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Ocean outlook for cruising yachts - May 2022

by Noonsite 1 May 14:07 UTC
Pacific Ocean ©


  • Yachts are already starting to cross the Pacific, from Panama and NZ, for the South Pacific islands. The anchorage in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, is filling up and next month sees 20 boats in Island Cruising NZ's Pacific Rally depart from Opua, NZ for Fiji. While New Caledonia has opened up at last, the Cook Islands and Tonga remain closed.
  • The Panama Canal authorities have announced a change in fee structure and an increase in costs from 2023, likely influencing cruisers' decisions as to when to transit.
  • The Marshall Islands continue to protect their Covid-free status with closed borders. The Mieco Beach YC report that during the last 2 years of closed borders a few yachts have been allowed to enter Majuro and repair/reprovision. Unfortunately, more have been turned away with impounding and detention if they enter any atoll and one yacht was fined $10,000 for violating border restrictions.

Caribbean Sea:

  • The weather forecasts for the Caribbean from NHC/NOAA have improved with the number of forecast zones almost doubled allowing for greater precision.
  • With hurricane season looming, this is a useful article by Donald Street on when to leave the Caribbean and which way to go.
  • Hurricane resources can be found on Noonsite's weather page.
  • For yachts transiting via Bermuda, it should be noted that although Covid arrival protocols eased in early March, there remains a mandatory Bermuda Travel Authorisation (TA) process. Many yachts are not addressing this requirement and consequently crew are not being permitted to leave the vessel on arrival in Bermuda.


  • As yachts begin to migrate from Northern Europe to the Med, the Spanish Government have confirmed the acceptable protocols associated with orca encounters and what is forbidden by Spanish Law. Yacht encounters with orcas are becoming more common in the waters off the west Iberian Peninsula, be sure to know the rules before you go.
  • The Island of Sao Jorge (Azores) suffered a seismic episode - some 20,000 tremors in a two-week period - earlier this month. The tremors were mostly in the Velas area where the main town and marina are. No-one is certain at this stage what this means - an earthquake or lava effusion - however visiting yachts should be aware of the situation.
  • Coming across migrants, particularly if sailing in the English Channel, Mediterranean or near the Canary Islands, is a possibility that all skippers should consider as part of their passage planning. Yachting Monthly this month cover a solo-sailor's story of how he unexpectedly played a part in saving over 300 migrants off the Canaries with some valuable lessons for all cruisers. They also have a useful article on the Do's and Don'ts of helping those in distress.

Mediterranean Sea:

  • Find out what waste water tanks you need to fit to cruise in Turkey and what the current rules are here.
  • Don't miss our useful summary of navigable waterways in France, Germany and the Netherlands if you are planning a cruise through inland Europe.

Red Sea:

Conditions are starting to improve for yachts transiting the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal Authority have announced plans to improve services in all three Suez marinas, plus fees for northbound transits continue to fall and yachts under 300 tons will no longer have to be measured for an SCA tonnage, reducing costs and time.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of

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