Bass Strait

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WorldAustraliaBass Strait
Bass Strait
Bass strait islands.png
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Bass Strait and its Islands

Known locally as The Paddock, the Bass Strait is the body of water separating mainland Australia and Tasmania. It is bounded in the north by the state of Victoria and in the south by Tasmania.

Owing to the various currents and weather systems that move through it, and also due to its shallow depth (varying around 50 metres or so, compared to the several thousand metres of the ocean on either side), Bass Strait has a well deserved reputation as being one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world. In the early days of navigation many ships were lost in the strait, and there are shipwrecks numbered in the hundreds in and around the strait

The crossing of the Bass Strait is considered a significant but worthwhile challenge for any yachtsman. At least one ocean race each year crosses the strait, and there are regular cruising ventures across it. The Bass Strait also contains many islands, some of which provide a certain amount of shelter.


Description

Crossing Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania can be risky but if the right procedures are followed it can be done safely and comfortably. It can be done in stages, for example:

  • From Eden on the north side you can go to Lakes Entrance - which is about 120 NM from Eden - though the bar there has to be crossed in the right conditions.
  • You can get behind Gabo Island and anchor near the jetty in anything from south to northerly winds.
  • Another worthwhile stop is at Refuge Cove on the eastern side of Wilson's Promontory that is approx. 100 NM from Lakes Entrance. Refuge Cove is a delightful little cove where you can await for the right conditions to cross to Tasmania or from there you can island hop to the Kent Group (Deal Island) about 60 NM
  • A stop part way across the strait is Flinders Island where anchorages abound. Be prepared for the odd gale but Flinders Island is worth it. If anchoring over kelp try to use a fisherman's (Admiralty pattern) anchor or move anchorages.
  • From Flinders you can hop down the Furneaux Group before crossing Banks Strait.

A word of caution here. Do not cross through with wind against tide as it can get nasty - wait for the right conditions and it will be safe and comfortable. Captain Dave 06:03, 17 September 2011 (BST)

Charts

Australian Hydrographic Service
AUS487 Bass Strait

Weather

Firstly, check the weather from the BOM (Bureau of Meterology), they provide first rate weather forecasting. There are regular forecasts on HF Daytime (7am–6pm) EST 4426, 16546.Night-time (6pm–7am) EST 2201, 6507. Anytime 8176, 12365.VIC forecasts are broadcast at 0130, 0530, 0930, 1330,1730, 2130 hours Eastern Standard Time. If you have internet check out the site and go to 'Marine and Ocean' then Victoria, then Bass Strait. The Strait is broken up into regions for more accurate forecasting but if you are heading south from Eden look at East Gippsland Coast, Central Gippsland Coast,Central Coast, Central North Coast forecasts.

Sources for Weather forecasts:

Weather Windows

The best time of the year to attempt the crossing, in either direction, is around January or February, in the Southern Hemisphere summer. Expect to have to wait for a weather window at any time of the year.

Islands

Western section:

South Eastern section:

North Eastern section:

Communication

There are no radio nets specific to the Bass Strait.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

Add any navigation notes such approaches, dangers etc here. If this section does not apply remove it.

Possible Departure Points

The possible arrival & departure points, north to south, are:

From Eden one could continue northwards up the New South Wales coast to Sydney. If your final destination was Melbourne you could continue westwards from Wilsons Promontory or Lakes Entrance. Continuing the journey south from Triabunna would place you in Hobart.

Route/Suggested Stopovers

List the route and the suggested stopover points (in sequence), including their coordinates, and some description.

  1. [[Departure Point1]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - This is you departure point, etc.
  2. [[Stopover Point1]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - This is a good stop, etc. From here you can possibly stop at:
    1. [[Stopover Point2]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - A good place to visit... or,
    2. [[Stopover Point3]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - A good place to visit... or,
  3. [[Arrival Point 1]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - You can arrive here or, continue to:
  4. [[Arrival Point 2]] DD°M.M′N/S, DD°M.M′E/W - You can arrive here or, continue to:

Arrival

The possible arrival & departure points, north to south, are:

From Eden one could continue northwards up the New South Wales coast to Sydney. If your final destination was Melbourne you could continue westwards from Wilsons Promontory or Lakes Entrance. Continuing the journey south from Triabunna would place you in Hobart.

Distance & Duration

Approximate Distances in nM (±5 )
Approximate Duration days + hours (non-stop, assumes an average speed of 6 knots)
[[Departure Point1]] [[Stopover Point1]] [[Stopover Point2]] [[Stopover Point3]] [[Arrival Point 1]] [[Arrival Point2]]
[[Departure Point1]] x1
d+h
x2
d+h
x3
d+h
x4
d+h
x5
d+h
[[Stopover Point1]] x1
d+h
x6
d+h
x7
d+h
x8
d+h
x9
d+h
[[Stopover Point2]] x2
d+h
x6
d+h
x10
d+h
x11
d+h
x12
d+h
[[Stopover Point3]] x3
d+h
x7
d+h
x10
d+h
x13
d+h
x14
d+h
[[Arrival Point 1]] x4
d+h
x8
d+h
x11
d+h
x13
d+h
x15
d+h
[[Arrival Point2]] x5
d+h
x9
d+h
x12
d+h
x14
d+h
x15
d+h

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References

  • Rob Mundle, Fatal Storm: The 54th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Harper Collins, ISBN 0732269237. Although this book shouldn't scare you, it's an example of what can go seriously wrong on the Bass Strait.

Comments

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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Haiqu, Dave Isom, Delatbabel


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