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Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

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Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by hooligan6a » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:34 am

I am looking for information on crossing the Indian Ocean,West to East. From Durban to Thailand. Has anyone
made this crossing? Love to hear about.
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by ka4wja » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:26 pm

Hooligan,
1---- I've not made this passage, and I'm not sure where in Thailand you're going....but with the great circle route being about 4500nm just from Durban to the Sunda Straits, taking you in some less-than-favorable prevailing winds, and skirting the edge of the high piracy alert zone, it's probably not a passage that many have done!!
hooligan6a wrote:I am looking for information on crossing the Indian Ocean,West to East. From Durban to Thailand. Has anyone
made this crossing? Love to hear about.
Yes, some have raced thru the Southern Ocean, but I haven't heard of many that have sailed the crossing you describe....

2 ---- So, I assume you'd be looking to break the passage up into multiple legs, and try to follow some weather patterns if they develop???

3 ---- Although one of the big issues surrounding going too far north, too early (to stop along the way in places such as Reunion, Mauritius, etc.) is that it places you very close to the high-piracy areas...although Mauritius is considered by some to be a "probably safe" area from piracy, there HAVE been attacks near there, AND even some further south and east....
But, with the Seychelles, Chagos, and Maldives, putting you right in the heart of it...these are NOT really a consideration at all...
Please have a look at this thread for a lot info and links....
http://forum.ssca.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12257

And, this chart showing you the areas of high-piracy alert...
http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/UK_H ... _Chart.pdf
The High Risk Area (HRA) extends South from the Suez
Canal and the Strait of Hormuz to the lines of Latitude
(78°E) and Longitude (10°S). Attacks have taken place at
the most extremities of the High Risk Area. This trend is
likely to continue.


If you wish to avoid these areas of high-piracy-risk, this leaves heading EAST out of Durban and then heading for Cocos Keeling, or Sunda Strait, etc. a long passage to take, mostly UPWIND any time of year...


4 ---- Of course I haven't even hit upon the other "big issue", that being the prevailing winds and current...
This time of year expect mostly East and Southeast winds averaging about 15 - 17kts, for almost the whole route...
And, an approx. 1/2 kt. WSW-setting current, against you!!


5 --- Again, you didn't specify where in Thailand you're going....so...
So, if heading for Phuket, etc. then once you pass East of 80* E (near, or below, 10* S), you can probably turn NE to NNE and get a better angle on the prevailing winds...and once north of 10*S, you'd typically have much more favorable winds...but due to high-risk of piracy following a better route for winds (the "northern route") is NOT really a consideration these days...




So, Hooligan, I'm curious as to why you're considering this passage???
Please let us know...

Fair winds...

John
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

(currently lying, Sewall's Point, FL)

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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East The reason

by hooligan6a » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:01 am

John, Good question, the plan is to Leave Florida in May, sail to Ireland. Leave Ireland in Sept for the Canaries. In Nov. because the Red Sea is out of the question, sail to Cape Town(1700M) via St Helena, a beat all the way. From the Cape to Durban(800M) This will not be a piece of cake but the Portuguese did it in those Galleons and they did not sail to weather. Leave Durban in May, the start of the SW Monsoon. Up the coast of Madagascar, avoiding the Agulhas Current as much as possible. Then to The Seychelles, cross to Sri Lanka, July-Aug. This is all done during the SW Monsoon, so it is not completely, against the prevailing winds. From Madagascar to Sri Lanka is pretty much out of the pirates area of activity. Years ago I was in Sri Lanka and met a guy that sailed a 23' boat from England to Sri Lanka then on to Singapore and Australia. So I know the trip, although not very often, is doable. What do you think? Want to come along? Just kidding.
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East The reason

by hooligan6a » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:58 pm

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Last edited by hooligan6a on Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East The reason

by ka4wja » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:02 pm

Hooligan,
You didn't originally mention when you were planning this voyage....
But, it sounds like you're working things through okay...and I wish you well...(but you couldn't pay me enough to do that route...

And, wondering do you have some recent info (last month or two) that is contrary to mine from the UKMTO???
hooligan6a wrote: Then to The Seychelles, cross to Sri Lanka, July-Aug. This is all done during the SW Monsoon, so it is not completely, against the prevailing winds. From Madagascar to Sri Lanka is pretty much out of the pirates area of activity.
As this route is NOT considered (by UKMTO, EU-NAVFOR HOA, etc.) to be "out of the pirates area of activity"....actually, according to the reports/papers from last fall, the area around the Seychelles, is in the heart of pirate activity...


Fair winds...
John
John, KA4WJA
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by hooligan6a » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:58 am

Yeah, I pretty much worked it out. I still would like to talk to someone that has made this trip. As of right now Madagascar is pretty safe. I am in contact with a guy in Durban, that runs a Marine business and has his finger on the pulse. I would stay well south of the Seychelles to avoid any Somali fishermen. Another route would be, stay south of Madagascar and head directly to Chagos, then up to Thailand. All of the pirate activity right now is on the African West Coast. looks like the military is doing a good job up around the horn and Red Sea. I would check it out with all of the authorities before leaving Durban.

Ed Hart
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by SY Gemini » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:19 am

I have sailed the east to west run in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and frankly would not have had a problem to go back in reverse for much of the trip. Seas were flat and winds at best light... But that was February/ March. I also kept a boat in both Singapore and Phuket for many years and enjoyed exploring these areas.

Monsoon sailing is different to trade winds as they often carry some fairly rough wx with them. Not the predictable 25 knot trade wind runs that many sailors worship. Lots of reefing and sail plan changes and at times rough water.

The traditional trading boats criss have crossed the Indian Ocean for a millenia following the monsoon. Personally I suspect this would be a really interesting trip and with the a bit of careful planning a fairly comfortable trip a well.

In addition to Sri Lanka consider Goa in India as an option to break the trip up a little ... great cruising and just starting to open up ..... Approaching Galle in Sri Lanka with a SW monsoon could be interesting!

Bottom line is that most cruisers have spent little time in the Indian Ocean other than as a transit to the Red Sea. That does not mean it can't be sailed as the local trading boats have proved. ( a few times we sailed passed some of these dhows and the javanese traders and these are not go fast go to windward boats)

I really can't comment on the security issues as it has been too long.

The western Indonesian coast line is absolutely fascinating (well at least pre Tsunami) and visited by few cruising boats... read unspoilt!

I would suggest you also do a little research on cyclone tracks and in particular those that trend towards the Bay of Bengal... even in a early stage I know of boats that have broken a lot of gear.

You sound very positive which is great. I hope you can make a viable plan and have a great trip.

Ross

PS I was wondering if Trincomalee on the east coast of Sril Lanka is now open ? that would be a great port to visit.
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by evelinegeubbels » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:13 pm

Hooligan, did you do the trip as planned? How was it? We're considering a similar trip and have studied the pilots and Jimmy Cornell's routing guide but indeed can find very little info from people who have actually done it. We followed same reasoning as SY Gemini, i.e. trading dhows and jahazi have been doing this route for centuries so it must be possible... This monsoon weather is our local weather since we're based in Tanzania, so we're used to having to do frequent sail changes, reefs, dealing with squalls. But no cyclones here. Boat is a Leopard 39, sailed up by husband & crew from Durban thru Moz channel. She goes to windward better than we expected from a cat, but it's of course not a comfortable course at all so we want to do most of the route in the SW monsoon.

Our draft plan is to go to Seychelles from Tanzania in April, to Chagos end July, to Langkawi Sept, head north along Thailand coast early Dec to arrive at friends in Myanmar around Christmas. After that no detailed plans yet.

The breaking point seems to be either Seychelles or Chagos, from where the alternative would be to go South (June) to Madagascar and Comores, but we figured we visit those on the way home.

Would love to hear your and others' experiences!

Asante
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by Soggy Paws USA » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:17 pm

Nowadays, there is a private / hidden Facebook Group where current information about Indian Ocean crossings is exchanged. You cannot find it on Facebook, because it is completely hidden. You need to know the person managing it and email them, or have a friend add you to the group (and then the group admin must approve).

I will PM you the email address of the moderator.

There are actually two groups... one where the focus is crossing the IO to/from South Africa, and another crossing the IO to/from the Red Sea. You can join both with one email.

Sherry
Sherry & Dave - s/v Soggy Paws - Circumnavigating
In the Philippines for most of 2018
http://www.svsoggypaws.com
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Re: Indian Ocean Crossing West to East

by carminedobney » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:59 am

Hi, hooligan. Are you still considering this passage? I'm curious why.
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