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Old 10-23-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
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Hello Captains,

I'm new to this board and as some background, I'm a USCG 100 ton Master Captian in New Jersey , USA. I have to be honest I'm not a sailor, but with the price of fuel in the US I'm going to learn.

The reason for the thread is I'm a delivery captain and just returned in April from delivering a 110' Crew Boat from Kuwait to Lagos, Nigeria and along the way some of the best advice we received was from sailors, which leads me to this.

We are being contracted to use a tug to pull a bunker boat from Melbroune Australia around South Africa to Lagos appox 9000NM, having done this from the north, I'd like any input regarding making the trip through the southern Indian Ocean between now and mid Dec, weather, currents, ports,routes etc..Also any books on the subject, charts or electronic chips available.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Regards,

Captain Mike Masiero
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:36 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard Mike.

See what information you can find about passages in the Indian Ocean section of the cruising Wiki - HERE.

Good luck with the voyage - let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and link it was helpful.

Should I post my question anywhere else on the board to see if theres anybody who has made the crossing who can share some pointers.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Should I post my question anywhere else on the board
This is the best place for your post.

I suggest you contact Tony Herrick at Cruising Connections.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:57 PM   #5
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Thanks
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:11 AM   #6
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This Link is a good one with a 180 hr loop showing the wind and seas in the Southern Ocean.

I guess the hardest part is moving across the Australian Bight - once you are at 112 d East where you can turn north up to around 30d South then steam West until you see Africa (where you might stop in say Richard's Bay 28d48'S x 32d05'E :-

for Link clickHERE
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:28 AM   #7
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I knew this would be a good board, thanks again!
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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Hello Mike,

I would agree with MMNSEA that one of your more difficult passages would be in the Australian Bight. Having studied the B A Pilot chart for November and December it would appear that your best option would be to cross the Indian Ocean above 30 deg South, to have any chance of not having a strong wind against you, and a slight adverse current too. Also the swell would be much lighter, mostly. You could then make a fuel stop in either Richards Bay or Durban in South Africa, and heading South West to round the Cape. For the first part of this leg you would have a current of around 2 to 3 knots in your favour ( the Agulhas Current ) From Cape Town to Lagos it should be an easy passage.

Fair winds !

Regards, Tony
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:54 AM   #9
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I disagree that the most difficult part of the transit is the Gt Australian Bight. Having done it once and spoken to several others that have done it, that's the second most difficult part. The most difficult part is getting out of Melbourne, through the Port Phillip Bay entrances and around past Bass Strait! Lots of shallow water, low lying islands and shoaling sand banks (that are hard to spot because of the murky water state), and not to mention the game of dodgem-boats with the rest of the traffic coming into and out of Port Phillip Bay. You also have to play it careful with the tides because there are significant overfalls around the bay entrance and a windward tide can flip an oil tanker.

The RYCV run a day course in navigating the Bay entrance.

That is unless you're leaving from Western Port / Port Hastings (actually SE of Melbourne) which is Melbourne's second port -- in which case you have a much easier exit passage and very little to be concerned about.

Bass Strait is shallow and carries a fair amount of current. Check the weather conditions before you attempt transit, even in summer there can be savage storms and 70 knot winds (check the reports of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race). Last time I went across it was in a Sydney 38, and hearing a storm warning we hid in a bay in Tasmania for a couple of days first. Another Sydney 38 ran the gauntlet ahead of us and sunk. Other crossings have seen seas so flat that you could have laid your shirt out on them and ironed it. Happily at that time of the year bad weather, although it does happen, doesn't last long and so if you're flexible about your departure date to a day or so either side, you should have no problems.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:30 AM   #10
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Here is the link to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, click HERE , reference the coastal and ocean wind reports for Victoria and South Australia. Del is quite correct in cautioning the start of the passage out of Melbourne. However, the fact that a Bunker boat will be under a Tug tow in the latitudes that produce strong westerlies and rough seas from the Southern Ocean ensures that a western passage through the Australian Bight is not one to be down played. As Tony has mentioned once north of lat 30 degrees South the crossing to Africa should see more favourable conditions.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #11
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Thanks alot for all the help,keep it coming as it is great info.

My clients have already purchased a self propelled bunkering barge, {Flat Bottom} that we had to inform them could not do the trip on its own power so now we are in search of a twin screw tug to do the job, which will be sold in Lagos.

Then finally we can fly in and leave.

I'll keep posting as this trip moves forward.

Hope to visit the "land down under" soon.....

Regards, Capt. Mike
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:17 PM   #12
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Hello,

Just plotted it on my ray tech after doing some reading, only added 800NM to the trip going N of the 30 line and heading straight towards Richards Bay.but shaved 900NM of the open ocean leg.Seems lake the Smarter thing to do.

Depending on the Tug we end up with we should be able to carry enough fuel in the barge to avoid stopping at all,outside of finding a sheltered area to transfer fuel.

Stopped in some nasty ports in Africa in the past any recommended safe stops for R & R in route and possable sheltered areas to refuel. trying to avoid as many port stops as possable. Agent and harbor fees are crazy. Hows Richards Bay, Durban, Cape Town??

Any recommended agents in S.Africa and Austrailia? we used the Gulf Ageny last time overall most were good with the added theves in some stops.

Also as we transit Austrailia what are the best stops if needed?

Thanks Mike
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainmas View Post
Hows Richards Bay, Durban, Cape Town??

Any recommended agents in S.Africa and Austrailia? we used the Gulf Ageny last time overall most were good with the added theves in some stops.

Also as we transit Austrailia what are the best stops if needed?

Thanks Mike
Richard's Bay is probably your best bet insofar as they are used to barge traffic (coaling station) Click HERE Agents etc in the link

As far as stops on the Transit of the Southern Coast of Australia - NOT many in 1800 odd NMs

Here is one link which includes links to others - click HERE

Once you are in Melbourne you will be able to get good charts and up to-date guides.

Richard
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainmas View Post
Hows Richards Bay, Durban, Cape Town??


See the South Africa section of the Cruising Wiki - HERE
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