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Old 21-11-2019, 16:45   #16
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

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Originally Posted by Intifada View Post
There are (essentially) 3 routes going west - (a) red sea, (b) cape hope/ Carribean, (c) cape hope/the Canaries.

And there are 4 routes going east - (a) NE past japan/over the top of Hawaii/down to Panama, (b) E in the 40's and then N to Hawaii to west coast and down to Panama, (c) E in the 40s to somewhere useful on the Chilean coast and north up the coast to Panama, and (d) round the horn and up the Atlantic (with 2 sub-routes in the Atlantic)

I have done all or most of 4 of these.

The Red Sea is by far the technically easiest and most direct. The pirates are way way down from their peak, but there are a lot of poor folks wandering around with guns who on a bad day might see you as an ATM.

Cape Hope is rather more technically demanding, and you still have some potentially sketchy locals to deal with (but way less than red sea) . . . but its a long route via the Carribean to Europe. If I had a boat that could go upwind I would do the Canaries route.

The pacific routes E in the 40's are interesting but again one step more technically demanding, and long.

Bottom line . . . the Red Sea is a personal risk decision. If you rule it out then it's a pretty major commitment to get between oz and euro.
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Old 21-11-2019, 16:45   #17
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

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Australia going west is part of the “milk run” with very good sailing conditions in the trades. I would go Aus to Cocos Keeling, biggish jump to Chagos, then either to Seychelles or Mauritius. Seychelles would take you over the top of Madagascar where you can have a nice stop at Nose Be then down the Mozambique Channel. Another nice stop for those wanting something iconic is Zanzibar.

Going via Mauritius would essentially drive one south of Madagascar on to any of the ports in a South Africa. Possibility of gales no more likely than when doing the Channel except that the Channel would provide significant current advantages heading south. Strong headwinds in the Channel against the Agulhus Stream is a far bigger threat than open-sea gales. Pick your poison.

But understand that this is a very long route to get to Europe. Reaching Cape Town is not a lot past halfway.

Mediterranean to Australia via Suez Canal is a serious challenge unless you get the season exactly right. I’ve done Seychelles to Australia (most of the trip) and would never consider doing it again. If that was the only route open to me I would sell/abandon the boat, no kidding. I did it non-stop but I believe India/SriLanka provide little facility for cruising sailors.
Hi, I did the cocos, chagos ,Seychelles run, not difficult. It's a bash from the Seychelles to Nosybe, not for the faint hearted.

Many go Cocos Le reunion, Mauritius then upto and over the top to Madagascar, not that many do the southern run anymore for the reasons you stated, you'll get a gale.

If I was to do it again I'd go the same way but from the Seychelles I'd head to Tanzania and spend a season there. You can pick your windows and head down the coast from there and then over to Nosybe (which is very cool btw).

It is the long way to Europe as you said, but it gets done regularly.
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Old 21-11-2019, 23:57   #18
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

Hi
I did the trip from Australia to the EU (Amsterdam) 3 years ago now in my 48 ft catamaran, From Townsville, Darwin,
joined the Indonesian rally until Bali, then Christmas Isl, CoCos Isl, Mauritius, Elizabeth Bay Africa, Simon Town, Marina, Africa, Walvis Baai Namibia, St Helena Isl, Recife Brazil, Trinidad, Horta the Azores, would have gone straight to Amsterdam, but suffered a broken Mainstay, so had to motor the rest of the way via Spain,and France to refuel along the way. No problems along the weather-wise did sail bare poles from the bottom of Madagascar to Elizabeth Bay with a following wind, and from there to Simon Town, stopped a couple of times for more a favorable wind. Crossed the Indian Ocean and the North Atlantic single-handed, no problem Cheers Duchie.
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Old 22-11-2019, 06:56   #19
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

Thanks so much for all the replies. I am definitely reconsidering my original plans now.. Initially I chose EU to Oz via the Atlantic and Pacific as they were the most written about routes and I got the impression that buying a boat in Europe would be cheaper than Australia. Now that I've looked into it more I know I can get a good boat for the same or cheaper than Europe and I have some route options. I've ordered World Cruising Routes book and will have some more planning options then.
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Old 22-11-2019, 11:47   #20
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Many go Cocos Le reunion, Mauritius then upto and over the top to Madagascar, not that many do the southern run anymore for the reasons you stated, you'll get a gale.
Going up over the top from Mauritius is quite a deviation (would add 800nm to a voyage to South Africa) but agree, there are some nice spots to visit in the Channel on the way south. Places like Zanzibar, Tanzania, as you said Nosy Be, not forgetting the Comores and Mayotte. Do stay away from the cities in Mozambique though (Beira, Maputo) they’re really not very good. Isolated spots like Isla de Mocambique, Vilancoulos/Bazaruto are good stops too if you want to break up the trip south.

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
You can pick your windows and head down the coast from there and then over to Nosybe (which is very cool btw).
For folks that haven’t travelled these regions yet, be aware in many of these places, poverty is wide spread and theft from boats is common. I lost my dingy/outboard from alongside the boat in Nosy Be one night which would have far reaching consequences for the rest on my trip. But it is a cool spot. Some of my most enduring cruising memories were gathered there.

Do you live in Seychelles? The only place I know of where the immigration authorities hold the passports of cruising folks for the duration of their stay. Quite nerve-wracking, giving up my passport for three weeks.
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Old 31-03-2020, 11:42   #21
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

By far the quickest and easiest route is as follows'

Australia to NZ (via cook straight is faster, or go north of North Island for less rough conditions.)

From NZ depart in early June from Tauranga or anywhere further south and stay South of 37 degrees until you are in position to reach up to Rapa Iti. Get a warm welcome as one of their four visiting yachts per year.

From Rapa Iti, a short hop to the Gambier islands. Enjoy a month or two there as you meet all the milk run boats going the other way.

You'll have variables for the first 10 days out of Gambier so time your departure for a good forecast. Make a stop in Pitcairn on day 2.

Depending on the wind you can usually sail a direct rhumb line course from Pitcairn to Galapagos on a beam reach across the trade winds. If you get headwinds in the first week or just want to see statues then you can go via Easter Island.

Spend a month in Galapagos then at this time of year is usually dead downwind to Panama city. Do it before the ITCZ gets too far south, but expect some thunderstorms anyway.

Arrive Panama about October and you'll have a couple of months to enjoy Panama city and San Blas.

In November when hurricanes season has ended, you can make the Cayman Islands in one tack. That's the only upwind bit.

From there, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Bermuda, Ireland. Cuba optional.

We did this route in 2016. Contrary to popular misconception it is downwind all the way except the leg to Cayman. Major advantage over the usual route is you get to the Caribbean in half the distance and in time for a full season there. The usual route via Cape town delivers you to the Caribbean just in time for hurricane season!
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Old 25-04-2021, 16:44   #22
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

Interesting to read your passage plan/route across from Aus to Panama. A newbie to planning/ completing an ocean passage so this was a refreshing find. What are your boat specs?
I am (ambitiously) planning to sail to Ireland, 28' Swanson. Don't laugh! I realise it's a deal smaller than most modern well appointed craft, but it's what we have. Seems to handle southern waters and Bass strait adequately.
I guess I'm just touching base to see if you have any more finer detail regarding this route
thanks
Sean
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Old 25-04-2021, 16:46   #23
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

Interesting to read your passage plan/route across from Aus to Panama. A newbie to planning/ completing an ocean passage so this was a refreshing find. What are your boat specs?
I am (ambitiously) planning to sail to Ireland, 28' Swanson. Don't laugh! I realise it's a deal smaller than most modern well appointed craft, but it's what we have. Seems to handle southern waters and Bass strait adequately.
I guess I'm just touching base to see if you have any more finer detail regarding this route
thanks
Sean
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Old 25-04-2021, 17:14   #24
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Re: Australia to Europe routes?

Seano a Carmen class sloop (Swanson 30 double ender) sailed from San Fran Sisco to the Caribbean via Cape Horn in 1967. There is a whole chapter about the voyage in the book World Wanderer by Des Kearns. Des was one of the three crew onboard.
Cheers
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