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Old 12-02-2014, 20:15   #46
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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These are some pictures of the boat.

After speaking with the skipper more this morning, the agreement is $600 which would cover the gps SD card, fuel and a few meters of sail cloth for repairs. Food is seperated would be split 50/50. So around $900-$1000 for the month sailing. The money side of things I am no longer concerned about, $1000 is fine for 3-4weeks at sea and to arrive safely in Malaysia.

The safety and the timing of the trip is what now really concerns me. I have travelled solo through all of my journeys and have been in risky situations. I am firm believer of minimizing the risk but still having an adventure.

I can't unfortunately meet him in person, as between now and the 10th of march I need to finish things at work, pack up my life and bongo he here in Perth and get ready to leave. Every weekend between now and then I am busy. So I just can't meet him. But have spoken to him at great length over the phone.

My gut feeling and instincts twist every day. I believe he is genuine skipper and everything could be fine and arrive safely. And then there is the option that we leave carnarvon and lose VHF signal and don't know here is bad weather coming. When I asked him about this, he said that even if here was bad weather or a cyclone, our original course of heading north would be what we would take if we had to move. Is that correct?

At the end of the day, there is a rally of 90+ boats leaving Darwin to sail through Indonesia for 3months and finish Malaysia, which I can always try and find a boat to be on. Its just that, that is 4.5 months apart from this boat leaving. And I'd rather start sooner, rather than later.
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Old 12-02-2014, 20:38   #47
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pirate Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

If the pic's are recent the engine room tells a story.. he keeps his boat tidy which is a big plus..
As to the weather side.. you should have warning of any bad stuff 24+hrs before it hits..
I'd say go for it.. though I'd likely run up the Oz coast as far as Derby before jumping across.. lessen time in open water with nowhere to shelter.. a 3-5 day weather forecast would give plenty of time to run N to the islands then run along to Indonesia..
But.. N of Oz is unsailed territory for me so take it for what any internet advice is worth..
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Old 12-02-2014, 21:03   #48
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Thanks again for everyone's input and advice so far. All of it is really good and helps in the decision making.

Just had a chat to the meteorology office in canarvon. They said the chance off cyclones around our planned route is minimal and gets less likely the closer we get to 5- 12 degrees south of the equator. Saying that tho, there is still the real chance if large tropical thunderstorms. But that's a part of sailing.

At this stage I'm leaning more to going.
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Old 12-02-2014, 22:06   #49
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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At the end of the day, there is a rally of 90+ boats leaving Darwin to sail through Indonesia for 3months and finish Malaysia, which I can always try and find a boat to be on. Its just that, that is 4.5 months apart from this boat leaving. And I'd rather start sooner, rather than later.
The reason why Sail Indonesia Rally starts then is because it is not in the cyclone season.

They dont want to mess with a cyclone. Have you no concept of a cyclone? Hurricane? Typhoon? Ummmmmmm big wind from devil blast bum off?
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Old 13-02-2014, 04:19   #50
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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The reason why Sail Indonesia Rally starts then is because it is not in the cyclone season.

They dont want to mess with a cyclone. Have you no concept of a cyclone? Hurricane? Typhoon? Ummmmmmm big wind from devil blast bum off?
well actually the sail indonesia rally DOES sail in cyclone season,.....the north indian ocean cyclone season,but since they take a completly different route to the one proposed by the op,and remain inside the island chain,and below 10 degrees north risks are minimal for the rally,(,though they do end up motorsailing most of the way !,so the "SAIL" bit is a bit of a misnomer!)

how ever the route the op is taking is outside the island chain,and relies on the prevailing SE WINDS,during THE NW MONSOON along the equator,to pass OUTSIDE of the island chain,with fair winds,and minimal motoring.

once north of the equator march/april/may coincide with the end of the NE monsoon,and beggining of the SW monsoon

there is a risk of tropical lows of of western australia,but by the end of march, those that develop in to cyclones track inland,or along the coast due to the pressure gradient to the north along the itcz.
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Old 13-02-2014, 04:39   #51
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What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

When thinking of bluewater sailing with a stranger ask yourself - knowing what I know would I go on a climbing expedition with this man and his gear?

It's easier to be pulled off the mountain when things go wrong than it is to be pulled off a boat - yet people seem to think the risk is less when hopping on a boat with a stranger. Remember you are stuck with is man for good or ill.

As Boatie said though - the engine room says a lot, he seems to maintain the important bits well. I would be concerned about lack of long distance weather info, there will be a window where you will be exposed to weather outlier events.
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Old 13-02-2014, 05:39   #52
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

> how ever the route the op is taking is outside the island chain,and relies on the prevailing SE WINDS,during THE NW MONSOON along the equator,to pass OUTSIDE of the island chain,with fair winds,and minimal motoring.

Actually, it looks as though he is heading Norwest across the Indian Ocean straight through the Cyclone belt for about 1200 NM direct to the Sunda Strait and then INSIDE the island chain. Going outside would mean an extra 1000 NM round the top of Sumatra.
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Old 13-02-2014, 06:53   #53
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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> how ever the route the op is taking is outside the island chain,and relies on the prevailing SE WINDS,during THE NW MONSOON along the equator,to pass OUTSIDE of the island chain,with fair winds,and minimal motoring.

Actually, it looks as though he is heading Norwest across the Indian Ocean straight through the Cyclone belt for about 1200 NM direct to the Sunda Strait and then INSIDE the island chain. Going outside would mean an extra 1000 NM round the top of Sumatra.
regardless of the route he takes,he will be able to leave the west coast with the latest weather prediction model,giving a fairly accurate forcast for the following week,that and the strong SE airflow will quickly get him north of the danger zone.

going between the islands defeats the object of this route as the NW monsoon is blowing down the island chain with contary weather,and strong storm cells.

staying off shore,and heading for a point about 300miles west of the top end of sumatra ensures good weather till the itcz is crossed,and a direct course can be layed for malaysia,using the westerly airflow north of the equator.

perhaps if some of you consulted the pilot charts before commenting,you will see that this is actually the best time to do this passage,before the SW monsoon gets to full force north of the equator.

see for yourself! Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:40   #54
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

> staying off shore,and heading for a point about 300miles west of the top end of sumatra ensures good weather till the itcz is crossed,and a direct course can be layed for malaysia,using the westerly airflow north of the equator.

But that is not the planned route according to the OP:

"His current planned journey is to leave Carnarvon, WA and head north past christmas island towards Indonesia, before crossing into the Java sea and finishing at Johor Port in Malaysia... For this journey he is planning it to take 3 weeks to cover 1700 miles"

Going round the top of of Sumatra is more like 2800NM.
> perhaps if some of you consulted the pilot charts before commenting,you will see that this is actually the best time to do this passage,before the SW monsoon gets to full force north of the equator.

On the declared route, the first 1000NM is in the cyclone belt south of latitude 10S and only the last 150NM is north of the equator, so that doesn't seem particularly relevant.

And based on several years around Singapore/Malaysia, there is not much in the way of "full force SW monsoons" that close to the equator (within a degree or so), you're lucky to see more than 12-15 knots in Jun-Sep.
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:51   #55
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

I'm fairly useless here... As I had to google "bunny rug"

Me??? Wait for the rally.... You're already rushed to get your personal obligations ready... Nobody takes their first ride on the biggest roller coaster... Fires an RPG when they haven't held a pellet gun... Or chews on cayenne peppers when they haven't had salt...

Everybody has great advice here... My other contribution is to leave your bananas on the dock...
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Old 13-02-2014, 09:18   #56
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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> staying off shore,and heading for a point about 300miles west of the top end of sumatra ensures good weather till the itcz is crossed,and a direct course can be layed for malaysia,using the westerly airflow north of the equator.

But that is not the planned route according to the OP:

"His current planned journey is to leave Carnarvon, WA and head north past christmas island towards Indonesia, before crossing into the Java sea and finishing at Johor Port in Malaysia... For this journey he is planning it to take 3 weeks to cover 1700 miles"

Going round the top of of Sumatra is more like 2800NM.
> perhaps if some of you consulted the pilot charts before commenting,you will see that this is actually the best time to do this passage,before the SW monsoon gets to full force north of the equator.

On the declared route, the first 1000NM is in the cyclone belt south of latitude 10S and only the last 150NM is north of the equator, so that doesn't seem particularly relevant.

And based on several years around Singapore/Malaysia, there is not much in the way of "full force SW monsoons" that close to the equator (within a degree or so), you're lucky to see more than 12-15 knots in Jun-Sep.
it may be 10-15 knots in sheltered singapore,but offshore after may/june its blowing a fairly constant 35 !

as for the cyclone belt being 1000miles,at that time of the year,the end of cyclone season,historically,late season cyclones track along the nw australian coast,puttting them virtually in the safe quadrant as soon as they are a few hundred miles north,with the predominant SE wind behind them.

the java sea route may be shorter,but it will envolve motorsailing all the way once out of the indian ocean into strongish nw winds with severe thunder squalls,dodging oil rigs,fish traps,not to mention a much higher chance of piracy .

not sure of your experince level,but i have 7 north- south and 2 east -west indian ocean crossings,plus years of living in the indian ocean cylone belt.
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Old 13-02-2014, 09:34   #57
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Oi Mate.... It is a gamble that you could prevent by going up a week early, offering to help him provision his yacht, and spending time with him. I live in Costa Rica, and flew up to Puerto Cortez Honduras to help a guy sail down to the canal. He was an angry, wife abusing nut job who probably ended up on a reef somewhere. I am thankful I saw his true character prior to shoving off. Didn't know what the hell he was doing, and an emotional midget. There ain't a boat big enough to be on with someone like that. The 10 hours to hitch up there early to get to know your captain will pay off BIG time. Cheers! and good luck with your travels....
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Old 13-02-2014, 15:17   #58
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

If you get back, let us know how it went.
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Old 13-02-2014, 15:41   #59
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??




> it may be 10-15 knots in sheltered singapore,but offshore after may/june its blowing a fairly constant 35 !

On the equator in the Java Sea? I think not.Your North/South and East West Indian Ocean crossing are hardly relevant to the discussion. We are talking about the Java Sea and the Southern South China Sea (the area between Sumatra/Malaysia and Borneo ) which I have sailed in.

Here's a pretty good description of the actual conditions there if you don't want to take my word for it.

Prostar Sailing Directions 2006 Pacific Ocean and Southeast Ocean Planning ... - Google Books

"Along the SE coast of Malaysia, in the Straits of Malacca and off the NW coast of Borneo, winds are out of the NW through NE about 65 to 90 percent of the time from December through March. In this region, wind speeds are slightly higher than they are farther S , with averages ranging from 6 to 12 knots....
Along the southeast Malaysian coast and the NW coast of Bornea, winds blow out of the SE through SW or W 40 to 90 percent of the time between May and September... Wind speeds range through 6 to 12 knots with peaks occurring in July, August and September"
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Old 13-02-2014, 17:23   #60
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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"Along the SE coast of Malaysia, in the Straits of Malacca and off the NW coast of Borneo, winds are out of the NW through NE about 65 to 90 percent of the time from December through March. In this region, wind speeds are slightly higher than they are farther S , with averages ranging from 6 to 12 knots....
Along the southeast Malaysian coast and the NW coast of Bornea, winds blow out of the SE through SW or W 40 to 90 percent of the time between May and September... Wind speeds range through 6 to 12 knots with peaks occurring in July, August and September"
[/I]
Yes, thats pretty spot on. remember Malaysia is called the "land below the wind" as in there is no wind.

We started from Darwin in july and We had good breeze from Darwin to sumlaki in Indonesia and up to tual, but by the time we were heading towards Borneo is was dying a bit more each day.
There wasnt a breath of wind from the souther coast of Borneo to Thailand.
I was in Johor Baru for about two months and I don't think there was ever a breath of wind.
The wind took a long time to come back... Well past India's southern tip on the way to Oman.

The reason why the cruisers launch off north from darwin in July is that its the earliest time you can get there from south of the cyclone belt after the END of april. Ie from perth leaving early May, or from Bundaberg on the east coast.

If you take a look at the photos on my website for that time from july to the end of the year there is only one photo where there is any wind at all... And that was Sumlaki in Indonesia Our Life At Sea - Cruising in 2009


This photo is in Indonesia. Komodo actually, but pretty representative.


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