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Sailing Spots Around Australia

Over 70% of our blue planet is simply water. However, not all of it is sailable. Sailors rely on good winds and navigable currents, which are rare enough, when you look at the big picture. Things are easier near land, and the horizon is certainly lusher. Australia is a large country, but a small continent, and the majority of its coastal transportation is done over water. You can trust any Aussie to be in touch with all the best places to spend a weekend sailing.

sydney harbour sailing

Most Australian sailing is done around the densely populated east coast, and Sydney is the largest city on the water’s edge. Obviously, most sailing trips start there. Sydney Harbour is a magnificent sight of man-made construction blending into the vast ocean. The city is best approached from the Harbour, for the full experience. And setting off from the Harbour is the first step to exploring one of the many popular sailing nooks nearby. Starting with Manly Heads and then the bays, Watsons, Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Rushcutters bay and then Sydney Cove, before finally returning to the city and the Circular Quay. It is a very busy Harbour, for the better and the worse. A lot can happen there to the unwary foreign sailor, not all of it pleasant, so it is wise to be careful – though this is the same advice you can give anyone, at any given port, or larger city.

A two hour flight from Sydney would get you to the sailing heaven of not only Australia, but the world – the Whitsunday Islands.  The best thing about going for a day trip to the Whitsundays is that the quality of the trip does not depend on the quality of your vessel. You could be on a custom built boat or on a chartered boat with a group of other tourists, but the Whitsundays will remain as beautiful. They were not named for the fine white sand that covers them, but they might as well have.

fraser island beach sailing

The next destination is in Queensland, and it is the Great Sandy Strait – an estuary separating the World Heritage Site Fraser Island from the mainland. Though the name brings forth thoughts about shipwrecks, the Sandy Strait is more pleasurable sailing than sandy sailor-bait. Berthing on Fraser island does not come for free (it is around $25 per day), but it is a great way to explore its numerous inland lakes, mangroves and estuaries. The 325 different kinds of birds will keep an adventurer busy for a long time, but that is merely the start. Fraser Island is that is the famous home of the wild dingoes, echidnas, possums, wallabies and flying foxes.

tasmania sailing

Going further south, a willing sailor will encounter the island of Tasmania, or Tassie as the locals call it. There are more than a few nice spots in the region – D’entrecasteaux Channel is a real must for a serious sailor. Geographically, it is close to Bruny Island and it is heavenly. The waters around Bruny and D’entrecasteaux are most often tranquil. For some more action, however, February is the season for the famous Bruny Island Race to watch or participate in. Tasmanian beaches are less commercial and furnished than the ones on the mainland, which only means they are charming in a more natural way. And when company is needed, there is always a local pub to visit for a pint.

There are many more wonderful places to sail around in Australia, but the last destination on this list is on the other side of the continent, in the region of Western Australia. The glorious Geographe Bay is a place where the sky above is painted bright blue and warm, and sandy beaches are discreet and remote. Getting seafood anywhere in coastal Australia is a safe bet, the fish is always fresh. In Western Australia, however, the art of the seafood platter is mastered, and washed down with a fine vintage of Cape Mantel wine.

The Essential Skills Of Navigation And Boat Handling


English: Pacific Ocean (Aug. 16, 2005) – Hull Technician 1st Class Rick Pellton mans the helm while on watch aboard the sailboat, “Coruba”. Petty Officer Pellton, who is stationed at Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, is a member of a six-man delivery crew for the Trans-Pacific Race sailboat “Coruba”. The Trans-Pacific Race is a race that starts in Los Angles and ends in Honolulu, Hawaii. The voyage took 12.5 days to complete. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Justin P. Nesbitt (RELEASED)Boating is a fantastic hobby or sport that is not limited to fitness, age, or gender. Anyone can take it up, whether an enthusiast in their prime, or a hobbyist in their retirement years. However, to be safe and confident in your abilities, you will need to be familiar with the basics of boating and navigation.

Getting Started

Before you start, you will at least need to know how to start and stop the boat, to keep the vessel and everyone aboard safe, and to manoeuvre it correctly. If you have a group of people helping to sail a bigger boat, such as a canal boat or yacht, you will need to be able to direct your “crew,” from making sure everything is safe, to accounting for all of the necessary equipment, to evaluating the boat’s suitability for use. You will also need to know basic boating terminology, such as directions. For example, the front of the vessel is the bow, and the back is the stern; the left direction is port, and the right is starboard.

Escape City Life

Possibly one of the reasons that boating is such a good hobby is that it forces you to slow down and relinquish the fast pace of the world, as operating a boat requires long, deliberate movements characteristic of an unhurried lifestyle. A boat will need time to gather speed as it gets going, as well as to slow down and stop gradually. A boat is similar to a train or aircraft, in that it cannot stop suddenly like a car can, as it does not have a braking mechanism.

Setting Off

When setting off, take basic precautions such as knowing your waterways, or becoming familiar with new routes before embarking on them. Of course, you should always be familiar with your boat before going out in it. The boat will need to be pushed away from the bank before you can start the engine. Start the boat slowly, and gradually pick up speed once you know you are clear of other boats, shallow water, and swimming areas. Move slowly when passing other boats and entering shallow water, especially where there may be swimmers, to avoid wake and disturbance. In narrow waterways, such as canals and rivers, travel on the right.

Steering & Mooring

For steering, a boat may have a steering wheel or a tiller. A steering wheel is simpler, as on a leisure vessel, such as a speed boat, it may be located toward the front of the boat, which will make steering the boat similar to driving a car. A tiller is more complicated, as it requires steering from the stern, and you have to remember that turning is counterintuitive – you must steer left to go right, and vice versa. The boat also must be negotiated from a “pivot point” of approximately halfway along its length. This means that when turning, you need to consider the halfway point when timing the turn, rather than the front; otherwise, you could end up taking the turn too wide and hitting something. As with starting and stopping, the boat will need time to make the turn, so you need to start the turn in plenty of time.

When mooring your boat, ease in to the bank with the engine on a low setting, and stop by putting the boat in reverse briefly when the bow is near the bank. Put the engine into neutral, and position it facing upstream or with the tide. Tie the boat securely with rope, connecting it via both the bow and the stern using bollards, if available, or hitching posts driven into the bank.

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Andrew Silsby is a blogger for and a keen sailor and yachtsman. Andrew regularly enjoys sailing on the solent and is currently undertaking his day skipper course around the Sussex coastline.

5 Of The World’s Most Beautiful Sailing Destinations


08.2012 Vorobek Bahamas - swimming pigs

Sailing is one of the world’s most popular and beautiful sports. There are few pastimes that can compare with the serenity and grace of sailing in the seas, and of feeling the wind on your face while you enjoy the process of steering your own yacht, or of just sitting back and watching the waters flow past you. Almost three quarters of our planet consists of water. Therefore, there never is any dearth of places where you can indulge in your favourite activity. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, the world is full of amazing sailing destinations, and it is not easy to choose just the top five among them. However, we have put in some research and effort, and tried to narrow down the list. Here are five of our favourite sailing destinations in the world.

The Bahamas

Rum and pineapples, palm trees and excellent beaches – there is so much to see and do in the Bahamas. These 2400 cays and over 700 islands are among the world’s best sailing destinations. The warm Atlantic Ocean, the splendour of the natural beauty of this region, and the many different islands where you can explore new cuisines and new vistas are but a few of the reasons why this is a popular sailing destination. The temperatures remain almost the same throughout the year and whether you are a novice or an expert, you are sure to find routes to make you happy.

The Greek Islands

With over 6000 uninhabited islands, this Mediterranean region is a fabulous place to go sailing. Whether you are just starting from the stunning island of Mykonos or you are sailing to Symi, there are excellent mooring places all around. There are some great restaurants almost everywhere, which boasts of the famed traditional Greek hospitality. From this cradle of the western civilisation, you can sail across to several other destinations such as Turkey and Croatia. Many sailors also travel from here to the coastlines of France and Spain, enjoying the balmy water of the blue Mediterranean.

New Zealand

The New Zealanders have more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world, and they have some of the best sailing routes in their vicinity. Lovely inlets, stunning coves, good weather and excellent infrastructure – sailing enthusiasts just love to go to New Zealand for a sailing holiday. The most popular sailing spot is the historic maritime park, the Bay of Islands. It consists of over 144 islands, wildlife such as dolphins, penguins and exotic birds, and a long interesting coastline.

Petite Anse Kerlan, Praslin Island, Seychelles


For glimpses of paradise, Seychelles beckons you. Crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, without the tourist crowds, and calm and cool waters are all a part of these beautiful islands. You can dock at any one of their well-equipped marinas and even go for a trek up the mountains next to the coast. Water sports are available in plenty, and the waters are easy to navigate. The white beaches seem endless and the scenic vistas range from green forests to rugged mountains.


Enchanting Thailand has become one of the most popular sailing destinations in Asia. Phuket bay is the prime destination, but all around the coastline of Thailand you can find inlets and coves that offer great sailing experiences. The majestic limestone cliffs jutting out of the clear blue waters at Phang Nga Bay are among the most spectacular scenes in the world. Thailand is renowned for its beautiful coastline and amazing cuisine. Luxurious relaxed sailing through calm waters and peaceful bays make this a great sailing destination.

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Brad Chambers is a keen sailing enthusiast and blogger for and leading stockist of waterproof sailing apparel. Brad regularly tweets when he is not enjoying the open waters in the Solent.

Yachting Holidays In The Outer Hebrides



The Outer Hebrides is a vibrant holiday place for artists, nature lovers, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and any other person who is simply looking forward to relax and unwind. Known as one of the best places for sailing, the landscapes here are expansive with many bird reserves and other areas of conservation. Sailing past the gorgeous coastlines of this wild place, and encountering rare wildlife and marine life during Yachting holidays in the Outer Hebrides are truly spectacular.

Sailing on the Yacht along the Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides has several places to offer to every type of traveller. Sailing in this area is completely ruled by the winds and the weather forecast. Hence, there was no particular itinerary that we followed. The World Heritage Site of St. Kilda exemplifies unspoilt beauty, while the vibrant marine life makes the journey worth every moment. There are beautiful coastlines along with some extremely stunning mooring havens in this region.

The Islands in Outer Hebrides

The islands located here have their own historical significance and are full of music, drama, culture and literature. We started our trip from the south with the Isle of Lewis, which is the most populous and the largest island. It has some world renowned archaeological sites, which includes the Neolithic ‘Callanish Stones’, the Norse mill house, the Pictish Carloway Broch among several others.

Drinishader, Hebrides

Moving north, the North Uist is a stunning place with a blend of beaches and rugged moorlands that are an absolute delight for adventure seekers. The beaches are dotted with seals and have a magnificent coastline with freshwater lochs. A causeway links North Uist to the Isle of Grimsay, which has a bustling harbour, Kallin. The gorgeous Isle of Berneray is located at the north and is also one among the favourite destinations of Prince Charles.

At the Isle of Benbecula, one can witness a landscape of small islets and islands along with several interesting monuments. Well-laid out cottages and stunning expanses of deep sandy bays that offer a breathtaking view are some of the other attractions. With over 20 miles of marvelous white shell beaches along with dunes and machair land spread out with beautiful flowers and wildlife, South Uist also has a truly dramatic landscape. It is also renowned for becoming the watery grave to SS Politician ship that sank at the Isle of Eriskay. Our last stopover was at the the Isle of Barra, which is the tiniest island in the region and is home to plenty of dolphins. The most spectacular part of this island is its airport that has a beach for the runway!

Wildlife at Outer Hebrides

Outer Hebrides is known for its unspoilt beauty and has a variety of beautiful species of exotic birds and wildlife. It is home to many iconic and rare species, such as the golden eagle, whale, basking shark, puffins, otter, corncrake and dolphins. The uninhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides are peaceful and have several deserted silver sandy beaches. During summers, the view of these beaches blending with the turquoise blue water is simply brilliant, while the machair lands turn into a colourful carpet with rare and beautiful flowers.

A yachting holiday in the Outer Hebrides is a wonderful experience that combines adventure with beauty. While you bask in the most stunning landscapes, you also sight rare species frequently and are able to explore isolated and beautiful locations. This place truly lets you unwind as you watch the natural world go by in a peaceful and relaxing day.

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Tom Silsby is an avid sailor and blogger who enjoys adventure sailing and windsurfing. He is a blogger at and frequently teaches VHF radio courses for sailing. His hobbies include climbing, hill walking and yachting.

Sailing Events in The Caribbean

The Heineken Regatta

Top 3 – Sailing Events in the Caribbean

With crystal clear waters, warm ocean breezes and miles of picturesque coastline it’s no wonder that the Caribbean is a sailing hotspot that attracts thousands of Sailors and maritime enthusiasts every year. Here we take a look at some of the very best sailing events the Caribbean has to offer.

Antigua Sailing Week

What began as a small event with just 10 boats is now one of the highlights of the Caribbean sailing calendar attracting up to 200 competing vessels and a raft of sailing enthusiasts.

Most of the festivities centre on Nelsons dockyard with the majority of the sailing taking place off of the south coast of Antigua. Along with the countless action on offer from the myriad of vessels there are also numerous parties and events taking place, all guaranteeing a true festival feel.

Antigua sailing week runs from April the 27th of April to the 3rd of May 2013 and we recommend staying at The Blue Waters Resort. Situated on the northern tip of the island this resort guarantees a luxury stay with a beachfront location and five star service, all while being just 35 minutes from the heart of the festivities.

Grenada Sailing Festival

A proud seafaring nation, not to mention one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean
(after Antigua of course!) Grenada has hosted its sailing festival since 1994 and has seen its popularity steadily increase over the years.

The sailing boats that take part in this inter island festival are built specifically for the event, and with each boat costing over EC$12,000 it’s clear just how passionate Grenadians are about their sailing.

The event begins with yachts from their respective communities competing against one another; the winners of these heats then take on boats built specifically for the event, meaning a huge amount of island pride is on the line!

The Grenada sailing festival runs from the 1st to the 3rd of February 2013.


The Heineken Regatta – St Maarten

Beginning in 1980 with just 12 entrants The Heineken Regatta has grown to be one of the most popular events in the Caribbean. Featuring boats from as far afield as Russia and with entertainment from the Black eyed Peas and The Marley Brothers the event offers a non stop party atmosphere.

Four days of sailing begin with the Gill Commodores Cup and each day offers a new finishing location, thus ensuring the whole island gets into the party spirit.

Offering VIP Parties, a never-ending supply of cocktails, 2,500 sailors, 1,000 visitors and countless world class performers The Heineken Regatta is a truly unique Caribbean sailing experience.

The Heineken Regatta runs from the 28th of February to the 3rd of March 2013

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To enjoy all of the sailing events The Caribbean has to offer visit Blue Waters Hotel Antigua