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Old 21-10-2012, 00:01   #1
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Indian Ocean Passage Planning

I am planning to sail in 2014 from Phuket to Cape Town and I am looking at different routes to get there and would like any advice especially from others who have done that transit. I would prefer to make the transit to Sri Lanka, Maldives and then to the Suez but for the moment it appears not be an option until the piracy problem is solved which leaves the only option via Cape Town. I have heard of some boats waiting for the transition between the northeast monsoon and the southwest monsoon to sail south with Sumatra to the west and depart through the Sunder Straits to Cocos Keeling and then to Chagos. The other option would be the Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, Southern India and then Maldives with a lengthy stop in Chagos ($$$$) and then wait for the right time and sail to Madagascar. Anyone who has done this passage, please let me know what the results were and the right dates for the departures from the various ports.
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Old 21-10-2012, 02:30   #2
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

We're planning to go in the opposite direction this November, Phukhet to Perth, so any advice / comment for this voyage would also be helpful.

BTW thaisail you might find the following entertaining and/or useful
A tale of sailing across the Indian Ocean from Bali to Mauritius
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Old 21-10-2012, 04:21   #3
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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Originally Posted by thaisail View Post
I am planning to sail in 2014 from Phuket to Cape Town and I am looking at different routes to get there and would like any advice especially from others who have done that transit. I would prefer to make the transit to Sri Lanka, Maldives and then to the Suez but for the moment it appears not be an option until the piracy problem is solved which leaves the only option via Cape Town. I have heard of some boats waiting for the transition between the northeast monsoon and the southwest monsoon to sail south with Sumatra to the west and depart through the Sunder Straits to Cocos Keeling and then to Chagos. The other option would be the Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, Southern India and then Maldives with a lengthy stop in Chagos ($$$$) and then wait for the right time and sail to Madagascar. Anyone who has done this passage, please let me know what the results were and the right dates for the departures from the various ports.

nov-april is cyclone season in the south indian,and dec-march ne monsoon in th north indian,best bet is to leave late,stop in chagos for a month till april,then head for richards bay before the worst of the winter storms start off the south african coast in june-sept,then head for cape town in nov-dec,and head north to brazil/carib or europe in jan.

others with time spend april till oct in mada ,mayotte and mozambique before heading south,but not every bodys cup of tea,due to malaria,no facilities or spares etc
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:05   #4
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

I sailed Phuket to Sri Lanka. Maldives, Chagos, in Feb/ March/April left Chagos in May. Sailed to Seychelles, cross to Kenya in May/June. Down coast of Africa
to Durbin in Nov/dec.
I will do it again but sail from Chagos to Mauritius in May/june then direct to
Durbin.
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:47   #5
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Is there any pirate risk on any part of your recommended route?
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Old 30-10-2012, 17:56   #6
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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Is there any pirate risk on any part of your recommended route?
pretty minimal apart from northen kenya,and indonesian side of mallaca,and north of seychells.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:01   #7
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

No I do not think there is any pirate danger taking the southern route. I would not sail to Kenya again.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:06   #8
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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pretty minimal apart from northen kenya,and indonesian side of mallaca,and north of seychells.
I realize you stated Indonesia side of the strait and don't disagree to play it safe.

I would just say the Mallaca straits has an unfair reputation. Hundreds and hundreds of yachts go up and down every year.

The regatta season has stops in Langkawi and Phuket so tons of my acquaintances do the journey 2 ways every year. There hasn't been a private vessel problem in years.

Favor the Malaysia side and if conservative, passage during the day - not for any pirate risk but for the hundreds of fishing kampongs, unlit boats and debris.

There are several logical stops up the strait including Mallaca, Port Dickson, Klang and Langkawi.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:15   #9
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

northen and eastern indonesia might have been a better description,and robbery rather than piracy.
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:23   #10
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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northen and eastern indonesia might have been a better description,and robbery rather than piracy.
Robbery I would say is a bigger threat - the boat boys are pretty good at spotting transients on the hook. Go ashore for an overnight and you could be very disappointed.

They are pretty smart too and aside from the obvious valuables laying around they take chargers, batteries and electronics.

Marina stops anywhere in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are preferable for security, especially if you plan any extensive shore exploring.

I call these crimes of poverty...
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Old 30-10-2012, 18:23   #11
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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I would not sail to Kenya again.
May I ask why?
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:42   #12
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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Robbery I would say is a bigger threat - the boat boys are pretty good at spotting transients on the hook. Go ashore for an overnight and you could be very disappointed.

They are pretty smart too and aside from the obvious valuables laying around they take chargers, batteries and electronics.

Marina stops anywhere in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are preferable for security, especially if you plan any extensive shore exploring.

I call these crimes of poverty...
I would like to disagree with your post about Thailand especially. I have sailed up and down the west coast of Thailand for 7 years now and I have never had anything stolen from my boat. I keep my boat on a mooring in Chalong Bay on Phuket and no one has ever taken anything. However, I have heard of the occasional boat getting visited and some have had some gear stolen. From what I have heard, most of the theft is thought to be from other rather shady cruising boats rather than from Thais based on what was stolen from the boats.

There was one unfortunate incident in the Butang islands right next to Langkawi on the Thai side of the boarder. A boat called Mr. Bean was on a mooring in the national park and three teenage Burmese fisherman that had escaped a Thai slavery fishing boat and had been wandering a deserted island for three days with no food. They boarded that boat in the middle of the night to steal a dinghy and they were confronted with the owner. Well, they killed the captain with his own kitchen knife and through him overboard. They took his wife as hostage because they needed her to drive the boat to the mainland and when they left the boat near the mainland in the dinghy, she managed to get herself untied and when the outboard engine failed, they tried to paddle back to the sailboat but she managed to get the anchor up and got away. Shortly after she was able to contact the police and they took her aboard the patrol boat and on the way, they managed to catch the the three boys in the drifting dinghy and she had to ride with them in the same boat back to the town on the mainland and they were wearing her dead husbands clothes! I think the boys got about 20 years in a Thai prison at least the older one did. They might have been a bit easier on the younger ones. But that is the only piracy story I have heard since I have been here and that was for the last 7 years.
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Old 01-11-2012, 13:30   #13
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

Robbery on the water is call Piracy. Any crime on the water is Piracy.
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:52   #14
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

Sailed the Indian but on different routes.

I know though that the last leg you can sail either thru the Mozambique Chanel or outside of Madagascar. We asked a good number of people who sailed via the Chanel and got the impression that that year it was much easier on the boat and crew to sail the outer route.

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Old 01-11-2012, 18:30   #15
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Re: Indian Ocean passage planning

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Robbery on the water is call Piracy. Any crime on the water is Piracy.
Hi hooligan6a

Would you be so kind to let me know why you wouldn't go to Kenya? I know about the Pirates to the North, but it was a great place to sail when I was growing up and during the early to mid '90s.

I skippered a charter yacht through Zanzibar, Pemba and up to Mombasa for a while. I have always toyed with the idea of going back one day should it be safe-ish.

Cheers!
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