Mukawwar Island Channel

The short cut through the Mukawwar Island area is free of swell and well beaconed. Inkeifal is the best anchorage and is shown separately in large scale. 41 2 miles from Marsa Halaka, this inlet is narrow and clear for much of its length and provides absolute protection as always. When leaving here, two reefs 3Vi and 5 miles east and southeast of the entrance are conspicuous by the fact that they always break. Further along the coast a high and dry shipwreck rapidly rusting through will be seen...

Darwin Approach

Vessels approaching from the west or northwest may enter Darwin via Beagle Gulf whilst those coming from the east or north are best taken through the Dundas Strait into Van Diemen Gulf. The Clarence Strait is a reef and islet-restricted channel where strong tides are experienced. General view of the Darwin Sailing Club yard and clubhouses. Visiting boats may be hauled out and stored here but living aboard once on the hard is not permitted. Although I cannot recommend Darwin without...

Galle

Red meat and poultry is killed daily and is very cheap but is displayed without refrigeration and is often covered in flies. Definitely only for determined meat eaters Frozen poultry imported from Germany seems good and cheap. Duty-free items can be purchased from a special shop in Colombo but an entrance fee is applicable and the attendance of a customs officer is required. It is not worth the effort. Alcoholic drinks can be had with meals in most caf s and hotels with the local arrack being...

Addresses Of Tourist Offices In London

Australian Tourist Commission Heathcoat House 20 Savile Row London W1 Tel. 01-434 4371 Djibouti Embassy 26 Rue Emile Menier 75116 Paris Tel. 727 49 22 Egyptian Embassy Tourist Information Centre 168 Piccadilly London W1V 9HL Tel. 01-493 5282 Ethiopian Embassy 17 Prince's Gate London SW7 1PZ Tel. 01-580 3711 0174 Hong Kong Tourist Association 125 Pall Mall London SW1 Tel. 01-930 4775 India Government Tourist Office 7 Cork Street London W1X 2AB Tel. 01-437 3677-78 Indonesian Transport,...

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is a man-made gutter joining the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea via three lake systems. It is now capable of back loading light supertankers of up to 200,000 tons. The enthusiast shopper will enjoy Port Said proper but is obliged to secure a shore pass before being allowed ashore beyond the yacht basin. This involves the compulsory changing of US 150 per person into Egyptian pounds at the disadvantaged official rate there is a black market rate considerably higher which is...

Mukawwar Island

Rising to a little over 90 metres, this long, narrow island is totally barren and uninspiring whilst offering no anchorages around its perimeter. However, because of its disposition and the reefs around, an area of semiprotected water is created between it and the mainland as well as to its north where huge Dun-gunab Bay provides total protection for anyone wishing to venture off the track. Those remaining on the track will find no trouble navigating the Mukawwar Island area thanks to clearly...

Darwin

POSITION Northern Territory coast 12 27'S 130 50'E. GENERAL DESCRIPTION Darwin is Australia's most isolated capital city lying at the top of the Northern Territory, a state of Australia which is, in itself, considered a remote and desolate area. Darwin's isolation is its very attraction it is a modern, sprawling oasis at the end of a seemingly endless road. The very fact of being able to survive there is an achievement which sets Darwinites apart from other city dwellers. Despite the constant...

Tor Harbour

Shown in large scale here, this anchorage enjoys security from all winds except south as long as the small boat tucks into the so-called boat harbour. According to American yachtsman, Thomas Waters of the yacht Tiama, who weathered a severe dust storm here, fuel might be offered at absurdly low prices. This must not be expected and under normal circumstances it is not permissible to make a landing here. SHEIKH RIYAH (not illustrated) Situated on the east coast of the Gulf of Suez 5 miles...

Khor Abu Asal And Marsa Hamsiat

Within 6 miles of the last inlet, these are said to provide easily entered and secure havens. Khor Abu Asal is the better of the two. This is a deep and easily entered inlet 6 miles south from Marsa Hamsiat. It branches into two inlets and anchorage can be found more or less centrally in 10 fathoms and excessive depth is the only problem 8' 2 miles from Marsa Wasi, the entrance to this fine inlet is well advertised by a date palm on its north shore which can be seen 7 miles away. On final...

Marsas Fijab And Arus

These two inlets are on the 20 north line 11 miles south from the last inlet. The barrier reefs offshore are well beaconed and the fringing reef is easily sighted except in reflective, calm conditions. SHA'AB RUMI (Reef) (not illustrated) Lying 13 miles southeast of Marsa Fijab, this reef lagoon offers excellent diving to the enthusiast and might be considered a point of pilgrimage for scuba diving exponents, it being the site of Jacques Cous-teau's early experiments. He actually lived...

Pobasoo Anchorage

This unnamed bay is on the mainland opposite Astell Island. CADELL STRAIT This is a shallow, calm-water passage between the mainland, at Napier Peninsula, and Elcho Island. Any navigator is advised to work a rising tide to around the halfway point from where the falling tide will assist rather than inhibit. If in doubt as to the whereabouts of the deepest water, work a making tide all the way through. There is not enough water in the channel for deep-keeled yachts at spring low tide. The strait...

Chagos Archipelago

Lying a little over halfway along the logical route from the Cocos to the Seychelles in the south Indian Ocean, the Chagos Archipelago is a scattered collection reefs, banks and coral cays. There are a number of excellent anchorages available despite the rumour that cruising boats are not permitted in the area. This is only partly true. Owned by the British, but leased to the Americans who use Diego Garcia as a military base, all local inhabitants were resettled on Mauritius to the southwest...

Tropical Storm Seasons

Destructive winds are confined to the hottest time of the year wherever they occur. Because there is very little difference between summer and winter in these regions the two seasons are more generally referred to as the wet (summer) and dry (winter) season. In the northern hemisphere they are also called 'monsoons', the direction of wind indicating whether it is summer or winter. Thus, winter in the northern hemisphere is called the 'northeast monsoon' whilst the summer is called the...

Approximate Distances In Nautical Miles Between Major Points

Galle to Cocos (Keeling) Islands 1670 Darwin to Christmas Island 1520 Christmas Island to Cocos (Keeling) Islands 520 Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Chagos Chagos Archipelago to the Seychelles 1100 Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Mauritius 2600 Gove to Thursday Island to Brisbane 1400 Thursday Island to Port Moresby 330

Strait of Gubal

This is the southern entrance to the Gulf of Suez being a 14 mile wide gap between the Egyptian mainland and the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula. It contains many reefs and islands which further restrict its useful width and experiences very strong north-northwesterlies owing to the extreme funnelling effect of its narrow neck. Dominant amongst the anchorages it offers are Sha'ab Ali (reef) and Ghubbet el Zeit as already described and the next anchorage described, Endeavour Anchorage. Lying...

Ras Banas

This is a major headland on the Egyptian coast which forms Foul Bay and extends out from the small port of Port Berenice. Although easily identified from a good distance offshore by the two ranges of 180 metre high hills, the end of the headland itself cannot be seen until 4 miles off. It is low sand which gives a last minute hook to provide good protection from the prevailing wind. A reef extends 3l i miles to the south-southwest from Ras Banas. its southern edge...

Storm Signals

These are so many and varied that, frankly, one alone seldom proves anything whatsoever. However, as evidence stacks up the possibility of a serious storm in the vicinity cannot be ignored. If a corrected barometer falls more than 3 millibars below the mean, there is a depression somewhere which could intensify. A long swell associated with the above is further proof and indicates the exact bearing from your position. If the depression is to the west it will, in all probability, move away and...

Djibouti

Noted in the general section on the Red Sea, Djibouti is repeated here as a reminder that it offers an alternative, or an addition, to Aden. Djibouti is a tiny African independency surrounded by Ethiopia and having a small section of its border with Somalia. It is at the head of the Gulf of Aden and overlooks the Strait of Bab al Mandab, the southern entrance into the Red Sea. The port is secure but uninteresting and, according to friends, the cost of living is exceptionally high being tailored...

Sudan Coast

From Marsa Halaib in the north to Khor Nawarat in the south there are anchorages every few miles along the Sudan coast. KHOR EL MAR'OB (not illustrated) Not tested by the author, this large, double-headed inlet is reputed to offer fine haven and easy entrance. 2 miles east-northeast from the entrance there is an uncharted reef in mid passage which may carry less than 7 fathoms over it. The barrier reefs beyond display many large boulders.

Traffic

There is a well-defined shipping lane down the centre of the Red Sea. All through traffic adheres to this lane although occasionally one sights a ship taking a short cut across a long dogleg. The areas of greatest danger from shipping are in the narrow southern entrance (Strait of Bab al Mandab), and where the sea narrows in the north to become the Gulf of Suez (the Gubal Strait). Cross-sea traffic is mostly in the form of dhows running between Sudan and Saudi Arabia as well as Saudi Arabian...

Leaving the Mediterranean

Physically, the only way to leave the Mediterranean Sea to embark upon the cruising routes described in this book is to pass through the Suez Canal, and because the canal's northern entrance port is Port Said, it follows that the yachtsman is obliged to lay course for Port Said from whatever proves to be his or her last European country. It is the question of which country should be the last one visited in Europe that will be looked into here. Because all European countries offer endless...

Hurghada Harbour

Often chosen by those wanting to leave their vessel to visit the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Hurghada cannot be recommended above Suez for this venture. Fuel can be bought here by the drum but I caution against such folly, the local chandler once having a yachtsman jailed until his price was paid. This was an outlandish US 400 for one 44 gallon drum Immediately south of the harbour will be seen the new, circular shaped Sheraton Hotel. Anchorage is not permitted offshore but visitors may...

Passage Planning

This has been already noted in a general form earlier in this book under the heading 'The Best Routes'. The navigator need only be reminded of the following basics Eastabout Use the southwest monsoon's safest period of July, August, September, favouring August which is a totally cyclone-free month. If in the area during the dangerous months of May, June, October and November, stay as close to the Equator as the continuation of useful winds allows. Remember, cyclones do not occur over the...

Sulu

This small patch of water is surrounded on three sides by islands of the Philippines and on one side by the Malaysian section of Borneo. The Borneo end appears to be safe although the Sulu Sea is best avoided altogether because pirates tend to roam the entire area. Here is why. The Philippines, under President Marcos is, for want of a kinder description, a dictated democracy. There are many pressures from within and without and these pressures were not eased by the slaying of Marcos' brother in...

Poverty

Westerners love using the term 'culture shock' when describing conditions in another country, especially countries as different as those in Asia. And whilst the term is not necessarily derogatory in any way its insinuation is enough to discourage travellers as they imagine a situation intolerable to their sensitivities. It is interesting that a cruising yachtsman can be surrounded by natives in their dugout canoes at a Pacific Island anchorage and think of it only as romantic experience neither...

Port Said Anchorage

The Port Said Yacht Centre is an obligatory facility for visiting boats awaiting the Suez Canal transit. A sliding scale is charged which tends to be a minimum of US 5 per day per vessel. Facilities alongside are basic. POSITION 29 58'N 32 34'E At the head of the Gulf of Suez. The northernmost point of the Red Sea and the southern port for the Suez Canal. GENERAL DESCRIPTION The area in and around both the port and city of Suez is of little physical interest. However, thanks to a more secure...

Ras Toronbi

31 miles south from Quseir, this apparently insubstantial and quite inadequate headland actually offers excellent calm protection from all winds except those directly onshore (very rare). To its north will be seen a variety of small buildings and one or more fishing boats will be seen snugged behind the fringing reef. At Ras Toronbi itself there will be seen a jetty under the lee of the headland and a couple of low buildings. MARSA ABU DABBAB (not illustrated) 22 miles south of Ras Toronbi,...

Cochin

One of the many huge cargo canoes of Cochin is poled through shallows. Transport There are many systems in and around Cochin. The railway services the area but does not offer transport in the local sense. This leaves buses and taxis ashore and ferries and rowboats on the harbour. Harbour ferries run frequently to all major points and are cheap, if overcrowded. Rowboats are available as a sort of short distance watertaxi service although some folk have hired them for tours of the whole harbour....

Thursday Island

The township of Thursday Island is a typical country town with more than typical country prices. The visitor is advised to avoid victualling in bulk here. Those determined to remain close to Thursday Island itself should anchor amongst, or outside, other vessels between Main Wharf and the Fuel Wharf (still referred to by some as the 'Naval Jetty'), or west of the Engineer's Jetty. In this area a strong trade wind makes conditions most uncomfortable when blowing against a current and also the...

Formalities

Anywhere in Egypt formalities should be called 'formidabilities' for they are indeed formidable, especially where a transit of the Suez Canal is concerned. Look at the offices involved Immigration Quarantine Immigration again Suez Canal manager Suez Canal engineer Bank Insurance Stamps Post Office Harbour master Suez Canal manager again. At any and all of the above offices a bribe (backsheesh) is not requested, but is expected, and if you do not know your way around, or attempt to clear the...

Gulf of Suez

Stretching nearly 200 miles from the port and city of Suez in the north to its entrance through the Strait of Gubal in the south, this narrow strip of water offers very few worthwhile anchorages along its coast whilst it does promise maximum shipping traffic and navigational confinement in the regions of its oil rigs. These regions are dominantly in the Ras Sharatib area and the Strait of Gubal with another cluster of rigs between the two over Tor Bank. Whilst the Gulf of Suez is basically...

Resume Of Wind Direction

Detailed maps and descriptions will be found later for each and every part of the routes under scrutiny. Here the broad spectrum of passage planning around anticipated winds will be reviewed. Without labouring the point with specific details here, it can be said that the Red Sea provides a very useful and occasionally rumbustious north-northwesterly wind throughout the year. It can therefore be stated categorically that a southbound sailing vessel will have no trouble running down to the Indian...

Marsa

Both reef anchorages, beacons assist in locating them. Both reef anchorages, beacons assist in locating them. This is a reef close against the mainland's fringing reef just north of Suakin and 24 miles south of Port Sudan. It combines with a small inlet to create fair haven tucked up under the hook of the fringing reef in 5 metres. About 30 miles south of Port Sudan, Suakin provides good shelter in an interesting environment, this being a town mostly in ruins but still visited by camel trains....

Port Sudan

The town of Port Sudan is everyone's idea of an Arab town and provides a remarkable variety of facilities to the visiting boat including a fabulous market and a number of shipping agents specialising in assisting small boats. in close enough to pump direct from drums. If you can rig a similar system a lot of tiresome mess will be avoided. Paraffin is available from the Shell service station in West Town but is often scarce owing to demand. Methylated spirits must be purchased through the black...

Victualling along the way

This subject is dealt with independently under the heading 'Facilities' in each and every port description throughout the 'Ports and Anchorages' section of this book. However, as a service to those wanting a quick reference for the entire route, the following is brief but pertinent. DIESEL FUEL In 1984, diesel cost around US 1.50 per gallon in Larnaca, Cyprus, where it is also easily loaded at the marina and being cheaper than in most European countries there is a natural temptation to fill...

D

In autumn, the northerly wind of the Red Sea recedes slightly and occasionally in the southern extreme allowing the early northeast monsoon to enter. Mostly, the Gulf of Aden is a non wind area in both spring and autumn. Haboobs are unique to the Sudan coast and especially to the Port Sudan area where they blow from the southeast through south to west. Force 8 is common and despite their short duration, they can cause havoc in crowded anchorages. Most common between July and September, whole...

Marsa Halaib

Lying against the mainland and formed by the reef and island of Gezirat Halaib, this anchorage is a huge, sand-bottomed lagoon offering all-round protection from the elements although such is its size that a lee shore within could prove choppy. Because the wind is nearly always from the north in this region, the best anchorage is in the north corner where shown. Entry is made through the reef guided by the well-placed beacons. These comprise one starboard and three port marks. There is also a...

Gove Harbour

Superior to Darwin in comfort and security, Gove is a bauxite mining town where most facilities will be found in severely restricted numbers. A PPR OA CH Many yachtsmen using this book will approach from the east, their last port being Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. From this direction a proper landfall after the 330 mile crossing of the Gulf of Carpentaria will raise Gove Peninsula which will appear as a long flat-top 'island'. This 'island' is, in fact, Mount Saunders, on which will...

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Pentaria lightship situated on the 7 fathom bank known as Carpentaria Shoal southwest from Booby Island. The Carpentaria lightship is a red steel vessel with a single light structure standing amidships on its well deck. Its light carries for many miles. After this light is the major, manned light on Booby Island from where Thursday Island harbour is best entered between Friday and Goodes Islands. Beware, during a night approach, of over running marks when the current is favourable. This passage...

Hanish Group And Jabal Zuqar Island

70 miles southeast from Zubair Islands and 70 miles northwest from the southern entrance to the Red Sea Strait of Bab al Mandab and stretching for some 25 miles in those directions, these islands are uninhabited and safe politically. Anchorages are not outstanding but certainly pleasant enough, although a sudden and complete change of wind direction is possible from December to April. An anchor watch may be necessary. The largest islands in order of size are Jabal Zuqar, Great Hanish and Little...