Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:
May to October November to April BA:4070
IS161 Broome 18'00'S, 122'05'E
IS162 Mermaid 16"45'S, 119'40'E
IS163 Keeling E 12'05'S, 97'00'E
Tropical storms affect the area crossed by this route during the summer months, from the middle of November to April, and a passage during this period is therefore not recommended. Better sailing conditions usually occur in May-June and September-October, when the SE trade winds either have not reached their full strength or have started to diminish. Occasionally strong squalls have been encountered on this run, with sudden winds of up to 50 knots.
A good port of departure from Western Australia is Broome. On leaving the port one should move immediately offshore as the reefs north of Gantheaume Point are reported to be more extensive than charted. From WP IS161 a course can be set for WP IS162, north of Mermaid Reef, so that all dangers south of that reef are left to port. The direct route leads to WPIS163, six miles east of Direction Island on South Cocos. As the only powerful light is at the airport on the SW side of the lagoon, the atoll should be approached carefully at night. The entrance into the lagoon at South Cocos is between Horsburgh and Direction Island. The recommended anchorage for yachts is south of Direction Island and is reached by leaving Direction Island
Was this article helpful?