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Most small boat traffic in the Arabian Sea is westbound and the busiest routes are those sailed by boats using the NE monsoon to reach the Red Sea from Sri Lanka or the Maldives. Eastbound voyages are far less common and, outside the months of January and February, sailing boats are quite a rarity. The mostly unpleasant weather encountered during the SW monsoon is not the only reason why most sailors avoid the North Indian Ocean in summer. The other reason is the less than friendly reception extended to cruising yachts in many of the countries bordering on the Arabian Sea.
The seasonal winds of this sea gave us the word "monsoon' and both the NE and SW monsoons take over. This burst of the monsoon is preceded by a week of vivid lightning which disappears every day at sunset. The SW winds in the Arabian Sea are very strong and can blow at gale force for several days. There is a high frequency of gales near the island of Socotra in July. In September the winds start weakening and the monsoon breaks up and disappears by October.
Cyclones occur at two periods of the year which
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