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Old 31-08-2019, 03:56   #1
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Durban to Perth under sail

Hi all, I am an Aussie living in South Africa. I am considering buying a 35í catamaran with twin saildrive diesels with the plan to return to my homeland under my own steam (so to speak).
Has anybody here undertaken a crossing of the Indian Ocean at somewhat smaller latitudes than the roaring 40s? Ie such as between 25 degrees south to 35 degrees south
Any information will be gladly accepted and am happy to chat here if need be.
Thank you
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Old 31-08-2019, 04:23   #2
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Nigel Ridgway sailed a Duncanson 29 from Durban to Perth. Wrote a good book about it, I donít think he went much below 40 south?
Where is GordMay?
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Old 31-08-2019, 08:40   #3
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Do you know the name of the book? Thanks in advance
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Old 31-08-2019, 08:54   #4
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Youtube video, Sailing the Southern Ocean in 40 foot waves,
That was a forty foot Cat, They came from SA to OZ in it,
Great video,
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Old 31-08-2019, 16:52   #5
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

The book is called Lotus 2 An Indian Ocean Adventure. Published back in 1992 and it looks like it might be a rare one as I cannot find any for sale on the Internet.
It’s a good read if you can get a copy.
Another good read is the Indian Ocean Cruising guide by Rod Heikell. He has a section on sailing east from Africa.
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Old 31-08-2019, 17:27   #6
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

I haven't crossed the southern Indian Ocean under sail... only under steam....( Durban/Perth and Beira/Port Pirie... both in the 60's.... )

However... have crossed from NZ to Chile twice under sail..

My advice.... sail the isobars... not the great circle.

That is.... stay just far enough below the highs to stay in a westerly airstream.... 1020mb is a nice number.

That will probably keep you in the high 30's / low 40s.

Start keeping an eye on this... https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren....43,-27.04,614

and you will get the idea...

Just now mid 30's looks good.....

On a well sailed cat you would have the speed ... or so they tell me .. to adjust your course a little bit north of east.. a little bit south of east.. to stay in the stream...

You will still get a smack somewhere along the way but that is just how it is...

Ping
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Old 31-08-2019, 19:04   #7
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I haven't crossed the southern Indian Ocean under sail... only under steam....( Durban/Perth and Beira/Port Pirie... both in the 60's.... )

However... have crossed from NZ to Chile twice under sail..

My advice.... sail the isobars... not the great circle.

That is.... stay just far enough below the highs to stay in a westerly airstream.... 1020mb is a nice number.

That will probably keep you in the high 30's / low 40s.

Start keeping an eye on this... https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren....43,-27.04,614

and you will get the idea...

Just now mid 30's looks good.....

On a well sailed cat you would have the speed ... or so they tell me .. to adjust your course a little bit north of east.. a little bit south of east.. to stay in the stream...

You will still get a smack somewhere along the way but that is just how it is...

Ping
Thats a great weather map, I turned it round to the east coast of Australia, Tasman Sea,

I tried to explain the weather conditions off the east coast of NSW, OZ a few years back and got howled down for it,
It just doesnt happen like that,
I said the wind goes in four directions at the same time, Like a mini Cyclone,
South West of that cyclonic wind event, Big circular wind direction,
100 miles of the Mid NSW coast, the wind is going in four directions, North, South, East and west, At the same time,
And there it is, Happening right now,
Thanks for the weather map,
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Old 01-09-2019, 18:20   #8
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

In 79 I sailed my 55 ft schooner from cape Town to Freo and followed the great circle but flattened off at 47 and a half south. Took 3 weeks but very cold and very rough. I would not recommend it although, in retrospect, it was a great experience to have survived (2 knock downs). Another 50 footer left before us and sailed across at 40 S. Took 6 weeks but had a comfortable passage.
In 80 I sailed Darwin to Cape Town. Absolutely fantastic down wind sailing, from 15 south, until the Agulhas bank. I consider the Agulhas bank to be the whole area of less than 300m around the south of SA. We hit the Agulhas current on the 100 fathom line off Durban and ran down it with the strong current. Was a great ride but lead to very rough seas as we crossed onto the bank east of Port Elizabeth. There we met a westerly gale, just as the current started to turn to the west and cross onto the much shallower bank. Interesting seas.

In view of the above, I think the man nailed it when he said sail the isobars. Not north of 30 south and not south of 40 south.
Unless you are already in Durban depart from PE or East London.
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Old 01-09-2019, 23:41   #9
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Hi all, many thanks for the responses...I currently live in Knysna but before departing thought I might head NE towards Durban before heading east.
Iím not comfy with the thought of heading into the 40 degree + region. Roaring 40s and all those mountainous waves. I lived in Hobart some years ago and have a great respect for the weather down south.
Southern winter seems logical but, like the Queensland coast the SE will blow for months which would be a challenge to bash through for 2-3 months.
Has anyone tackled a west to east transit? Maybe it might be more sensible to depart from Knysna and head towards Darwin. Then eventually head south down the WA coast. Comments???
Cheers from Jeff B
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Old 01-09-2019, 23:42   #10
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Home is eventually Brisbane, by the way!
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Old 01-09-2019, 23:44   #11
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

“Locals” suggest heading north towards mosembique but that part of Africa is pirate country. Hence my decision to stay well south of the equator...
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Old 02-09-2019, 17:02   #12
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Rod Heikell has a chapter in his book about going east across the Indian Ocean. Durban to Seychelles May to October 2100 miles. Then Seychelles to Chagos November to December 1010 miles. Then Chagos to Thailand 1760 miles. Then you can head down to Oz from there. Thatís the basic idea and there is a heap more information in his book. Either southern or northern route I think will be hard work, why not head west and go through Panama if you have time?
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:17   #13
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Durban to Perth would be easy enough... from then on to Brisbane would be harder work.

I second the Panama idea ...
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Old 03-09-2019, 16:57   #14
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Re: Durban to Perth under sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by bushytales View Post
Hi all, many thanks for the responses...I currently live in Knysna but before departing thought I might head NE towards Durban before heading east.
Iím not comfy with the thought of heading into the 40 degree + region. Roaring 40s and all those mountainous waves. I lived in Hobart some years ago and have a great respect for the weather down south.
Southern winter seems logical but, like the Queensland coast the SE will blow for months which would be a challenge to bash through for 2-3 months.
Has anyone tackled a west to east transit? Maybe it might be more sensible to depart from Knysna and head towards Darwin. Then eventually head south down the WA coast. Comments???
Cheers from Jeff B
Absolutely, I would head west, much easier run if you want to eventually be on the east coast of oz. I crossed the southern Atlantic this year,easy run. I crossed the Indian the year before e-w not the latitudes your talking of, the Indian Ocean is the adult ocean ,I prefer the kiddie oceans

Btw I was in Knysna for 3 mths late last year, got to know Geoff, Pete,Colin etc (yachtclub)etc reasonably well ,did we meet?

Great place Knysna.
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Old 03-09-2019, 17:08   #15
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pirate Re: Durban to Perth under sail

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Durban to Perth would be easy enough... from then on to Brisbane would be harder work.

I second the Panama idea ...
Dunno about that.. Did Perth to E Tassie solo on a 30ftr a few years back and if you plan your hops/ports and keep an eye on the systems its no big deal.
But then it could be down to my famous Luck.
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