.

Vindela's voyage from Thailand to Turkey

Routes, anchorages, special information

January through June 2005

I sailed all the way in company with other cruisers. Through the critical passage of Gulf of Aden we were a convoy of four boats sticking close together and maintaining a distance to the Yemen coast of 40 to 50 NM.

The Americans lauched a daily ssb-net which added to safety and knowledge and the Richard SE Asia Mobile Maritime Net was helpful those days when propagation was good.

There was no reliable weather forecasts for the Red Sea available. Information from different sources never agreed with each other nor with actual weather. The grib files were not any worse than other alternatives and can be used with due caution.

More valuable than anything else fore safe planning and navigation is the Red Sea Pilot by Imray.

Positions in brackets are plotted from charts and should be handled with scepticism. Positions without brackets are read from my GPS but it is prudent to stay sceptical.

 

Anchorage

Latitude

Longitude

Distance

Ao Chalong, Phuket

(7d 48.489)

(98d 21.306)

 

 

 

 

1485

Cochin/Taj Malabar

9d 58.221

76d 15.376

 

 

 

 

2

Cochin/Bolghatty

9d 59.076

76d 16.094

 

 

 

 

2

Cochin/Taj Malabar

9d 58.221

76d 15.376

 

 

 

 

1611

Mukallah, Yemen

(14d 31.400)

(49d 08.000)

 

 

 

 

705

Massawa, Eritrea

(15d 36.652)

(39d 27.791)

 

 

 

 

26

Sheik El Abu

(16d 02.181)

(39d 27.128)

 

 

 

 

39

Difnein

(16d 36.395)

(39d 19.273)

 

 

 

 

123

Khor Nawarat

18d 14.690

38d 20.269

 

 

 

 

41

Trinkitat

18d 41.310

37d 45.030

 

 

 

 

45

Suakin, Sudan

(19d 06.475)

(37d 20.329)

 

 

 

 

12

Masha Ata

(19d 17.003)

(37d 19.903

 

 

 

 

51

Masha Fijab

(20d 01.700)

(37d 11.900)

 

 

 

 

51

Masha Inkeifal

20d 46.969

37d 10.328

 

 

 

 

339

Port Ghalib, Egypt

25d 32.051

34d 38.215

 

 

 

 

132

Abu Tig

27d 24.526

33d 40.498

 

 

 

 

130

Ras Abu Zinema

29d 02.619

33d 06.754

 

 

 

 

18

Mersa Hammam

29d 12.304

32d 56.059

 

 

 

 

54

Suez Yacht Club

29d 56.833

32d 34.425

 

 

 

 

45

Ismailia

30d 35.096

32d 16.364

 

 

 

 

44

Port Fouad

(31d 15.398)

(32d 18.909)

 

 

 

 

214

Limassol, Cyprus

(34d 42.500)

(33d 10.100)

 

 

 

 

195

Finike, Turkey

36d 17.652

30d 08.981

 

 

 

Total

5320

 

 

Total

5643


Phuket, Thailand, to Cochin, India

Our planned route was not the one we were forced to use. Circumnavigating a cyclon east of Sri Lanka forced us south towards the equator before turning north for Cochin. Lots of debris from the tsunamis were floating south of Sri Lanka.

Cochin Taj Malabar, India

Mandatory to anchor at Taj Malabar hotel at arrival to enjoy worlds most complicated bureaocracy. Plan for at least two days with the authorities. You shall have a visa in advance. The hotel is extremely welcoming and we could at no cost use all facilities such as a wounderful bath department as well as pretty fast internet. The fantastic hotel resturant offers free beer for cruisers at sunday lunch.

Cochin Bolgatty

The anchorage at Bolgatty hotel is free and quiet and good for extended stay. Good quality fresh water available at low cost.
Warning: Do not use a boat boy with a name sounding like Prassat. He is a crook.
Boat boy Nazar is reliable  which is also true for the one with a bad arm.

Mukallah, Yemen

Agent Iskander (Alexander) is reliable and very helpful. Thrilling town. Friendly people. You must have USD cash, no ATM:s. That seems to be true for all arab countries as well as Eritrea but not for Egypt. For our dear cruising women long sleves and long skirts are mandatory.

Gulf of Aden

Warning: According to www.noonsite.com and www.icc-ccs.org/main/index.php pirat activity has increased. Try to arrange a convoy together with other cruisers.

Red Sea

The ”Red Sea Pilot” by Elain Morgan and Stephen Davies (IMRAY) is a must. Charts are very unreliable but this book make cruising life easy.

Massawa, Eritrea

Eritrea is a very interesting country and very poor.
Warning: Do not eat at any of Massawa's restaurants. At least one person on every cruiser visiting 2005 got severely sick. There is no tap water in the town and no sewage system. Microbes have a wounderful life. Diesel fuel was not available in March 2005. Might have been a temporary shortage but do not rely on refuelling.

Sheik El Abu

A reasonably good anchorage.

Difnein

Very unprotected achorage but last chance for a while.

Khor Nawarat, Sudan

A very nice anchorage. Take a break.

Trinkitat

A military vessel checked us. Friendly but clumsy idiots could not control their boat and damaged Vindela's teak rail. Acceptable anchorage.

Trinkitat to Suakin

Interesting fareway along the coast described in Red Sea Pilot p 133/135. Do not attempt if visibility is not good. Waypoints 7, 14 and 15 are displaced and eyeballing is essential. The buoyage was in good shape however.

Suakin

Shipping port for pilgrims from Afrika to Mecca. Fantastic old harbour. Agent Mohammed does a good job. Jerry can diesel was available and some fundamental provisioning.

Masha Ata

A reasonable night anchorage.

Masha Fijab

A good anchorage but watch out for coral heads that can catch your anchor chain.

Masha Inkeifal

A very good anchorage. Take a day rest before the long jump to Egypt.

Sudan – Egypt

There is a dispute between Sudan and Egypt as to where the border should be and cruisers are adviced not to approach the disputed coast area between latitude 21 deg 58' and 23 deg 06'. We sailed out at sea and direct from Inkeifal to Port Ghalib

Port Ghalib (or Marsha Alam or Port Mubarak), Egypt

In 2005 Port Ghalib was a huge construction site and very dirty. Apart from a new fuel station no provisions or restaurants were available within walking distance. Checking with immigration and customs was very well organized and easy and also conciderably cheaper than elsewhere in Egypt. Water and electricity was available with some difficulty. This will be a great place for a first landfall in Egypt when finished. The harbour master was difficult.

The nearby luxurous hotel Coraya Beach had a medical clinic with good doctors who cured my Massawa salmonella. For anyone in need of an international hospital El Gouna is the place to go to either by car from Ghalib or sailing on to Abu Tig Marina.

A spares delivery by UPS arrived rapidly via Marsa Alam airport to Port Ghalib marina. An ATM is available at the airport.

Abu Tig

The Abu Tig marina and vacation resort was a long desired waterhole for a tired sailor. A great place for relaxing and eating at a dozin or so very good restaurants. Looking back at seven years out there I have to refer to Puerto Calero on Lanzarote for a fair comparision. Do not miss Abu Tig.

Ras Abu Zinema

We had hoped for a weather window to go strait to Suez and started out an early morning from Abu Tig in nice calm conditions. However, the following night the wind very suddenly increased right in the nose and we found shelter in Ras Abu Zinema. A good advice – if not forced to – do not go to that place. It is a mangan ore shipping port and dirty mangan ore dust makes everyting onboard dark sticky gray dirty. Cleaning takes weeks.

Mersa Hammam / Ras Malabar

Again forced to shelter. Difficult bottom with bad holding.

Suez Yacht Club

You have to go to this place to do the necessary paper work for the Suez Canal transit. Bad mooring system between buoys. Due to differnt slack in buoy anchor lines your little boat can get into a situation when your bow line has to support all big heavy vessels tied up between the buoys aft of you.

The name ”Yacht Club” is a dirty joke. There are no facilities excusing the harbour fee you have to pay. Nearby Suez city is a filthy place. Fuel is available by jerries but much more expensive than in Ismalia so do not bye more than necessary for the next 45 miles.

The Suez Canal authoritiy is badly organized and unreliable and unpredictable. Our agent Felix was reasonable honest and was of good help, at a price that is.

Warning: Do not check out from Egypt in Suez, you will get difficult problems in Ismailia if you do so.

Ismailia

The canal transit is an easy one, uneventful and boring. Night stop at Ismailia is compulsory for small craft. It is a good idea to stay a few days at Ismailia. It is a nice town and the marina is well managed. Diesel was available at 10 US cents/liter! A good starting point for a tour to Cairo and the pyramides.

Restaurant George's in city centre is a good one and may be the only one to serve the beweridges your internals require.

Most cruisers check out with immigration in Ismailia for a strait passage out from Egypt.

Port Fouad / Port Said

We did not stop at Port Fouad, just dumped the pilots to a pilot boat and went on out for the Mediterrainean. A sensational feeling of freedom it was.

Limassol, Cyprus

A good standard marina but there are few free berths for visitors. The marina is full of local boats and there is no cruising life ashore although there are resturants and a large hotel to your benefit. In fact, the marina seems to be owned by the hotel and all hotel facilities are free to use including a wireless computer network.

Cyprus is rather expensive. But if you have problems with your Volvo Penta this is the place to go to. Father George, uncle Dimitros and son Dombos are very clever and honest Penta mechanics and they can rapidly order any spares you may need and have access to all machine tools necessary for a major overhaul.

The hard stand has limited space and is intended for ovehauls only, not for storage of your boat.

Finike, Turkey

A good marina with plenty space for visitors. Reasonable prices. Entry procedures are complicated and timeconsuming but the marina personell provides valuable help. All official offices are adjacent to the marina area which helps.

Hard stand area is limited and some arguing may be nacessary if you want to leave your precious lady on the hard. International flights from nearby Antalya.

Hard stand area is limited and some arguing may be nacessary if you want to leave your precious lady on the hard. International flights from nearby Antalya.

Turkey is said to offer excellent cruising and a few hundred Swedish boats spend years in Turkey and Greece.

Warning: Fines for polluting are extreme in Turkish waters. Be careful!

o o o THE END o o o