Is Cape Town to Western Australia

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:


Cruising guides: Waypoints:

December to February November to April BA:4204, 4070 US: 70, 204 BA: 2, 3,17, 39 US: 123, 170. 175

Circumnavigating Australia's Coastline.






Distance (AI)

IS641 Table S 34'05'S, 18'12'E

15642 Agulhas 37'00'S, 20'00'E



39'00'S, 100'00'E

IS645 Garden 32e06'S, 115°38'E


32'00'S, 115'45'E


As most of this passage will be made in the Roaring Forties, or even higher latitudes, it is recommended to sail in the southern summer when the frequency of gales is lowest, the weather warmer and there is little risk of encountering icebergs. Although the recommended time coincides with the season of tropical storms, these very rarely reach high latitudes and the only area where they might be encountered is close to Western Australia.

On leaving Cape Town, from WP IS641, a SSE course can be set for WP IS642 to avoid the area of the Agulhas Bank, which has a high frequency of gales and also a contrary current. Even if the course made good is SSW because of SE winds, the lost ground can be made up later when the area of westerly winds has been reached. In October and November the northern limit of icebergs extends to latitude 39 °S in the area comprised between longitudes 200 and 30 eE, so the course should turn east before this area is reached.

For vessels going to Western Australia the route runs between latitudes 39 °S and 40 "S, where the proportion of westerly winds is relatively high during the summer months and the weather considerably warmer than if one went south to about latitude 50 °S, where the predominance of westerly winds, and gales, is indeed higher. It must be stressed that a reluctance to go far enough south in search of westerly winds and staying around latitude 35 °S usually means a higher proportion of SE winds, and therefore a much slower passage. The course should be altered for Fremantle, or any other West Australian destination, only after meridian 100 °E has been crossed. Taking as a point of reference WP IS644, boats bound for Fremantle can set a course from that point for WP IS645, NW of Garden Island in the approaches to Fremantle. The continuation of the route towards Bass Strait is described in route IS17 (page 405).

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment