Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
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The South African coast . . . . .
. . . . . . is not such a tough challenge.
Many South African sailors regularly do trips from Richards Bay to Cape Town (and all stops in between) and back. The weather windows are a well documented and relatively easy to manage with stops at Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay. most legs are not more than two or three days and local knowledge will help you make a stress-free transition. I speak from experience - I sailed that area for many years and did coastal trips many times without incident. Most of the threatening stories you hear are just that - stories. Like any other piece of ocean, it can be dangerous and if you're complacent it probably will be.
The challenge is definitely Mauritius to Durban which can be a little tough but once again the seasonal vagaries of that part of the Indian Ocean are quite well documented and the weather systems are actually quite predictable. And a trip from Australia should take you to Cocos Keeling and if you're wise up to Chagos then down to Mauritius before the leg to Durban or Richards Bay.
There is no question - a trip via the Cape beats the heck out of the threat of the Somalian issue. At least the decisions are yours to make and if you have a well-found vessel (and I'm sure you do) then there is nothing alarming about the trip. And the trip across the Atlantic is also not that bad.
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"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
Arthur C. Clarke