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Old 14-09-2010, 07:11   #1
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Sailing in the Chinese Sea

Good Afternoon every body,

I'm a new member on "cruisers forum" and I'm glad to find an open space to speak about sailing and share advices.

I m going to travell in south asia for a while. During the month of november, I plan to sail in the chinese sea. I'm not all all used to sail there since my spot is usually the mediterranen and different lakes in Switzerland. I have good experience in sailing. However, I would like to know if the weather in the chinese sea is managable for someone like me or if is should get a skeaper?
Furthermore, I also would like to know if it is easy to find sailboat for rent in that region? Do you have any idea where I could get contacts to find a boat?

Thank you.

Thom
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Old 14-09-2010, 07:41   #2
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South China Sea in November will be heading into the Northeast Monsoon. It will be pretty sporty and exciting.

That time of year if you are flexible I would consider Phuket, Thailand or Langkawi, Malaysia. Beautiful cruising areas and established charter outfits, sunsail etc...
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Old 17-09-2010, 02:05   #3
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November's pretty horrible in most places in the China Sea. Whereas, the Andaman sea is probably as ideal as you can get: Dry and warm weather, good breeze in the morning, tranquil in the evenings.

If you do really want to sail in the China sea at that time of year, The Philippines would be 'in season'. But no sunsail or anything there. Only some private charters:
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Old 17-09-2010, 05:18   #4
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I have sailed the South China Sea in November in a small boat. Late season typhoons are a concern. They can come up very quickly east of the Philippines and move west, as one did in my case. Typhoon season is officially over at end of October, but I can tell you from experience that that's only a rough guide. Otherwise, as others have said, you're going to get the Northeast Monsoon.

Here's the problem:
June-Nov. = typhoon season.
Nov.-March = winter (northeast) monsoon
March-June = no wind.

The SCS is a very tricky stretch of water and I would not take it on again if I could avoid it.
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Old 19-09-2010, 08:03   #5
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Sailing the "Inland Passage" to Langkawi

Ok all you Mac meanies out there. Here is a somewhat related question.

What about taking a Mac 26 out of Subic Bay and skipping from harbor to harbor down to Labuan, Langkawi. I'm thinking of going "inside" down to Marinduque, Samar, Leyte, Mindanao and perhaps across to Sabah from there.

Anyone know anybody who has made a similar trip? Seems to me that it would be doable in a weekender if you plan well and get the weather, monsoon season right. Am also wondering about coming back via Sandakan, Tawi Tawi, Jolo, Basilan.

With the kidnappings a few years ago in South Palawan and all the past Abu Sayaff activity in the area, I am wondering if anyone goes that way these days?

Any scuttlebut by folks familiar with the region would be appreciated.

Thanks to all,

Goner
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Old 19-09-2010, 09:21   #6
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Phillipine Inside Cruise - More Details

To be a bit more specific, I figure that the time to leave would be autumn, and I would be travelling as follows:

Subic, Nasugbu, Puerto Galarea, Marinduque, Masbate, Samar (got friends there), Biliran, Ormoc Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Zambuanga Mindanao.

From Mindanao, we'd probably make the rather long (for such a small boat) passage straight to Sandakan. We would trailer the boat over Sabah to the west coast and sail from there to Labuan, Langkawi. As noted, earlier, on the way back we would like to go via Tawi-Tawi, Jolo and Basilan, if that were to be considered safe.

I know, more like hop-scotch then cruising, but my wife is Philippina, and we have been wanting to visit a number of nice little spots that we have heard of along the way.

Let me know if anyone has ever done, or considered doing the above - why or why not?

Thanks guys,

Goner
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Old 19-09-2010, 22:01   #7
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No reason why not - Philippines is ideal for the type of sailing your planning and the season is right.

I've not approached Sandakan from Mindanao (I came down from Kudat) - would it make sense to hop down the island chain between Sulu & Celebes Seas? Or are you avoiding these because of safety concerns?.

Palawan route is safe by the way - at least I've never had any problems and I haven't heard anything from others.

Once in Malaysia, there is a very effective military presence to combat the Abu Sayef.

I'm can't quite follow your last bit of the route - you're going to trailer the boat from Sandakan to Labuan and then sail it to Singapore / Langkawi? Or you're going to trailer it to Labuan and then sail up the west coastback to the Philippines?

Why not sail round via Kudat? (Labuan really isn't worth the effort)
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Old 20-09-2010, 00:00   #8
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Thar be monsters...

I'm assuming that you are referring to the MacGregor 26.


I'm also assuming that you are referring to Zamboanga.

The Wikpedia entry referred to above mentions that "Zamboanga City hosts one of the largest number of military and police bases in the country.". There are very good reasons for this and I would most strongly recommend that you become very familiar with them before even considering taking a small boat anywhere near there.

The Online Zamboanga Times may be of interest.

Rather than Zamboanga would it be possible to go Port Bonbonon and from there to cruise down and along the coast of Palawan, eventually crossing to Sabah and then Sandakan?

This website may have information of interest.

I have no knowledge of the above route, or any knowledge as to whether it would be suitable for a Mac 26.
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Old 20-09-2010, 19:59   #9
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Hi,

Thanks for the tips. Will definitely take a look at the links and consider your warnings. As per Bonbonon, that is certainly an option, and folks take that route, from what I have heard; however, it would mean a long sail across the Sulu sea, and I am not confident enough in the boat or my own ability at this point, to try that trip. It is not unusual for the weather to change in a heartbeat during the NE monsoon.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply
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Old 20-09-2010, 20:10   #10
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Hi again,

Hope you got my thank you note. Still learning my way around this site. In terms of "hopping down the chain between the Sulu and Celebes Seas", that's what I was referring to as a way to return. Sandakan - Tawi Tawi, Jolo and Basilan; but, "Borakay" seems to think that the route is definitely not safe. What have you heard?

Another way to get down island for me would be to go from Samar, over the tops of Biliran, Cebu and Negros and over to the west coast of Panay. From there it is a short hop to Cuyo islands, then over to Puerto Princessa. I am totally unfamiliar with the east Coast of Palawan south of Princessa however. You seem to infer that it is possible/worthwhile to skip down the coast of Palawan, then cross the straits to Sabah. That might be a nice trip, as long as I remember my anti-malaria pills ; ). Tell me anything you know about the Southeast Palawan coast. Regards again.
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Old 21-09-2010, 00:06   #11
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I'd echo Boracay's concerns - that SE portion of the Philippines does have it's dangers. Whether it's 'too dangerous' is really up to you, but I'd canvass opinion from those who have been there recently or those who live there. Personally, I'd be reluctant to take my boat there.

It's certainly possible to hop down the inside coast of Palawan - I'd be my preferred route in the SW Monsoon - both from a navigational point of view and also a personal safety one. Worth getting in touch with John & Cissy at Abanico Yacht Club (PP) for the latest as it's 2 years since I was there - it was fine then. - I don't have their contacts, but I'm sure a Google will turn up results, if not PGYC will most likely have a contact no.
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Old 21-09-2010, 00:30   #12
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Subic to Borneo

We departed Subic Bay May 23, 2008 and arrived in KK on July 12, 2008 and didn't do an overnight passage. We spent three weeks in Puerto Galera with other extended stops along the way. We waited out the effects of Typhoon Frank on the NW end of Buswanga.
I have the anchorage waypoints if anyone wants them in an email.
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Old 21-09-2010, 00:43   #13
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I don't have any direct knowledge, but for what it's worth, an acquaintance plans to retire to his homeland, but not Luzon but to the central Philippine Islands in the area of Panay and Negros. The reason is to avoid the typhoons.
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Old 21-09-2010, 03:02   #14
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I'd appreciate them Randal. I have some for KK, up to Kudat, down to Sandakan and round to Tawau if you're planning to go that way

we could swap - I'll send a PM
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Old 22-09-2010, 05:18   #15
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Randall,

Would definitely appreciate any and all info you could supply on your trip from Subic to KK.

Thanks for the info and quick response.
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