December 29, 2023

Noonsite December Sailing News and Updates


Reflecting on a year where the mighty ocean currents are flowing with an abundance of cruising yachts once more, the popularity of exploring by sailboat continues with renewed vigour. Here at Noonsite we continue to work hard to make it as easy as possible to go long-distance cruising by providing accurate, detailed information on clearance formalities worldwide and ports of entry plus providing a vast library of cruising resources.

We have received wonderful feedback from a great number of Noonsite users this year who want to share their experiences and we continue to work with our contacts around the world who assist us with important news for cruisers and vital updates. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Noonsite with useful information this year.

We now have over 32,000 registered users, of whom just over 2,000 are subscribers. We receive more than 80,000 unique visitors to our site each month and our monthly newsletter is opened by almost 18,000 readers, a staggering 63% open rate!

A heartfelt thankyou to all our users who have taken the step to subscribe to Noonsite membership. Your contribution means we can stay on the web and work making Noonsite better. We wouldn’t be here without your support.

We are keen to improve our member-only features in 2024 to meet the needs of our growing community of cruisers, and want to hear from you about how you would like to see Noonsite develop. In January we will send out a survey to all members and registered users, and we encourage you to get involved and share your ideas and thoughts. We are always interested, so if you have feedback that can’t wait, please email me

For all of you, both on and off the water this holiday season, may we wish you joy, happiness and unforgettable ocean moments.

Festive wishes,

Sue and the Noonsite Team

Previous newsletters can be viewed here.


Being able to get updated weather forecasts and communicate with those on shore is one of the most important aspects of long-distance cruising, as Alison Gieschen and partner Dan found out when they set out on their first blue water sailing experience in 2017. In Alison’s latest INSIGHTS article for Noonsite, she looks at how the Starlink service has affected their cruising life and plans.

Take your first step and join World Cruising Club’s free online webinars January 9-18 2024, for an insight into the practicalities of ocean sailing. A wide range of topics in English, German and Swedish. Register now for details.


Jimmy Green this month are extolling the virtues of a V-shaped bridle, an excellent solution for multiple mooring and anchoring applications. This article by Jimmy Green outlines why V-Bridles are an uncomplicated, but extremely beneficial, concept and why they are shipshape and not clunky when specified and produced correctly.

V and Y Mooring Bridles

Official Noonsite Ropes and Rigging Partner

Jimmy Green Anchorplait Mooring Bridles

V-Shape Bridles are an excellent solution for Anchor Chain Snubbing, Permanent Mooring, and also for Towing or Drogue Warp attachment.

Star Qualities:

  • Produced from Anchorplait® - the rope with a balanced 8-strand construction that won’t cockle.

  • Avoid congestion and potential chafe over the bow roller by making use of the mooring cleats and fairleads.

  • Dependability – produced from one continuous length of line with a centre eye splice and locking tuck – avoiding any weak joining splices.

  • As a yacht veers, the load transfers to the windward tail, helping to dampen yawing.


A wonderful festive musical plankton composition from Richard Kirby, creator of the Secchi Disk study, now in its 12th year. Who would have known there was so much beauty below the waves? If you've not yet taken part in this vital study of the ocean's plankton, find out how to do just that on your next offshore passage in 2024. The Secchi Disk study needs you!

What’s your new year’s resolution to help the oceans in 2024?


Papua New Guinea

Despite security concerns, James Ashwell and the crew of SV Uhuru of London, spent two months cruising Papua New Guinea and discovered some of the most primitive communities, incredible wildlife and best cultural delights they have experienced in their six-year global voyage so far.

James stresses, however, that they would not have gone without careful preparation and serious consideration of precautions that should be taken while cruising in PNG.

His detailed report for Noonsite provides an abundance of useful advice as well as inspirational descriptions of some of the most memorable experiences they had in PNG.



Limited Places


Experience the Wonders and Diversity of Japan

From South to North

March 29 to June 1, 2024


Enjoy the Beauty, Culture, and History of the Seto Inland Sea

April 28 to May 27, 2024

For more information contact

Also, don't miss:

The Ocean Cruising Club

70th Anniversary Event

All cruisers welcome

April 26-28 2024


Keeping both Orcas and Sailors Safe

The mystery of orca behaviour around the Iberian peninsula (NW Spain and Portugal) continues as does the Cruising Association (CA) and GTOA’s initiative to collect data from sailors transiting this coast in an effort to keep both sailors and orcas safe. The CA is concerned, however, that the rise in posts of orca interactions to social media sites, rather than to its database (now moving into its third year), will result in the loss of critical pieces of information that could be crucial in their research, evaluation and understanding of the orca behaviour.

If you are planning to transit the Iberian peninsula in 2024, go to in advance of your passage and discover the wealth of useful information that the CA and GTOA are providing for free (including data so far, safety protocols, deterrent measures and much more). Bookmark the page so you can easily report after your passage and contribute to the study. Reports both from passages with orca interactions and passages without incidents are needed in order to compare interaction data.

Second Life for Neglected Boats in SVG

Caribbean Compass this month report on a British sailor who has organised second-hand sailing dinghy donations for the St. Vincent & the Grenadines sailing association. Guy Noble loves the Grenadines, but noticed that locals are rarely seen sailing. Through his own club, the Queen Mary Sailing Club near London, he organised a second-life for all the neglected boats that were shipped to SVG with the assistance of Kestrel Shipping. If you wish to get involved in this initiative in 2024 contact


Report Suspected Human Trafficking Activities

Hope Fleet, a non-profit organization, has partnered with trafficking response organization Lantern Rescue, to launch an anti-human trafficking reporting app called “Hope Watch”. This allows concerned boaters to report suspected human trafficking activities they may encounter. For more information go to



Nelson in the south island is now a first Port of Entry for New Zealand.

Australia’s first tropical cyclone of the season formed in the Coral Sea in the first week of December. After affecting areas of the Solomon Islands as a Category 2 system, Jasper crossed the Far North Queensland Coast dropping huge amounts of rain.

We mentioned Japan as a “hot” cruising destination in last month’s newsletter. Early next year there are 3 events for cruisers (2 rallies and an OCC anniversary) that may tempt many to incorporate Japan in to their cruising plans. Find out more here.


The Ocean Sailing Association of Southern Africa [] report this month that they have had a “bumper year” in terms of yachts visiting South Africa with over 225 registrations to enter the country. Most boats arrived between October and December.

South African weather router Des Cason (about to turn 75 in January) will be charging for his services from January 2024. Des told Noonsite, "unfortunately the end of 2023 also brings an end to a 7-year journey in this free weather forecasting lark. Over the past 7 years I have guided 700+ yachties across to Cape Town without mishap , but now it is time to semi-retire as 6 hrs a day\365 days a year is becoming too much of a burden. The number of boats asking for my service are escalating (this year 104 yachts to date), and I have to cut down the numbers and time somehow." While Des has never charged for his service, he does solicit donations from yachties when they are safely in Cape Town. To date less than 10% have dipped into their wallets. Over the 7 years Des has earned on average $1.50 a day for his unfailing service to the cruising community. Des can be contacted at


In the last month over 250 boats and almost 1,400 people crossed the Atlantic with the ARC and ARC+ rallies, including a record 73 multihulls and 61 children. It's also been a big year for boats blogging and contributing photos and videos to social media - check out the ARC Facebook and Instagram pages and the yacht logs to view rally life at sea and ashore.

An above-normal 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ended on November 30, was characterized by record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a strong El Nino, according to NOAA's 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season review.

While sailing off the Atlantic Coast of Morocco on passage to the Canary Island, solo sailor Mark Thomas was twice followed by two unidentified vessels that tried to intercept his course. He provided this report to Noonsite as a warning to boats making their way to the Canary Islands and to see if anyone else has had a similar experience in the same area.

St Helena government are closing the Jamestown mooring field from the 5th of January 2024 until further notice, due to ongoing maintenance and health and safety issues. Visiting yachts should be aware that anchoring is the only option.

The Brazilian Government has reinstated tourist visa requirements for 3 countries that were previously visa-exempt. Nationals from the United States, Canada, and Australia who arrive in Brazil on or after January 10, 2024, will be required to obtain a Brazil eVisa applying online prior to travel at

The Perfect mid-Atlantic Stopover

Travelling around the South Atlantic? St Helena Island is your perfect stopover – whether you need to restock, refuel or carry out repairs; or if you simply want to experience a location truly different to anywhere else on Earth.

St Helena is one of the world’s remotest islands. It has a centuries-old maritime heritage, a Yacht Club, and its small community (just over 4,000) is renowned for being friendly and welcoming.

Swim with whale sharks between December and March. Dive in high-visibility, subtropical waters with abundant marine life and eight accessible shipwrecks. Hike a world’s diversity of landscapes and terrains, all in an island that is only the size of Disney World Orlando.

Enjoy a relaxed culture in a place where serious crime is a rarity, and which is free from severe weather, with even thunderstorms only occurring about once a decade. St Helena is your perfect mid-Atlantic stopover.

Find out More

Caribbean Sea:

The USVI government, in partnership with the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), are installing 200 Helix-type moorings in bays throughout the USVI in time for high season 2024. These are suitable for vessels up to 65ft and stays of up to 14 days are permitted. Payments can be made online at or Locations of VIPCA public moorings can also be found on both websites.

Discover what is happening on the island of Barbuda, just north of Antigua, as there may be bays and anchorages that are no longer cruiser-friendly, where luxury resorts have been built and beaches privatised.

Yachts clearing into St. Martin should be aware that while the Port Authority have an online form that can be completed in advance of arrival that covers both Port and Customs procedures, a visit is also required to the Port Office on arrival to complete clearance.

In Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, authorities appear to be clamping down on boats anchoring at Frigate Island or Chatham Bay and traveling overland to Clifton to clear-in, largely because a number of yachts have failed to clear in to the country when anchoring there. They are now enforcing yachts anchor at Clifton (the port of entry) for clearance, or face fines.

In the Dominican Republic (DR) the permitted stay for yachts on arrival has been reduced from 90 days to 60 days. This means a Navigation Permit for those that wish to stay longer (and you can stay indefinitely in the DR) is required sooner and costs for this have increased substantially. The visa overstay fee has also gone up. Find out more at DR fees.


One of the largest, most exciting events for the Northern coast of the DR are the North Atlantic Humpback whales that travel down from the Silver Banks every January past Puerto Plata to end up in Samana where the mothers deliver their calves in the interior of the heavily protected marine sanctuary bay. Remember to keep a safe distance as the whales often breech! There are numerous licensed whale-watching tours available from Marina Puerto Bahia or Samana town.


The situation in Haiti is unstable, with gang violence paralysing the country. Supplies of fuel, food and water are very limited and cholera is rife. Cruising there should not be attempted at this time. If you wish to assist in some way, contact Hopefleet/Kingsfleet, who are dealing with aid to Haiti.


Yachts visiting Aruba and anchoring close to the airport runway should take great care as reports coming in from cruisers are that a number of boats have been hit by taxi boats or other locally operated boats in the past couple of months.  

Reported crimes against yachts and cruisers in the Caribbean increased substantially from 2021, with a significant increase in violent crimes, dominated by acts of assault and robbery, according to the Caribbean Safety and Security Net’s (CSSN) annual report for 2022.

Just this month a cruiser was attacked by a machete-wielding assailant in Saline Bay, Mayreau in the Grenadines and in Taganga Bay, Santa Marta, Colombia a yacht at anchor was boarded by four masked men who held the crew at gunpoint while the boat was ransacked.

A Spanish-registered yacht was intercepted off the Caribbean island of Martinique mid-December 2023 carrying cocaine with an estimated street value of £96million.

Opportunity to Secure Award-Winning Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

Multihull enthusiasts have a rare opportunity to own one of Fountaine Pajot’s most popular sailing models with an ELBA 45 now becoming available for order to Asia Pacific clients.

Fountaine Pajot’s regional dealer Multihull Solutions has announced an Elba 45 is now available for 2024 delivery, presenting a great chance to get onboard soon rather than wait for production of a later order.

Voted the 2020 Best Cruising Multihull and the 2020 Best Charter Boat, the Elba 45 has enjoyed critical industry acclaim with a host of features that elevate cruising to a new level.

Further information on this Elba 45 opportunity can be obtained by contacting Multihull Solutions on +61 (0) 7 5452 5164 or tollfree (within Australia) 1800 855 338, emailing

Find out More

Red Sea

Since our Red Sea passage update just last month, the situation in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden has deteriorated with Houthi militia using drones and missiles against some commercial ships. Wade Alarie, admin for the Red Sea Passage Facebook page, told Noonsite, “a few cruisers have definitely changed their plans, considering the situation too fluid, too unstable. By a change of plans, I mean that they may re-route south to South Africa, or they may stay in South East Asia for another year. While it remains true that no private yachts have been targeted by either drones or missiles, the instability of the situation in the Bab al-Mandab Strait is causing many cruisers angst. Some remain committed, but may yet change their minds. This area is very dynamic.” A useful site to monitor activity in this part of the Red Sea is:


The Blue Bar

Noonsite's hamburger menu (the 3 orange bars top left) is for navigation to the main sections of the site (i.e. countries, cruising resources, reports and news, the map, membership admin and of course search). However, to dig deeper into Noonsite’s content, we have a blue navigation bar on country and port pages. The blue bar appears at the top of the page below the page title and contains navigation icons as follows, from left to right:

  • The Information icon gives you general country info. (including facts, security, weather, yachting essentials, money etc.) and on port pages contains info. on clearance, docking, repair facilities, shore facilities etc. plus related information (reports and news etc.). 

  • The list icon gives you access to all the country formalities (from clearance to immigration to fees to pets etc.). 

  • The anchor icon gives you all the ports for that country with ports of entry clearly marked. This icon appears on both country and port pages.

  • The speech bubble icon is where comments are posted by our users, again, this appears on both country and port pages (and also on news and reports).

  • The download icon is where you can download pdfs of Noonsite's pages for use offline, if you have paid the appropriate subscription. See Membership Levels.

On port pages, instead of the list icon you will see a map pin icon. This takes you to the port’s location on the Noonsite map (again, only available to paid subscribers).



Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die

By Chris Santella

An interesting book to buy as an inspirational gift, if only to see how many of the recommended cruising destinations you've already made it to and which ones you might want to add to your bucket list. Author Chris Santella, who has also pulled together numerous other "Fifty somethings before you die" titles, interviews some well-known sailors (including cruiser/author Lin Pardey). Each sailor shares their favorite must-see sailing spot, describing what they love about the place and including a yarn about their own experiences there - many of which are quite entertaining. There’s a wide variety of places profiled, from large cities such as Sydney, Australia (recommended by Matt Hayes), to island groups such as the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia (recommended by Jon Wilson), to extreme locations such as South Georgia Island (recommended by Skip Novak). This book may just guide you to places you hadn’t considered going to on your own keel, and discover new ports and new friends.

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

Follow us on Twitter: @NoonsiteEditor  

Join our nearly 3000 followers for notification of site updates, new cruising reports and news and other cruising-related tweets we find of interest.

Find Crew with Ocean Crew Link

Need crew? Want to find new sailing buddies? Then visit Ocean Crew Link, the only crew connect website specifically for ocean voyaging.

Add your boat and opportunity and it will be emailed to over 11,000 sailors worldwide. If you want to find a boat, then hop aboard as we have over 150 active sailing opportunities open all the time.

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