Lake Eyre Yacht Club – About To Sail!

There was a comment on the “Rules” tab. Folks don’t normally post comments to the tabs instead of to articles. (Sometimes folks have posted comments on images pages that are normally just seen embedded in a posting, but unless I go into each image and disable comments, it’s a possible).

So OK here’s that comment:

GHreg Goodman

Hi, I wanted to a comment to ‘Lake Eyre” post. Are comments blocked or is there just a default time limit on your WP settings ? Lake Eyre yacht club are about to unfurl their sails, this is not a dead topic.

[Reply: Topics auto-close after a period of time to avoid massive SPAM on old topics. The W.O.O.D. category has open comments for any topic. -E.M.S.]

The article in question for those “catching up” is here:

There is a fascinating lake in southern Australia. It is a salt pan much of the time. About twice per century it fills up. When it does, a riot of life breaks out. It has partial fillings on a more frequent basis, but still, the rate of evaporation is such that it usually rapidly dries out.
All in all, an interesting place to watch as an “indicator”. My take on it is the Lake is saying “it’s getting cold again”. I note that the last wet times were generally cold times too (though 1984 was more neutral).

If Lake Eyre continues to fill, and perhaps even reaches full flood, IMHO that says we’ve taken the turn to the cold side and are seeing physical results.

Well, looks like it is full enough to sail (at least some parts of it).

2018 Activities…

Advance notice – Warburton River late April – early may
Departing around Anzac Day – date not fixed until flood reaches area

Keep checking this page for further information as it becomes available.

It also looks like the folks hollering that the lake would be dry forever in a perpetual drought were also wrong.

So guess it’s time to revisit the question of Global Warming caused perma-drought in Australia, eh?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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10 Responses to Lake Eyre Yacht Club – About To Sail!

  1. H.R. says:

    I want an LEYC hat badge.

    I found the 25 or 35 year cyclic variation to be interesting. The PDO is termed a 30-year cycle, but is it more accurately 25 to 35 years?

    (Dogs insisting I get them up for the day. Need to come back and further explore that thought.)

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like folks getting ready for the “riot of life” tourism:

    UPDATE: The water from the Warburton has reached Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda TODAY (May 15, 2018). BOOK NOW!!

    Heavy rain fell in Western Queensland in late February / early March, 2018. The region is the heart of the catchment area for Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre (the catchment area is one-sixth of Australia).

    That water is now heading South – past Birdsville, and is now slowly filling Goyder’s Lagoon, which lies halfway between Birdsville and Lake Eyre.

    NOW is the perfect time to take a two day flight from Rawnsley Park Station (on the South side of Wilpena Pound in the heart of the Flinders Ranges). This two day experience will include the water in the Cooper Creek and the Warburton, with visits to both Innamincka and Birdsville. This tour highlights the rivers and waterways that feed in to Kati Thanda / Lake Eyre, as well as the birdlife of the Coongie Lakes.

    I’ve also found some articles from a 2016 filling and 2012. I don’t know if this has been abnormally wet, or not. It certainly isn’t the perma-drought the fear mongers were pushing…

    This article ATM has links in it to others:

    Lake Eyre News

    Lake Eyre Tours

    Current Tour Departures

    Latest weather predictions go to Long Range Foercast

    Latest updates on Lake Eyre visit the Lake Eyre Yacht Club.


    The flood waters from the Diamantina River have filled Goyders Lagoon approximately 65km south of Birdsville. The water is now flowing from Goyders Lagoon into the Warburton River which will take the water to Lake Eyre North. The latest report is that the Warburton is now flowing at Cowarie Station which is approximately 120km SW of Goyders Lagoon. This leaves about another 120km for the water to flow before it will reach Lake Eyre North. It then has to flow along the Goyder Channel before it will reach the SW corner of Lake Eyre North at Belt Bay the lowest point in Australia at 15m below sea level.

    The DEWNR water gauge at Poothapoota Water Hole on the Warburton River near the Warburton Crossing 10km SW of Clifton Hills Homestead has risen 4.5m since the beginning of May. It has now peaked and begining to fall but there is still a sunstantial water in the Warburton to push the flood waters to Lake Eyre so within about a week there could water flows into the Goyder Channel making its way south toward Belt Bay. This could mean within the next few weeks we could see some water in Belt Bay.

    Follwing are some recent articles and news items on the floodwaters flowing toward Lake Eyre.


    Flood waters in the Diamantina River have passed through Birdsville and on their way toward Lake Eyre. The Diamantina River levels rose by 6.2m between March 17th and April 10th. Levels are dropping now but the waters have reach Goyders Lagoon and the Warburton is staring to flow so some water should be in the Lake by mid to late May. This is estimated to maybe last until about August if no further local rain is received.

    There will probaly not be enough water around to attract many birds but some local waterholes may have birdlife around them.

    There is a minor flood in the Cooper Creek which has reached Innamincka. This will probably only reach the Coongie Lakes. The river levels at Cullyamurra Waterhole have risen about 1.4m and rising slowly.


    There has been substantial falls of rain in the NE catchment of the Lake Eyre Basin.

    Recordings of up to 300mm have fallen in central west Queensland which will all feed into the Diamantina, Eyre, Georgina, Barcoo, Thompson and Cooper Creeks and rivers. This is all lowing towards Lake Eyre but it may take several months to arrive at the north end of Lake Eyre.

    At the moment there are minor to moderate flood warnings along most of these creeks and rivers with a major flood at the Diamantina Lakes on the Diamantina River about 350km NE of Birdsville.

    If there are more falls of rain in the area these flows are likely to reach the Lake about mid year and if we get winter rains across the basin some water will be visble on the lake.

    Weather forecasters were predicting that systems passing over central Qld were more severe than those in 1974 when Lake Eyre was last offiicially full.

    More updates will be posted as floodwaters are monitored.


    Large falls of rain have occurred across Outback South Australia and Central Australia over December and January 2017. This has resulted in floods in many areas causing floods in the Neales and Macumba Rivers as well as flows in the Warburton River. There is also flooding in the Diamantina, Georgina and Eyre Creeks in SE Queensland.

    Flooding in the Macumba and Neales Rivers have fed into the Warburton Groove and flowing into Belt Bay in the SW corner of Lake Eyre North.Along the Oodnadatta Track between Marree and William Creek some of the local creeks are also flowing so a small trickle of water is also entering Lake Eyre South.

    There is currently a lot of tropical storm activity over northern Australia so over the next month there could be some heavy falls over the Lake Eyre Basin.

    Looks like a running history with photos!

  3. H.R. says:

    Ahem… anyhow, could the PDO and and AMO be ‘eddies’ that build to ‘Bond events’ in the N and S hemispheres? Bond events are tied to the N hemisphere. I don’t know the what the S hemisphere counterpart is called and whether or not it is in phase with the N hemisphere or counter-cyclical.

    I used the term ‘eddies’ because – from Bob Tisdales oceanic ‘sloshing’ imagery – I am visualizing the impact of the sloshing against the irregular shapes of the boundary continents as creating eddies that swirl in patterns determined by the current placement of the continental boundaries.

    And what brought that imagery to mind was remembering the eddies and swirls that form in tide pools as the incoming or outgoing tide hits rocks and pockets. They are roughly the same, but each wave forms slightly different eddies and each tide is different, but there is a cyclicity to the tides.

    If the software existed that could that could analyze videos of eddies in a tide pool to find matches, what would we find about the cycles and periodicities? I don’t see why a tide pool isn’t the same as the oceans and continents, just on a smaller scale.
    Dang! Dogs have amazing internal clocks.
    8:00am: Woof! Time to get up.
    11:30am: Woof! Time to go out and a biscuit on return.
    3:30pm: Woof! Time to go out and a biscuit on return.
    5:00pm: Woof! SUPERTIME!!!!!
    9:00pm: Woof! Bedtime potty and then a biscuit and bedtime.

    The rest of their woofing is based on random events: doorbells, garbage truck, squirrels, and whatnot. But their scheduled woofs are usually within 2-3 minutes of those listed times.

    We have a ‘doggy doorbell’ (sleigh bells on a string that hang down to their nose level) on the back door. They ring that when they want to go out and patrol for chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits.

  4. philjourdan says:

    “Twice a Century” and here it is 3 times in the past 6 years? Damn that AGW is sneaky!

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    Lake Eyre has the distinction of being the site where the world LAND speed record was set in 1964. It was examined as a possible site for an attempt on the world WATER speed record but Campbell switched to Lake Bonney (also in S.A.).

  6. Another Ian says:


    I knew of people that had a catamaran for sailing on the lake at Mt Isa. They sold it because , due to wind changes etc, they seemed to be either “in the doldrums” or “in the water”. Might be like that.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    “In the doldrums” is a risk for all sail boats. That’s what Aux Engines and paddles are for…

    “In the water” means you are sailing your cat too aggressively. It is very possible to sail them and never pitchpole. It won’t be the exciting sailing folks love, but it will be functional sailing…

  8. llanfar says:

    I was a kid back in the early 70’s and my did had an Aqua Cat. One day, our family was out in the Gulf of Mexico when a thunderstorm overtook us and tipped it over. Mom was freaking out, dad was in emergency mode (excessively calm), and us kids were excited. At one point I decided to stop treading water (let the life jacket do the work)…and stood up. A mile off shore and we happened to overturn on a sandbar.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    I had a 27 INCH draft sail boat 27 FEET long. “Shoal draft”. The thing made lots of leeway and a cross wind would easily drift me. But most of the San Francisco bay is under 10 feet deep. Sometimes for miles. I could sail there. Folks with big fin keels not so much.

    One day I’m returning to Port Sonoma. It has about a 5 mile channel to get in. I’m inside the outer channel markers but it’s still at least 4 foot deep and I’ve got plenty of clearance. Ahead of me, just outside the channel boundary, is a Very Nice Luxury Yacht ( i’d guess 35 footer) that’s slim and fast (unlike my dumpy tub). Looking at it, I can either try to tack like crazy, slip sideways too much given my leeway, and be too close to them; or just extend my reach and “go around them” outside the channel. Being alone, and lazy, I just point outside the channel about 200 feet behind them.

    Then I notice them waving like crazy at me. Warning me off. Then I notice the brown churn behind them as their motor is kicking up mud. They have stuck their fin keel in the mud and are desperately trying to get free and back to the channel so they don’t have to wait for the next high tide…

    I wave back, and proceed to make a long easy tack around them. Their waving slows then stops, and they shift from concerned looks to annoyance at me… It was a magical moment. My cheap dumpy no-class slow tub was in her element, and their expensive sleek classy fast ship was stuck in the mud. I gave them one last final wave and got back in the channel about 200 feet in front of them…

    As the silt on the bottom was soft and mushy and the top layer especially, I could actually sail in 2 foot of water if I was willing to leave a muddy streak behind me and had plenty of wind to deal with the mud drag. Basically I could sail up to the point the sea grass was poking up through the surface… Perfect boat for a bay that averages about 7 to 10 feet deep…

    So yeah, sandbars are your friend. Unless you have a fin keel ;-)

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