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Old 29-05-2010, 00:25   #1
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Pirates: IRTC Is Safer

When we transited the Gulf of Aden we wanted to go along the Internatioanly Recognised Transit Corridor IRTC where the naval ships patrol.

We couldnt find anyone to join us so we were forced to go in a convoy along the Yemini coast and even within Yemini Teritorial Waters.

The good news is that its being reported that being in the IRTC is getting safer.

Quote:
Today, there are an average of about 25 ships patrolling the area.
The naval forces have established a 464-mile-long corridor for about 33,000 vessels that use the Gulf of Aden each year.

"Within this corridor, the pirates' success rate has fallen to nearly zero," Maggi said.

But pirates have moved outside the area to prey on ships, adjusting their tactics to reach farther from the coast. Pirates sometimes use so-called mother ships to launch smaller skiffs once they are in range of their target.

Despite international efforts, Somalia pirate attacks grow - USATODAY.com

So for those contemplating a run against the pirates please check the latest updated information

Live Piracy Map
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Old 29-05-2010, 01:49   #2
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Thanks Mark for the info. We will be coming that way in January. We intend to stop in Salalah, Nishtun, Ras Sharma, Al Mukalla, and Aden.
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Old 29-05-2010, 02:35   #3
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Hey Randol
Be sure and touch base with me before you arive....I might be able to help with ground transport in Aden and Mukalla.
Once in Mukalla...Socotra is only an hours flight away...very safe and worth seeing...bring the bikes!
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:27   #4
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Cruising Yemen

We cruised the Yemen coast this year, 2010, group of 8 boats together. Had a good SAFE time. Dont need to go in big convoys non stop, stopping far more enjoyable and relaxing than trying to keep 100 metres apart for 4 to 5 days.. But recommend 4 to 6 yachts together, maybe have Sat ph to ring Coalition forces everyday. Ras Sharma was spectacular and Al Mukalla a place not to be missed. spent 3 nights at each place could easily have stayed longer. Yemen people are extremely friendly, the fishing boat who approach usually only want to trade/sell fish or try you for alcohol. We always said we had none and offered water which was sometimes accepted.
In my opinion Maldives to Salalah passage more dangerous than Salalah to Aden although we had no hassles with people only a fishing net .
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Old 05-06-2010, 21:24   #5
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Originally Posted by Kiwis View Post
Had a good SAFE time. Dont need to go in big convoys non stop,
In my opinion Maldives to Salalah passage more dangerous than Salalah to Aden although we had no hassles with people only a fishing net .

Glad you got through fine.

You are far more courageous than me

I agree the large convoy is difficult and we would have preferred a small group of 4 to 6 but could not arrange one.

I also agree with you on the passage to Salalah being dangerous.

I am very glad we are out of the area. In fact we couldn't wait to get out of the whole region. The last words we heard when leaving Egypt was: "Cigarettes for the boat driver?" Our bow dipped to the first waves of the Mediterranean and we were free!!

I am glad you have enjoyed it more than us


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Old 05-06-2010, 23:37   #6
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Red sea delightful

Mark

sorry you missed on our small group, we were in Salalah same time as you. We thought most people knew we were forming a group, you must have missed out on the scuttlebut while there.
We found Yemen, Eritrea and Sudan great, beautiful waters, good land trips etc etc but Egypt was definately missable. We felt the same as you Mark when we left Port Said... free from the annoying backsheesh culture of Egypt. But don t judge the whole area on experiences in Egypt. 10 weeks in the Red Sea was great recommend it to all cruisers, but take your time before Egypt and enjoy.
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Old 15-06-2010, 01:34   #7
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Those contemplating stopping in Salalah next season should be advised that the agent Mohammed is claiming to raise his fees substantially. Supposedly 9 boats departed Salalah this year still owing him money. Total of agent and port fees are supposed to now be in the $1,000 USD range --- a very hefty price just for the privilege of stopping to re-fuel. We have contacted another agent who normally handles only commercial vessels and he quoted total fees of $832 USD. Still too high a price just for the opportunity to purchase fuel.

We hope the fee structure is adjusted downward from those outrageous figures before we actually make the passage in January 2011. Like others planning to transit next season, we continue to watch the piracy reports closely. Have not yet determined whether to stick to the transit corridor or closer to Yemen coast.

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Old 15-06-2010, 02:34   #8
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I'd just say that Pirates have internet too. Just be careful with your plans as the cruise gets nearer. Not being targetted is the first step! Slipping through means wearing slippers, keep it quiet both here and in each port you stop at, even being cautious about departure times and destinations! There is a risk, reduce it, just as you would when sailing in tricky waters. The rewards seem to balance the risk, as usual. Best Wishes.
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Old 15-06-2010, 06:09   #9
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Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
Those contemplating stopping in Salalah next season should be advised that the agent Mohammed is claiming to raise his fees substantially. now be in the $1,000 USD range --- .


Judy
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Hi Judy,

Going for $50 to $1,000 is of course ridiculous... I wonder if his rip off included the cost of diesel being 3 times what the locals pay or if you pay the $1,000 you get it at the real price? LOL

If I were doing it again I would arrange the group of boats to depart from the Maldives and go direct to the IRTC and not go the extra 150 miles each way to Salalah. Or go a bit further to the next Port of Entry in Oman... But people will be like sheep and do whats done last year... and that included Salalah and going too close to Yemen.

*****Another port of entry is Muscat Marina: http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Oman/MarinaBanderAlRowdha
It is 500nms up the coast


Take care. We found it much more risky that I had believed and I wouldn't go through there again. No matter what. Others have their own viewpoints and that is fine by them and by me


Nicolle is telling me that diesel fuel at the Maldives was the same price as in Oman. So fill in thailand, top up in Maldives and go straight through to the Red Sea. (or south to South Africa!



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Old 15-06-2010, 06:14   #10
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Quote:
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Not being targetted is the first step! Slipping through means wearing slippers, keep it quiet both here and in each port you stop at, even being cautious about departure times and destinations! .
Every yacht leaving Salalah MUST on VHF tell Port Control their next destination.

We never heard anyone lie. If we were going in a smaller convoy that I had some contol of our Zarpe would have had us going in the other direction and said so on the VHF, left at dusk, run a few miles with nav lights on the wrong way, then backtracked onto our correct course.
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Old 16-06-2010, 08:29   #11
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A couple of boats went from Uligan, Maldives straight to Al Mukalla, Yemen for clearance and had no problems. We cleared into Yemen at Al Mukalla,(after Salalah) about $US25. The agent Mahe is a very nice young man. He also gets deisel cheaper than Oman when we were there 56cUS, Oman was 90cUS through Mohammed. Although if careful at Salalah can get some at local prices if you are hiring a car.
We would not be happy going through the IRTC as it gets you closer to the pirates who are after the big ships and may see a small yacht as a nice diverson. Yemen coast guard is quite good but we had no use for them so cannot say for sure.
We found the Yemen people very pleasant and welcoming.
In the end make your own decision, BeBe, after you have read a variety of info, look up blogs, noonsite and anything you can get your hands on from people who have done the trip. Include info from yachts who stopped along the Yemen Coast, also those that convoyed and stopped in Aden before carrying on to the Red Sea. Information from those who were very paranoid and went through with out even stopping in Aden and very few places in the Red Sea should be last on your reading list.
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Old 16-06-2010, 10:12   #12
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What is the problem with a stop in Sri Lanka or India? It would seem to be a shorter route and both would be fascinating I would think, but I seldom, almost never hear of any cruisers going to either.

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Old 16-06-2010, 10:50   #13
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What is the problem with a stop in Sri Lanka or India? It would seem to be a shorter route and both would be fascinating I would think, but I seldom, almost never hear of any cruisers going to either.
People do go to both places.

India's attention to administration is legendary. Cruisers need to clear in and out of each port and its a task of proportions that only the least daunted will jump into.

No one we know went to other ports in India other than Cochin (Kochi).

Most people we know went to the Maldives instead.

Route planning has lots of variables and I don't think theres any 'right' route, no matter what people say. Its an individual thing. Some folks will love some countires where others will detest those same places. Sometimes for the same reasons!

The North Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea and the Anderma sea have difficulties with monsoon seasons and have 2 cyclone seasons per year. The window of oportunity can be damn short: Leaving Thailand new Years day to arrive in Salalah, Oman early/mid febuary for a convoy along the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea.
So basically 1 1/2 to 2 months to knock over nearly 3,000 nms plus deciding which stop off would be good: Anderman Islands; Sri Lanka; India; Maldives.

Some would suggest why stop in some ****-hole when you can see the Maldives? Some who have sailed the Pacific may say Not another lump of coral!

I'm sure folks could do them all.

Our circumnavigation finishes in 6 months after 2 and a half years. Many people take a decade or more to do their circumnavigation. The difference with us is that at the end of ours in the Caribbean we are not stopping

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Old 16-06-2010, 16:02   #14
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I looked at the map linked in the first post and was quite shocked in the number of acts of piracy. And then I looked at the details of the 3 on the west coast of South America. Those really were acts of attempted theft and theft of ships stores while the ships were at anchor. I can't see why they would be considered acts of piracy. I didn't look at other locations but feel those statistics are tainted.
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Old 16-06-2010, 17:46   #15
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Thanks, Mark. I can see what you are saying. I suppose to visit Sri Lanka or India would require substantial planning and a time commitment to account for the seasons. 3 years seems a goodly time for a focused circumnavigation. I thought I heard you say you like it well enough that it's become open-ended, or have you decided to settle in on one of the lovely islands you've visited? But first, the Med.
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