further south the effect and intensity of the frontal bands associated with each low are magnified. The majority of low pressure cells during October and November migrate along under Australia and tend to pop north east in the Tasman, cross NZ and migrate to the east. During summer however low pressure cells often form off the warmer water traveling down the Australian east coast in the EAC (East Australian Current) the intensity of these low depends on a number of factor starting with the temperature of the sea in the north and the temperature and wind velocity in the upper atmosphere as it travels south.

Looking at the reports from boats sailing across the Tasman over the last few years the best time seems to be early in the year, January and February. The highs have moved south and are stable and the time frequency of the migration is at its longest, usually around 6 to 8 days at this time of year. As we are talking about sailing from Australia to NZ in this scenario you will be moving from West to East and going with the systems, this will have the effect of prolonging the time you are in the system. For more information, go to the website.

In the weeks leading up to your passage we need to be looking at the speed that the systems are coming through. An 8 day cycle is easier to plan for and we want to be looking at where our start point is going to be. Many people making the jump across the Tasman are inflexible when it comes to departure point and often have to wait considerable periods to get a good window. The net effect of this of course is a rising impatiens and leaving regardless, next thing you know, you’ve got another horror story.

Departing in Jan /Feb and being a good cruiser (good cruisers never go to windward) we’re going to be looking for Westerlies and our departure point is going to be dictated by how far south the centre of the high is. If they are crossing the coast around Sydney latitude then leaving from Brisbane is going to be impractical unless you are prepared to leave before the high presents, usually a NW wind and dive as far south as you can before tacking over to starboard as the front goes through.

A better scenario may well be Eden on the south eastern NSW coast, also a clearance port, putting you on the lower hemisphere of the high and those blessed westerlies. How far south you go on departure will dictate the strength of these winds.

Crossing the Ditch, the shortest route -  .. .  


Next to look at is the arrival point in New Zealand. If my departure was from Sydney or Eden I would consider Nelson as an arrival port. Remembering the rotation and the direction of the winds in relation to where the centre is, if you were to consider Opua or Auckland and a consequent route around North Cape you would likely be running into those cursed Easterlies on your approach to New Zealand. A second consideration is the distance, Eden to Nelson is the shortest distance across the ditch.

So to summarise, we are looking for the following:

* A high pressure system
* Light to moderate SW to W winds (dictated by the centre pressure of the high)
* A frequency of around a 7 to 8 day cycle
* No nasty lows forming to the north
* A good lookout for lows approaching from the south.

Tips and Tricks, things to look out for:
We use PredictWind for our weather information as well as weather routing and this has worked very well over the last several years. Once you’ve made the choice to depart keep updating your weather and remain flexible. If there is a low developing in the South Australian bight and this is likely to affect you adversely if you carry on your initial track then go to plan B. This may mean heading further north and making Opua your destination. Good weather routing and the ability to get the right information on passage is essential.

About the Island Cruising Association:
ICA offers an ever growing knowledge-base of cruising resources and information specific to Extended Coastal (New Zealand and a developing section on Australia) and Offshore, with an emphasis on the South West Pacific. A wide range of fun events, training, practical demonstrations, on the water preparation and back up to assist cruisers to get out there. Membership in the Island Cruising Association is NZ$45.00 per year and membership gives you access to the entire knowledge base.


Crossing the ditch - the reward -  .. .  


by John Martin, Island Cruising Association


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123872

7:27 PM Sun 29 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Sirocco Marine, exclusive distributor for the BRIG brand of premium RIBS in Australia, recently took to local waters to shoot a lifestyle-themed brochure for its current range. ... [more]  

New WA home for BRIG by Sirocco Marine
South Fremantle is now home to a new BRIG headquarters, the only authorised BRIG agent in Western Australia. ... [more]  

Superior Jetties has undertaken a major photo shoot for its Waterscape pontoon and soon to be released range of Waterscape furniture, which will form part of its 2015 global marketing campaign. ... [more]  

The Governor of NSW David Hurley is to be the patron of the new Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards which will be launched on Wednesday, March 4, at Government House, Sydney ... [more]  

Doyle Sails has announced that effective immediately, Peter Boyd will be acting as their representative in the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands is a key location for Doyle, particularly with a high percentage of Doyle’s cruising customer base clearing out of Opua. Based in Paihia, Peter will also be spending regular time in the Pacific Islands and can provide support to Doyle cruisers ... [more]  

The record-setting North American winter of 2015 has left us with all kinds of remarkable images, most of them of snow and ice. But a photographer on Nantucket found something most of us have never seen – nearly frozen waves. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

The Salty Dawg Rally (SDR), a cruising rally that has quickly grown to be the most popular one of its kind on the U.S. East Coast, announces the Spring 2015 rally plans, when members of the SDR once again sail out of their ‘Winter headquarters’ in the Caribbean and head home for the warmer months of the year. ... [more]  

Dutch Chief Mate suspended following tragic yacht incident by Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press
On the 8th June 2014 the 'Shoreway', a 98 metre 5000 tonne dredger, owned by Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster NV, collided with a Moody 31 sailing yacht 'Orca' at the entrance to the River Orwell in Suffolk. At the helm of the Shoreway at the time was Mr Gerardus Chapel who was employed as Chief Mate. ... [more]  

Last year, OceansWatch trialled a Climate Change adaptation program in two communities in the Solomon Islands which have been identified as one of the countries that will be most affected by the rising sea levels and increased storm conditions. The low coral atolls where we work are especially vulnerable. ... [more]  

Changed boating conditions for Jetty Beach at Coffs Harbour by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Vessel operators are advised changed boating conditions will be in place around Jetty Beach at Coffs Harbour on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March for the BCU triathlon swim to take place. ... [more]  

Sailors for the Sea and Cruising Club of America will work together to encourage sailors to become stewards of the ocean. Sailors for the Sea, a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean, will partner with the Cruising Club of America (CCA), an international organization of over 1,300 sailors ... [more]  

Hamilton Island Audi Race Week 2015 – Have you booked your accommodation? It is always good to book early to secure the best properties as these book out first. ... [more]  

Rescued Australian father and son are recovering fast by Sean Flynn | The Newport Daily News
The Australian father and son who were rescued from their 43-foot sailboat Sunday morning in 60-mph winds and 25-foot waves two days after setting out from Jamestown were recovering Monday at the Coast Guard Air Station in Forestdale, Mass., a village in Sandwich. ... [more]  

Airbnb may a popular 'peer-to-peer' lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. ... [more]  

Australian father-son duo delays trip back home by By Matt Sheley | The Newport Daily News
Lousy weather and a wonky autopilot kept the 43-foot sailboat Sedona docked Monday at the Conanicut Marina in downtown Jamestown. Australians Reg and Jason McGlashan rode out the snow in the boat’s cabin, waiting for a marine electrician to show up and fix its electrical system. ... [more]  

The Wine List by Crystal Blues by SV Crystal Blues
After a busy few weeks we are almost ready for our departure to Sri Lanka and beyond. Friends Ray and Jan Pitt signed off the boat in Thailand, leaving us spoiled, relaxed and ready for the future. Four weeks ago we sailed south (overnight) from Koh Phayam, spending four days in Phuket, provisioning and making ready. ... [more]  

Reg and Jason McGlashan spent the weekend getting ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. In freezing weather, the father-and-son team prepared the 43-foot sailboat 'Sedona' for their 8,600-nautical-mile trip back home to Port Macquarie, Australia. ... [more]  

With shark encounters and bites on the rise, Lindsay Lyon, Shark Advocate and Managing Director of Shark Shield, the world’s only proven shark deterrent technology, provides his tips on preventing a shark attack as the last days of summer roll in. ... [more]  

Making its world debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2014, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 is already making its mark in Australia, with a second place in its division on its first outing at the Festival of Sails, Geelong, Victoria in January. ... [more]  

The Baja Ha-Ha… The 750-mile cruiser rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas beckons with adventure, fun and memories-to-be-made. This year 171 boats and 525 participants answered the call. ... [more]  

Oceans of Hope is a Sailing Sclerosis Foundation project that aims to change perceptions of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), inspiring people with the disease to overcome their own personal challenges by telling the stories of those taking part in the first ever circumnavigation by a yacht crewed by people with MS. ... [more]  

Roads and Maritime Services expand live vision of conditions by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Boaters now have access to live vision of conditions at more locations with an expanded network of 18 cameras in key coastal areas and one alpine waterway in NSW. ... [more]  

Boaters urged to postpone boating until conditions subside by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services is urging boaters in northern NSW to take extra care and consider whether it is necessary to go boating during heavy rain and blustery conditions resulting from Cyclone Marcia. ... [more]  

Rottnest Island set for the annual Festival of Sail by Susan Ghent, Western Australia
Picturesque Rottnest Island in Western Australia is the ideal backdrop for a weekend of yachting and social activities. Now in its fifth year, the two day Rottnest Festival of Sail will be held over the weekend of 28 and 29 March. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club now invites entries for this annual event. ... [more]  

High seas weather warning for Metarea 10 issued by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre Brisbane at 0907 UTC 19 February 2015. Hurricane force wind warning for North Eastern Area. ... [more]  

Tropical Cyclone Marcia is moving quickly through the Coral Sea towards the Queensland coast. The recent movement has been to the southwest, and it is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early on Friday. Tropical Cyclone Marcia is expected to slowly intensify, with the possibility of reaching category 2 inte ... [more]  

Pacific Sky Power is launching the Kite Controller, a redesigned reel-bar with a compression winch that maintains equal line lengths throughout the launch and retrieval. For kayaks and canoes, this system enables sailing with a kite. ... [more]  

Boat owners cruising in Turkish waters are facing more difficulties because a new law regarding Residence Permits is confusing everyone concerned. ... [more]  

I was ruined...completely and utterly ruined. At the young age of 22, my very first trip to the Caribbean was to Eleuthera, which is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on earth. It will now be an uphill battle for me to surpass my visit there. ... [more]  

This is an in-water trial set-up, which will involve The Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club (APYAC) assisting Fisheries Victoria and University of Melbourne to load and deploy locally sourced limestone rubble and other materials etc. onto to the seabed ... [more]  

ABC Media reports that a fire has ripped through Middle Harbour Yacht Club at the Spit Mosman. Emergency services were called to the club just before 11:00pm on Sunday to find the building was well alight ... [more]  

OCA Series - Face the fear with Julie Salisbury as she takes you on a journey at sea, encountering sharks and jellyfish, complete darkness alone 1,000 miles from land, battling malaria, a debilitating back injury, and being jilted in Malaysia and left alone with no money, friends, or home. ... [more]  

Dominica – An adventurous land definitely not for the faint of heart!
Galapagos - The Islands imposes stricter environmental inspections
Cruising under Power - Turning to the Dark Side?
50th Newport Bermuda Race - Rousmaniere looks back at 46th Thrash 2008
Research finds alarming levels of plastics wastes in Oceans
Standards Australia committee issues lifejacket safety standards
Polish crew sets new record for furthest south ever sailed by a yacht
Boat ramp sinking - You have to laugh
Setouchi International Yacht Rally preview
Cruising yacht disappears in Bay of Islands
Marine Rescue NSW rescue three boaters on hazardous North Coast bar
Getting your gear (wheel) on
Offshore preparedness the focus of operation ‘Blue Water’
Updated disposal options for unwanted beacons
Boat Docking Secrets - How to Avoid Springline Snap-back
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
Provisioning the aCappella Way
Rare and very unusual shark caught by fishermen on NSW Coast
Best Loch Ness Monster evidence may have been destroyed
Tall ship falls over - Could your boat do this?   
Dangerous conditions predicted for NSW boaters   
Cruise in company and enjoy a beautiful weekend at Cruising Yacht Club   
Two Somali pirates appeal in deaths of four Americans aboard yacht   
Producing jet fuel from ocean algae   
The true story of Donald Crowhurst set for a major film adaptation   
Humans drive 500 species of land animals extinct, now marine?   
Club Marine magazine subscribers can win Birthday Bonanza prizes   
Predicting coral reef futures under climate change   
Sailors for the Sea launches ocean conservation movement to heal ocean   
Changed boating conditions for Triathlon on Cudgen Creek next Sunday   
Family rescued after catamaran breaks in half   
New Holiday Camps at Lake Macquarie with the H2O Sports Academy   
Sailing Sclerosis Oceans of Hope arrives in Panama City + Video   
Planning an open ocean cruise? Become a Citizen Oceanographer   
Rarely sighted frilled shark turns up in Victorian waters   
Croatia First Regatta - Brand new limited entry one design event   
Doyle Sails offer sail repair and basic rigging service at BOISW   
World Arc Leg 2 - Fleet depart for San Blas   
World Arc - First arrivals to St Helena island   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT