Tag Archives | Indian Ocean

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365 days, 7,988 miles, 2 oceans, 1 boat

What a year! We knew 2015 was going to be big, and eagerly anticipated the change after a year of maintenance in Southeast Asia. In hindsight, it was truly epic: I still can’t believe we’ve crossed the Indian Ocean! This past year brought richness in culture and landscapes and beauty that overwhelmed us in their scale […]

goofing around on solstice

Indian Ocean lookback: people, the best of IO cruising

The Indian Ocean looms large in the minds of many sailors: it’s a challenge, the daunting stretch of water (followed by the big miles of the Atlantic) that prompts many to park their boats in Australia or Southeast Asia and say “done.” It’s a kaleidoscope of history, languages and landscapes. And yes, it was challenging, […]

Indian Ocean GE track

Indian Ocean lookback: the best gear over ~7,000 miles

Sailing across the Indian Ocean made 2015 a big year for nautical miles under Totem’s keel:  6,901 of them, in fact, from the time we left Malaysia in February until we arrived in South Africa in October.  It had a little bit of everything: light winds. Big winds. Really big current! Weeks among uninhabited islands, and […]

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10 reasons to love cruising in Madagascar

Madagascar might just be the perfect mix of different things we find to love in cruising destinations. Most boats crossing the Indian Ocean stop in, unless they are on a delivery or a schedule to get around the world; I don’t need to convince any cruisers to make it a destination. But for those contemplating cruising in […]

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Passage hindsight: sailing from Madagascar to South Africa

Sailing from Madagascar to South Africa is technically challenging. The Mozambique Channel separating them is famously dangerous, in particular for the effect of gales blowing up from the Southern Ocean against the south-setting Agulhas current. For a reference point that may translate better to sailors in North America, I’m told it’s comparable to experiencing a […]

PW route to RSA

Keeping current: ocean current data for passages

Ocean currents have been a significant factor for our Indian Ocean passages this year, and our upcoming passage to South Africa is no exception. On this morning’s SSB net, one boat after another chimed in about the strong foul current they’re experiencing off the Madagascar coast as they head towards South Africa. Most entered the […]

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Clearing into Comoros

Comoros, an island nation tucked between Mozambique and Madagascar, is the landfall I have most anticipated among our planned Indian Ocean destinations. Comoros does not have published official fees or processes for private boats to visit; there is no tourism industry here. That’s what happens when more than twenty coups are attempted since independence from […]

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Shelter from the storm

We thought we’d be in the Comoros by this morning, a string of islands between Mozambique and Madagascar; instead, we’re still 240 miles away and anchored. Exhausted from three rough days at sea, as our course passed in the lee of an uninhabited atoll in the outer Seychelles it was all too easy to decide […]

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Southbound from Seychelles

Finally (FINALLY) we can leave: all the packages we’ve been waiting for are on board, after 18 bus rides and enough face time to be on a first-name basis with clerks in the post office, officials in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, EVEN a bus driver (total count: 18 bus rides). Clearance could have been done […]

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Getting mail in Seychelles

Cruising is often described as routine maintenance in exotic locations, and like many turns of phrase is well-rooted in common experience. We’ve been mired in more of the fix/repair end of the spectrum lately, an occasionally more frustrating twist. While parts or consumables needed for maintenance can be pretty well anticipated, you can’t carry every […]

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