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Old 21-05-2011, 19:52   #1
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Australia East Coast to Manilla

Ant thoughts on best route from Cairns to Manilla if motoring?
Over the top of PNG, thru southern PI or roundabout thru Indonesia?
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Old 28-05-2011, 20:38   #2
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

I have toyed with going the other way - from the Visayas (central PI) to Australia. My PI girlfriend is terrified of Muslim pirates in either place (of course she is also terrified of sharks she has never seen and swimming in 'deep' 4'+ water) - and her fear makes me apprehensive (that and the continued Abu Sayaf activity around the islands of Jolo, Basilan, and etc.). Being from California, Australia seems like an interesting tourist destination (not to mention that my sailing catamaran is worth three times what it is here). Then there is the small problem that she can't get into Australia or PNG (we found that out when I was negotiating to buy Jesse Martin's Tiki 38 some years ago which was in Kaveng, PNG). I imagine that with a power boat one can outrun the proverbial Muslim pirate craft - something not possible in a sailboat. Piracy is likely the only danger and it may be overrated - I get the 'pirate' thing every time someone finds out I am in the PI on a sailboat. Near as I can tell, if you avoid the known hot spots one will likely be OK - The Somali pirates have made everyone very sensitive to the issue. Personally, I would say do your research and go for it. Not sure why you want to go to Manila though - almost everywhere else in the PI is nicer - Davao for example or Cebu. Have a good trip.
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Old 28-05-2011, 21:05   #3
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

Partial answer: Many boats cruising between Oz and PI are taking routes E and N of PNG. The islands of Micronesia are seeing greatly increased traffic. And they are worth a visit. Peaceful and beautiful.
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Old 28-05-2011, 21:19   #4
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Standing well clear of Zamboanga...

Bruce
Giving the entire area around Zamboanga a wide berth could be your best bet for avoiding pirates. Without putting the dividers on the globe at least 300nm may be necessary. Reports of really nasty pirates well away from that region seem to be thin on the ground.

As attacks from sharks in tropical areas are few and far between your girlfriend's fear may be irrational, but it would still be very real to her. Her swimming ability may not be all that good either so an investment in some good quality lifejackets and insisting that she wear them could be wise.

As to your girlfriend coming to Australia she may have limited access as a crew member. Have you tried contacting the Immigration Dept. and making a formal request? If you do get rejected I understand that there is an appeals process. Applicants from the Philippines may be expected to have continuing ties, but as she is cruising with you this may not be as necessary.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:13   #5
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

We are currently at half moon bay marina (cairns) waiting for our Cait for indonesia enroute to the phillipines via the moluccas and sabah.
The islands south of Mindanao are not considered safe.
We hope to travel from Thursday island via Meurake, Irian Jaya.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:08   #6
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

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Originally Posted by beau View Post
We are currently at half moon bay marina (cairns) waiting for our Cait for indonesia enroute to the phillipines via the moluccas and sabah.
The islands south of Mindanao are not considered safe.
We hope to travel from Thursday island via Meurake, Irian Jaya.
The moluccas looks pretty much S of Mindanao to me - how far away are you suggesting? Not sure of your draft but Merauke reads like a dicey entrance no?
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:23   #7
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Ant thoughts on best route from Cairns to Manilla if motoring?
Over the top of PNG, thru southern PI or roundabout thru Indonesia?
Depends mostly on logistical fuel range, season and time frame.

I have gone both routes a few times.

Cairns to Jommard or China Pass PNG direct to Hinahuan Pass in PI

Or

Cairns via Bali to Sabah to Subic or Palawan
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:30   #8
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

The mollucas are in Indonesia not the Phillipines.
Our draft is 400mm. GPS makes everything easy ?
Meurake is an Indonesian defence port in Irian Jaya,
I still dont have clearance but i am hoping to check in there on our way through.
There is little or no wind in this area, expect to motor. Fuel is half price in Indonesia.
Hellen De Lima in Ambon can arrange Cait etc
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Old 13-07-2011, 23:36   #9
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

The YC in Palau is getting a little quiet lately. Go over the top of PNG and stop in here. Shout a few rounds. We miss the Aussie Antics.
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Old 14-07-2011, 00:08   #10
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

Thanks for the invite Daddle. Might take up your offer. Anything special after turning the PNG corner ?
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Old 14-07-2011, 00:32   #11
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Re: Aust East Coast to Manilla

Have not been that way yet. However the cruisers that come here from PNG give mixed reports. Some enjoyed the stops in PNG on the way to Palau, others did not and wouldn't do it again. The complaints were related to the poverty and constant hawking of goods alongside the boat. Most have been thru Gizo. I have not heard any reports of actual trouble. Again, half enjoyed it. The others would round farther east next time: for example to Vanuatu then direct Pohnpei, Chuuk, Lamotrek, ...etc..., Palau, PI.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:34   #12
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Re: Australia East Coast to Manilla

We sailed out to the Louisiades from Cairnes last year with several motor boats in the Louisiades Rally. We got to visit some spectactular untouched atolls, help some extremely grateful islanders, and enjoyed the easiest fishing I've experienced since the west coast of Mexico. You'll find plenty of fuel in New Guinnea, but you'll need significant tankage if you want to explore much of the Louisiades along the way. And you'll pay for all of the fun in the Louisiades during the passage along the top of PNG and Indonesia. It's exposed to the frequent North wind. But the swell is gentle and the Phillipines protect you from the worst of the South China Sea. And if you time it right there are plenty of protected anchorages along the way. Along the southern coasts you'll find even more anchorages and villages for provisioning, but the locals are a bit more savvy about getting the most out of cruisers that happen along. The locals along the northern coasts are a bit more innocent and friendly.
There are much better spots than Manilla to visit in the Phillipines, unless you like your cruising spiked with a bit of andrenaline and adventure. Talk about savvy locals that get a lot out of visitors.
We're in Borneo now. Malaysia and Thailand are ideal cruising grounds.
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Old 11-11-2011, 17:47   #13
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Re: Australia East Coast to Manilla

We went Thursday Island to Merauke and then up the coast to Fakfak, Irian Jaya.
I cannot recommend it.
Mud, shallow water, Papuans, no wind, nobody speaks english at all.
Plus side is cheap fuel and the Indonesian police are helpful.
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Old 14-11-2011, 09:45   #14
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Re: Australia East Coast to Manilla

Yes, the more I hear about PNG, it appears the "Rascals" have become too violent to risk being anywhere near their pockets of anarchy.

Friends that made it to Borneo along the northern coast of main island of PNG were boarded by pirates, tied up, and robbed several years ago while anchored near Wewak, PNG. However, they say that the smaller islands and villages they visited offshore were some of the most blissful and friendly in their cruising experience.

Last Year, in Rabaul, a boat anchored next to us (1 km offshore from the police station) was robbed in the night. We were boarded that same night, but were able to scare off the thieves with spotlights. Afterwards we found a safer anchorage near a hotel where the guard on the beach watched our boat for us for a week without incident.

Sadly a European expat scientist party of 3 men aboard a small boat off New Britain were killed last month. The 2 women scientists aboard the boat were held hostage in the jungles on Manus Island, but have yet to be ransomed or rescued.

It is too dangerous for anyone to risk being anywhere near New Britain and the northern coast of the main island of PNG anymore. New Ireland has pockets of safety and paradise (Kavieng), and the Louisiades are a must-see, soon-to-be-lost, treasure.
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