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  #1  
Old 02-21-2001
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South A frica to Australia in a cat

Help I plan to sailmfrom Richards Bay South Africa to Brisban Australia via Perth Aderlaide Melbourne Sydney
Hope to leave in 2 weeks time sail SE to 35 s maybe 40 s then east to OZ
Any body with experience on sailing Cats in lower lats and in big winds and seas
Drougues to slow down etc etc
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Old 02-15-2009
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SA to Australia

I assume you are in a hurry?
What size cat do you plan on sailing accross?
I am asking as someone who will be doing the trip from SA to Brisbane in 2010once my yacht has been built. A lot of my investigation has not found too many people that have done the route you are planning in a Cat.
I would be interested in staying in touch to determine who you contract to sail over with you. Secondly I would be interested in hearing about your trip once concluded.
My initial investigation would make me comfortable going Richards Bay, Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Cocos, Christmas Island, over the top of Australia down into Brisbane. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has done the trip before either way from SA to Australia.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jangles View Post
My initial investigation would make me comfortable going Richards Bay, Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Cocos, Christmas Island, over the top of Australia down into Brisbane. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has done the trip before either way from SA to Australia.
I don't know if this constitutes a thread hijack - I'm sure we'll be told if it is.

I did the trip you're contemplating in 2004. I can give you some advice but no responsibility if it doesn't work out - it's a tight weather window.

Firstly, you have a few too many stops that are kind of out of line. If you're going to Seychelles you won't want to go all the way north to Maldives unless of course you specifically want to visit Maldives. But if you do, the weather window is a problem. Why? Because the best time to cross from Seychelles heading east is in March/early April and the cyclone season in that area is from December to March. In April the SE monsoon comes in and you'll be beating into 25 knots for 4000 miles. At the same time the counter current at the equator stops and you sail into a current from about 170 degrees E. So your timing has to be spot-on and not negotiable.

You also won't want to visit Christmas Island and Cocos because that's just a dog-leg that has no merit. My choice was Christmas Island but that was because I was doing a "delivery". I believe Cocos is MUCH prettier but you choose. I just don't think going north to Xmas after Cocos is a great idea, Xmas is not good enough to justify the effort.

All that said, leave Richards Bay in early Feb with a careful eye on the low pressure cells around Chagos and stay close to the African coast as long as you can. That way you minimise the chance of sailing into "nasties".

Stay in touch on the SSB with Fred in Durban, he's great with weather and other help. Get his schedule on-line or from Cruising Connection in Dbn.

Stop in Nose Be for a week (look after your stuff, the local "boat boys" will steal you blind). If you get a cyclone coming at you on the way up the Mozambique channel, go to Ilse de Mocambique for refuge but make sure you have a coastal pilot. Try and cross the channel (read current) on a west/east course, if you don't you'll be going south .

Leave Seychelles/Maldives no later than the 1st week in April. If you dally, you'll pay for it in blood. The sea, wind and current will turn against you and you'll have a nightmare trip.

If you want to stop in Darwin (logical choice) get good at anchoring and have a very good tender. Why? Darwin has a tidal range that can get as big a 14 metres!! You will anchor 250 metres off the yacht club in 15 metres deep and you will be bumping on the bottom at low tide. It's lotsa fun.

Believe me, this is not a fun trip. You'll have all the real cruising boats passing you going the other way. It's a crappy ocean and you're rubbing it up the wrong way. If this is a cruise (not really necessary) rather try either going east to west around or seriously consider 37 degrees S. The trip your planning is not a cruise, it's a struggle from the moment you leave SA.

Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtkeljen View Post
Help I plan to sailmfrom Richards Bay South Africa to Brisban Australia via Perth Aderlaide Melbourne Sydney
Hope to leave in 2 weeks time sail SE to 35 s maybe 40 s then east to OZ
Any body with experience on sailing Cats in lower lats and in big winds and seas
Drougues to slow down etc etc
I'm not a cat sailor so no comment on that. But your choice of routes is better than Jangles IMHO.

I've not sailed it myself but know two others who have and they sailed at 37S for most of the crossing. Jan to March is the better time IIRC. Remember this is one of the longest voyages on the planet! I'll check my stats and post them later.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Fellows, congratulations on reviving an eight year old thread.

O., I've been hearing reports of political riots in Madagascar. Could get tricky for vagrant sailors.
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Old 02-16-2009
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Haha.
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Old 02-16-2009
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At least it got a better response this time.
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