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Old 20-11-2007, 23:25   #1
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Singapore to Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Borneo) in January ?

I am planning a trip from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu (on the north east tip of Borneo about 780nm) as early as possible (part of a delivery cruise to Hong Kong). I have read quite a bit about how it's best to do this trip when the SW monsoons has taken control and the winds are stable and the NE current is not as strong as right now. However, monitoring BBC - Weather Centre - World Weather - Asia - South East for the last couple weeks, it seems as if you stay close to the north coast of Borneo and you start whith favorable winds (and a lot of fuel), there should be not much of a problem: The wind seems to be either very light or even a southwester (close to shore).
Has this this just been an unusual situation in the past couple weeks making this a trip possible? Any comments?
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Old 20-11-2007, 23:48   #2
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According to my references, May to July is the best time of the year. The area is known for light winds and not much in the way of monsoons.

And a good reserve of fuel should be carried due to light winds........_/)
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Old 20-11-2007, 23:52   #3
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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
According to my references, May to July is the best time of the year. The area is known for light winds and not much in the way of monsoons.

And a good reserve of fuel should be carried due to light winds........_/)
Tis exactly why I am doing the powercat for my foray up north.

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Old 21-11-2007, 04:10   #4
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Singapore to Kota Kinabalu appears to be part of the traditional sailing passage from Singapore to Manila ,and Hong Kong, during December to March.
January and February have reliable Monsoon winds of 12 to 25 knots from the North and North West.
Spells of widespread moderate to heavy rain occur lasting from 1 to 3 days at a stretch along the west coast of Borneo.
Over the last few years the NE Monsoon has started and finished late.

The Singapore Straits Regatta coincides with the January North-East Monsoon, claiming “excellent high performance racing conditions of steady breeze and great weather.”
Singapore Straits Regatta

The Brunei Challenge starts each January, shortly after the Singapore Straits Regatta. Yachts race 720 nm upwind into the 15 to 25 knot prevailing NE Monsoon wind.
The passage normally takes from five to eight days.
Brunei Bay Regattas - linking South East Asia at Brunei.

Weather Websites for SE Asia:
http://www.noonsite.com/Members/webmaster/R2001-12-29-1
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Old 21-11-2007, 05:52   #5
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Singapore to Kota Kinabalu appears to be part of the traditional sailing passage from Singapore to Manila ,and Hong Kong, during December to March.
Thanks for the info, but I can't believe it's the Dec-March traditional sailing passage from S'pore to Manila /HK with NE monsoon! Are you sure you don't mean HK via Manila/Kota Kinabalu to S'pore?
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Old 21-11-2007, 06:14   #6
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You’re right, the traditional sailing passage occurs in Spring.

The Brunei Bay Regatta Series is a link event for racing and cruising yachts from the Singapore Straits Regatta (Singapore and Indonesia), to the China Sea Race/San Fernando races (Hong Kong & Philippines) and President's Cup (Philippines).
It’s a “challenging” uphill event.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:59   #7
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The Malaysian link on Noonsite doesnt work any more but here is a link to Malaysia met office.

Jabatan Meteorologi Malaysia

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Old 21-11-2007, 22:39   #8
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I have not done the trip but have spoken to many that have. Delmarrey is right. Southwest monsoon season is the better time to make this trip.

We are in the "doldrums" now waiting for the northeast monsoon to settle in. When it gets here (anytime now) it will be an uphill slog to KK, Manila and HKG.

Letely we have been getting light and variables with 180 shifts from morning to night.

Good Luck...
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Old 23-11-2007, 00:20   #9
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Stable wind conditions during SW?

Thanks, all!
again I am looking at the BBC - Weather Centre - World Weather - Asia - South East wind map (I really like it, haven't seen a better one for the region). The wind on Borneo's north coast is now forecasted to turn to a NE, in line with the NE monsoon. Understand, this will be the usual picture for quite some time now, but how stable is it? I would be quite flexible and could leave from S'pore when ther is a good weather opportunity. Anyone knows?
Thanks
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Old 23-11-2007, 00:47   #10
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Passage weather...

I have no experience of PassageWeather. It appears to be derrived from GRIB files.

Can anyone comment on how useful this might be?
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Old 23-11-2007, 00:58   #11
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That ones pretty good.

One I have used often is Buoyweather | weather forecasts, marine weather conditions, weather charts, buoy reports, marine forecasts, water temperature

The custom map section is handy as well.
It has

Global coverage
Move the map where you need it then zoom in and click to set your Virtual Buoy.

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Old 06-12-2007, 04:17   #12
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Mean Wind patterns

I just found the ugrib.us software, which is great for forecasts and the filesize is apparently so small that it does not cost much to download the updates via satellite phone. So much, for the wind information once I am on the water, but even though GordMAy gave me a pretty good idea about when the monsoon winds change direction, but I have been unable to find any mean wind charts for the region or any historical data that would tell me a bit more in detail, when a passage from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu could be less of an uphill battle. The same for historical typhoon paths and the risky season (for the leg from KK to HK). Any help appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:19   #13
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Jo - We've had rain for 3 days straight. I am told this heralds the settling in of the northeast monsoon. I am running a little tight on time right now but I will try to send a few weather links I have for the area.

BTW - If you do get down to Singapore and need any assistance here please feel free to give a shout. We are a generally friendly bunch at Changi.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:14   #14
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http://intranet.mssinet.gov.sg/~rndops is the Singapore met site. This prognossis can be quickly downloaded
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Old 07-12-2007, 23:44   #15
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Thanks Pelagic but it seems that is the "registered users link"

Here is the 48 hour surface winds - You can see what a slog it will be right now.

Forecast of winds and surface pressure

Here is the base NEA weather site for Singapore.

Regional Weather

Or from the NEA home page select Meteorological services from the banner at the top of the page.

National Environment Agency

The sattelite shots are nice too.
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