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Old 22-09-2015, 01:35   #1
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Question Sailing the West coast of Africa

Hi,
I have friends in Dakar planning to sail from Dakar along the West coast of Africa to South Africa. Has anyone travel this route recently? Would like to know which ports are safe to visit and to replenish supplies.
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Old 22-09-2015, 08:04   #2
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

they are not going to be doing a lot of sailing taking that route ,they will be motoring in calms across the bight,then fighting head winds and current after angola.

they can stop to pick up fuel in most ports no problem,but petty thieving is a problem.
off shore there is a real risk of piracy after guinea bissau till past the congo.

Luanda,angola has some facilities for yachts as does walfisbay and luderitz in Namibia.
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Old 22-09-2015, 23:11   #3
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Thank you Atoll.
Much appreciated.
They are planning to visit the following ports:
Monrovia, Liberia.
Sao Tome & Principe,
Luanda, Angola and
Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Regards
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:29   #4
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

it is a good idea to tune in to the latest news reports,for up to date info along the way,as there is a real risk of sailing into an epidemic,or coup attempt!
here are some frequencies and links to current news providers.

BBC Africa Radio Programmes | BBC World Service

Africa Today :: Voice of the Continent

Africa - BBC News

also when taking on fuel it is sometimes advisable to go stern too,med moor style to the dock,which are generally pretty roughwith cracked concrete and protruding rebar etc,it also keeps unwanted visitors off the boat.

also advisable to filter fuel,and have plenty of spare fuel containers.
as fuel is generally supplied to ships via a3'nozzle provision for some sort of reducer is advisable as well.

having a long plank to protect the hull and fenders is also advisable if going alongside.

treat all water as suspect if filling tanks as quite often the local supply gets turned off causing leaking infrastructure to draw in dirty water from puddles.

it is advisable to keep someone on board at all times,preferably armed unless in a secure compound when visiting Africa,we have in the past used paid "askarie's", recommended by the port captain or local sailing club.

make sure to have enough malaria "treatment" tablets to treat all the crew at least once on passage,as incubation period is 2 weeks,so there is a good chance of having to treat this killer at sea!

do contact in advance local sailing clubs at future stops they are generally very happy to advise and help visitors.

having cigarettes coca cola and small gifts,like perfume,deodorant,boat cards,lighters,pens etc generally suffice instead of requests for cash from officials.

on arrival the customs,immigration,health,port police,military police,secret police,port captain will all want to come aboard,be polite,but firm,i generally try to conduct business in the cockpit,but if they do want to inspect the vessel,having all the hatches closed,and the kettle simmering on the stove.......keeps the visit short!

it would be great to get some feedback from your friends on their trip,as the region after Senegal is little visited by yacht,so any reports greatly appreciated on the forum.

good luck atoll
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Old 23-09-2015, 05:36   #5
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Thanks for all the info will forward it to the crew.
Iím sure they will have lot to share with the forum after this trip.
Regards.
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Old 23-09-2015, 05:55   #6
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Check out the visa situation coming into Luanda. I lived there for five years and it took us months to get visas and at the time it was very difficult to even get a short term visa without a sponsor. There was no such thing as a tourist visa.


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Old 23-09-2015, 06:50   #7
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Thanx for the reply.
Most of the ports they intend to visit have consulates in South Africa. I made a list of the contact numbers and forwarded it to them.
http://www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/forrep/index.htm
Regards,
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:01   #8
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

My only experience in this region was in Namibia. We really enjoyed the country and had no problems there of any kind. We got fuel from a filling station in jerry cans. The fishing boat/ commercial ship dock just did look like we could use it at all.
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:05   #9
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Thanx
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:47   #10
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Avoid To land in Nigeria. I'm living in Lagos and it is not the best place to come. Or better, try to stay far away from here


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Old 23-09-2015, 07:53   #11
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

2nd on Nigeria, have worked out of there on a tug boat for years, best to avoid. Port Gentil is a nice place to stop, have great coffee and pastries. Avoid Port Noire.
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Old 23-09-2015, 11:27   #12
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raka View Post
Thanx for the reply.
Most of the ports they intend to visit have consulates in South Africa. I made a list of the contact numbers and forwarded it to them.
http://www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/forrep/index.htm
Regards,
out of interest ,how big is the boat?

I ask this as the last ~1500 miles to cape town will be beating into 25-35 knot headwinds against a 2-3knot current.
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Old 23-09-2015, 11:56   #13
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

I would agree with avoiding Nigeria. Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo has a small yought club, and the atmosphere is quite relaxed, Angola is money bases like you cannot believe. It is going to be a hard slog against cirrent and wind. Malaria is not a major problem, just avoid dusk and dawn outside where possible, use lots of anti-mosquito cream, wear long sleeves and trousers. Also do buy the local treatment from a local pharmacy, they know what works best in their region. Usually it costs a few dollars for a course, and take it if there is any doubt. The modern combinations, usually doxycilline and artemisan, is harmless and works well. Little if any side effects.
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Old 24-09-2015, 23:07   #14
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

It is a 47' Ketch rig yacht, not sure what size inboard motor she has.
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Old 25-09-2015, 02:05   #15
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Re: Sailing the West coast of Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raka View Post
It is a 47' Ketch rig yacht, not sure what size inboard motor she has.
hopefully a big one,with lots of fuel

tell them I recommend a good rig inspection before leaving Luanda,and tightening up the forestays and shrouds as liable to be a bit slack after lots of downwind sailing getting there.

also best to inspect the sails for loose seams and make good any repairs,they probably will be be beating/motorsailing with 2 reefs in the main ,1 in the mizzen,and staysail,hopefully they can make 7 knots through the water like this against the current and make good 80-100 miles a day to windward.
last 1500 miles will be wet ,wild and windy with only a handful of headlands to shelter behind on the skeleton coast.

CF member vic hankins "virtual vagabond" is currently in walfis bay till January,if they want local info

link here : http://windwanderer.weebly.com/
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