March 31, 2024

Noonsite March Sailing News and Updates


We’ve had a busy month at Noonsite with the completion of our user survey after 2 months of receiving incredibly useful feedback from our dedicated users. Thank you to everyone who took time to take part, we now know much more about you and how you cruise and can concentrate on planning improvements to Noonsite by listening to what you have to say.

For starters, Noonsite is now on Facebook! One thing we learnt from our survey is that you want to have more community engagement and through our Facebook page this is possible by getting involved in the latest cruising conversations. We need to get the word out, so please follow us and like, share, get involved in any posts that you find interesting. Noonsite on Facebook.

Many of our survey responders requested improvements for the site for features that we in fact already have, they simply had not found the information. We are aware that getting around Noonsite could be simpler and we plan to work on improving the navigation. Please remember we are always here to answer any questions you may have, so if you can’t find what you are looking for, just send an e-mail to the team at and we’ll help you out.

Our apologies for the slight delay in getting the Newsletter out to you this month, however, it’s packed full of great information for cruising sailors around the world and we’ll think you’ll agree the wait was worth it.

Fair winds,

Sue and the Noonsite Team

Previous newsletters can be viewed here.


You’ve bought the best boat you could within your budget, now you’re standing on the dock saying, what’s next? Coastal & Offshore Cruising International, with decades of cruising experience in the South Pacific, provide detailed and useful advice on how to prepare a boat to go long distance cruising.

Communications on board and staying in touch with friends, family, news and for many work, is of vital importance. The Times report on how Starlink is changing the lives of liveaboard cruisers who work from their boat. Tell us about your experience with Starlink and cruising to more remote places - we'd love to hear how and where it really works for you.

Pre-launch maintenance is at the top of the list right now for the seasonal cruisers amongst us, before getting the boat back in the water for some Spring sailing. Jimmy Green Marine have a very useful routine checklist, highlighting regular weekly, monthly and annual maintenance checks.

'Crossing the Channel and Cruising Northern France' was the subject of a highly informative webinar by The Cruising Association (CA) in partnership with Haven Knox-Johnston. The webinar covers ports of entry, passage planning, entry/exit procedures, marina information and more. While this is aimed at UK yachts, primarily those who are venturing abroad for the first time, there is still a great deal of useful info. for all cruisers wanting to sail to France. Watch the free recorded webinar here.


Top tips for anchoring a boat: US scuba instructor and skipper Lada Simek, who anchors several times a day, wrote a thorough and detailed article for PBO this month, sharing some hard-earned advice.

Decklines and harness tethers: Whether you call them Guardlines, Safety Lines, Jackstays or Lifelines, these deck lines and harness tethers are essential pieces of equipment on any boat. This latest article from Jimmy Green explores construction and essential items of knowledge.

Official Noonsite Ropes and Rigging Partner

Jimmy Green Webbing Jackstays – Made to Measure

Ensure you remain safely on board with Jimmy Green Webbing Jackstays. The webbing lies flat so it doesn’t roll under your feet, is kind to your hands and the deck, and is compatible with modern safety hooks.

Order your webbing jackstays using the Jimmy Green Online Custom Build System.

All our finished jackstays are meticulously made to measure, in house, by the Jimmy Green Sewing Team, produced from high tenacity, UV and abrasion resilient, UK manufacture, 100% polyester webbing.

The sewn ends are formed on a modern, automatic profile, heavy duty Ultra-Sew machine using a tested and proven, jig-controlled stitch pattern for consistency, strength, and durability.


The Cost of Cruising

Cruising costs money, but how much? World Cruising Club in association with Yachting World are researching the real costs of cruising, from fitting out to meals ashore. They would like to talk to a variety of cruisers, from the careful budgeters to the big spenders. If you'd like to take part, click here.


Atlantic Iberian Peninsula

As the cruising season arrives along the Atlantic coasts of France, Portugal, Spain and through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Cruising Association (CA) is urging sailors to be vigilant for potential Orca encounters. They have published an alert to help guide skippers.

Noonsite also continues to collaborate with the CA on a series of articles which started in January guiding skippers on how to best-prepare for a passage around the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula (“Orca Alley”) and what you can do to help those following in your wake. Part 3 has just been published covering how to deal with an orca encounter at sea, parts 1 and 2 previously covering pre-departure planning and FAQs. Next month is the final instalment in the series looking at the outlook for the 2024 series.

Read Part 3: Orca Encounters at Sea

Read Part 2: FAQs Prior to Departure

Read Part 1: Passage Planning Tips


Reflecting on a Southern Atlantic Ocean passage, Swedish cruiser Anna Eriksson celebrates the ocean and the skies in her two reports, one from Cape Town to St. Helena and the second from St. Helena to Barbados.

PBO report that the Shark Trust is asking for basking shark sightings to be reported to help understand more about the most heavily protected shark in UK and EU waters. Sightings can be recorded via the website or via the Shark Trust App.


New Zealand sailor Tony Foulkes has found his cruising equilibrium, spending six months in the Mediterranean and six months in New Zealand each year. However, it was a circumnavigation that laid the groundwork for his current cruising choices, as he recounts in his cruiser portrait for Noonsite. Tony’s advice to anyone thinking about long-term cruising; “There will come a time when perhaps you are not able to cruise in the manner you have dreamt of. It is important to do everything necessary to achieve your goals before that time comes.”



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


Pacific Ocean:

UK cruising yacht, SV Rum Truffle, with experienced crew on board has been lost while attempting to cross the notoriously dangerous bar at Bahia del Sol in El Salvador. Bahia del Sol is located in an estuary on the Costa de Sol peninsula, midway along the El Salvador coast. SV Rum Truffle was under the guidance of the recommended pilot boat at the time. The yacht not only capsized when the keel broke away, but was quickly looted and stripped of anything valuable. Read more here.

When cruising to Mexico, all yachts staying more than a few days will need to apply for temporary import and get a TIP. For US and Canadian yachts this is pretty straightforward and can be done online, however all other nationalities must apply on arrival. French sailor Laurent Gascoin reports on his experience in Ensenada.


The Galapagos archipelago faces a new natural challenge as the La Cumbre volcano on the uninhabited Fernandina Island, began erupting at the start of March, threatening a unique array of animal species. Read news here. An increase in National Park fees has also been announced starting August 1, 2024. More information here.


The World ARC 2024-25 yachts have begun their 2980NM ocean crossing from San Cristobal in Galapagos, to Hiva Ova in the Marquesas, while the World ARC 2023-24 fleet is on passage between Brazil and Grenada before finishing their adventure in Saint Lucia in early April, celebrating a 26,000NM circumnavigation. Find out more about World Cruising Club’s rallies and events in their March news.


If planning a voyage across the Pacific, particularly from the Americas to French Polynesia and beyond, Pacific Voyagers Facebook group is one to follow. Here you can find out about the next “Pau Hana” on Pacific Countries, live on Zoom, which seems to be generating interest. So far topics have included Fiji, Nuku Hiva, Tonga and SSB/Starlink/Iridium. Check out for the next free event plus links to view previous recordings.


Tonga has a newly established yacht steering committee led by the Ministry of Tourism. While entry formalities remain the same as last year, it’s expected a few things will change after the new committee gets underway. Greg Just of Cafe Tropicana in Vavau is port officer for various cruising associations and a local contact for Noonsite. He produces this local info. pdf for visiting yachts.

Cruisers in Kiribati – in the centre of the Pacific Ocean – report being robbed the first night on board after leaving their catamaran anchored for 3 weeks while they returned home. Read the skipper’s first-hand report here.


Pacific contributors to Noonsite Brent Crack and Mary Bevan are now in Australia and have taken the route less travelled by foreign sailors, heading south from Sydney to sail around the bottom of the continent, from east to west. Read their detailed report here.

Looking ahead to April, many boats in NZ will be preparing for departure to the islands for the start of the South Pacific cruising season. Gulf Harbor Radio’s website has some excellent articles on weather information, cruising New Zealand and anchorages as you head north. For those with SSB on board their radio net starts on May 1st. Go to

SV Soggy Paws have a huge collection of useful cruising guides, compendiums, articles and links on their website for the South Pacific (as well as SE Asia, Red Sea and Indian Ocean), much of which has been updated in the last 2 years. Go to

South China Sea

The Sail2Indonesia Rally celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year in partnership with Coastal & Offshore Cruising Intl. who report that the number of vessels migrating west this year is up and early registrations have reflected this. Find out more at

The Benefits of Noonsite Membership

It mattered - they needed a noon site to be sure of their position.

As your trusted source of wordwide country information, more and more of Noonsite’s users are becoming paid members, not only to support Noonsite and keep it on the web, but also to gain the perks that becoming a member gives them.


For just $2.99 a month, as well as accessing all the free information on Noonsite, Basic members can also:

-         Have unlimited access to all country formalities information for planning purposes

-         Have access to the worldwide Noonsite map to quickly and easily view all ports of entry, marinas, boatyards, and post anchorages. The map gets you around the site faster and more easily.

-         Post and reply to comments

-         Receive member-only discount offers.


For just $6.99 a month, Noonsite Premium members can also:

-         Download country formalities and port information as pdfs for use offline.


Becoming a member is quick and easy and 2024 will see more member perks being introduced as we develop new features on the site. If you have questions about membership contact Thank you to all our members for their continued support of Noonsite.

Sign up for Membership

Indian Ocean:

While unrest continues on the mainland, SY Renaissance III visiting Yemen's island of Socotra report that the welcome for yachts is still as warm as usual. Using an agent they report that check in was simple and hassle free. “We took a 2-day camping trip to the Dragon Blood Tree Forest and the lagoon, worth every cent. Our agent arranged a local guy to watch the boat and run the genset daily for our fridges and batteries. This is not Yemen, the locals were friendly and the island is super safe.”


If travelling down the east coast of Africa from Kenya/Tanzania towards South Africa, OSASA warn cruising boats not to venture near Cabo Delgado Province, the northern-most province of Mozambique. This has been declared a Red Area, due to ISIS and Islamic jihadi activity, and is not a good place to stop or linger. A South African boat that ignored the warnings was boarded this year by gunmen and held captive for several days – do not attempt to make landfall in Cabo Delgado.


Several recent issues with visas and vaccinations for sailors entering South Africa have prompted OSASA to remind anyone planning to visit the country to ensure they understand visa and health vaccination requirements before they arrive.


The collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore this week after being hit by a cargo ship, has closed one of the USA’s major east coast ports to commercial traffic and recreational vessels for the forseeable future. Regular Noonsite contributors Floris and Ivar (Sailors for Sustainability) sailed under the bridge just hours before it collapsed and provided a first-hand report.


Having recently decided to close their mooring field, St. Helena Port Control are seeking feedback from any yacht that recently intended to visit St. Helena, however decided not to, due to anchoring being the only available option. E-mail if this was your decision – or indeed would be your decision in the future - with an explanation why, so we can accumulate the responses and share them with St. Helena Harbour Master.

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 SSCA’s free Bahamas Gathering at Black Point was once again a great success with over 100 SSCA boats and many others dropping in during the 4-day event. At times the count reached 157 boats at anchor. Save the dates for next year's Gathering, tentatively set for March 13-16 2025.

Following the tragic deaths of cruising couple Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel when their catamaran was hijacked by escaped criminals in Grenada in February, the recaptured criminals have now been charged with capital murder and other serious offences. For an update see here.


Various security reports have been received this month via the Caribbean Safety and Security Net who document crime against cruisers, including an aggressive attempted boarding at Cabo de la Vela, Colombia, a stolen dinghy from a moored yacht in St. Martin, bag theft on a beach in St. Vincent and attempted theft from yachts in both the north and south of St. Lucia. See all security reports this month.


The popular port of entry, Deshaies, in Guadeloupe no longer has a clearance computer available. Yacht clearance has also moved from the Police station to a grey portacabin by the small boat harbour housing the dockmaster. More details on the Noonsite Deshaies page.


Cruisers have commented on our Venezuela pages about a recent visit to Los Roques (just a 2 day/2 night sail from Martinique) made super-easy by dealing with an agent in advance.

Black Sea:

Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU countries, except for Cyprus and Ireland. Bulgaria and Romania became the newest Member States to join the Schengen area as of 31 March 2024. Any person crossing the internal air and sea borders will no longer be subject to checks.


Fred Bayre currently in Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea, reports that various divisions of the Spanish Police visit the marina almost every day (when it's not raining), showing interest mostly in UK flagged yachts and their crews' passports. Be sure to have all your paperwork in order and know the Schengen rules.

The “Constituto” is required by all yachts visiting Italy that have not paid VAT in the EU and should be obtained at the first port of entry. This acts like a Transit Log and although it is ignored in most ports, can prove useful, especialy if this is your first entry into the EU. US Sailor Tom Newman reports: “We picked up a Constituto in Syracusa (arriving from Malta) and surrendered it in Imperia. We did not stamp it anywhere else in Italy and called at 9 other stops. Nobody ever asked and Imperia did not seem to care about it. Even though it is designed to be like the Greek Transit Log, signed everywhere, unlike Greece the Italians don’t seem too bothered if you don’t. In Greece I was threatened with fines for missing two ports.”

Cruisers report on security issues at the island of Evia in Greece, where there is a bridge between the island and the mainland which opens for vessels. Apparently, there is a history of night-time break ins at the waiting dock for the bridge while the owners are sleeping. Advice is to lock your boat at all times when not on board and at night, and don’t leave any valuables on deck or in view down below.

The European Union has commissioned a study to analyse the advantages of recognising boater licenses EU-wide in a effort to understand the benefits and challenges of such a recognition system and its potential implementation. There is a General Public Survey which aims to gather views on the current regime and experiences regarding skipper’s licence/qualification for recreational boaters. Find out how you can participate.


SailstoShelter is a Hawaiian based organisation that repurposes and upcycles large racing and superyacht sails for humanitarian aid and ecological sustainability and is actively exploring new uses for retired sails. Founder Angela Abshier told Noonsite that by repurposing sails, Sail to Shelter reduces the impact of the sailing industry and creates a more sustainable economy for sails. We have put together a list of worldwide organisations and companies that are giving life to old sails and to which you can donate. Let us know if you know of others we can add to the list.

The Ocean Sailing Association of South Africa (OSASA) is run by volunteers in order to serve cruisers and promote South Africa as a sailing destination. They are looking for volunteer cruisers to help with the following: website management; newsletter creation; social media admin; port contacts and design. If you are interested in helping out, contact Jenny Crickmore-Thompson, Director of OSASA at

Ahoy Cruise News by Island Cruising & Down Under Rally reports on how cruisers can help with battery disposal on the remote islands in Fiji. Highlighted by SY Pitufa who were “horrified to see old batteries just lying next to the footpaths in villages or charred remains in fire sites”, they suggest that cruisers help these remote places dispose of their batteries properly by taking away a bottle filled with batteries to dispose of at a waste centre in Australia or NZ.

The International SeaKeepers Society promotes oceanographic research, conservation, and education through direct involvement with the yachting community. Providing educational resources and hands-on marine science experiences to students is the primary focus for ensuring the future wellbeing of our planet. They utilize boats of all shapes and sizes to facilitate oceanographic research and education at sea and are always in need of more volunteers. Find out more about their Discovery Yacht Program and how you can get involved here.

Visit our Website

Offshore Yacht Insurance

For over 20 years we have been offering the finest in marine related insurance coverages, while providing an exceptional level of confidential and honest service to our clients for global risks.

Dolphin Insurance is committed to provide the highest level of customer service in obtaining the right coverage for your vessel or marine operation and continues this level of service to you in the event a claim occurs.

We look forward to answering any questions you may have, please don't hesitate to contact us, or browse our website for the products we offer.


Riding the Waves of Reality

Tales of Turmoil and Triumph in Blue Water Sailing

By Alison Gieschen

Regular Noonsite contributor Alison Gieschen has written a “warts and all” book that does not sugar coat the life of a live-aboard cruiser. In this easy-to-read book about her and partner Dan’s decision to take to a life on the high-seas, Alison writes openly and candidly about the highs and lows and the trials and tribulations they experienced in the first five years of a planned 10-year circumnavigation. From a first disastrous attempt to get to the Caribbean, a challenging Atlantic crossing to lockdown in Ireland, Alison and Dan are still cruising some 12,000 miles later.

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  


Facebook: Noonsite Facebook page

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.

LinkedIn Share This Email