Cruiser Log is a major resource for cruisers - with a reputation in providing factual information to those are currently
cruising the world's oceans, to those who are circumnavigating the planet, to those whose are investing in a cruiser, to those cruisers who have retired from the sea and to all those who have dreams of cruising to different lands and peoples.
The topic "Pirate Preoccupation..............., Why all angst...?"
unfortunately has not in its postings, drawn attention to the issue and serious problem that is now confronting the cruisers who are presently in the Northern Indian Ocean, South East Asia , Australia and the North West Pacific Ocean. The current issue is, what passages are available to sail to the Mediterranean, if Europe is the destination ?
The standard practice has been to congregate either in Western Malaysia or Western Thailand at the end of the year - then make passage of around 5 weeks to Oman - then form flotillas to transit the Gulf of Aden in company of cruisers of similar SOG - once through the Strait of Bab El Mandeb at the Southern end of the Red Sea to start the next passage of around 1,000 nautical miles to arrive at the entrance of the Suez Canal - and once this transit is completed, only then will the cruiser will have arrived in the Mediterranean.
However, The Gulf of Aden and the Seas off Somalia are now presenting a man-made challenge to vessels of all shapes and sizes - already in the last 3 months over a 100 people have been taken hostage - many vessels have been highjacked - huge ransoms are being demanded. Coalition Navies are having to divert resources from Iraq and elsewhere to respond to calls for assistance from those vessels under attack.
See this Link for factual situation report :- From US Navy
What alternative passages are available to the cruiser when leaving South East Asia in December with destination Europe?
#1. Western Malaysia or Western Thailand >>> Mauritius >>> The Cape of Good Hope >>>> Brazil >>> Gibraltar >>> Mediterranean. Some 25,000 Km or 13,600 nautical miles - on average around 4 ½ months (without stopping)
#2. Western Malaysia or Western Thailand >>> across the Pacific to Panama >>> Gibraltar >>> Mediterranean.
#3. Western Malaysia or Western Thailand >>> across the South Pacific to Cape Horn >>> Gibraltar >>> Mediterranean.
The alternatives to the Gulf of Aden transit are there - however, the passages will make additional demands on the cruiser in terms of resources, time constraints etc..
Cruiser Log is comfortable with the factual reports and information it provides cruisers who are presently planning near future passages through an acknowledged dangerous stretch of water. It is reasonable therefore to expect members and readers to evaluate the facts as presented. Some study of charts - ocean passages - and validated reports on very recent attacks is therefore recommended.