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Old 04-01-2012, 09:21   #16
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

Of course, even if the pirates didn't exist, my understanding is that it's a brutal beat to windward with frequent sandstorms, about the hottest weather (and seas) on Earth, spotty charting of shoals and reefs, and rapacious Egyptian officials expecting plenty of bribes for the privilege of transiting an old Anglo-French ditch across their patch of salty dirt.

I'm not saying the payoff isn't worth it, but in terms of easy passages, northbound on the Red Sea isn't it. If the choice is burning 200 gallons of fuel motoring into a headwind for a week, or spend three more weeks at sea heading for S.A., S.A. doesn't look so bad, and, having never recovered entirely from the old apartheid embargoes, most places there seem happy to welcome cruisers, of which there aren't so many.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:45   #17
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

having done the trip 7 times,would reccomend against at the moment!

leaving darwin in april and island stops,ie chagos,reunion,mauritius to arrive in sa in october are your safest bet.

ps most of the bad guys in sa have now died of aids,so a lot safer than it was!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:58   #18
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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Originally Posted by MacG View Post
The only thing reducing the risk to passable level will be a box of Mill's (not the beer) and a rotating Gatling .50 - you let them com till a 200 yards, employ the Gatling and finish them off with the Mills.
The only way to get your way through.
You do know that they have rocket launchers also known as RPGs with up to 1000 meter range.
Terror for 1,200 Britons as Somali pirates with rocket launchers attack cruise ship | Mail Online
Rocket-propelled grenade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although not too accurate unless closer. I prefer a surface to surface missle. With guidance system of course. I'm gonna go down to Costco and get one today.
Surface-to-surface missile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:24   #19
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

What I said (wrote) is totally irrelevant. No yacht is carrying a rotating Gatling and no pirate is going to fire unless they want to make their presence clear.

Piracy is an upcoming pest, not only on the Somali coast, but also Yemen, Malacca Straits, S-E Indonesia, (seas between Darwin/Sumatra), and now are the Nigerian criminals an upcoming threat, what they already were in the early '80s but now they have widened their operational field. Pirates should not be judged, they should be shot at sight. Russian treat.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:44   #20
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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You do know that they have rocket launchers also known as RPGs with up to 1000 meter range.

Yes in theory; try hitting a small moving sailboat with one at that range, and remember they are one shot weapons.

The OP did state wait until they are in range before firing, when it will be too late for RPG.

In practice, hubris aside, getting even a pistol, (put aside anything bigger or more effective), legally in most parts of the world will be problematic, (unless you are a pirate, then it's ok).
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:54   #21
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

DOn't,

The would you sail into the path of a hurricane? may or may not hit! Good seamanship now means not going into that minefield.

My route is having me well clear of trouble spots! Cruising is for fun, being held captive for a couple of years is not my idea of fun.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:28   #22
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

Sometimes people don't get me. I was joking. As if we are going to put SAS missles on any cruiser. BTW I did find out that I had to buy a 6-pack of SAS at Costco. Anybody want to go in with me on this purchase?
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Old 04-01-2012, 14:13   #23
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

Honest answer, and I have some actual knowledge on this:

There are delivery captains who to the run from Aden to Jeddah (or further out, but that's the prime time bad zone). The pirate groups have English speaking folks in the western world working with them and although it's slightly paranoid I have no doubt that they're skimming the Internet reading up on how folks are trying to evade them.

Strategically speaking the heavy shipping industry has been following the Best Management Practices introduced by the IMO with great results and it has deterred a lot of would-be pirates. These are the boats with the financial backing that allow piracy to pay so well. Cruising sailboats are merely caught up in the mess: they are worth pennies to the dollar compared to commercial shipping. So long term, that's a great thing.

At a more tactical level there are folks moving boats through but again they are literally putting their lives on the line and are adjusting tactics and routes quickly so you're not going to find any of those people talking about what, how, and when they're doing it.

The vast majority of vessels make it through that area safely. You could sail through at 5 knots blasting the American national anthem buzzing the Somali coastline and the odds are very much in your favor that all you will encounter is curious onlookers.

To put some numbers into this, there were 17,000 vessels in 2009 that transited the area, with 324 attacks, 2 of which were private yachts. Sure, that was three years ago and the situation did get worse but it's also gotten better in recent months and it's still very rare for a vessel to have problems.

Check the IMO's website, review the data, and make a decision. Base it off current data, your vessel's characteristics, and your tolerance for risk.
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Old 04-01-2012, 14:32   #24
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
IMHO shipping it makes sense today.

With commercial vessels now better armed so they can repel attacks it's possible attacks on yachts might even increase.

Like all the others, I would not do it, but perhaps you'll enjoy the risk......

If you choose to make the passage might be worth checking the insurers are also happy.

Good luck

JOHN
My understanding also. The ships are making themselves harder targets, so the yachts become more interesting. Then there's the fact that far fewer yachts are going through, which worsens the odds even more.

I really want to go, but unless the situation improves dramatically I'm not going to. Not that way anyhow.
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Old 04-01-2012, 15:33   #25
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re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

It's not only the Somali' s but the Yemenites too. They work together and they listen the radiochannels, have their informers and what do they have to fear?
Only the Russians are a threat to them. Russians kill the Somali' s / Yemenites at sight. The rest? No way. Political correctness all over.

The Dutch pick up a few pirates. They got sentenced a few years. After that they can request a permit to stay with an income as basis.
Is that punishment or reward?
Those navies burn millions a day but their efficiency is close to nil.

I believe it is on the political agenda to keep those threats alive. Now we come political so I better leave the scene.
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Old 04-01-2012, 15:42   #26
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Re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

If you cannot afford to transport your yacht from Singapore or Phuket to the Med, then I would recommend sailing the Cape of Good Hope route. Then, unfortunately, it normally requires crossing the Atlantic twice to get to the Med. When you eventually reach the eastern Med, you can always transit the Suez Canal and sail in the Red Sea if that is your desire. Absolutely no way would I consider sailing across the Arabian Sea. Piracy is still rampant and the political situation in Yemen isn't too sporty right now either.

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Old 04-01-2012, 16:50   #27
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Re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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It's not only the Somali' s but the Yemenites too.
The Yemeni Navy and Coast Guard have been extremely active in that area and have contributed to a lowering of piracy. Can you point to any evidence of Yemeni nationals committing acts of piracy?
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:01   #28
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Re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

That I have to dig up. But yes, it' s a nice working relationship, so to say. If you would like to have particulars, I will get them. They work on both coasts.
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:08   #29
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Re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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The Yemeni Navy and Coast Guard have been extremely active in that area and have contributed to a lowering of piracy. Can you point to any evidence of Yemeni nationals committing acts of piracy?

This is an article that gives some credence to the possible involvment of Yemen Nationals. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. Yemen’s descent into chaos fuels piracy fears - FT.com
Quote:
September 26, 2011 6:14 pm
Yemen’s descent into chaos fuels piracy fears
By Peter Shaw-Smith

As the Indian Ocean monsoons wane, international shipping companies are bracing themselves for a new season of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, fearing fresh involvement from actors beyond Somalia.
The rains and rough seas of the monsoon season which runs from June to September have traditionally seen a lull in activity. But last month two chemical tankers were seized in Omani territorial waters, one at anchorage two miles off Salalah, the sultanate’s main southern port.
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Old 04-01-2012, 18:14   #30
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Re: Trying to Decide on Red Sea Passage

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Just found this:-


Looks like the pirates are spreading themselves thin! Must mean there are more "holes" though the lines.
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