IN Thailand to Sri Lanka

Waypoixts:

Departure

Intermediate

Landfall

Destination ■ Distance (M)

KmilH\M\

IN141 Phuket SW 7C44'N,98J19,E

IN142 Nicobar 6'30'N, 93;50'E IN144 Dondra 5'50'N, 80'35'E

IN145 Galle E 5:59'N, 80'15'E

Magalle 1101 6'01.9'N, 80'13.7'E

IN141 Phuket SW

IN143 Sombrero 7'38'N. 93'35'E IN144 Dondra

IN145 GaiieE

Magalle 1096

At the height of the XII monsoon, between January and March, the winds along this route can be perfect and some of the most pleasant passages have been experienced on this route. Directions are very similar to those given for route IN13.

Taking one's departure from Phuket at WP IN141, east of Ko Keonoi, there is a choice of routes to pass either to one side or the other of the Nicobar Islands. WP IN142, south of Great Nicobar, offers the easier option and is the recommended route (INI4A). The alternative (IN14B) is to set course for WP INI43, north of Little Nicobar, and pass through Sombrero Channel. The disadvantage of the latter is that there will be more dangers to avoid and also more small boat traffic, especially at night.

IN15 Thailand to Singapore

The Nicobcirs belong to India and cruising boats have not been allowed to stop there in the past.

Having passed the Nicobars, the course can be altered for WP IN144, off Dondra Head, the southern tip of Sri Lanka. From there, the route runs parallel to the island's south coast to Galle Harbour, which is entered through Eastern Channel. Approaching Galle from the east, especially at night, Goda Gala rocks, SE of the harbour, should be given a wide berth and the bay approached from the south. The town of Galle is on the west side of the large bay, whereas the small port is in the NE corner of the bay in Magalle. Boats are normally met by an agent whose services are needed to complete entry formalities.

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:

Pilots:

Cruising clidls: Waypoi.nts:

Departure

December to April None BA:1355 US: 707 BA: 21, 44 US: 173, 174

Phuket and Malacca Straits Guide.

Intermediate

Landfall

Destination

Distance (M)

IN151 Phukets 7'47'N, 98'25'E

IN152

4C00,N, 100'00'E IN157

ÎN156 Penang N Georgetown 201

IN158 Channel W Singapore . ri4'N, 103'30'E 1'16'N. 103'50'E

Departure [ Intermediate Landfall Destination Distance (M)

IN151 Phuket S IN153 Butang IN154 Langkawi Bass Harbour 129

The west coast of Thailand south of Phuket can be cruised throughout the year as it is not affected by the cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal, although the more pleasant weather occurs during the NE monsoon. During the SW monsoon the weather is sultry and hot and the frequency of squalls is higher. Sailing conditions along the Malaysian coast and in the Malacca Strait are also better during the NE monsoon. In both seasons the main current has a northerly set.

Although a passage through Malacca Strait can be undertaken throughout the year, the best weather conditions will be experienced during the NE monsoon, when the frequency of squalls is much lower than during the opposite season. Also less frequent are the notorious sumatras, which can make navigation very difficult in these busy waters as the squalls are accompanied by heavy rain and gale force winds. As mentioned earlier, another feature of navigation in Malacca Strait are the strong tidal currents which, combined with the normally light winds, make it more convenient to anchor between tides. This can easily be done as there are anchoring depths all along the Malaysian shore and there are sufficient protected places where one can stop for a few hours. The Malaysian side is preferable if this passage is done in shorter stages. Light winds and calms are more frequent during the day, so it is better to sail at night when breezes are steadier. One hazard which is almost impossible to avoid at night are the numerous fish traps that line the two shores. It is therefore recommended to sail in deeper waters during the hours of darkness.

On leaving Phuket, southbound boats have the choice of either taking an inshore route (IN15B) and stopping in a number of conveniently placed ports along the Malaysian shore, or staying offshore (IN15A). Leaving from WPIN151, south of Phuket, the offshore route goes to WP IN152. If planning to stop in Langkawi, the nearest port of entry into Malaysia, the inshore route is taken to WP IN153, halfway between Besi and Tenga islands in the Butang group. From there the course can be altered for WP INI54, off the west coast of Langkawi. While the offshore route continues to WP INI 55, those wishing to stop at Penang should set course for WP IN156, at the entrance into North Channel leading to Georgetown.

The density of shipping traffic increases as one moves towards Singapore, and by the time the offshore route has reached WP IN157 one should be prepared for a lot of shipping. The route continues to WP IN158, at the entrance into the Singapore Channel. The new Raffles Marina, on the west shore of Singapore Island, is the best place to make for in this, the busiest port in the world.

Although most cruising boats prefer the west coasts of Malaysia and Thailand, a number of yachts have ventured recently along the east coasts of these two countries which face the South China Sea. There are many attractive fishing harbours along the coast from Singapore to the Gulf of Siam. Because that coast is exposed to easterly winds, it is better to sail there during the SW monsoon. See route PN41 (page 226) for more details.

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