Southern Furneaux area
Reviewed May 2015
For boaters heading either to or from Hobart, and planning to use the Furneaux group for some protection, some of the following may assist.
When going north, plan to depart from Eddystone light at the bottom of the tide. An incoming tide into Banks straight will provide a minimum of 1-2 knots of assistance. At peak flood (IE about 3 hours after low tide, 3-4 knots for or against (Depending on your direction) will be experienced at the SW corner of Clarke island when just leaving or entering Banks Strait.
If the winds are from the north to the west (Clockwise), Spike Cove on the western shore of Clarke Island is a great anchorage. Hard sandy bottom. At the SE corner of the bay you can venture ashore behind a large rock and the area opens into a lagoon with a lovely sandy beach. A wonderful location for a barbeque. The crayfish diving in the area is also interesting.
Kangaroo Bay on the North side of Clarke Island provides excellent anchoring with protection from SE to SW (Clockwise) winds. Entering the bay should be from the NW corner, staying at least 400 m off shore to avoid the rocks in that area. I suggest that if you are anxious, only enter at high tide. The entrance only provides about 3 m of water at high tide but after 500 m or so the bay deepens to 4m or so. The anchorage shown on the following chart will place you 300-350M from shore at high tide, but at low tide only 100M or so. Some complain about the seagrass causing problems with holding but my 60 kg Bruce has never let me down (Ever).
There is a submerged rock near this anchorage at approximately 400 30.0S : 148012.6E. The rock is just visible at low tide. See Figure 2 for the suggested track into the anchorage.
Moving on to Lady Barron, there are a couple of Marine and Safety Tasmania (Tasmanian Government) moorings there.
Fuel can be obtained at the fishing wharf, but only Monday to Friday. There is a small grocery store in town at the top of the hill. I personally would not depart from Lady Barron toward the east due to the ever-changing position of the shoals. Local knowledge is imperative. Proceeding north, there are good anchorages on the east side of Roydon Island or at Killiecrankie.
If coming from Port Phillip Bay, there are some superb anchorages in Murray Passage between Dover, Erith Islands to the west and Deal Island to the East. There is a ranger on Deal Island, at East Cove, and you should take the time to introduce yourself, and ask to borrow the key to the lighthouse. This is a 45-60 minute walk to the highest point on Deal, and the history and view are fascinating and superb. From Deal to either Killiecrankie or Roydon Island is 32-35 miles respectively.
One very important facet of navigating around the Furneaux group are the strong currents. Where possible, use the tidal flows to your advantage and avoid travelling against the stream. Banks Strait to the south and Sisters Passage to the north of the island group can be especially formidable. After strong westerly winds Banks Strait during ebb streams have been noticed to run two hours longer than normal and experience has shown up to 6knots of flow. Avoid transiting these passages in strong westerlies with an incoming tide.
If departing the Furneaux group from the north and heading to Lakes Entrance, there are only a couple of hazards. The oil field platforms nearing the Victorian coast, all of which are extremely will illuminated and crossing the bar-way into the Gippsland Lakes at Lakes Entrance. This channel is constantly moving and you should consult the following Victorian Government website for the latest information concerning the entrance leads: http://bit.ly/1LAPSXr