IN Sri Lanka to Red

squally weather and rain. The moderate NE winds prevail with fine dry weather until March or April. The SW monsoon lasts longer than elsewhere, beginning in May and lasting right through until December. The SW monsoon often commences with a 'monsoon burst', a blast of east wind that arrives with rain, thunder and lightning after a week of large clouds and vivid lightning which disappear after sunset. The SW winds are fairly constant in direction, usually strengthening to 20-35 knots by mid-morning and slackening off in the late afternoon, dropping to around 10 knots during the night. Heavy rain occurs on the SW coast from May to September. The south coast is affected by heavy swell during the SW monsoon. Although rarely hit by cyclones originating in the Arabian Sea, which move to the NW, those which originate in the Bay of Bengal can strike Sri Lanka, most frequently in November and December.

Best time:

January to March

Tropical storms:

April to May, October to November

Charts:

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US: 170, 172,173

Cruising guides: !

Red Sea Pilot

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Landfall

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Route IN21A

IN211 Galle VV 6'om 80=C13'E

IN212 Eight 7*50'N, 73'00'E IN213 Socotra NE 13'20'N, 54:30'E

IN214 Tadjoura 1V40'Nf 43'13'E

Djibouti 2258 11'36.5'N, 43'07.5'E

Koult1 IN21B IN211 Galle W

IN212 Eight IN213 Socotra NE

IN215 Yemen SE ^^'N^ö'OO'E

Aden. 2146 12'48'N, 44'58'E

At the height of the NE monsoon, when the average wind strength is between 10 and 15 knots, this passage can be truly delightful. There is also a favourable current and the frequency of gales in the North Indian Ocean is nil. Winds become lighter towards March and at such times it is advisable to leave Sri Lanka with a good reserve of fuel The one problem to worry about is the large amount of shipping, either converging into the Gulf of Aden, or crossing to and from the Persian Gulf.

Having left Galle Harbour through the Western Channel, boats bound for Djibouti (route IN21A) from WP IN211 can set an initial course for WP IN212 to pass through the Eight Degree Channel, 20 miles south of Minicoy Island. The route then crosses the Arabian Sea to WP IN213,30 miles NE of Socotra Island. If the winds allow it, Socotra should be passed to the north and at least 30 miles off, due to the apparent unfriendliness of its inhabitants. After the middle of March, if SW winds are experienced near the island, it may be necessary to pass south of Socotra and between it and the African coast.

From WP IN213 a course can be set for WP

IN214, in the Gulf of Tadjoura. The route passes south of the Musha islands and then turns SW towards the port of Djibouti avoiding the various dangers, all of which are marked by buoys. The recommended anchorage (11D36.1'N, 43°08.1'E) is off the Djibouti Yacht Club whose facilities may be used by visiting boats. The various authorities are in the nearby commercial harbour and must be visited to complete entry formalities.

From WP IN123, boats bound for Aden (Route IN21B) should set a course for WP IN125, at the entrance into the port of Aden. A marked channel leads into the Inner Harbour, where yachts anchor off the customs dock. Boats are normally met on arrival by a port control launch and directed to the anchorage.

This passage is not normally undertaken during the SW monsoon and it should not even be considered. The only alternative is to cross the equator and make one's westing with the help of the SE trade winds, possibly south of the Chagos Archipelago, before recrossing the equator. As such a route runs close to the Seychelles, directions would be similar to those for route IT16 (page 388).

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