- September news and updates


All Amel owners,

Judy and used for much of our information regarding foreign ports, worldwide. We found it to be the best and most complete information available. 
Noonsite was founded by Jimmy Cornell and has been run by Sue Richards for many years.

I am forwarding you the September Newsletter for your information. Regardless of your nationality, if you are planning to visit a foreign port, visit

I think that you will want to register as a Basic or Premium member, but there is also a limited Free membership available.

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 

September 30, 2022
Noonsite September Sailing News and Updates
After forecast modellers predicted an above average hurricane season this year in the Atlantic basin, we were all starting to wonder just when the first hurricane was actually going to form. The average date for the season’s first hurricane is August 11th, but this year Tropical Storm Danielle didn’t become the first named hurricane of the Atlantic season until September 1st and was the first named storm in the North Atlantic since July 3rd. Since Danielle the season has really got going and we have just seen the 4th hurricane, Ian, make landfall in SW Florida on Wednesday with 150 mph winds and storm surge of 12-16 feet.
It has turned out to be a catastrophic month for many communities in the path of these hurricanes and those in the path of the Pacific typhoons that have been churning away on the other side of the world. Vast efforts are going to be needed to help the communities recover. YachtAid Global has just launched Operation Moonstone to get the right aid to the right people at the right time.

Wherever you are cruising, we hope you and your boat are secure and safe. View the hurricane resources on our Weather page and how you can help local communities post-hurricane on our Volunteer Projects for Cruisers page.
In the middle of all this chaos we have lost a figure of major historical significance. All of us at Noonsite were deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her incredible length of service and devotion to her country has been a true inspiration. May she rest in peace.

Read on for more cruising news, reports from you our users, tips, recommendations and interesting links from around the web. We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter.
Fair winds,

Sue and the Noonsite Team.
Which suncream? For sailors that’s a tricky question as we are equally concerned about protecting our skin and the environment. Find out what we do (and don’t) know about sunscreen and marine life and how to protect your skin in an ocean-friendly way.

If you haven’t yet discovered it, take a look at WaterBear. This free streaming platform is dedicated to the future of our planet and is full of thousands of short documentaries on climate change, biodiversity, sustainability, community, diversity and more – all beautifully produced. Much of the content is about the oceans and it’s a wonderful platform for both children and adults to learn about the natural world around them.

Do you have some spare time on your hands and want to contribute to citizen science projects without leaving the anchorage? Zooniverse gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science projects. Work with 1.6 million registered users around the world to contribute to research projects led by hundreds of researchers with countless different topics including, of course, the Ocean.

BCA’s Currents magazine now has the final part of a two-part document by Rick Ellis outlining factors to be considered when preparing to sail offshore during the climate crisis (we featured part 1 in last month’s newsletter).

For more informative articles and useful links see the Noonsite Environment page.
We’ve all met champions of the cruising lifestyle, those who quietly get on in the background dedicating their lives to helping sailors achieve their cruising goals. This month Piet Boorsma and Esther Klaver of SY Acalephe nominated Warwick 'Wick" Alliston of Helena Marina and Tampa Garam Boat Harbour in Sorong, West Papua, Indonesia as a cruising legend. “Wick is willing to go to great lengths to help yachties out. The level of his assistance goes far beyond what you might expect of a business approach” say Piet and Esther. The Raja Ampat Archipelago in eastern Indonesia has become a “must-visit” destination for cruising yachts, thanks in part to Wick’s efforts.

Ross Bullock of SV Irony in Fiji has nominated Scott Piper as a cruising legend. “I love Noonsite, as all of us do. So glad to see the Pardeys get the recognition they deserve. Having read your request for suggestions about notable cruisers, Scott Piper comes to mind. He retired as a surgeon, aged 59, and completed four back-to-back circumnavigations, in his 50 foot "Pipe Dream X”. He unfortunately died, in Miami, at 75 halfway through his fifth circumnavigation. He taught many cruisers who crewed with him, and sometimes sailed only with his wife Mary." Scott was awarded the circumnavigation award by the Cruising Club of America in 2015. You can find out more about Scott in this article by Sail Magazine (2017).

Tell us who you think should be recognised for their services to cruisers and we’ll mention them in subsequent newsletters.
When we think about going cruising, we tend to think about the boating aspect and sailing skills that are required. However, there are a lot of other skills needed too which require “hands-on” trial and error, so if you are a few years from heading out, now is a good time to start working on these to make your first year living on board that much easier. Carolyn Shearlock of the Boat Galley suggests 15 skills that will help your life afloat:

  1. Clean a carburetor.
  2. Replace an alternator belt.
  3. Use caulk/sealant, including taping off the area.
  4. Mix epoxy and use it, including using additives.
  5. Crimp wires and shrink wrap them.
  6. Run wires.
  7. Google and discover how to make a repair or locate a part.
  8. Cook from scratch.
  9. Cook using only what is on hand for a week.
  10. Sew.
  11. Splice.
  12. Tie basic knots (bowline, cleat hitch, figure 8, clove hitch, and rolling hitch).
  13. Use a tap and die.
  14. Use a hand rivet gun.
  15. Catch and clean a fish.
To commemorate the Seven Seas Cruising Association 70th Anniversary, each month SSCA is making complementary (public) one of their popular interviews in the SSCA's Circumnavigators Summit. This interview series showcases members who have completed "round the world" voyages, and they share their stories, wisdom, and advice. The series attempts to share experiences with a variety of types of people and boats, and encourage others "to just do it!"
Austrian circumnavigators Kerstin and Martin Giretzlehner of SY Infinity are our featured cruisers this month. They are currently in French Polynesia planning their next westward move and warn that a circumnavigation is less about sailing and more about project management and repairing stuff.

“I read many books and was prepared for a huge amount of maintenance and repairing. Still I did underestimate this amount”, Martin told Noonsite. “Even though we started with a boat being only two years old, work, maintenance and repairing, formalities, research, routing, weather routing, being under way etc. is about 3 to 5 days a week. The rest of the week is spare time. The work - leisure balance is not far from a full-time job at home. Of course, being your own boss and being able to sail and travel is what motivates sailors, rather than do a 9 to 5 job on land.”

If you think you have a blog/vlog that Noonsite users will find interesting and useful, let us know where you are sailing, who you are and a summary of your cruising history.
The tropics in the Pacific have been active this month with Super Typhoon Nanmadol making landfall on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan (fortunately fizzling out once it hit land) and Typhoon Noru impacting the Philippines and Vietnam. Noru strengthened from 50 mph to 155 mph winds in one day, among the fastest a tropical cyclone has ever intensified, before it reached the northern Philippines.
The Puerto Galera Yacht Club on the North coast of Mindoro Island in the Philippines, has announced the 18th All Souls Regatta to take place October 29-30, 2022. The All Souls Regatta has been the largest annual cruising event in the Philippines since it was first run in 2004. All cruisers are welcome.

Just after we published last month’s newsletter announcing the re-opening of New Zealand’s maritime borders, it was confirmed that seven ports and marinas in NZ, five in the North Island and two in the South, are now open as ports of entry for recreational small craft.

After two years and six months, Tonga opened it’s borders completely on 27 September. The Pacific crossing is now back to pre-Covid choices, a relief for a great many bluewater cruisers. The Cook Islands and Vanuatu have joined Fiji, New Caledonia and French Polynesia in lifting all COVID-19 travel restrictions and cruisers can start planning to enter Japan next year with the announcement that the country will be opening up to (triple-vaccinated) foreign visitors from October 11, 2022.

Costa Rica has always been expensive, compared to Panama and Mexico, but now costs have increased further with the requirement in some ports to employ an agent for clearance. Swedish sailor Tore Janson reports on the complicated and ultimately unsuccessful efforts they employed in trying to clear out of the country themselves.

Hardly known outside of Pacific Mexico and Central America, a chubasco is simply a thunderstorm – or to the sailor, a squall - but there’s nothing simple about them. Chubascos are a violent area of intense rain, lightening and wind that occur from July through September in the Sea of Cortez. SV Totem share their knowledge for yachts headed that way.
PredictWind have set up a group tracking page for all cruising boats crossing the Indian Ocean that wish to take part. This is not just for OCC members, all cruisers may join. If you have a PredictWind account and want to be included, send your PW email address to support@... and ask to be added to the OCC Indian Ocean tracking group. To set your account to be part of the group (which enables you to see the tracking via the offshore app) follow the tutorial here. Best done ashore before passage.

Sailors for Sustainability have posted some useful feedback on a recent stopover at Christmas Island after departing Australia from Darwin.

The global shipping industry has agreed to declassify the Indian Ocean coastline off Somalia as a “high-risk area” from 1 January, 2023, following years of successful counter-piracy operations. For private yachts wanting to make the Red Sea passage this move will hopefully make it easier to find insurance coverage.

After an encouraging improvement in yachting protocols a decade ago when Indonesia introduced an online portal for handling yacht clearance, it now seems that yacht clearance through Indonesia is becoming complicated once again, with cruisers reporting additional paperwork and reporting requirements, fines and some ports necessitating the use of an agent. With so many islands and 28 ports of entry, the clearance process can vary greatly from port to port and requirements often change. Read how Kristin Cowan cleared into Bali without an agent. A more detailed report on Cruising Indonesia will be published next month.
Caribbean Sea:
This Friday, Sept. 30, at 17:00, the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) have a Meet & Greet GAM at the Wheel House Restaurant in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Open to all cruisers in the area, the idea is to share ideas for the winter season. SSCA and OCC port host Jesse James will be there to talk about the great opportunities in Trinidad for cruisers, as well as guest speakers and door prizes!

Aruba harbor authorities warn caution when entering Barracadera harbor, the port of entry. With the departure of the blue freighter that was used as a mark to go around it has now become very important to stay in the ship channel until abeam of the customs dock. Yachts have run into the shoal already.

A worrying assault on a yacht first-time cruising in St. Lucia at the end of last month emphasises the importance of always locking up at night (including all hatches). The Caribbean may look like paradise, but do your research for when you stop over, be prepared and know the safety rules. Every country on Noonsite has a security section outlining the latest situation, recommendations and recent incident reports and the Caribbean Safety and Security Net works hard to collect and disseminate accurate information about crimes against yachts in the Caribbean.

Chris Parker’s (Marine Weather Center) SSB Net for the Caribbean was off air last week due to urgent antenna repairs. Unfortunately, anticipated hurricane force winds have meant that the antenna tower remains lowered and out of action. Webcasts and recorded forecasts will continue as usual, but there will be no SSB radio transmissions until at least Monday, October 3.
The first named hurricane of the Atlantic season was Danielle which formed on September 1st. While Danielle churned in the North Atlantic well offshore from any land mass, hurricane Earl was forming east of the Leeward Islands, passing less than 100 miles ESE of Bermuda. But it was Fiona - a category 4 hurricane by September 22 - that had the longest and most destructive journey so far through the Caribbean devastating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and even going north into Canada hitting Nova Scotia at hurricane strength. Currently we are seeing the impact of hurricane Ian, the 4th of the season, which knocked out all power in Cuba and is currently ploughing across SW Florida.

Havoc of a different kind is still on-going off the western Iberian Peninsula, with juvenile orcas playing with and breaking sailboats as they transit the coastline. The Cruising Association’s orca project in collaboration with GTOA has now been running for 3 months and they have 71 interaction reports and 139 uneventful passage reports. Every anonymised report can be viewed (including skippers' comments) as well as comparative data at There are interesting observations also on the Orca Attack Reporting Facebook page. GTOA's mid-September prediction is that the orcas are moving north of Galicia with several interactions north of A Coruna.

Over the last few weeks, one or two yachts have arrived at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic without having the relevant E-visa in place. Arriving without the E-visa is not permitted by the Ascension island government. St Helena Port Control advise all yachts intent on heading towards Ascension, that the E-visa must be in place before departing St. Helena shores.
As the weather starts to deteriorate in the Med this month, many cruisers are heading to their winter cruising grounds and others are wondering exactly where might be best. Review our round up of recommendations from fellow cruisers, and let us know where you are safely moored for the northern hemisphere winter.

Roditis Yachting Agency in Rhodes, Greece, report that there have been some problems this summer with British boats that have had EU crew on board being issued with just a one-month transit log (even when the skipper was British). As with many multi-island nations, entry procedures and regulations can vary greatly from one port of entry to another. The correct rules can be found at the AADE website.

Some interesting feedback this month from Swiss cruiser Hans Lehman on the good, the bad and the ugly of cruising the Spanish coast.

Long term liveaboard, Robert Watson of SV Changing Spots, who enjoys cruising to more remote parts of the planet, reports on useful navigation equipment and discusses the short comings of electronic charts in these parts of the world and the usefulness of satellite imagery.

Read more cruising reports from remote regions of the world in Noonsite’s “Off the Beaten Path” section. Share your cruising story with us and we’ll publish it on Noonsite.
Question: We are planning to go long distance cruising to countries we have never visited before. As we try to calculate our approximate monthly costs, we wonder what the policy is regarding anchoring and charging for anchoring around the world – will there be places we have to pay to drop the hook?
Answer: This really depends on where you intend to go cruising. In some countries you may have to pay to anchor in certain bays. Usually, you pay by the night or at a reduced rate for longer periods. Most of the time this does include some sort of service, like free pump out, dinghy dock, rubbish bins etc. Many places now ban anchoring and have instead installed mooring fields, for which you have to buy a pass or again, pay by the night. Croatia and the BVIs come to mind. Noonsite outlines anchoring restrictions (if there are any) in the formalities section for each country.

In some countries, should you choose to anchor in a bay associated with a yacht club (or marina, or indeed any facility providing services), there may well be a short-term membership to pay, or a daily charge on departure. Be aware that more and more yacht clubs are now charging a temporary membership fee for visiting yachts that use their facilities. Many operate on an honour system, whereby anchorage and services are free and paid for on departure. These fees may not be made clear on arrival, but on departure it can sometimes come as a shock when asked to stump up payment for anchoring in their bay and using the water/shower/WiFi etc. If possible, ascertain the fees on arrival and try to get the fees in writing as some cruisers in the Pacific have reported fees escalating by the time departure arrives. If on first arrival the cost quoted at check-in is deemed to be too high, just leave the next day rather than abuse hospitality that has been garnered over many years. A number of Port Captains have reported that failure to pay up outstanding port fees before departure is a growing trend amongst foreign visiting yacht skippers. Not only does this leave a bad taste but impacts the good and decent cruisers following behind.
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Check our upcoming annual Cruiser Sailings:

  • Med to Caribbean and USA: October, November, December 
  • Med to Southeast Asia: September/October, November & December
  • Med to Australia & New Zealand: September/ October
  • USA to Pacific and Australia/NZ: December, January
  • Asia, Pacific, Australia/NZ to USA and Med: March, April & May
  • USA & Caribbean to Med and Europe: March, April & May

Welcome to contact us for other timings and destinations as well.

With the exceptional northern European summer this year, perhaps you are considering trying more northern waters for your cruising in 2023? Imray have some wonderful new cruising guides to entice you further north.

This cruising guide covers the exposed North Sea coasts and the more protected Baltic Sea coasts of both Germany and Denmark. Coverage has been updated and expanded from specific routes to a comprehensive sequence of ports and anchorages along each area of coast, with introductory information about places of interest to visit ashore. Author Nicholas Hill enriched the text with new photographs throughout. Plans include up to date hydrographic data for both German and Danish waters. This cruising guide is an ideal companion for those who plan to explore the coastline of the North Sea and for anyone on a more direct passage through to the Baltic Sea proper.

The family of Brian Navin, author of the original Cruising Guide to Germany and Denmark, generously gifted the associated copyright to the RCCPF who were delighted to build on this valuable cruising guide. Production was severely hampered by Brexit and Covid-19, although author Nicholas Hill did eventually manage to complete his extensive research, having been a Baltic sailor for many years. Tragically Nicholas died before the guide was published, but through this book he will encourage sailors to explore the waters he loved so much.
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