As Thom Yorke once mumbled, I can’t do this alone. The three final frontiers are all either in the HIGH RISK piracy zone or at war with its neighbours.
• THE MALDIVES
• THE SEYCHELLES
• SOUTH SUDAN
Do YOU have any friends/relatives/contacts that might be able to help me get to any of these three countries without flying? Or might know someone who knows someone?
If so, GET IN TOUCH! Either leave a comment below or contact me direct (I don’t bite!).
SRI LANKA to THE MALDIVES (AND BACK) – LATE MAY 2012
I am looking for a CARGO SHIP, CRUISE SHIP, YACHT, SPEEDBOAT or VEDI that could get me from COLOMBO in SRI LANKA to MALE’ in THE MALDIVES… AND BACK. This is not a big commercial area and I seriously doubt any major cargo companies would be willing to take me as THE MALDIVES lies entirely within the HIGH RISK zone for Somali pirates. For this reason, a one-way trip is no good.
Any contacts you have within the Sri Lankan shipping industry would be a godsend.
SRI LANKA to MADAGASCAR – JUNE 2012
Once back in SRI LANKA, I need to get to MADAGASCAR in order to reach THE SEYCHELLES (I can’t go direct, as you’ll see in a minute).
This could be done in one of several ways.
• Direct to MADAGASCAR
• Direct to REUNION, from where there is a weekly ferry to MADAGASCAR
• Direct to MAURITIUS, from where there is a weekly ferry to MADAGASCAR
• Return to SINGAPORE, change ships for MADAGASCAR, REUNION or MAURITIUS
Same deal as before, I could do with anything that floats. But this is a much more commercial route, so anybody with a bit of time on their hands could probably help out. Get on the Google and look at timetables and routes for shipping companies, both big and small. Preferably small. The big boys have a tendency to say no!!
Here are your port names:
• COLOMBO (Sri Lanka)
• PORT KLANG (Malaysia)
• MELAKA (Malaysia)
• TAMATAVE / TOAMASINA (Madagascar)
• ST. DENIS (Reunion)
• PORT LOUIS (Mauritius)
Be aware that I can’t take any commercial cargo ships that go through the pirate zone – draw a line south from the bottom tip of India until you get to 10 degrees south of the equator, then cut a line due west all the way to Africa. Anywhere above that line is the pirate zone. In order to avoid paying the punitive anti-piracy insurance, ships going to Madagascar from India or Sri Lanka will follow the vertical line due south and then make a starboard turn after 10°S as though they were playing Tron.
MADAGASCAR to SEYCHELLES – JUNE/JULY 2012
Once I’m in MADAGASCAR, my Plan A is to head to Hell-Ville in Nosy Be and sweet-talk a nice yachtie into going on a little jaunt up to the ALDABRA ISLANDS in the extreme south-west of THE SEYCHELLES. It’s around 270 nautical miles from Nosy Be, so that’s a good couple of days to get there under sail. Then I’d want to head down either to COMOROS (or MAYOTTE – 220nm) or back to MADAGASCAR. Either way, if you know someone or know of someone in Madagascar who has a yacht and a lust for adventure, LET ME KNOW!
Plan B is to hitch a ride on a passing cruise ship. Unfortunately, I can’t find any cruises going around the Indian Ocean at that time of year. But who knows? Maybe there’s something going from SINGAPORE up to the Mediterranean for the summer season that’s stopping in THE SEYCHELLES along the way? Maybe there’s a cruise ship heading out from SOUTH AFRICA that stops in MADAGASCAR, MAURITIUS or REUNION on the way to THE SEYCHELLES? According to my battered old Lonely Planet, these are the companies that offer Indian Ocean cruises:
• African Safari Club (www.africansafariclub.com)
• La Compagnie des Alizés (www.voile-reunion.com)
• MS Royal Star (www.msroyalstar.com)
• P&O (www.pocruises.com)
• Seabourn (www.seabourn.com)
• Silversea (www.silversea.com)
SOUTH SUDAN – JULY 2012
I think this one will be up to me!! But any advice will be gratefully accepted and if you have any friends/relatives/contacts living or working in South Sudan, Northern Uganda or North-West Kenya, let me know!
Once again, if you think you can help either leave a comment below or contact me direct.
THANKS, THANKS AND THANKS AGAIN!!!