Live Firing Activities – Shoal Bay Area

Military exercises in the Shoal Bay (Qld) area are a bit of a challenge for those heading South after their Whitsundays cruise this year. The area is closed from 2 October to 26 November 2015 with no anchoring anywhere in the area.
UPDATE 14/10: It look like the authorities have relented and access to popular anchorages is now allowed – refer to this Notice to Mariners (304) for further information.

2014 updates to Cruising Guides

“The loneliness of the long distance runner”. Writing a Cruising Guide is hard work and it takes persistence, commitment and an eye for detail  to keep one up-to-date.  We have here three examples of guides, in themselves very different, which show the commitment of their authors. Each are recommended purchases.

Alan Lucas needs no introduction, his Cruising Guides are classics. After updating “Cruising the NSW Coast” a few years back, he has just come out with the 9th (!) edition of  “Cruising the Coral Coast”. Lots of revised maps and additional photos with descriptions to go with them.  Alan’s updates reflect the changes wrought by cyclones in the past few years (no more Bundaberg City Marina…) and the management of our marine parks.

Rob’s Passage Planner is a great example of how an exercise by an individual in a cruising club expanded in scope and found grateful acceptance by a much wider audience. Rob Starkey‘s eye for detail is legendary. His Cruising Planner reflects that, but also expresses creativity in its presentation. The passage planning Chartlets are a thing of beauty. Now in its 4th  updated printing, this almanac on cruising the East Australian coast is a must-have for all cruising sailors.

Marilyn Graham‘s “Coastal Cruising Companion” is yet another take on a cruising guide. It stems of the author’s sheer enthusiasm and sense of wonder of the experience of cruising. Self published on a small scale, it adds real value to other available guides, with useful information and a sense of sharing the love of cruising. And by keeping her guide up to date and expanding its range, Marilyn shows the commitment common with her more established brethren.

All available here (and by buying them here, you’ll support in the process!)

That time of the year

Yes, it’s that time of the year… No, I wasn’t going talk about Christmas (although best wishes of the Season to you, of course), but it seems many of our favourite cruising guides have published updates.

Lucas has “Late 2012” updates for both the Coral Coast and NSW Coast guides.
Rob has published updates to his Passage Planner and Marilyn  (Coastal Cruising Companion has just sent out her 2nd newsletter with updates for those expecting to sail to Tasmania this summer (which should be many, as the circumnavigation is ‘on’ this year).

Oh.. and if you _are_ looking for a Christmas present, why not become a Skipr Plus membership  and save a bundle! Continue reading “That time of the year”

Coastal Cruising Companion Newsletter

Click to download PDF

Marilyn Graham started a newsletter to alert buyers of her Coastal Cruising Companion (CCC) to changes and additions.

The CCC is a terrific guide to anchorages and ports between the Queensland border and Hobart. She provides the updated pages by post or email, great service! By the way, when you purchase a copy of her Companion on our site, it is shipped by Marilyn herself and no doubt you’ll get on her mailing list for the newsletter.


Companion Newsletter Issue 2 (Dec ’12)
Companion Newsletter Issue 3 (Feb ’13)
Companion Newsletter Issue 4 (April ’13)
Companion Newsletter Issue 5 (July ’13)
Order a copy of the Companion.

Latest Cruising Guides available on Skipr

You can never have enough information on board. We’re well served on the East Coast of Australia by a comprehensive set of cruising guides, handbooks or pilots (depending on what you call them).

Recently we’ve started a Skipr online shop where you can purchase some of the best guides for the East Coast. Over time, we hope to expand our range. Much will depend on your support for this initiative. Get timely information about the latest books and buy them at a discount if you’re a Skipr Plus member.

At present we’re featuring the latest edition of the Beacon to Beacon guide and the Coastal Cruising Companion by Marilyn Graham. And very soon we’ll have the new Rob’s Passage Planner in stock.

Find out more about Rob’s Passage Planner [update Aug 2012 – it is shipping now!].

A Cruising Companion

Here is something to add to your boat’s bookshelf, the Coastal Cruising Companion. And before you ask, no it has no direct connection with the ‘CCCA’. The author, Marilyn Graham, cleverly calls it a Cruising Companion, to differentiate it from cruising guides like the iconic Alan Lucas cruising guides.

Cruising Guides are tricky, we expect them to be accurate, complete and compatible with our own level of experience. Marilyn Graham has taken the bit between her teeth and has written her Cruising Companion from the perspective of a novice cruiser.

In doing that, she has produced a terrific guide, worth having on any boat, novice or experienced.
Continue reading “A Cruising Companion”

Accuracy and Reliability of Charts

HydroChartWe probably don’t spend enough time questioning the accuracy of our charts.

“How accurate are nautical charts? How much faith can be placed in them? Unfortunately, the answer is quite complex – far more complex than simply saying one chart is accurate whilst another is not. However, having the necessary skills should be essential for any mariner venturing into unfamiliar waters.”

That’s the beginning of a very useful paper by Mike Prince, the Director of charting at the Australian Hydrographic Service. Download it from the Hydrographic Office site.

Maritime meeting notes and more

BSCBURGEEHere is an interesting account of a meeting at the Balmain Sailing Club (website) attended by NSW Maritime. It covers the use of mooring, anchoring in the harbour and various contentious issues (such as whether you can pee overboard). An excellent account which will settle many a sundowner discussion. Download the Meeting Account here (PDF).

By the way, there is another interesting document on Radio Communications at the Balmain Club’s website, written by Allan Adolphson for a cruise to Hobart in 2007. A very comprehensive guide, good to have on board. Download Allan’s Guide (PDF).