September 29, 2023

Noonsite September Sailing News and Updates


Remember those golden moments when the boat work is all finished, the passage complete, the perfect anchorage found and you hear the clink of ice in your glass as a Jimmy Buffet song floats over the waves at sundown? Sadly, singer, songwriter and author, Jimmy Buffet, passed away on 1 September, but his music will endure on countless cruising boats for many more years to come. Caribbean Compass neatly summed it up by calling him “the patron minstrel of the cruising community”. Whether you are eating a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” or “It's Five O'Clock Somewhere” and you’ve just mixed up a “Margaritaville”, why not raise a glass to Jimmy Buffet when you are next on board, play one of his songs and feel like you’re on island time again.

We’ve been working hard this month to get all Caribbean, South Atlantic and Indian Ocean countries updated in light of the up-and-coming ocean passages for many cruising boats. Do let us know if you come across any info. that you want double-checked, or clarified, or indeed have a clearance experience that differs to the procedures outlined on Noonsite. It’s only by getting feedback from our users, that we know our info. has fallen out of date and needs a refresh. Either post a comment using the speech bubble icon on the country/port, or send us an email at

We hope you enjoy catching up with what fellow cruisers are doing around the world and will continue to share a little of what you’ve been up to with us, when island time allows!


Sue and the Noonsite Team

Previous newsletters can be viewed here.


After visiting Port Resolution on Tanna Island, Vanuatu in August 2023 and witnessing the damage caused by the two cyclones that impacted the island the previous February, Down Under Rally organiser John Hembrow has launched a fundraising campaign to help rebuild the iconic Port Resolution Yacht Club.

The club first opened in 1990, just a round hut with a hammock and beer on sale. Over the years the hut expanded to a rustic clubhouse loved by visiting yachties and by 2019, after investing all their spare money and donations from the yachties and visitors, the villagers had almost finished a new clubhouse when Covid happened. Borders didn’t re-open until mid-2022, then in February 2023 the clubhouse was destroyed by the cyclones. If you have visited Vanuatu, or plan to in the future, consider a donation to help the villagers get the yacht club back up and running.


After mentioning last month just a few of the cruisers that help out fellow yachties by sharing free files and charts online, we should of course thank the numerous others who do the same without asking for anything in return. Two we omitted to mention are Terry of Yacht Valhalla, who has countless anchorages, routes and satellite charts which he provides for free, as does Mike on Zen Again. This detailed article by Dave and Sherry McCampbell, clearly explains the history of chart sharing amongst cruisers and outlines the benefits of using OPEN CPN with satellite imagery to avoid costly navigation errors.


Kimi and Phil Seeley had planned to wait for retirement before starting long-distance cruising, however, the pandemic changed their way of thinking and in February 2022 they left their home port of Melbourne with a rough plan to complete a circumnavigation.

Now on the other side of the Indian Ocean, they have taken time to answer some questions and tell us about their cruising life, what’s good and what’s not so good, their passage to getting to where they are now and many other useful recommendations and tips for those considering a similar path.

See their Portrait of a Cruiser here.

If you think you have an interesting story to tell and would like to take part in our Portrait of a Cruiser series, please contact Sue at for a questionnaire.

Blogging and Tracking @ Sea

How do you keep your family updated while crossing an ocean?

On you can build your sailing website/blog for free and have your boat tracked all around the globe. Live tracking works with Iridium, AIS, Inreach, SPOT, E-mail, API, Telegram, and more. Your relatives can follow your journey on a live map and discover your adventures as you sail.

Discover this powerful tool developed on board S/V Telemaque.


Destination Planning

So, you want to cruise further afield, or passage on from the country you’ve been cruising for a while. What are the steps to find out all the information you need to move on? Carolyn Shearlock of sums up her best recipe for success;

“We start, of course, with a few ideas, gleaned from magazine articles, Facebook posts, or conversations with other cruisers. From there, we seek out some more articles, and perhaps even join a Facebook group or two for cruisers in that area. We’ll check out Noonsite and, if appropriate, Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes. And we’ll get a cruising guide for the area and start combing through it.

"We’re not trying to come up with an itinerary at this point. Instead, we’re looking to find both the good and the bad of going to this area. It’s easy to get all caught up in the wonder of a particular area, but it’s important to learn about the potential drawbacks as well. Many times, just knowing about them was enough to lessen our disappointment. I’ve always found it easier to deal with a less-than-perfect situation if I’m expecting it. If I’m anticipating a boisterous sail, or challenging anchoring, it doesn’t take me by surprise. Ditto with a lack of internet or poor provisioning. If I know about them in advance, somehow it becomes part of the adventure. And so the research part of planning ahead takes on added importance.”

Check out Noonsite for possible ports and cruising areas of interest. If you’ve paid for a subscription (just $2.99 a month) you can do this using the Noonsite map, which shows you marinas and boatyards as well, plus anchorages recommended by other users. Spend time browsing through our menu of information. The Cruising Resources are packed full of links to great articles, cruiser reports, and useful advice, plus businesses you may need on your journey. Then of course there’s our guide to entry and exit formalities so you get it right when moving on to a new country and know how much it’s going to cost you. See “Discover More” below for more information about formalities.

Man Overboard

Practical Boat Owner this month reports on the latest figures from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) which reveal that 47% of man overboard incidents from recreational boats end in a fatality (UK boats in home waters and worldwide). Nearly all of the fatal MOBs were from sailing, motor and power vessels. Read the article here.

This clearly signals the importance of preparing and planning for a man overboard incident and what steps your crew might take to recover a casualty successfully. Duncan Wells (RYA instructor, features writer and author) wrote a series of short, illustrated articles for our INSIGHTS section, on how to deal with a variety of possible Man Overboard situations, plus the best equipment on the market to locate and recover a crew member from the water. Read Part 1 here and start planning your next MOB practice with your crew.

Ten Reasons to Stitch and Whip your Ropes

Ropes on cruising yachts are required to withstand the relentless wear and tear caused by working at sea, so stitching and whipping the end of a rope will guarantee the consistency of construction say Jimmy Green Marine. Read their informative article here.


Lets go sailing

Early Rush to Join ARC 2024

The ever-popular Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has now opened for 2024 registrations. Entries since the list opened at the beginning of the month have been swelled by skippers transferring with delayed plans from 2023 and are now at 50% subscribed on all routes. Advice from rally organizer Paul Tetlow is to “act now and register your boat for next year” as he expects demand for spaces on the ARC from the global cruising community to remain strong. The ARC offers two transatlantic route choices; a sail in early November from Gran Canaria to Grenada via Cape Verde with ARC+, or the traditional direct route ARC from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia departing two weeks later.

More information here.

Around the World in January 2025

Arriving in the Caribbean after an ARC transatlantic may just be the beginning of your bluewater adventures. World Cruising Club’s annual World ARC helps cruisers live the dream of a World circumnavigation, heading via Panama to cross the wide Pacific Ocean to Australia and on around the world. Its flexible itinerary is designed to suit both those who want to sail around in a single circuit, as well as cruisers wanting to spend longer in the south sea islands, perhaps with a visit to New Zealand on their wish-list, and spread their Pacific cruising over more years.

More information here.

Official Noonsite Ropes and Rigging Partner

Sustainable Ropes

We have actively sourced ropes that are manufactured from sustainable materials such as recycled plastics (rPET) and bio-based Dyneema®.

Marlow Blue Ocean® and LIROS Green Wave perform just as well as regular polyester, but they help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in our landfills.

Find out more about Sustainable Rope


Cruising Abroad

If you are venturing abroad for the first time on your own keel, it might seem daunting as to what paperwork you need to carry, what hoops you need to jump through, what advance notification you need to give, how much it’s going to cost you and how you legally leave the country you are currently in.

Never fear - Noonsite has it covered. From pre-arrival planning, to documents needed, to immigration and customs rules, location of offices, the general process you can expect, rules for your pets, fees, and much more (including local customs, health etc.). Every country on the site (and we cover every country in the world that touches the sea) has a formalities section (that little list icon in the blue bar) with information provided by official websites and authorities and researched by the Noonsite team. This saves you hours of combing the web for the correct information, an exhausting task and a frustrating one as it’s often not clear what information is current, or the information is simply just not available.

After over 20 years on the web, we have a huge database of contacts in countries who assist us in getting our information double-checked. Yes, many cruisers notify us if they encounter a different process to what we talk about, a huge help to help us keep on top of the continual updating required, but we always double-check this information with our contacts in the authorities and get it confirmed before updating Noonsite.

Check out the formalities icon for the next country you want to visit. With 3 free countries a month (and unlimited if you take out our monthly subscription) make the most of all this helpful information at your fingertips.



It’s all change again in Ecuador with an increase in clearance costs for foreign sailboats visiting the mainland. A new law now means it’s mandatory to get an Autografo, which is permission to enter Ecuadorian ports, and it requires 30 days processing so you need to apply early. Prior laws allowed vessels under 50 tons to be processed by the ship's captain directly with the Port Captain, however, that has now changed. If you arrive at an Ecuadorian port without an Autografo you face the possibility of being refused entry.

In Tonga, the Vava’u Volunteer Marine Response Association (VVMRA) comprises a group of volunteers who provide assistance to boaters. They monitor channels VHF 16/26 with call sign “Vava’u Radio” 24/7. They also collect used, but fit-for-service, life vests for their free loaner program available to locals traveling from the main island to the outer islands of Vava’u. Funds donated go toward initiatives to educate and provide boating safety resources to the community. If you are in Vava’u you can join them in making measurable safety improvements in their part of the World.

Yachts in the SW Pacific will have now decided where they want to spend the cyclone season. A useful resource is, showing the long-range tropical cyclone outlooks for the SW Pacific, TC counts map and the probability map. It’s also possible to subscribe to e-mail updates.

Vanuatu, Tonga and Kiribati's Departments of Tourism are conducting a major survey of visiting international yachts – the first of its kind. The overall purpose of the study is to provide the various country tourism agencies (and yacht industries) with advice and analysed data to support their efforts to improve the yachting experience in the region. If you have visited (or are visiting) any of these countries by yacht please complete the simple 10-minute survey for your size of yacht:

Tonga: Yachts under 24m / Tonga: Yachts over 24m

Vanuatu: Yachts under 24m / Vanuatu: Yachts over 24m

Kiribati: Yachts under 24m / Kiribati: Yachts over 24m

A useful stopover on passage from Vanuatu to Queensland, Australia is Chesterfield Reefs. However, the Down Under Rally report that the islands remain closed to visiting yachts and while it is still possible to make an application to visit, no yachts that they know of this year have received permission to do so. See their AHOY newsletter, pages 32-33 for further info.

Three sailors who were circumnavigating the globe on an inflatable catamaran, have been rescued off the east coast of Australia after their vessel sank following an attack by small cookiecutter sharks. Find out more here.

Scarborough Marina, Queensland, Australia

Located ON Brisbane's Moreton Bay, Scarborough Marina provides visiting yachts with easy access to the many anchorages and the islands of Moreton Bay, including Moreton Island and the Tangalooma Wrecks. The City of Brisbane and the Brisbane international airport are only 40mins away.

With the convenience of waterfront cafes, clubs and restaurants plus major shopping centres and medical services nearby and our popular weekend farmers and craft markets, Scarborough really is a home away from home!

Recognised by the international cruising community as the preferred destination when visiting the Brisbane Region:

  • Safe enclosed harbour
  • Protected from swell & unaffected by flooding
  • Clean, modern & well maintained facilities
  • Modern cruisers lounge with TV and free WIFI
  • Electronic gated access with 24 Hour CCTV
  • 24 Hour fuel wharf
  • Full-service boatyard with 35 tonne travelift
  • On-site chandlery

China Sea:

The South China Sea was alive with storm activity at the start of September as Typhoon Saola brought strong winds and heavy rain to Hong Kong and Typhoon Haikui the same to Taiwan.

MV Destiny comments on Subic Bay in the Philippines and recommend that while this is a great place for boat work and provisioning, be sure to negotiate prices hard and ignore the dirty water!


Agents in Sri Lanka are reporting that much fewer yachts are visiting recently. Perhaps this is because less yachts are cruising the North Indian Ocean and taking the Red Sea route north, or perhaps it’s because of the higher clearance costs in Sri Lanka for recreational craft? Costs are US$400 plus for a short visit on a boat with 2 crew, whereas neighbouring India costs less than US$70 in clearance fees. Let us know if you’ve been to Sri Lanka and why you would recommend a visit there to fellow Noonsite users.


Also in the North Indian Ocean, good news from Maldives, who are now granting free cruising permits to all yachts under 20m (it used to be free to under 15m only). This means a big saving for larger cruising yachts of US$1000.

A couple of points to remember if you are arriving in South Africa soon. It is mandatory to register your arrival online at the OSASA website prior to getting to SA, and when cruising from Richards Bay to Cape Town outward clearance is required from each port - in the form of an Electronic Passage Plan (EPP), completed from the comfort of your own boat. See more details in South Africa Clearance.

Red Sea:

Canadians are no longer able to get a visa on arrival, nor an E-Visa for Egypt. A visa in advance must be acquired from an embassy or consulate in a neighbouring country.

Caribbean Sea:

Top Tip if transiting from Curaco to Aruba and wanting to arrive in daylight, posted by SY Hawkeye, who recommend a useful overnight anchorage at the top of the island.

Cruising World Magazine this month has an excellent article for yachts venturing south from the US to the Caribbean. Three ways south to the Caribbean discusses the three most popular Autumn routes, with input from veteran cruisers.


Hurricane activity intensified during September with Hurricane Lee following on from Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall along the Gulf Coast on August 31 and left a trail of damage across the Big Bend region. Recently Nigel was the 5th hurricane to form in the Atlantic since August 26 – fortunately both Lee and Nigel remained offshore. Nigel was the 14th named storm to form in the Atlantic in 2023 and 10th named storm to form since August 20. That’s the most named storms on record to form in the Atlantic between August 20 – September 16, breaking the old record of nine named storms set in 2020 according to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Orcas are now migrating north around the Iberian Peninsula towards the Bay of Biscay. In an Orca interaction with a German yacht off Finisterre, Galicia, at the start of September, the yacht’s rudder was bent 90 degrees. Reported by Yacht Magazine Germany. The Cruising Association has released a new research library on orca interactions compiled from more than 150 reports received since their Atlantic Orca Project was launched in June 2022. If you are planning a passage around the Iberian peninsula, don't miss How to Navigate Orca Alley by Yachting Monthly magazine.

An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) will soon be a requirement for people who do not need a visa to come to the UK. It will give you permission to travel to the UK, and it will be electronically linked to your passport. This requirement begins in November 2023 for Qatar nationals and continues over the next few months for more nationals from middle eastern countries. Further nationalities will be added to the scheme later with EU countries expected to be needing an ETA later in 2024. See this UK government page for more details.


Many cruisers visiting the Mediterranean want to visit the major historical sites, but perhaps worry that actually taking their boat to these popular tourist ports might be too much hassle and expensive. In this article for Yachting World Magazine, Phil and Roxy Johnson write about their time in Venice and how actually making the effort to go there changed their minds about this top European city.

Increasingly warmer waters are fueling storms earlier in the season in the Med. The start of September saw DANA (a large low pressure system over Spain) dump massive amounts of rain over the peninsula. Mid-September extreme rainfall from Storm Daniel hit parts of the central and eastern Mediterranean causing catastrophic flooding and massive loss of life in Libya.

Storm Daniel developed the characteristics of a Medicane – (a MEDIterranean hurriCANE) as it moved towards Libya. Although smaller than hurricanes (with a diameter usually less than 400 km and a duration of 24 to 48 hours), Medicanes are similar to hurricanes in that they have strong winds spinning around a core and torrential rainfall with a defined Eye which can usually be seen on satellite imagery.

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When cruising in more remote countries, trading for supplies is commonplace, but what can you offer that will be viewed as valuable? Some suggestions include: dive masks and fins; fishing lures; rice; sugar; flour; milk powder; cooking oil; tinned corned beef; sunglasses; reading glasses; good quality cotton clothes; towels; t-shirts or hats with slogans from the US/Australia or other “exotic” locations; bras; balls. The crew of SY Adina found trading a great way to engage with local people in the South Pacific.


Richard Chesher, marine scientist and creator and writer of the Rocket Guides for New Caledonia and Vanuatu, wrote an informative article for Noonsite about how to treat locals when cruising in remote regions, with advice on trading and gifting.


A large-scale heat stress and coral bleaching event is underway in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean Ocean Basins and is responsible for killing corals in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, according to an August briefing from the USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A story about a young sailor’s journey from Norway to Svalbard exploring shifting expectations in the Arctic and a video documenting marine biodiversity by a family sailing around the world, are the winners of the 2023 Brian Black Memorial Awards for marine environmental journalism. Both won £2,000.


RealSail by Clean Sailors

Operate in more than 15 countries worldwide. Old sails are used as raw resources for a variety of different products and businesses. Find your nearest drop off point or register your upcycling project.

The Mariners Tropical Cyclone Guide

First published in 2000, but updated in May 2023 by Meteorologist Dylan Flynn of NOAA. An excellent guide for any sailor wanting to learn about how to detect, plan for and if possible avoid heavy weather.


Sailing Malaysia

Island Cruising Cruise News September 

From page 38, an excellent article by Geogina de Vere of SY Stardancer (author of Blue Water Women) about their experience in the Sail Malaysia rally this year, which finished at the end of August.


A Pirate Looks at Fifty

By Jimmy Buffet

To celebrate his 50th birthday, Jimmy Buffet took his family on a three-week trek around the Caribbean and wrote this colourful travelogue with his ultimate philosophy on life and how to live it. One review said reading this book is like “sitting with Buffett at a beachside bar, listening to him spin tales”. Interspersed with memoirs of his youth and music career - both of which revolve around his continuing search for the perfect fishing spot - you’ll read the kind of stories Jimmy usually reserves for his closest friends and see a wonderful, wacky life through the eyes of the man who's lived it.

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 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 Premium Membership add offline access to port and country formalities information to use when on passage. 

E-mail us with updates and reports:

For more than just a comment, 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.

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