May 1, 2024

Noonsite April Sailing News and Updates


The cruising season has finally arrived in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Now that cyclone season is officially over yachts are already South Pacific-bound from Panama, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. The month of May sees yachts from northern Europe starting to point towards the Mediterranean as do many that are departing the Caribbean and not heading to North America.

Our April newsletter has plenty of news and reports from around the world including the Pacific, Atlantic and the Mediterranean, plus useful articles to aid with preparation, life on board and all things cruising.

During May we will be in touch with all who took the time to take part in our user survey and shared their contact details, with a summary of our findings. We detail in this newsletter the latest site improvements we have implemented following your feedback.

Thank you for using Noonsite,

Sue and the Noonsite Team

Previous newsletters can be viewed here.


Introducing Cruising Impact

This month we have launched a new feature section on Noonsite called Cruising Impact, which showcases cruisers who are determined to have a positive impact on the places they sail to, their projects, plus a wide range of citizen-science projects open to sailors worldwide.

Wherever you are cruising, there are many ways you can give back to the local communities and environment in the places you visit (particularly in more remote areas). By researching your destination, you can discover ways to make a difference. Whether it’s helping with school and medical supplies to isolated villages, hosting research scientists, raising environmental awareness in schools, offering technical assistance or simply delivering packages, you will reap the benefits of making a positive contribution to the places you voyage to.

Tell us what projects you are involved in and we will add them to our Cruising Impact page.


Cooking in a small, moving space and the provisioning that goes with it (often in a foreign country), can be daunting for first-timers. Expert Sarah Fowler of Small Vegan Kitchen has been sharing some really informative and useful articles with Noonsite recently, and this month discusses the advantages of cooking with a pressure cooker. Don’t miss her galley organisation tips and tricks and her recommendations on how to feed a family on board. More great articles from Sarah coming soon.

What communications do you install on board to best-serve your coastal and offshore cruising? The Cruising Club of America have published a very useful guide covering the various options, giving an excellent overview of what you might need for your voyaging ahead. It can be found here.

Following the Times’ report on how Starlink is changing the lives of liveaboard cruisers who work from their boat, we have had some good feedback. Patrick says “Starlink changed my life. After installation in Thailand, we went to Maldives, Seychelles, Socotra, Djibouti and the Red Sea and we never lost signal.” Rod and Jane report, “Starlink has transformed our comms set-up. It works fantastically at sea - even faster than near land. We have three children and they are able to watch UK TV whilst at anchor - almost unbelievable!” Robert says, “I purchased a Starlink system this year for cruising the Bahamas and it is definitely worth the investment. I now have a high-speed con-nection everywhere I go and can use WiFi calling for phone calls.”. All the feedback we have received will be published soon in a report, so if you have any feedback about Starlink you would like to share with fellow cruisers – send it to

If you are a Young Cruiser (in their words “those who don’t wait for retirement to start living”) find out about the worldwide Young Cruisers Association, a blog and app to help young cruisers connect.

Serving Bluewater Cruisers to Cross the Atlantic

With monthly Transatlantic trips between Europe, the North American East Coast, and the Caribbean, Sevenstar Yacht Transport makes it super easy for yacht owners to explore the world’s most captivating destinations.

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Explore our upcoming schedules

Sunday May 19, 2024

Annapolis, MD

USA Bluewater Open Day

Join World Cruising Club for a day of bluewater activities and networking. Meet the World Cruising Club team, view and visit ARC-ready yachts and learn from experienced skippers and marine experts. Ideal for anyone interested in joining the ARC or World ARC rallies, and past participants very welcome. Meet old friends and make new cruising companions. Places are limited, so please register in advance, click here.



Many of our survey participants mentioned problems they were having with navigating the site, particularly confusion over the meaning of the new icons. To remedy this, we have introduced new country and port navigation drop downs using words, not just icons. Simply click on "Explore Country" or "Explore Port", next to the country/port name, and the list of icons with their meanings will be revealed. Use this menu to find the port and country info. that you need.


We also received a fair bit of feedback expressing frustration when using Noonsite on a mobile phone. Due to alerts (important notifications) taking up space at the top of the site, important port and country information was being pushed out of view. To help improve this we have now condensed alerts into an exclamation icon at the top right of the site, with the number of alerts waiting for you to view showing in red. Simply click on the alert symbol and the notifications will open.


Noonsite joined Facebook this month as a window to post interesting articles, hot topics and share cruising information with our followers. This is the first step in aiding community engagement, which the survey feedback indicated many of you want more of. With so many cruiser Facebook pages around the world, it's a great way to glean useful information and converse with others out there on the water. Follow us and like, comment and share all the Noonsite posts you find interesting.

Noonsite on Facebook

We continue to work on improving Noonsite. Although the survey is over, this doesn’t mean you can no longer feed us back your thoughts on the site. We are always listening. Contact


Since the start of 2024 we have been publishing guidelines in collaboration with the Cruising Association (CA) as to how you can best-prepare for a passage around the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula, now that the risk of an orca interaction is a concerning factor. Having already covered passage planning tips, pre-departure preparation, FAQs and what to do at sea should you encounter orcas, the final article in the series looks at the anticipated movement of orca over the cruising season. Atlantic Iberian Peninsula ["Orca Alley"]: Passage Planning part 4.

An orca/sailboat interaction was reported off the coast of Galicia (NW Spain) two weeks ago, resulting in a broken rudder. This is the first recording of orca so far north this early in the season. Orca Ibérica GTOA advise caution as this particular group of orcas are likely heading south.

Circe, the organisation devoted to conservation and study of cetaceans, are based in Barbate, Spain, the most active area for orca interactions with sailboats. Circe Biologist Renaud de Stephanis says “the sailboat is just an environmental enrichment” for the orcas. Watch his informative talk with about the orca family groups they study, their habits, strategies on how to best deal with encountering orcas and much more. Watch here.


Noonsite remains a free resource, as it has been for the past 20+ years. Non-members, however, are limited to just viewing a maximum of 3 country formality pages per month, plus, they don't get the other perks that our members enjoy. For just $2.99 a month our Basic Members get to see the latest information as soon as it’s published, plus have unlimited access to the whole site and member-only discount offers. Basic Members can also use the Noonsite map, a very useful tool for viewing ports of entry, marinas and boatyards around the world as well as recommended anchorages posted by other members. One step up from Basic Membership is our Premium level, ideal for those planning a long-distance cruise and wanting to be able to download Noonsite’s port and country information for use offline. Why not get more out of Noonsite for your cruising season this year and find out more about Noonsite Membership.


Full time liveaboard cruisers, Stephen and Dawn Bell, have sailed all of the US eastern coast and much of the Caribbean aboard their Leopard 48 catamaran “Pilar”. They are fully self-sufficient with lithium batteries, solar energy and a watermaker. While their long-term plan is a circumnavigation, they are in no hurry and prefer to wait for the right seasons before voyaging onwards. Both are adventurous and keen to explore the countries they visit in depth. By Autumn they hope to be in Panama. Find out more in their Cruiser Portrait for Noonsite.


Sailing Free Spirit is a family of three who explore the Hebrides, Faroes, and now Norway above the Arctic Circle. Their YouTube channel is truly inspirational. Learn more about their exploration of wild places with this podcast by Explore North.

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Pacific Ocean:

Cruiser Melissa White has reported security concerns in La Cruz and Punta Mita, Mexico. It seems that thefts from boats at anchor is an on-going problem in this area, and cruisers should be cautious and lock up when going ashore and at night. Join the Banderas Bay Cruisers group to keep abreast of security issues in this area.

SV Yara, which was dismasted and abandoned in October 2023, remains a navigation hazard for yachts on route to the Pacific islands. The abandoned vessel was spotted still afloat on April 21st, by a yacht sailing from Mexico to French Polynesia, at position 05'15.650N 123'08'.534W.


Yacht agents have reported to Noonsite that cruisers are arriving in Galapagos without a permit (Autografo) and then wandering ashore in the National Park without permission. There are very strict rules for all tourists coming to Galapagos, in particular yachts, and these must be adhered to or you risk arrest and causing problems for those following in your wake, as stricter controls will be brought into play. Know the rules before you go.


More security concerns, this time in Kiribati in the central Pacific. After leaving his catamaran anchored at Betio Islet on Tarawa for three weeks without incident and with on board security employed, Julian Baker returned only to be boarded by thieves his first night back.

Maciej Laskowski reports from Rapa Nui: “Easy entry, wonderful history, friendly locals - but anchoring and fuel a problem.” SY Migration put together a very useful anchoring guide for Easter Island with the help of the locals, to help visiting yachts find the best spots and protect the coral.

With the 2024 eastern Pacific hurricane season approaching, cruisers in that part of the world are starting to discuss their strategies and potential hurricane holes for shelter, should storms strike regions where they are sailing. This report has been shared by the Panama Posse.

South China Sea

In Indonesia, renewing the B211A 60-day visa became much simpler at the start of April. Extension paperwork can now be submitted online by your agent and all payment is done electronically. This is quicker and much more efficient than doing it in person, but does mean an agent’s fee. See Indonesia Immigration for more details.

After eight months in Subic Bay, Philippines, MV Destiny have posted useful feedback re. the port's facilities and services for yachts.

Indian Ocean:

Seychelles remains a high-fee destination for cruising yachts – all exit and entry protocols have been updated in April.

If crossing the Indian Ocean towards South Africa, be sure to join the WhatsApp group “Sail to South Africa” managed by Jenny Crickmore-Thompson of OSASA. To sign up e-mail with your boat name, crew names and WhatsApp number.

OSASA warn cruisers travelling down the east coast of Africa from Kenya/Tanzania towards South Africa, to keep well away from the Mozambique coastline and not to venture near the northern-most province of Cabo Delgado. This has been declared a major Red Area, due to ISIS and Islamic jihadi activity, and is not a place to make landfall. A South African boat that ignored the warnings was boarded earlier this year by gunmen and held captive for several days.

India has brought 35 captured Somali pirates to Mumbai to stand trial, days after its navy recaptured the hijacked bulk carrier Ruen and released her 17 crew members, who had been taken hostage. In a separate operation on 29 March, Indian Navy vessels boarded a hijacked fishing vessel off Socotra and arrested nine armed pirates.

The V&A Marina in Cape Town have confirmed that next season looks very promising. They are fully booked from the end of November until the 2nd week in January 2025.


The authors of the Norwegian Cruising Guide are now offering Volume 1 as a free Online Book. This section of the guide includes planning details, Customs and Immigration regulations, communications technology, weather forecast times, yacht services, safety recommendations, multiple links and much more. Download it here. Volumes 2 to 5, covering pilotage and anchorages throughout Norway, continue to be published as e-Books.


There has been a worrying increase in reports of GPS jamming, particularly in the Baltic area, since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. On 29 March, one such episode lasted 47 hours and affected over 1600 aircraft. Sailors should be aware this is not confined to just the Baltic, but appears to be increasingly widespread.


Severe storms which struck the US eastern state of Maine during January and March 2024, have resulted in significant damage to many waterfront services and marinas. Cruisers planning to visit the Maine coastline this Spring and Summer should check the state of local marinas and harbors before setting out and be aware that there may be considerable debris still floating in the water.


While the official start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season is not until June 1st, scientists and weather forecasters are already predicting an extremely active season with as many as 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes.


Cruisers in the Caribbean and those crossing the Atlantic Ocean should take note that anti-drug smuggling operations by the US Coast Guard have intercepted three vessels since February 2024, including a self-propelled semi-submersible craft.

Puerto Williams in southern Chile is known for its unique Miclavi Yacht Club, housed in an old ship, where the bridge and forward sections of the ship have been turned into a sailors’ lounge with a significant collection of memorabilia from visiting yachts and crews. Recent changes mean that there is no longer a bar service or free Wifi, however the lounge can still be used by passing crew who in turn are responsible for keeping everything ship-shape.


Also in Chile, Puerto Natales is no longer a friendly stop for cruisers as the fishing terminal is now closed to visiting yachts. It’s best to assume you will have to anchor here.

For more information contact us at:

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Shelter Bay Marina at the Panama Canal

This pleasant full-service marina is located just behind the Panama Canal Breakwater, only two miles from the entrance to the Canal on the Atlantic side. SBM is nestled within the San Lorenzo National Park only 50 minutes away from Panama City.

The marina offers a wide range of services/amenities: Haul out facility, full-service boatyard, secure storage, fuel, sail loft, laundry, hotel, restaurant & bar, mini-market, marine supplies store, a pool, transportation to Colon and Panama City among others. More information on the full services and rates can be found at

With capacity for vessels up to 320 feet, 20 feet draft on the channel and 10 feet draft on many of the slips, SBM is the marina to make your home port while in Panama or while making transit arrangements.

Caribbean Sea:

After sailing more than 26,000 nautical miles around the world, 17 boats completed their World ARC in April and became circumnavigators when they crossed their outbound tracks in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

SailClear, the Caribbean online clearance service, is introducing an annual subscription fee from May 1st, of US$25, which it says will provide seamless customs clearance across the countries it is operational in.


There are two types of sailors in the Caribbean, says Hank Schmitt of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO) Crew Network. There are those who come down and charter for a week or two and sail from beach bar to beach bar, taking a short break from life. And then there are cruisers who come to the Caribbean for the season spending a week or more in as many islands as possible, based on how expensive they are and how much there is to see and do. In his opinion, the island that best meets these criteria is the less-traveled island of Dominica. Read his report for Caribbean Compass here.


This coming winter, the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS) will be installing 30 new moorings in other anchorages on the west coast of Dominica, between Toucari in the south and Mero, south of Portsmouth. MAYS (Mero Association of Yacht Security) is an expansion of the PAYS brand to copy the success in Portsmouth and it is hoped the PAYS brand will also be expanded to Newtown in the south of the island.

Mariners are asked to exercise caution when sailing around Tobago following a shark-attack on April 26 at Turtle Beach/ Courland Bay in the north of the island, when a British tourist was seriously injured.

JoAnne and Bill Harris of SY Ultra, SSCA and OCC port officers, have produced a useful guide for cruisers to Honduras, including The Bay Islands.

Security reports from the Caribbean this month include a suspicious pursuit vessel on passage from San Blas, Panama to the US, missing unsecured dinghies followed by demands for a finders’ fee in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and interfering with anchors on St. Kitts. See all reports in detail here.


If cruising to the Med is on your voyage plan for this summer, take a look at our collection of useful planning links to articles and resources on Noonsite and elsewhere on the web.

While this article from Sailing Britican dates from 2016, the points it covers are still relevant for yachts heading from the Caribbean to the Med: 25 Differences – Caribbean or the Mediterranean.

Time spent cruising in the Med can often be limited, whether it's because of work, school, or Schengen zone requirements. However, three months of sailing in Europe can make for a summer to remember with some careful planning. With literally hundreds of scenarios to choose from, this article by Yachting World outlines a selection of possible 90-day itineraries.

More reports by cruisers coping with the Schengen Shuffle can be found on Noonsite and don’t miss our detailed EU page covering all the rules for cruising in Europe.

Although Noonsite is mainly concerned with coastal ports, we believe a summary of information about the network of inland waterways in Europe is a useful addition to our cruising information. Many cruisers choose to travel from coast to coast via the canal network or take some time out on the calmer waters on the inland waterways. This report provides a brief overview of Europe's Inland Waterways.

Greece's Corinth Canal will re-open on May 1, 2024 linking the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth as a popular short-cut for yachts. The Canal is returning to normal operations following 3 years of extensive rehabilitation works to repair the canal after severe landslides in 2021.

Visit Teos Marina

Teos Marina Turkey

Giving exclusive services since 2010, Teos Marina has been established as one of the premier destinations in Europe for yachting enthusiasts. The privileged TYHA’s 5 Gold Anchor Award places Teos Marina among the most remarkable marinas in the Europe for its exceptional facilities, amenities and excellent service levels once again.

Home to many globetrotter sailors, Teos Marina is a well-known marina with its international quality assurance, high environmental awareness, customer-oriented service understanding and premium land & sea services. As a Blue Flag certified marina Teos Marina offers services in line with the world-class quality marina life and service concept which stands out with unspoiled nature, turquoise coves, historical texture, helpful people, natural products and local flavors.

Located in Turkey’s first Cittaslow city, Teos Marina is also logistically advantageous. Being a port of entry one can find ferry service from Teos Marina to Samos, one of the most popular islands of Greece and it is only 1 hour away from the Ancient City of Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary, which are among the most popular tourist destinations in the world.


Tripping over the Ocean

By Anne Millen

An exciting addition to the shortlist of sailing fiction. Anne lived aboard for 5 years and wrote the popular cruising memoir “More than a thousand dawns”, which told the story of her 4-year circumnavigation.

Her latest book is a fiction story about a young female sailor who wants to sail single-handed from NZ to Vanuatu. To get some ocean miles she takes on a yacht delivery from NZ to Fiji with a couple of crew that she knows, however, despite best-laid plans she takes on more than she expected!

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

How to get more out of Noonsite

While the majority of Noonsite continues to be a free resource, there are some ways you can get more enhanced viewing and more involved with the site:

Become a Member:

Starting from just $2.99/month you can benefit from enhanced access to key areas of Noonsite via our membership program. Your subscription will help keep the site on the web as part of a growing community of supporters. Our free membership is available to all but does come with a ‘fair use’ policy limiting access to country formalities each month. Enjoy unlimited access to all country formalities via our Basic Membership for just $2.99 a month, which also gives you the Noonsite community map, where you can view at a glance marine services worldwide, ports of entry and post your favorite anchorages. Noonsite's Premium Membership gives offline access to port and country formalities information to use when on passage. 

E-mail us with updates and reports:

Send us your detailed cruising reports and experiences around the world to publish on Noonsite and share with the community. Help us keep Noonsite accurate by feeding back any port updates or experiences of first-arrival in a new country. Any cruising-related questions are welcome, contact the noonsite team directly at

Social Media:

Follow our social media accounts for notification of site updates, new cruising reports and news and other cruising-related posts we find of interest.

Twitter: @NoonsiteEditor  


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