Sailing Yacht SEA BUNNY

Anchorages & passages

East coast Australia

Positions are the actual WGS84 GPS coordinates recorded at the time of anchoring, either where the anchor went down or where the boat ended up. While they are believed to be accurate they should be used as a guide only, in conjunction with other navigational data, including up to date charts, and must not be relied on for navigation. Where CD is shown after a depth it indicates that we have reduced it to chart datum. Otherwise it is as recorded on our echo sounder, which is calibrated to the actual depth of water. Sea Bunny's draft is 2.4 m in cruising trim.

Note that all entries relate to our 2008 trip from Mooloolaba up to Darwin.  Information is believed to be correct at that time.

Passage: Mooloolaba to Cairns

780 M

Being in a hurry and having sailed this part of the coast before we did the trip in one hit, taking 6 days.

Our route took us outside Fraser Island, outside the reef islands and banks to the entrance to the Capricorn Channel at 22° 48' S, 152° 01' E, leaving Pine Peak, Penrith, Whitsunday and Hook Islands to port then inside the reefs to Fitzroy Island, passing it to port then round Cape Grafton and in to Cairns

Marlin Marina, Cairns

Position: 16° 55'.22 S 145° 46'.88 E

Full service marina although new clubhouse and facilities under construction in 2007 are still not complete. The temporary toilets, showers and laundry are looking a bit worse for wear.

The marina office is on the second floor of the ferry terminal building although this will probably move when the newfacilities are complete.

Walking distance to town.

Main marine facilities are in the Portsmith area to the west.

Cairns - Lizard Island

140 M, overnight

The route took us from Cairns up the inshore passage, leaving Gubbins Patch to starboard, between Low Wooded Isle and 3 Isles to a WP at 14° 39'.76 S, 145° 25'.53 E to the west of Lizard Island

Watsons Bay, Lizard Island

Anchorage location: 14° 39'.60 S, 145° 27'.00 E

There were a lot of boats in the anchorage when we arrived, obliging us to anchor well out. Strong SE winds while we were there made getting ashore difficult at times. There is a reef to the SE of the anchorage position.

Passage: Lizard Island - Seisia

Passage: Lizard Island - Seisia

The route took us inside the reef, daysailing with overnight anchorages at Bathurst Bay, Morris Island and Portland Roads. We then sailed overnight to Seisia, passing outside and rounding Cape York at daybreak.

Bathurst Bay

Anchorage location: 14° 11'.88 S, 144° 28'.24 E, 4 m

A wide shallow bay. Closing the coast carefully gets some shelter from the swell but wind can still be strong

Morris Isalnd

Anchorage location: 13° 29'.34 S, 143° 43'.36 E

Anchorage in the lee of the island. Room for several boats as a passage anchorage

Portland Roads

Anchorage location: 12° 35'.50 S, 143° 24'.39 E

A reasonably sheltered anchorag, a bit rolly. Popular with fishing boats. Small community ashore but we did not leave the boat.



Anchorage location: 12° 35'.50 S, 143° 24'.39 E

Approach is shallow so keep to buoyed channel. Outer red buoy is difficult to see from seaward. Anchorage is to the west of the large pier. Landing on the beach.

Water available from tap by fishing club west along the beach. There are also BBQ locations, collect your own wood.

Small community with campsites, with restaurant and small supermarket. Can hitchhike into larger community of Bamaga which has supermarkets and hospital.

Passage: Seisia - Darwin

We opted to go straight across the Gulf of Carpentaria, with two nights at sea. We anchored in Two Island Bay at the north of the Wessel Islands for one night before continuing direct across the top of Arnham Land. An daytime anchorage stop in Alcaro Bay just north of Cape Don to wait for the tide and then down to Darwin - another 3 nights at sea.

Two Island Bay

Two Island Bay

Anchorage location: 11° 04'.60 S, 136° 43'.87 E, 6 m, sand

A remote sandy bay between two islands. Good shelter from all points except W.

Until we remembered Beveridge Reef we thought this was probably the furthest from human habitation we had ever anchored.

Alcaro Bay

Anchorage location: 11° 17'.48 S, 131° 47'.45 E, 8 m

Deeply indented bay. Reef at north of bay is steep to. First attempt to anchor had the boat swinging over it in about 2.5 m.

Can also anchor on other side of bay.

Darwin - Fannie Bay

Darwin - Fannie Bay

Anchorage location: 12° 25'.45 S, 130° 49'.26 E, 5 m

There were about 100 boats anchored off the Darwin Sailing Club in Fannie Bay when we arrived so we were well out in the bay. As we planned to leave the boat at anchor for several days we needed to allow for the lowest tide.

It can be a wet inghy ride to shore, not helped by the fact that in the morning the wind is blowing offshore and in the afternoon the sea breeze is blowing onshore. Ít's also a long haul up the beach with the dinghy at low water,

The sailing club has restaurant, bar, WiFi and one washing machine. Staff were very helpful.

There is a chandlery next door and another at Tiparary Marina. Bus into town stops 100 m down the road.

The small village up the hill has shops, including an excellent Italian deli and a laundrette which does service washes.

Updated from Puteri Harbour Marina, Malaysia on 21 October 2014

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