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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-30-2016 12:42 AM
Capt Len
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

Back in 67/68 hung with guys in Gib. I caught a berth and went to Palma and Trinidad. Meet up in the Caribe, The boat they got on went on past Gran Canarie and on to Dakar and then up the river in Gambia, before crossing to Caribe . They raved about the river .I was envious of their adventure but I'd already had enough of Morocco and Africa. (went on to use the first non military sat nav to map the mid Atlantic ridge, proving plate tectonics)
10-29-2016 11:19 PM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

West Africa.

My advice is 25 years or so out of date. Even older than is thread.

North Africa used to be quite safe, none violent, lots of con artists.
Northern Morocco gets European visitors and is probably OK.
Southern Morocco there is bugger all there but the edge of the Sahara.

As a general rule if it used to be a French colony its should be safe enough.
If it used to be a British colony its probably dodgy if not down right dangerous.

American colony (Liberia) extremely dangerous. armed guards required.
Further south Portuguese or worse Belgian colonies. Don't even think about it.
Namibia and SA should be OK.

Senegal is quite a popular destination for the French. I found it friendly. When I was there in the mid 80s
Dakar was nice safe and friendly.
West Africa go where the French are or avoid it.
Cape Verdes? Not sure I was never there. It's a popular stop now for trans Atlantic sailors.

Mauritania not much there but it used to be friendly and relatively safe back in the distant past. I was very surprised to meet actual slaves. It was one of the few country where slaver was still legal at the time. I think this has now changed. The people minded me of the Sand People from Star Wars.

I found Freetown very nice and friendly back in the early 80s, unfortunately it went to hell, Blood diamond
era. I would go back.

South of there it just gets worse. and worse.

The only place I was ever actually threatened with Violence was Liberia. I wouldn't be comfortable on my own in most of those parts. Particularly If was a women. remember the lonely planet girl has a film crew.

When you are from the western world. Its hard to comprehend the level of poverty, corruption and lack of value for life. which exists in those.

Nothing happens without Dash. or Bakshish

Anything you have of any minimal value is worth stealing. To someone who has nothing. The local authorities don't care. In many cases they are in on it.

It might have changed for the better, but News reports suggest change for the worse is more likely.

Having said all that. I did find the ordinary people if treated with respect were nice. To many a holes with AKs.

looking back Africa was one of the most interesting place I visited.
One day I might return. If I do I will stick to the well trodden tourist traps.

Sailing once you get down near Cape Vert. Stay well offshore the visibility is almost always restricted. lots of big fishing vessels. Constant wind (Harmatan) blowing sand and dust of the desert. it gets anywhere. Thunderstorms, then you loose the wind

If you I would read with interest how it went
10-22-2016 11:27 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

The OP did say the Azores route.

Yes people have gone to the Gulf of Guinea. The Gambia has a yacht club and anchorage but no marina.

As others have said the Nigerians has started piracy after the success of it in the Gulf of Aden. But the world doesn't give a damn because not enough trade goes from central Africa.

Senegal is the last recognised stop on the cruising route south.

Oh, and Cote D'Ivore recently had some Islamic shooting of white people.

Damn pity. I have always wanted to go there.

Ports are difficult in the wholr area. There's either none or just commercial ports.
Then you get to politics: Both Congos don't want you there unless you are filthy rich. Their barriers against tourism are unbelievable.

So my advice is to go there and tell us how it is now... if you survive...
10-22-2016 11:01 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

There is West Africa and there is West Africa. Certainly the Gulf of Guinea area is not safe at all, but it is not an area that would be attractive to cruisers. When we were in South Africa and then Namibia we thought about going to the countries mentioned here before crossing the Atlantic instead of via St Helena and Ascension. Timing did not work out but we found some accounts from European cruisers (a few!) who went here before heading west. I agree with Capta that going from the Caribbean would be very, difficult and unpleasant. Some people tend to look at a world map or globe and figure that it is not that from X to Y looks like a good trip to take. Pilot charts and Cornell, who has done much of the analysis of pilot charts, are your friend.
10-22-2016 10:36 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I have a buddy, whose son is a First Mate, aboard a drilling ship off the West African coast. Piracy is a big concern. Mostly in the area of the Gulf of Guinea, but it extends a bit north and south of it, as well.
Actually, since the OP hasn't posted in 13 years, perhaps that in itself could be the answer to this guy's question?
10-22-2016 10:26 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

I have a buddy, whose son is a First Mate, aboard a drilling ship off the West African coast. Piracy is a big concern. Mostly in the area of the Gulf of Guinea, but it extends a bit north and south of it, as well.
10-21-2016 01:18 PM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

One suggestion might be to post inquiries at least 12-13 years in advance...

Here's one source I've run across before but not read: girl in a gale: A decade with Storm Petrel (there's a book, too)
Also, Matt Rutherford made it to Gambia in a Pearson, but I'm not sure where or if that's documented.
10-21-2016 01:16 PM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

To the best of my knowledge nobody has left the West Indies and sailed directly to western Africa. Wind and currents are pretty much against you all the way.
The normal route would be via Bermuda, Azores and then to the Canaries/Cap Verdes missing a lot of really fun and interesting places just east of that route.
I'm sure if you got to Europe or South Africa you might find more folks who had done west Africa. Perhaps there is a South African cruiser's forum?
10-21-2016 09:10 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

Not really
10-21-2016 08:54 AM
Re: Sailing to West Africa???

Thanks Chuck. Do you have any recommendations for that topic?
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