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Old 26-10-2008, 04:54   #1
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When and Where to Go from Hong Kong ?

Many of you already know my situation, so I won't elaborate. My question in this thread is where to go from here.

I am attempting to re-create a business plan, itinerary and outline for potential sponsors and what not, and I am trying to figure out my best route, to continue around the world, from Hong Kong would be. HK, while awesome thus far, was an unexpected location for me, and I had not previously researched this area and its weather

If I am trying to circumnavigate, would the smartest route and timing be for me to try to leave Hong Kong by early April, or thereabouts, in an effort to get to the Southern Philippines before the start of hurricane season in the Northern Hemisphere, and then just try to work down to Northern Aussie before December, therefore arriving before Southern Hemisphere storm season, and then try to make it to South Africa, starting in 2010.

I really don't wanna transit the Malacca Strait, and I don't want to go the Red Sea into the Med. I am hoping to basically go around South Africa, and then up to the Panama Canal back to Cali.

Recap: Hong Kong to Philippines April. Get south in a relative hurry, go around Eastern side of Mindanao (S. Philippines), to avoid the Malay and Indonesia pirates, and work down to North Aussie before December, and hole up there until April of next year?

Is this the smartest plan of attack, and what I should be shooting for? Or am I missing something? Is being near the equator by the start of the next Typhoon season the safety net I am thinking it is? Any other major things I am overlooking?

Also, is working south down to Aussie, and then go to west coast of Aussie and head to Cocos, or Mauritius, etc etc to S. AFrica the smartest way to go to S. Africa???

Thanks alot for help.

Please, dear god, keep this thread on topic. This thread is strictly about smartest route and timing to eventually reach S. Africa.

Another question: I was tossing around the idea of going around the east side of Mindanao, as stated above. Is this stupid. Should I go western side? Does it matter? I know im asking a million questions. Thanks.
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Old 26-10-2008, 07:55   #2
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Ronnie,
I am sure others will have far more valuable information than I can provide but I will start the ball rolling (remembering that I have zero Indian Ocean experience except Western Oz coastal).

I would have thought you would be better off taking your chances in getting to Singapore and then the St. of Malacca and thence the tradewind route westward during the southern winter.

However if you did do the long haul down to Oz. (assuming Darwin), then there isn't much reason to come down the west coast at all IMO.

I had some friends who departed Darwin for Durban via Christmas Is (Indian Ocean one), Cocos Is and Seychelles. They sailed a 27 ft Wharram Cat with no bridgedeck!

Hope this helps but as I said above, I am sure you can get better advice than mine in this instance.
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Old 26-10-2008, 09:15   #3
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If by chance you round southern Mindanao, and are forced into the Gulf of Davao. Let me know I have family there in Davao City. Also a sailing acquaintance at the northern tip of Samal. Sometimes it's not what you know, but WHO.......
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Old 27-10-2008, 01:31   #4
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Subic, Pattaya...

Surely no self respecting single sailor can miss Subic Bay and Pattaya?

And maybe even look in on my geriatric mates in Port Bonbonon.
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Old 27-10-2008, 04:01   #5
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I would have thought you would be better off taking your chances in getting to Singapore and then the St. of Malacca and thence the tradewind route westward during the southern winter.

However if you did do the long haul down to Oz. (assuming Darwin), then there isn't much reason to come down the west coast at all IMO.

I had some friends who departed Darwin for Durban via Christmas Is (Indian Ocean one), Cocos Is and Seychelles.
awesome input. thank you. like i said, i hadn't researched this part of the world at all, and didnt even know that the trades blew in that direction in this region. what should my approximate schedule be? as far as leaving HK, being to singapore, transiting the strait, arriving in durban, etc??? considering that route is substantially shorter, and its a tradewind route, might just take my chances and go through pirate territory. (?)

thanks again.
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Old 27-10-2008, 05:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronniesimpson View Post
Many of you already know my situation, so I won't elaborate. My question in this thread is where to go from here.

I am attempting to re-create a business plan, itinerary and outline for potential sponsors and what not, and I am trying to figure out my best route, to continue around the world, from Hong Kong would be. HK, while awesome thus far, was an unexpected location for me, and I had not previously researched this area and its weather

If I am trying to circumnavigate, would the smartest route and timing be for me to try to leave Hong Kong by early April, or thereabouts, in an effort to get to the Southern Philippines before the start of hurricane season in the Northern Hemisphere, and then just try to work down to Northern Aussie before December, therefore arriving before Southern Hemisphere storm season, and then try to make it to South Africa, starting in 2010.

I really don't wanna transit the Malacca Strait, and I don't want to go the Red Sea into the Med. I am hoping to basically go around South Africa, and then up to the Panama Canal back to Cali.

Recap: Hong Kong to Philippines April. Get south in a relative hurry, go around Eastern side of Mindanao (S. Philippines), to avoid the Malay and Indonesia pirates, and work down to North Aussie before December, and hole up there until April of next year?

Is this the smartest plan of attack, and what I should be shooting for? Or am I missing something? Is being near the equator by the start of the next Typhoon season the safety net I am thinking it is? Any other major things I am overlooking?

Also, is working south down to Aussie, and then go to west coast of Aussie and head to Cocos, or Mauritius, etc etc to S. AFrica the smartest way to go to S. Africa???

Thanks alot for help.

Please, dear god, keep this thread on topic. This thread is strictly about smartest route and timing to eventually reach S. Africa.

Another question: I was tossing around the idea of going around the east side of Mindanao, as stated above. Is this stupid. Should I go western side? Does it matter? I know im asking a million questions. Thanks.
Ronnie -- first you should know that the S.China Sea is a very dodgy piece of water. Depressions form off the Philippines all year long, many move west and become tropical storms or typhoons. I sailed through one of the latter a few years ago en route from HK to Vietnam in a 28ft boat. I trust you can fathom that it it is a situation to be avoided.

Another thing, don't trust the traditional weather windows for the SCS (they are already exceedingly narrow, in any case). IMHO, global climate change has lengthened typhoon season. Having said that, March or April are not going to give you much wind, but they should be safe from typhoons, at least.

And, per my comments in the other thread, don't go alone -- at least not on that leg.
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Old 27-10-2008, 08:03   #7
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Eastern Archipelago

Nobody seems to have mentioned that all sail travel in the eastern archipelago is ruled by the seasonal monsoon winds. I'm sure you've heard of them, but it's the general tendency for the wind to blow toward or away from the Himalayas on such a grand scale that all the local wind patterns are strongly affected by it. For almost all your sailing plans you will be constrained by the monsoons.

This is, in my opinion, another reason to fly or motorboat to Singapore or Australia, which are still affected by the monsoons but are less limited by them.

Beg, borrow, or buy a copy of the British Admiralty Ocean Passages for the World 1st or 2nd edition (1950 or earlier.) This text covers low-power and sail passages in the Eastern Archipelago extensively, quite literally each and every pass between the island groups. Another text to locate is any of Jimmy Cornel's World Cruising Routes - you'll find much of his coverage of the eastern islands is less-detailed rewrites of the British Admiralty text, but with more focus on a modern cruiser rather than a sail commercial ship.
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Old 28-10-2008, 01:51   #8
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ill find a way to get my hands on a copy of that book. tons of great info in the last two posts. thanks a bunch guys. i had no idea about any of the weather patterns that you guys speak of, so thanks again.
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Old 28-10-2008, 03:22   #9
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Ronnie - I have lived in Asia for 24 years. There is nothing wrong with a south China Sea passage - It happens all the time.

Southern Philippines - Mindanao has a history of muslim separtist violence. There have been kidnappings. Read up on the dept. of state websites. Subic, Manila no problem and wonderful places to visit. I personally would avoid Mindanao. My wife is from the Philippines (Manila) and she avoids Mindanao.

If you want to see Australia make a side trip but the passage east is dominated by a Straits of Mallaca passage - Don't sweat it - my friends do it all the time. Rumbliings of piracy are vastly over advertised.

In fact the Raja Muda and Kings Cup reggattas are approaching (November and December) a bunch of boats are off to Malaysia and Thailand. If you flew down here you may be able to snag a delivery crew slot. Go to the HKYC and talk to some of the folks. I think the Hong Kong to Manila Race is in April so you missed that.

Vietnam - I still hear that cruising in Vietnam is problematic and requires a local captain to be on board while in vietnam waters but this could be changing I know there is at least one Hong Kong to Vietnam Regatta.

So to recap I recommend -

Hong Kong to Subic
Subic to Manila
Manila to Kota Kinabalu (East Malaysia)
Kota Kinabalu - Singapore
Singapore - Langakawi (West Malaysia) - Pinang (West Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand)

If you want a side trip to Australia, you might do it between Manila and Singapore.

From there you are leaving my neighborhood but there are good choices

Sri Lanka, Maldives then across to Africa.

Also, I just gotta say by heading off you are missing what I consider the best places in the world in the Western/Southern Pacific.

Have you considered starting in Asia and going the otherway?

Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Galapagos, Panama, etc...
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Old 28-10-2008, 03:29   #10
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Update - Here's a link to a pretty good Asian sailing calendar - Gives you an idea what is happening and when.

Asian Sailing Calendar - Major sail boat regattas, yacht club programs in Asia - Links to race reports and event websites

Point is the regattas generally follow a circuit and the wind.
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