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Sailing Seychelles: Wind Conditions

September 18, 2017

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Wind Conditions: Planning a sailing trip in Seychelles? Here's our advice on the prevailing wind conditions.

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Sailing in Seychelles is any waterman’s dream! With 115 Islands to explore, breath-taking scenery, abundance of sea life and the safety and security of knowing that the majority of the islands in the archipelago are far from the cyclone belt. What’s more, sailing conditions in Seychelles are predictable (and therefore easy and stress free) as the region is dominated by two opposing wind patterns, blowing seasonally either north-westerly (December to March) or south-easterly (May to September).


sailing_in_seychelles_wind_conditions_-2The consistency of these prevailing wind seasons makes planning a sailing trip in Seychelles oh so easy, as skippers can plot their course and plan their anchorages with predictable accuracy and with little room for errors or surprises.

 

December to March: North-Westerly Trade Winds

Generally, the north-westerly winds are the gentler of the two seasons with a relatively weak average wind speed of 5-10 knots, usually at its strongest at daybreak. The season reaches its peak strength in January, whilst the season is also marked by intermittent rain squalls and stronger winds during the period December to March. These are sometimes associated with the presence of tropical cyclones over the south-west Indian Ocean – but remember that all but Seychelles’ most southerly islands lie well outside the cyclone belt, so avoid these during this time for optimum safety.

 

May to September: North-Westerly

In comparison, the south-easterly trades are drier and tend to blow more consistently throughout the day and into the night. Average wind speeds during the period from June to September are 10-15 knots, with occasional gusts exceeding 30 knots, normally associated with surges in the trade winds. The season reaches its peak around July/August.

 

Calm Transition Months: April & November

In the months of April and November there are calm and sometimes windless periods when the trade winds change direction. These light and variable wind periods are accompanied by calm seas and clear waters. These are great months to visit Seychelles, although with a lack of consistent winds, sailing would not be ideal unless you are happy to run your engines more than hoisting your sails!

 

Prevailing Winds in Seychelles vs. Cartography of the Archipelago

sailing_in_seychelles_wind_conditions_-1It is important to realise that Seychelles is a country of 115 islands spread over a vast ocean area of approximately 1.3 million square kilometres. The majority of visitors and the local population are found in the north of the country centred around the main Island of Mahé and its neighbouring inner granitic (and a few coralline) islands. The outer islands radiate outwards from here in a mostly southerly bearing and become more and more isolated as you move away from Mahé.

In terms of wind strength, the Outer Islands are more likely to experience stronger winds during the south-easterly trade wind season due to their more southern location as well as exposure (low lying atolls).

 

It is also important to be wary that the most southerly of these islands may be affected by regional cyclones, although generally the majority of Seychelles’ islands are out of he cyclone belt.
In contrast, the more northerly Inner Islands would expect to have stronger winds during the north-westerly trades season since the zone of weaker winds (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) would normally be lying to the south of it.

 

Weather Forecast Resources in Seychelles

Weather forecasts are available by calling Seychelles Radio (Coast Station) on VHF channel 16 and normally switching up to channel 26. Yachts may also place a radio link call via Seychelles Radio. If an internet connection is available, sites such as www.windguru.cz and www.magicseaweed.com both feature comprehensive ocean condition reports for Seychelles.

 

Sailing supplies, repairs and support

Best-Marine-Services-In-SeychellesRest assured that when you sail Seychelles, Taylor Smith Shipyard is your dedicated partner for any boating requirements. From mooring and refueling right through to repairs and maintenance, our friendly team are on hand to support you any way you need to ensure your dream Seychelles sailing holiday is a stress free one.

 


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If you have any questions, or would like to find out how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

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