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Ocean outlook: Pacific, South China Sea and Indian

by Noonsite 26 Dec 2022 00:55 UTC
Pacific Ocean © Noonsite


For those of you planning to head to the South Pacific this coming season, don't forget to download satellite charts for the areas you're going to visit before you leave North America. Bruce and Alene of SV Migration have free charts available on their Chart Locker, but bear in mind a complete set of charts for only French Polynesia (ArcGIS, BingSat, GoogleSat and Navionics) is over 10GB, so you'll want to have a fast and cheap connection for download. If you are in Mexico, to avoid having to download, Mike and Kat in Banderas Bay have a copy of the FP charts at Cruiser Comfort, and Andy Barrow kindly donated a portable drive with the charts that can be borrowed from the Vallarta Yacht Club. There's probably a copy or two floating around La Paz as well.

The first boat has arrived in Niue since borders opened last month. SV Independence told Noonsite: "We are in Nuie right now, as the first boat to visit in three years. We picked up one of two Moorings and were greeted by Keith who has been incredibly helpful in showing us around. A wonderful guy who really cares about the island!".

Since we reported on the possible closure of the NYC last month, Keith has been inundated with support from cruisers that have visited Niue in the past and enjoyed the hospitality of the Niue Yacht Club. He told us; "In our darkest hours we are receiving so many emails from cruisers that provide the motivation to look for solutions to carry on. The Niue Yacht Club was established in the 1970s and over the last 14 years, 6600 yacht crew have visited Niue BC (Before Covid). Cruisers are the "cleanest and greenest" visitors and it is ironic that NYC had such an ethos way before it has become fashionable with global warming and fossil fuel emissions. The fact that so many cruisers have taken the time to contact us and express their appreciation of the Club is immensely helpful. Phoenix-like, NYC will "rise again"!

Keith reports that currently a survey is being carried out of the current 20-mooring block system on the seabed in Alofi Bay, as they haven't been checked for three years. With the number of yachts planning to visit Niue next year, including two World ARC fleets, there is hope that the mooring field may be expanded if there is space on the sea bed. If you have crossed the Pacific or are planning to, please contact Keith at the NYC and show your support for the Club - .

Many yachts have been arriving in New Zealand this month having completed their South Pacific journey. Circumnavigators Kerstin and Martin Giretzlehner report on their "roller coaster" passage from Fiji to Opua aboard their Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 catamaran, Infinity, which involved wind, waves and several pairs of woollen socks!

Kirk Patterson of Konpira Consulting, long-time helper of foreign cruising boats in Japan, has decided to organize an annual Japan Rally, starting with a "test drive" in 2024. The general plan is to help cruisers go from southern Japan to northern Japan from late March to early June, positioning them to then head to Alaska/Canada. There will likely be five stops in the Rally, with participants free to determine where to go between each stop (a list of recommended moorage options and local highlights will be provided to help with passage planning). Clear-in and clear-out support will be part of the Rally service/fee. The OCC will be holding a 70th Anniversary Event at the third stop in the Japan Rally at Iki Island (off the northwest end of Kyushu) on May 10-12, 2024. There will be an option to split off and join the Setouchi International Yacht Rally which starts at Iki, and then re-join the Japan Rally the following year. Specific details have yet to be finalised, however cruisers interested in being kept up to date with the Rally development should email .

Also don't miss Island Cruising's NZ to Japan Rally, running April to June next year via Fiji and Guam, with only 2 spots remaining.

South China Sea:

After three years of limited or zero travel, we are all a bit rusty with traveling pitfalls. A timely warning from sailor Bob Mott from Thailand to be observant and beware of money changer booths in Phuket. Bob was there at the start of December to exchange US and Singapore currency and the staff miscounted in their favour.

Following our report last month on the current situation in Indonesia regarding paperwork and bureaucracy, Luc Callebaut reports on clearing into two Indonesian ports of entry and the differing experiences he had.


Seychelles lifted all Covid-related travel restrictions at the start of the month, however Madagascar still remains closed, with the Nosy Be loophole still the only option for entry.

South Africa for Christmas? Regular contributor and Ambassador for Noonsite, Maryanne Webb, has posted some very useful information about the unreliable electricity supply in SA, which will affect your time cruising there. Load shedding are two words you need to become familiar with and Maryanne offers some good suggestions as to how to avoid getting caught out.

Andaman Holidays are back to organising yachting rallies in the beautiful Andaman Islands, India and have announced the Andaman Yacht Carnival from mid-February to mid-March next year. Find out more by contacting

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