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  #1  
Old 11-20-2012
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Why people avoid the South Africa route

With the pirate thread in the last few years virtually no boats are going the Red Sea, nor should they. Instead the options are to stay in SE Asia, get your boat shipped ($20,000+), or go around South Africa. The latter route requires the willingness to face some crappy weather (you generally can avoid the really dangerous stuff) and patience.

This weather map shows the problem. Anyone know how to get the map to appear here? SA Weather :: Synoptic Chart

The larger depression is 954 mb and these things are quite common - and remember that summer is just coming on. You can sea a secondary low has spun out from the big one and these are the ones that make their way to or over the coast. As they pass, the potentially fatal 'SW Busters appear with waves over 60' not all that rare. We are in far eastern South Africa near the Mozambique border. In about 10 days we will look for a weather window to hop down the coast to Durban or (hopefully) Port Elizabeth which is about 360 miles. Then you wait for the next weather window before making another hop. Several hops later you reach Cape Town.
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

I tried linking it for you but it was huge and very hard to read here.
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

I have friend who left Richards Bay a week ago and just arrived Cape Town. Mojomo, dunno if you bumped into them.

They too said the crossing was rough this year. But the dangerous bit the Aghulas current was fine.

Weather information at sea is making the South African route safe, certainly compared to the gulf of Aden.

And who really needs the rip off of Egypt anyway? Plus the time it takes to get there one may have lobbed themselves right in the middle of a war.

So, well done for taking the southern route! I hope the coastal hopping is works out well. Weather does get nice and stable now it's summer

Have fun!!


Mark
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

Just talking to my So. African friend here in malaysia about your route. A real bitch for those who press the time factor. Go fast, duck into the safe spots when you can...Enjoy the hike up Table mtn.
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

We have been in Richards Bay for a month and spent two weeks looking at animals (Kruger Park is incredible) and some of SA's history. Tomorrow we are going to Lesotho for a week to explore and enjoy the mountains.

The weather does not settle down that much I understand. Tomorrow there is another SWester with 40 knots. The weather forecasting service seems quite good, the problem is that the weather keeps changing. Thinks that should happen in 72 hours happen in 48 or 60. Some boats went into an anchorage in southern Madagascar to wait for a good forecast and were there for two weeks, without entering because there was not port of entry nearby. Would make me wonder when a gunboat was coming to seize all the boats. We just kept coming and tried to time our crossing of the current which worked out fine.

If anyone has not seen the weather map mentioned above have a look. It is fascinating, and a bit scary.
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Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route



Is that big enough for everyone to see clearly ?
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

Looks like a drawing of a girl i once knew.
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I have friend who left Richards Bay a week ago and just arrived Cape Town. Mojomo, dunno if you bumped into them.

They too said the crossing was rough this year. But the dangerous bit the Aghulas current was fine.

Weather information at sea is making the South African route safe, certainly compared to the gulf of Aden.

And who really needs the rip off of Egypt anyway? Plus the time it takes to get there one may have lobbed themselves right in the middle of a war.

So, well done for taking the southern route! I hope the coastal hopping is works out well. Weather does get nice and stable now it's summer

Have fun!!


Mark
But I have wanted to go to Egypt since I was a child. guess it will have to be from a plane. But yes right now is not really a good time to be there.
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

That website must always have the most recent weather map since the one that Wombat posted is not exactly the same as the one I saw - probably 12 hours difference. Another problem with the weather is the changes are fast and dramatic. Look at the squash zones on that map and they are not that far from the SA coast. Would not want to be out there. BTW, the Agulhas Current is quite close to the shore, usually at around the 200 m depth contour.
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Re: Why people avoid the South Africa route

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
BTW, the Agulhas Current is quite close to the shore, usually at around the 200 m depth contour.
But its not very wide.
Those friends found it at 180 meters, at about two knots... So the 5 knots stuff is rubbish. Also very weak of Richards Bay but picks up a bit further south.



OK, Egypt is sensational. But then do you miss out on the animals of southern Africa?

One can do Egypt from the Med using marinas on the north coast of Egypt. Its just getting to the Med is the other way around.

I am sure once more people like Killarney Sailor do the SA rpute it will become more popular and better information will be available to those that follow.
But leaving the Suez Canal right out of it is no problem, it doesnt mean Egypt is off the cruisers plan, just done from the other direction.
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