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Old 17-02-2014, 04:49   #16
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Vic (& Dale), the situation is MUCH better than it was, mainly because the naval forces were able to change their Rules of Engagement. The best source is the Piracy Tracking Website (not Noonsite). Somali attacks are WAY down, with only 15 last year, & the only 2 successful hijackings (fishing boats that were only 20nm off Somalia) were both rescued later that same day. From icc-ccs.org:
... 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011.
We sailed to Richards Bay via the Seychelles in 2007, & sailed back to SE Asia (again, via the Seychelles) in 2009. The northern route is much more interesting & the distances shorter, but you probably want to turn off your AIS xmitter. My own opinion (worth just what you're paying for it) is that the Somali pirates are no longer operating in the Seychelles/Madagascar area.

You can see our Seychelles Passage Notes online (the continuation pages to South Africa are also there - use the long nav-bar on the left side). Perhaps more useful to you, we've also published Cruising Info for the Seychelles, Madagascar, & Mayotte. We're quite proud of the Madagascar page as it contains tracks, anchoring info, satellite shots, & surface shots of each anchorage.
Thanks Jon, I'll read your notes with interest. Things started hotting up there after your 2009 transit, and I'm hoping they reached their peak in 2011/12, and may be relatively safe now. We have just over 6 months to decide, but as said before, I'm not about to play cat and mouse with pirates..... the mouse never wins

Vic
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Old 17-02-2014, 07:09   #17
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Any idea how recently?

PS. I was a member of Point Yacht Club about 25 years ago!
hi Vagabond - A fair amount of comments which gives a better picture but from my info nothing new, also confirming a drop off in activity.

Point Yacht Club - I don't think has changed in 25 years (joking) but the whole area is till pretty much the same with "old" plans of upgrading the Marina but it never happens

Go well.
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Old 17-02-2014, 13:13   #18
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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sent you a friend suggestion to your fb a/c,Teoman salisalan,you might have a word with him.

teo delivered a 25m gulette from bodrum to thailand last year,stopping in eritrea,and oman in march april.

from the grapevine in mayotte,attacks seem to be mainly oppotunistic along the east african coast,from small fishing skiffs near the kenyan /somali border area.

from mayotte their are yachts that regularly cross to nossi be' in madagasgar,and north to the seychelles,as well as across to zanzibar/tanzania to avoid hurricane season.

during the ne and sw monsoon their are large arab motorised trading dhows 100 ft plus that trade between india,oman,and mogadishio,perhaps aiding,or easy prey for pirates along that route.

along the top end of madagasgar there is a regular french naval presence,as there is off the kenyan and tanzanian coast.

by the same token i have seen sri lankan fishing vessels operating as far south as chagos!

given the boisterous tradewind season you will have leaving australia in may/june till the top end of the mozambique channel,chances are you will not see another vessel,let alone a pirate!
BOISTEROUS TRADEWINDS ...why has The Captain not told me this? We seriously need to talk.
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Old 17-02-2014, 13:35   #19
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

2013 was the lowest year for piracy in 7 years there. Not much near the Seychelles and the 2 incidents were west of there. This website has the info and a live map, too.
Piracy Map 2013
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Old 17-02-2014, 15:40   #20
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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sent you a friend suggestion to your fb a/c,Teoman salisalan,you might have a word with him.

teo delivered a 25m gulette from bodrum to thailand last year,stopping in eritrea,and oman in march april.

from the grapevine in mayotte,attacks seem to be mainly oppotunistic along the east african coast,from small fishing skiffs near the kenyan /somali border area.

from mayotte their are yachts that regularly cross to nossi be' in madagasgar,and north to the seychelles,as well as across to zanzibar/tanzania to avoid hurricane season.

during the ne and sw monsoon their are large arab motorised trading dhows 100 ft plus that trade between india,oman,and mogadishio,perhaps aiding,or easy prey for pirates along that route.

along the top end of madagasgar there is a regular french naval presence,as there is off the kenyan and tanzanian coast.

by the same token i have seen sri lankan fishing vessels operating as far south as chagos!

given the boisterous tradewind season you will have leaving australia in may/june till the top end of the mozambique channel,chances are you will not see another vessel,let alone a pirate!
Maestro, tell me more!
I was going to pm you but there seems to be quite a bit of interest from others contemplating the trip too so...

What are your thoughts/suggestions for Aus to SA. I saw Cornell has October as the best time for Mauritius to SA, so I was working back from there for the Darwin or Broome departure around July.

Sandy is doubting that "Boisterous Tradewinds" is the best anti pirate strategy

Vic
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Old 17-02-2014, 17:25   #21
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Actually, boisterous tradewinds are one of the best avoidance strategies. The pirates make their attacks from open boats, & they can not operate if there's any sort of sea running. Historically, there haven't been any attacks in the Seychelles/Madagascar area from the end of May until ~Sept, because of the high seas. These seas are OK for us yachts, but impossible for small open boats.

Having said that, in July I found myself climbing the mast (at 2am, of course) with a knife in my teeth to cut a small line that the main had snagged, so we could take a 3rd reef. We had 3 days of 25 gusting to 35, sailing due west (Chagos to Seychelles) with the reinforced trades just aft of the beam.

If you're leaving Darwin in July anyway, join the Indo rally & have fun with it! The rally showed us MUCH more cultural stuff than we could have done by ourselves. (We're not usually rally people - we like our independence & this was our first & only rally in 20 years of cruising, but we found it delightful.) Then come & play in Malaysia & Thailand for a year or 3 before crossing the Indian. There's lots of fun stuff to see & do in SE Asia.
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Old 17-02-2014, 19:20   #22
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Actually, boisterous tradewinds are one of the best avoidance strategies. The pirates make their attacks from open boats, & they can not operate if there's any sort of sea running. Historically, there haven't been any attacks in the Seychelles/Madagascar area from the end of May until ~Sept, because of the high seas. These seas are OK for us yachts, but impossible for small open boats.

Having said that, in July I found myself climbing the mast (at 2am, of course) with a knife in my teeth to cut a small line that the main had snagged, so we could take a 3rd reef. We had 3 days of 25 gusting to 35, sailing due west (Chagos to Seychelles) with the reinforced trades just aft of the beam.

If you're leaving Darwin in July anyway, join the Indo rally & have fun with it! The rally showed us MUCH more cultural stuff than we could have done by ourselves. (We're not usually rally people - we like our independence & this was our first & only rally in 20 years of cruising, but we found it delightful.) Then come & play in Malaysia & Thailand for a year or 3 before crossing the Indian. There's lots of fun stuff to see & do in SE Asia.
I have had enough boisterous winds to last a life time, CAPTAIN we need a new plan.
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Old 18-02-2014, 02:47   #23
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Maestro, tell me more!
I was going to pm you but there seems to be quite a bit of interest from others contemplating the trip too so...

What are your thoughts/suggestions for Aus to SA. I saw Cornell has October as the best time for Mauritius to SA, so I was working back from there for the Darwin or Broome departure around July.

Sandy is doubting that "Boisterous Tradewinds" is the best anti pirate strategy

Vic
last crossing of the south indian ocean,leaving darwin in july,we had pretty much constantly 25 knot trades,with periods of 30- 35s

,we stopped cocos keeling,chagos,farquar atoll seyschells,then mayotte,
seas off the top end of madgasgar were Enourmous,easily 10m!,so good luck to any pirates trying to board!

you can tell sandy the conditions in the IO are ideal for wanderer,though not for the autopilot!.......or baking underway,though the stops at pristine islands and deserted atolls make it worth it.

as south aftrica is coming out of winter,october is thought to be a better month to approach,than earlier,regardless the chances of getting hit by a SW gale are pretty high,as they come off the african coast every 8-10 days with 45-55 knots under the front,but the SE trades do predominate.

november is the start of the cyclone season,and cyclones generally track down the west coast of madagasgar,then curve across to the mozambique coast in that area.

a bit of scuttlebut that i heard recently regarding the piracy in the seychells area was that there has been a french/italian/seyschelloise guy operating a fising vessel with african/seyschells crew posing as somali pirates and robbing yachts on the high seas!

i actually have met this guy,who i belive is now in prison in the seyschells.
this may account for the higher than average figures for piracy in the area over the last few years.
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Old 18-02-2014, 04:45   #24
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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I have had enough boisterous winds to last a life time, CAPTAIN we need a new plan.
Yeah, me too. Which means that you should probably re-think the S Indian. Here's a possibility...

Our trip up through Indo to Thailand had no serious winds or seas. In fact, we burned a bit more diesel than we really like. At least it's cheap in Indo. Our early March passage to Sri Lanka was delightful - never even took a reef. But the leg to Addu Atoll (S Maldives) we probably motored 1/3, & the short leg to Chagos in mid-April we probably motored 2/3. Needless to say, they were very flat seas.

The SE trades got to Chagos in mid-May in 2007, but we didn't leave until July. Leaving earlier (which you have to do now) would have given us a much nicer passage to Seychelles.

Seychelles to Madagascar is only 3-4 days, but it's pretty heavy sledding if the trades are well established. Much better is to bear off for Mayotte, then come back to Madagascar. Madagascar is so high that it blocks the trades, so you'll end up motoring much of that leg (we got to sail half of it with a S breeze).

Sailing up & down W Madagascar is delightful, as it's all thermally driven onshore/offshore winds that swap over ~10-11 (am & pm). The colorful local dhows sail EVERYwhere, & most don't even have engines.

Sailing down to Richards Bay requires watching for fronts coming up the E coast of Africa (spawned down in the roaring 40s). There are a few places to duck into in Mozambique to wait for fronts to pass. We document all of this, including apparent winds speeds & direction (but not always sea conditions) on the newsletters (passage notes) we sent out at the time.
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Old 18-02-2014, 06:29   #25
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Now that pirate season has opened in the north Indian ocean (theres two per year) i guess theres some nutters ready to transit, so within 8 weeks we should have an idea.

These are the attacks in the last 6 weeks. Too close to the Seychelles for my comfort.



Also there were two shootings between the Seychelles and Kenya in November last year. Both ships had armed security teams on board. Do you?


Narrations:
06.11.2013: 0330 UTC: Posn: 05:40S – 046:59E (About 450nm ESE of Mombasa, Kenya), Off Somalia.
One skiff with five heavily armed pirates approached a product tanker underway. Alarm was raised, crew alerted, fire pumps started, speed increased, evasive manoeuvres made, SSAS alert activated and authorities were informed. The pirates fired at the tanker and the armed security on board returned fire. The skiff aborted the attack and moved away.

Narrations:
09.11.2013: 1400 UTC: Posn: 07:19.8S – 048:36.7E (Around 277nm NNW of Madagascar), Off Somalia.
About five to six pirates armed with rifles in a skiff approached a chemical tanker underway. OOW raised the alarm and the armed security team on board fired rocket flares followed by warning shots. The skiff closed in to a distance of 200 meters and fired upon the tanker. Master increased speed, activated SSAS, sent distress message, fire hoses activated and the non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. The on board security team exchanged fire with the pirates resulting in the skiff aborting the attack.
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:45   #26
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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... some nutters ... Too close to the Seychelles for my comfort...
Mark, I have learned to respect your posts, but something isn't adding up here. The Seychelles are 700nm from Somalia, & there have been no attacks closer than that for over a year, yet you feel that's too close. Everyone's entitled to their opinion & comfort zone, but 700nm is a long way.

For instance, you appear to be in St. Martin. St. Lucia, less than 300nm south of you, had a "piracy" murder just recently. Venezuela is just over 400nm south of you, & they have regular piracy incidents. They don't take hostages, they just shoot their victims. They've been doing it for years, & (unlike Somalia) their piracy rate has been increasing. Both of these are much closer to you than the Seychelles are to any piracy activity, yet you appear to have strong feelings about anyone going to the Seychelles, despite the fact that Somali piracy has declined by 95% over the last 2+ years.

While everyone's entitled to their opinion, aren't you being a bit, well, hypocritical?
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:59   #27
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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.......The pirates fired at the tanker and the armed security on board returned fire. The skiff aborted the attack and moved away......

............The on board security team exchanged fire with the pirates resulting in the skiff aborting the attack......
Seems to me there is a common ingredient in both these unsuccessful pirate attacks.

( incoming :-) )
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Old 18-02-2014, 11:25   #28
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

OH Geeez another gun thread!
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Old 18-02-2014, 11:31   #29
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

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OH Geeez another gun thread!
Just teasing
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Old 18-02-2014, 11:39   #30
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Re: Pirates in the Seychelles?

Advice/opinions on a thread like this often are dismissed as being too cautious. When you give marriage counselling etc a couple often agree, see the logical solution and eventually do what THEY want to do, forget the sound advice. Mark is not being too cautious and definitely not hypocritical. A skipper is the boss and will eventually do his thing, forget the family or crew safety. Ask the Dutch skipper who did not heed any warning a couple of years ago and was hijacked 2 weeks later. If you make the trip and there is no problems bravado will say I told you so. If they do appear on the horizon your yacht cannot outrun them, sorry family, sorry crew!! Get real THERE IS A PROBLEM OUT THERE!! OfTEN IT IS THE MACHO ( STUPID ) OWNER/SKIPPER.
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