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Old 02-01-2013, 22:31   #1
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Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

Hi!

Just wanted to find out if anyone has done the Indian Ocean crossing from SE Asia (Sunda Straits) to either Mauritius or Madagascar, setting off late March? And then from either of the above desintations to Richards Bay or Durban - arriving in South Africa by end April.

We cannot find much weather history for April/May for the Southern Hemisphere.... the cyclone season should just about be done - as March is usually the end (*touch wood*) - and not many cyclones recorded in April... we'd be arriving around mid April latest. Our thinking is the wind might very be a bit lighter as the trades might not have yet kicked in...

Any info would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2013, 22:47   #2
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

Most all the boats I know crossed several months ago. See if you can get info from S/V Beach House.
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Old 03-01-2013, 00:20   #3
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

to avoid the many cyclones you will need to stay at around 10 south to pass over the top of madagasgar,keeping a careful eye on the itcz to the north,that will bring west winds.
stop in mayotte before heading down the mozambique channel in may keeping an eye out for sw busters coming off the african coast.
this route is the only safe way to do it at that time of year.

pilot charts here
Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:14   #4
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

Check the pilot charts carefully. We had to leave Mauritius in mid-October because of the formation of the first cyclone of the season (130 knots) and this is was the earliest ever recorded so the averages may not mean much. You have a big fast boat and that is a plus and it seems like your intent is to push hard which is also a plus but it could be a challenging trip. There is a reason why almost every boat arrives in SA within a pretty narrow window. If you go north of Madagascar, might want to figure out all of the places to hide on both sides of the Madagascar Channel as you make your way south. At the south end of Madagascar there are a couple of anchorages where you layover for a few days. The Peri-Peri net (8101 at 0700 and 1700 South African time) is helpful with weather and advice. You could also email them at periperiradio@gmail.com for their recommendations. This can be a nasty coast. It is mid-summer and we are tied to a dock in Mossel Bay with 35+ knots in the harbour from a buster.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:21   #5
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

@ atoll ... Have you personally done this route at that time of year, ie end April?

"to avoid the many cyclones"... there were 3 in 2012.... is this considered a lot? I think it's pretty normal for Madagascar, considering they're about to be hit by their first one of the year. Many sources consider cyclone season over in March, some in April.... but who knows for sure! All I do know is that they are not common in April.

Thanks for the link... Visual Passage Planner is a great source too.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:14   #6
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

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Originally Posted by Fast Forward View Post
@ atoll ... Have you personally done this route at that time of year, ie end April?

"to avoid the many cyclones"... there were 3 in 2012.... is this considered a lot? I think it's pretty normal for Madagascar, considering they're about to be hit by their first one of the year. Many sources consider cyclone season over in March, some in April.... but who knows for sure! All I do know is that they are not common in April.

Thanks for the link... Visual Passage Planner is a great source too.
i have spent 3 cyclone seasons in mayotte,crossed S indian ocean,and north indian on seperate occasions,as well as numerous trips up and down the moz channel and south african coast and red sea route 5 times north and south bound,as well as over 100,000 yacht miles!

probably i should have said "the many depressions" that track west at around 20 south from november till april, (not a cyclone),but still a 60 knot revolving storm of which there are many is fairly marginal for even a large yacht,to be more exact.

crossing from sunda to mada or mauritius would be more prudent in may.
though which ever route you take,you will encounter 60 knot sw gales off the african coast during the winter that occur very frequently.

crossing earlier via mauritius in my opinion would not be a very good idea.

transiting the moz channel in may also gives the oppertunity to use the strong south bound current,and duck in on the mozambique coast to avoid the sw gales that come every 3-10 days.

in a march -april crossing ,the logic of staying at 10S is that you will be north of any depression forming,and can easily head towards the itcz till it passes.

on the southern route you will not have that option,and for much of the route be in cyclone alley.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:26   #7
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

a much safer route would be to cross the N indian by march to the seychelles,then proceed south via the mozambique channel during cyclone season if you have good access to weather info enroute and arrive in sa in april.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:31   #8
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing... late March

@ Atoll... thanks a million for the advice! Much appreciated!
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