IN Sri Lanka to India

Mainly because of considerable bureaucratic hurdles, only a small number of yachts include India in their cruising plans. Although the NE monsoon has more settled weather, the high proportion of NW winds make it difficult to reach most ports on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent during this monsoon. Coastal navigation is made somewhat easier between December and February by alternating land and sea breezes which make it possible to take long tacks along the coast. When sailing along the coast at night it is almost impossible to avoid the numerous fishing nets and small boats without lights that are a feature of this coast. During the hours of darkness it is safer to stay a few miles offshore.

made before the end of the year to allow the monsoon to establish itself.

Although the Sultanate of Oman does not encourage tourism, cruising boats that make the detour to stop there are treated courteously. Foreign boats are only allowed to stop in Raysut (Mina Razute), an excellently protected harbour. Those who have had the foresight to arrive with visas may move around the country freely, those without have to observe a curfew and are only allowed outside the port area during daylight hours on working days (Saturday to Wednesday).

The northbound passage is not easier during the SW monsoon when the weather is often unsettled. One alternative is to reach NW India towards the end of the SW monsoon, in September, and sail down the coast with the help of the NW winds and south-setting current that occur at the change of seasons. During the NE monsoon constant, light northerly winds will be experienced as far north as Cochin. For this reason few boats venture further north than Cochin, where it is possible to leave the boat under guard and travel inland.

Having left Galle Harbour through the Western Channel, from WP IN231, a course can be set for WP IN232, 20 miles south of Cape Comorin, the southern tip of India. In strong winds and big seas,

Best time:

December to Fej-Lary

Tropical storms: ■

May to June, October to November

Charts:

BA:4706 US: 706

Pilots:

BA: 38 US: 173

Waypoints:

Departure

Intermediate

Landfall

Destination

Di-iametVi

IN231 Galle W

IN232 Comorin

6"01'N, 80'13'E

7'45'N, 77120'E

lN233Tangaserri

IN234 Cochin SW

Cochin

357

8'50'N,76'25'E

9'55'N, 76e12'E

9'58% 76'14'E

this point should be rounded further offshore as the seas tend to get very rough in its vicinity. The route then swings north parallel to the coast to WPIN233, off Tangaserri Point. Another course alteration is made for WP IN234, SW of the entrance into Cochin harbour. Entering the well protected port at night

This passage is best made during the NE monsoon when winds are mostly favourable. Contrary winds and a strong east-setting current are the order of the day for a passage during the SW monsoon, and even during the transitional months the winds are often westerly. Tropical storms very rarely touch the Northern Maldives and the danger of encountering a cyclone along this route is remote. The Maldives should be approached with great caution both because they are all low lying islands and because of the strong currents.

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