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Old 27-02-2011, 08:30   #1
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A Safe Voyage Westbound Around the Cape - Advice ?

The pirates have sent us south; we are in Australia, and had hoped to run the gauntlet to the GoA/Red Sea, but are now inclined to head south on our way around the world. Shipping our boat is prohibitively expensive for us.

Can we start a thread on ways to make this passage as safely as possible? Jimmy Cornell suggests leaving Bali in June or so ... make the Cape by Nov-Dec, but cruisers might be able to elaborate ...

As always, advice appreciated!
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Old 27-02-2011, 10:31   #2
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

Beth posted these articles of hers: S Indian Ocean part 1, part 2

Hope they are helpful.

Below is an e-mail we just got from a friend who went this way this season (he's on a 46' trawler). They actually did what I suggested in another thread and went under Australia:

> Beth, the "world ARC" boats came from Cocos Keeling to Mauritius with no safety
> issues other than some headwinds. None enjoyed the trip but it was safe. If it
> was me we would head around the corner from Darwin and south down the
> Australian west coast to somewhere north of Geraldton then turn toward
> Mauritius. Here you would have the NE trades and a bit of surface current.
> We turned NW toward Mauritius just south of the Abrolos and had adverse
> currents and little wind. It would have been difficult under sail.
>
> Egret passed 65nm south of Madagascar (leaving from Reunion) and enjoyed a
> major current push then landed in Richards Bay. We went to the small boat
> harbor with no issues, Port Control (VHF 12) notifies customs and
> immigration and they show up in due time. C&I were very laid back and no
> big deal. The small boat harbor is free. Zululand Yacht Club around the
> corner is great, floating docks and charge are reasonable. We found no
> crime but did watch ourselves and only were out and about during the day.
> We rented a car for a week and did the nearby game parks as did a number of
> other cruisers with no issues. Our only other S Africa experience was
> overnighting on anchor outside Mossel Bay waiting on weather then went on
> to Cape Town.
>
> The Royal Yacht Club was full and V&A said they were full as well so we had
> to anchor outside Cape Town for 4 days waiting on weather before fueling
> and clearing for Namibia. The fuel dock owner drove us to Customs and
> Immigration and that made things super easy. It would have difficult
> without the help. Foreign vessels are allowed duty free fuel. One thing
> we found out later about V&A is they did have room but have a lazy
> dockmaster. If you just show up you should be able to find room. We also
> found neither Royal Cape and V&A answered e-mails.
>
> This wasn't part of your question but under NO circumstances should anyone
> elect to cruise down the Mozambique Channel. Three boats (all South
> Africans) were robbed ashore either in Mozanbique or Tanzania. One SA's
> boat was taken by Samoli'a in a well publicised event where he escaped but
> 2 of his crew ware marched ashore by the pirates. He lost his boat. We
> met him at Zululand.
>
> My personal vote would be backtrack from Phukett and take the safe route to
> SA then on to where ever. Walvis Bay, Namibia, St Helena and Ascension
> were great and would also get our vote for the yachties leaving SA. S.
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Old 27-02-2011, 10:44   #3
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

estarzinger,

Can you show your route in google earth or in a snap shot, so we can see what you mean?

Mark
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Old 27-02-2011, 11:56   #4
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
estarzinger,

Can you show your route in google earth or in a snap shot, so we can see what you mean?

Mark
let me try this google thing . . .

Here are the four main routes under discussion.

The middle route is what we did on Silk, very classic, quick and designed to avoid all thugs and bribes.

The southern route is the new possibility we were kicking around - the Pardey's used it as did the trawler who's e-mail I posted above, and we did it the 'wrong way' - you could modify this if you wanted and run all the way up the west coast of Australia and into say Bali and then joining one of the other routes. The point of this route is that it avoids the cyclone area and allows you to keep cruising during cyclone season.

The Northern route is quite common - basically the middle route adding in Bali to Thailand.

The western route is a bit controversial right now - It avoids the likely gale under Madagascar in the above three routes but does put you into the edge of the pirate operating range.

edit: looks like I screwed up just a little with google and for instance the 'western route' file has all four routes in it in different colors. But I think you all will be able to figure it out.
Attached Files
File Type: kmz Middle Route.kmz (5.2 KB, 286 views)
File Type: kmz Southern Route.kmz (7.9 KB, 200 views)
File Type: kmz Northern Route.kmz (7.8 KB, 173 views)
File Type: kmz Western Route.kmz (7.1 KB, 230 views)
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:48   #5
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
let me try this google thing . . .

Here are the four main routes under discussion.
Very nice, thanks !



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Old 27-02-2011, 13:01   #6
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A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

estarzinger,

Your Google Earth links work great. Very easy to visualize.

Thanks
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:13   #7
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
estarzinger,

Your Google Earth links work great. Very easy to visualize.

Thanks
I should comment that there are a couple places you can stop in Madagascar. We have never used them. Some years we get excellent reports and other years not so good reports. Noonsite seems to suggest it has been getting significantly better recently.

Antseranana and Nossi-Be were the two big stops when we were going by, but Noonsite reports a couple others as also good.
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Old 27-02-2011, 19:35   #8
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

A simple trick, but we did not sail from Bali. We sailed from Darwin. It was very light on the first leg.

We stopped at Christmas, Cocos, Mascarenas.

Sailing the mid portion in mid season is supposed to be a bad idea (quite windy) and I would agree that it may be - judging from the number of broken masts and booms we have seen along the way.

We sailed late, departing from Darwin in September and sailing into Richards Bay in November. Never seen winds more than perhaps 35 for more than 3 maybe 4 days. But wee did have regular 30 for well over a week. Good ride in our otherwise less than lightning fast ship.

No big deal, but I would advice everybody sailing from the Mascarenes to RSA to be well aware of how the weather in that area works and when to / not to approach the RSA coast. It is probably slightly more demanding than elsewhere, with fast current running, SW gales and nasty coastal lows. Nothing to fear though, with good weather awareness, regular sailing skills and the boat ready for some rough going.

Coasting RSA was very easy given the weather services in place.

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:49   #9
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

Wow -- thanks very much. Any ideas on timing (how soon is it safe to arrive in RSA waters ... when to leave either Bali or SW Aus?

Thx!
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:09   #10
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

june departure is generally when most head off,and november arrival avoids most of the spring gales,coast hopping down to cape town,once past east london gets easyier
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:06   #11
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Re: A Safe Westbound Around the Cape --Advice?

By the way, some decent information here:

South Africa Cruising Guide - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

and a little less helpful but still some info:

http://www.cruiserswiki.org/wiki/Ind...Cruising_Guide
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Old 01-03-2011, 17:57   #12
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Re: A Safe Voyage Westbound Around the Cape - Advice ?

RSA arrival:

Generally - as soon as the Spring storms get fewer and less fierce and before the Summer hurricanes get too many and too nasty.

Use statistics (Pilot Charts and other relevant info) but allow for the actual weather as per specific year. Use statistics for planing but sail according to actual weather situation.

We sailed in November and I believe this is about the average. There were boats that sailed before us and others that arrived after.

Study historical hurricane tracks as per each months. There seems to be some general pattern in where they come to life and how they move afterwards. Should any crop up untimely, you will have some idea of what it is likely to do.

For the last leg from Reunion (or thereabouts) to RSA I would recommend reading up and polishing up your weather skills as good timing and weather tactics will make the leg safer and nicer.

If you feel you have any problem finding info / data for planning the RSA leg, drop me a PM and I will try to support you.

For Bali ask other fellas, I have not been yet.

Cheers,
barnie
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Old 01-03-2011, 20:31   #13
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Re: A Safe Voyage Westbound Around the Cape - Advice ?

There is a really good story just posted about a yacht that took the passage from Thailand to the Cape. See it at Yahoo! Groups

Best,

Bill
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:05   #14
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Re: A Safe Voyage Westbound Around the Cape - Advice ?

Somalian Piracy Threat Map 2010
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...t_Map_2010.png
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:51   #15
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Re: A Safe Voyage Westbound Around the Cape - Advice ?

I thought this was interesting, from Elaine Buntings blog:

"As far as I can determine around 71 crews of private yachts were planning to cross the Indian Ocean and sail towards the Red Sea this month. Of those, most have made alternative arrangements as follows:

  • Transporting their yacht from Male, Maldives to Turkey - 15 yachts
  • Transporting their yacht from Salalah, Oman to the Med - 21 yachts
  • Turned around and headed towards South Africa - 3 yachts
  • Turned around and will stay in SE Asia at least another year - 8 yachts
  • Currently crossing the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea - 22 yachts
  • Hijacked at sea - 2 yachts"
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