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Old 06-11-2013, 05:18   #1
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Gulf of Aden 2013

I have been planning a trip to Indonesia from the UK on my 40 foot Catamaran. I'm well aware that the route through the Gulf of Aden is a gamble and sailing vessels are being strongly advised not to take this passage (including my insurance company). I have noticed that many people are plumping for a land transit for around $30k which is well beyond my budget and the width of my vessel! In 2010 I was in a convoy, but with the situation as it stands a convoy no longer seems to hold any advantage and some would argue its a more dangerous proposition. I'm sure there's a way around this problem with some creative thinking. How much would it cost to get an armed escort until the relative safety of the Indian Ocean? Has anybody else investigated this path? Any other idea's?
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:24   #2
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

They say that piracy on small yachts is down in that area and while I believe it I also believe its because no one is traveling there anymore. I also believe that like all risks there are bound to be those that take it and make it through. I'm getting too old now for that.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:00   #3
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

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I have been planning a trip to Indonesia from the UK on my 40 foot Catamaran. I'm well aware that the route through the Gulf of Aden is a gamble and sailing vessels are being strongly advised not to take this passage (including my insurance company). I have noticed that many people are plumping for a land transit for around $30k which is well beyond my budget and the width of my vessel! In 2010 I was in a convoy, but with the situation as it stands a convoy no longer seems to hold any advantage and some would argue its a more dangerous proposition. I'm sure there's a way around this problem with some creative thinking. How much would it cost to get an armed escort until the relative safety of the Indian Ocean? Has anybody else investigated this path? Any other idea's?
leave falmouth in febuary for panama,and get to indo in september easy!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:14   #4
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

Thanks Atoll, Thats a lot of sailing! Actually 19000 nm in 7/8 months equates to a not unreasonable average of 1 day on land 1 day at sea. Fancy a trip?
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:22   #5
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

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Thanks Atoll, Thats a lot of sailing! Actually 19000 nm in 7/8 months equates to a not unreasonable average of 1 day on land 1 day at sea. Fancy a trip?

i have done the red sea trip 7 times
what you paying

ps oflo is looking good!,my little boat is parked just behind you on the moorings in falmouth.
friends just took a gulette via eritrea ,salalah through with no problems.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:28   #6
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

I unfortunately have very limited funds and the crew are paying contributions. When did your friends go and were they merely relying on luck?
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:36   #7
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

it is a delivery,currently ,enroute to thailand,left eritrea in september-october.
they are all turkish muslims if that helps........with the bad guys!

are you on the boat at the moment,im just down in penryn.
have you done the trip before?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:01   #8
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

We transited the Red Sea to Malaysia in 2010 east about. I would strongly recommend against this. But if you must go (as we did) transit Aden to Sri Lanka in July and August when the SW Monsoon is at it's peak. Statistically this is the "safest" time due to the swell and sea state. Even the fishermen/navies stay at home and the wind will be on your quarter so it makes for a fast passage.
Do not go in the NE monsoon when the sea is calm and perfect for a planing hull to be alongside before you know it.
Armed personnel are expensive, figure $1000 per day, per man plus expenses. Loading/unloading arms is a problem. The only countries on your route that permit this (easily) are Djibouti (costly) and Sri Lanka. There was a vessel/convoy facility in the Red Sea that enabled the transfer of arms from one ship to another as ships are the biggest customers for armed security transits.
Do your own due diligence (I spent 2 years studying the situation) before going and always have the option to turn around before leaving Aden.
I would highly recommend "atoll"s plan: "leave falmouth in febuary for panama,and get to indo in september easy!"
I would never go through that three weeks again as every vessel that hove in sight put my heart in my mouth.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:01   #9
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

Negative went the other way. The boat has moved from Falmouth Boat Construction to Penpol (up the creek from Pandora).
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:13   #10
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

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Negative went the other way. The boat has moved from Falmouth Boat Construction to Penpol (up the creek from Pandora).
sent you a pm.

are you at penpol boat yard on the dock now?
saw you last week on the visitors pontoons in falmouth.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:44   #11
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

no signal down there me ansome. I'm on the north coast will be down there tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:10   #12
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

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no signal down there me ansome. I'm on the north coast will be down there tomorrow.
give me a call when you are around,we can meet up if you like.
i have most of the cruising guides and pilots for the red sea and indian ocean.
also a pretty comprehensive selection of charts for the whole voyage,including indonesia etc if you are interested.
cheers alex 077 88 55 1601
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:31   #13
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

Some interesting stories: After the Red Sea we opted to coastal hop along Yemen and then into Omani water before cutting away. We experienced zero issues.
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:21   #14
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

Hey Bulawayo, What time of year did you do the trip?
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Old 06-11-2013, 16:28   #15
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Re: Gulf of Aden 2013

The last time we went down (south) the Red Sea was in March, we were in the Gulf by late March and in the eastern Indian Ocean by mid-April. We returned in September - both times the Gulf of Aden was a mill pond - as we have found on most previous trips. The same applied as far as Massawa (Eritrea). We normally fill up with diesel in Aden ready for a lot of motoring if going north (we carry extra fuel bladders just for the Red Sea). We have also found the Saudi's, despite reports to the contrary to be very friendly and helpful if you should need assistance. Also, the Red Sea pilot has many errors in it - we have reported these to the publishers but to no avail. Some of the marsa's in Sudan which are reported to be available for anchorages are totally inaccessible if your vessel draws more than a 1000mm (we always double check from the dinghy and now have good marked up charts) and one port of entry in Egypt has been closed to non-Egyptian Naval vessels for over 10 years!! We have found the Yemeni officials very helpful and the Omani's also very reasonable. Oman does have long stretches without any anchorages and pirates have been reported as close as 150NM from Muscat. We have, thankfully, not had any issues but have met others whom have had. We also maintain silence on our SSB and only use the VHF when we need to. There is still plentiful commercial traffic and you'll see plenty of naval vessels. If sailing in company identify a number of waypoints on your charts and when you communicate with your sister vessel you can identify your position in relationship to these, any one else listening shall be none the wiser except your sister yacht. We did this once only and agreed only to transmit if there were any issues - there were none.
We have also been subject to the US Navy being rather bossy in this area and demanding we move out of their way - we had to remind them of the Coll Regs and the rules for overtaking. In the dark they played games with us passing a little too close for comfort. It would have taken a brave pirate to come close under those conditions. If passing along the Yemeni / Omani coast watch closely for inshore fishing nets and unlit small craft at night. These we have seen as far as 15NM off-shore.
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