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Ocean passages: New reports by expert weather router Des Cason

by Noonsite 26 Feb 05:14 PST
Ocean passages © Noonsite

Indian Ocean: With boats due to start moving out west across the Indian Ocean two new reports for Noonsite by expert weather router Des Cason should not be missed. His excellent Guide to Crossing the Indian Ocean has been followed up this month with guidance on Madagascar and the Mozambique Channel, in particular with the current Covid restrictions. BIOT (Chagos) opened its doors on February 1st meaning it is once again possible to apply for a permit to visit, a relief for many passage-makers that this incredible marine protected area won't have to be missed.

Red Sea: With so many countries closed on the Red Sea route north, cruisers attempting this passage need to carefully prepare, in particular as waiting out adverse weather will likely mean using remote anchorages and reef areas. Chart accuracy and detail is poor in the Red Sea and cruisers recommend using KAP files from satellite imagery to help with navigation. An active network for yachts attempting this passage can be found at the Red Sea Passage Facebook group, access to which is granted by .

Pacific Ocean: This is normally the time of year when many yachts in the Caribbean are considering their Panama Canal transit with a view to onward Pacific cruising, but, is this the year to tackle a Pacific crossing? Behan of SV Totem explores the practicalities and echoes the concerns of many. With French Polynesia urging only those with a compelling reason to visit, perhaps a hop across to the open Galapagos Islands is a more-sure bet. Yachts contemplating doing a Pacific circuit via Japan will be disappointed by the news this month that Australia and New Zealand have been added to the long list of countries for which Japan has suspended the visa-exemption policy. As nearly all tourism applications are currently being denied, only citizens of the US and Canada can get a visa upon arrival.

Atlantic Ocean: Heading east this Spring from the Caribbean, yachts crossing the Atlantic to Europe face continued restrictions, with the majority of European countries only permitting entry if coming from another EU country and all requiring testing and/or quarantine. Some popular cruising grounds, such as Greece, are even closed at this time. A bonus this year is that Atlantic passage makers can take advantage of free AIS tracking offered by the SSCA.

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