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View Poll Results: Which way to go?
Go north through the Red Sea to Europe 4 23.53%
Go south around the cape 13 76.47%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27-11-2017, 15:01   #1
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Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

I do not have to make this decision for 2 years, but to help in my preparation of my future travels I am trying to figure out my preference; go through the red sea to Europe or around Cape Good Hope before heading to the Caribbean.

I've heard some sailors say Capetown was their favorite place but would like input from those who have taken either route what they think - what they liked and disliked about their trip around Africa.
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Old 27-11-2017, 18:31   #2
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Kind of hard to pick the right route two years in advance. Are you comfortable with the security issues with the Red Sea passage as they stand now? For some it would not be an option now, but might be more reasonable in two years.
Others have done the motor boat ride up the Red Sea this year.
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Old 27-11-2017, 21:01   #3
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Yachts are transiting the gulf Aden each year, there was quite a number this year and I know of quite a few next year. Everyone has to make their own decisions based on current information and the level of risk they are comfortable with.

I'm currently in Seychelles. I've spent alot of time over recent years asking the same question. Red sea or capetown, I'd rather go the Redsea, but have chosen the South Africa route. Even as recently as last week I re-examined the option of heading to the Redsea from here.

Ive chosen this way (south Africa) as I believe there are still risks heading to the Med via the gulf of Aden.

In recent years there's been no pirate issues, yet this year there's been several attempts, only last week 300nm NW of the Seychelles of Somalia. Six pirates have been brought to Seychelles for prosecution.

The weather is the biggest concern heading to south Africa, I'm a pleasure baby that avoids rough weather if possible. I believe the route I've taken is the easiest, Chagos, Seychelles, comores, Mayotte, Madagascar, Mozambique, Richards bay. Crossing Mozambique channel and the SA coast isn't an issue if you use patience and wait for good weather windows.

The risks heading the way I'm going can be mitigated, through good prep, knowledge and patience.

As someone else from this forum recently said to me "one bad guy with a AK47 could really ruin your day", as unlikely as it maybe to be kidnapped by pirates in the gulf of Aden, from what I'm seeing, you can't rule it out and I can't mitigate around it.

I've left an area where people I knew were kidnapped a couple of weeks after I left and then beheaded, this stuff does happen.

I want to believe the chances are very slim regarding piracy, but the reality is according to my research the chances of something going wrong are greater going that way (gulf of aden) than heading south. But of course then there is fate, which you can't mitigate around.

http://m.seychellesnewsagency.com//a...possible+trial
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Old 27-11-2017, 21:14   #4
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Also, Chagos is paradise, the Seychelles are Stunningly beautiful. I like diving therefore looking forward to Mayotte etc. Many cruisers have very much enjoyed Madagascar.
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Old 27-11-2017, 22:27   #5
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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Also, Chagos is paradise, the Seychelles are Stunningly beautiful. I like diving therefore looking forward to Mayotte etc. Many cruisers have very much enjoyed Madagascar.
Sorry I was not clear with my question. This is the type of info I am looking for and thanks for what you have given me. I know about the pirate issue and I also know about the plague issue in Madagascar. Both are dangerous and both may not be a problem in two years. What I am looking for is information about the trip itself and the attractions along the way and the pitfalls. What about the weather patterns? A lot of motoring crossing the equator?

Example: if doing the red sea, do I need to check into Somalia, Djbouti, Eritrea, Sudan to be allowed to anchor off their shore? Where can I get fuel along the red sea and I assume I need to check in for that, right? If I need to check in, where do I apply for Visas ahead of time (wife is Tongan)?

If doing the southern route, how are the islands along the way? How is the sea state in moderate winds? What time of year is best to make this transit (I think Jan but good to ask)?

How are the officials in these countries?

Those who have done either trip will know the type of information I am looking for to help me decide. I was all in for the southern route but with the outbreak of the plague there and me having a child and wife with me, I am seriously considering the northern route now.

Thank you in advance,
Franklin
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Old 27-11-2017, 23:32   #6
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Here's a blog of a couple who did the Red Sea this year in a smaller boat
https://turtlemail.blogspot.com/2017/02/
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Old 28-11-2017, 02:25   #7
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

one issue you need to consider very carefully when crossing the indian ocean is cyclone season,and were you leave from as trans equitorial routes will require a potential3- 6 month layover in a cyclone free area,or sailing with the risk of early or late cyclones along your route.

the safe route in the N hemisphere for a cyclone free transit via the red sea is to leave SE asia in january-feb arriving at the bottom end of the red sea in march- april,and europe in may-june.
cyclone season is april-november.
optimum weather in med is june-october

if crossing via the S hemisphere then leaving from darwin or Western australia in may via cocos,chagos,madagasgar or reunion, mauritius to arrive in southern africa in october,and depart capetown in jan-feb for the caribbean keeps you cyclone free and rounding the cape in optimum summer weather.

cyclone season nov-april
optimum summer sailing weather around the cape is november-march

trans equitorial routes traditionally require a prolonged stop in chagos,seychells,reunion,mada,mayotte to avoid the worst months of cyclone activity,and the southern hemisphere winter months where rounding the cape is not advised.

the new restrictions on length of stay in chagos(1 month) has put the proverbial spanner in the works for cruisers wanting to sail from SE asia to south africa.

previously you could leave se asia in march,spend some time in the maldives,then 2-3 months in chagos before continuing on to mada or southern africa in may- june,and safely avoid cyclones in the N and S hemispheres or cross from darwin to chagos sept-october then head north for the red sea in dec-jan from chagos.

unfortunatly this is no longer possible unless you are happy to sail in cyclone prone areas at the change over of season,if sailing trans equitorial routes.

so as dale tournier has done after leaving se asia, he is holed up till april in the seychells and will continue south to be in capetown around xmas,others stop in mayotte or madagasgar which have some protection from cyclones in hurricane holes,then continue south to richards bay in may -june avoiding the worst of the winter gales, then hole up there untill november before continuing on to cape town.
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Old 28-11-2017, 21:38   #8
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Check out YouTube channel for "SV Delos" They sailed the Indian ocean down to Madagascar to Cape Town back to Madagascar then back to Cape Town and then to the Atlantic ,up the west coast of Africa as they head to Brazil and the Caribbean ! They vlog the strategy used in planning a weather pattern window and sea current flows ! They handled the passages well and the episodes after 90 I think should get you in the area of the passages give or take 10 or so ! But all the vlogs are excellent as they circumnavigate the earth ! Very entertaining and addictive ! Watch them all !
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Old 29-11-2017, 02:07   #9
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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Check out YouTube channel for "SV Delos" They sailed the Indian ocean down to Madagascar to Cape Town back to Madagascar then back to Cape Town and then to the Atlantic ,up the west coast of Africa as they head to Brazil and the Caribbean ! They vlog the strategy used in planning a weather pattern window and sea current flows ! They handled the passages well and the episodes after 90 I think should get you in the area of the passages give or take 10 or so ! But all the vlogs are excellent as they circumnavigate the earth ! Very entertaining and addictive ! Watch them all !
i think their commentary on sex ,drugs and hip hop,is probably more useful than any advice they give on weather and route planning

however i will agree that their videos are a fairly accurate depiction of world cruising on a reasonable budget,with a large crew of sexually active 20-30 somethings

intrestingly they chose the trans equitorial route from indonesia-chagos-mada-sa ,and the time pressure they were under to exit the area before cyclone season which resulted in the majority of the crew walking off the boat at their first landfall in mada.

this was probably the reason they felt the need to return to madagasgar,as they spent so little time there,with a bad vibe onboard the year before

they also narrowly missed losing the boat when a late season cyclone formed near them on the east coast,far from a hurricane hole......weather guru's ,no....party animals, yes
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Old 29-11-2017, 04:30   #10
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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Check out YouTube channel for "SV Delos" They sailed the Indian ocean down to Madagascar to Cape Town back to Madagascar then back to Cape Town and then to the Atlantic ,up the west coast of Africa as they head to Brazil and the Caribbean ! They vlog the strategy used in planning a weather pattern window and sea current flows ! They handled the passages well and the episodes after 90 I think should get you in the area of the passages give or take 10 or so ! But all the vlogs are excellent as they circumnavigate the earth ! Very entertaining and addictive ! Watch them all !
Actually parts of the West coast of Africa is just as pirate-infested as the East. I'd certainly give a 1000+NM berth to the Golf of Guinea.
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Old 29-11-2017, 22:08   #11
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

Wow, 2-10 for the South. That's what I voted also, but surprised the lead is so huge. Interesting to see how the "score" will develop.. Great idea by the OP to post a poll by the way.
But what is also interesting would be to know if the 10 southeners knew there is a serious plaque in Madagascar at the moment?
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Old 29-11-2017, 22:13   #12
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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Wow, 2-10 for the South. That's what I voted also, but surprised the lead is so huge. Interesting to see how the "score" will develop.. Great idea by the OP to post a poll by the way.
But what is also interesting would be to know if the 10 southeners knew there is a serious plaque in Madagascar at the moment?
They get the plague there every year, it's just earlier and more easily contracted this year due to the strain. No reported cases in three weeks.
The plague is easily treated with antibiotics.
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Old 29-11-2017, 22:17   #13
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

The plague like other issues heading south are easily dealt with, you can prepare, take action, watch the weather etc.
The only problem I see with the southern route is time, as Atoll mentioned. You really only have six mths. Most rush through in one year. I decided to take it over two years, don't like rushing. For me it's the destinations not the journey.
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Old 29-11-2017, 22:18   #14
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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They get the plague there every year, it's just earlier and more easily contracted this year due to the strain. No reported cases in three weeks.
The plague is easily treated with antibiotics.
I was too slow to post a link with my phone but here is one, google finds more. yea its not like in the middle ages but good to know..

WHO | Plague ? Madagascar
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Old 29-11-2017, 23:06   #15
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Re: Africa from Maldives - go north or south around?

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They get the plague there every year, it's just earlier and more easily contracted this year due to the strain. No reported cases in three weeks.
The plague is easily treated with antibiotics.
The big difference this year is that the plague is more pneumonic plague (lungs) instead of bubonic along with it being in the main cities instead of just the rural area.
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