Places to avoid if you prefer safe sailing

Bay that Biscay

This gulf, tucked in in between the French and Spanish boundaries is residence to the Atlantic’s fiercest weather. Its unique position attracts an effective winds and the shallow sea bed produces hefty wave motion. Together winter begins and weather worsens, depressions cause severe weather at sea and consistent rain follow me the shores. Sometimes powerful windstorms kind if the pressure falls rapidly, travelling along the Gulf currently at good speed, the same, similar thing a hurricane and finally crashing in the bay with their preferably power. There is likewise the phenomenon the June Gloom, a big fog triangle which deserve to fill the southern half of the bay.

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(Lubeck D in the bay of Biscay – Isaac Newton Feb 1975, Wikimedia Commons)

The area’s unpredictability has resulted in plenty of a seller vessel floundering on its means from the UK come the Mediterranean or the Canaries. Square riggers had problems being unable to make means to windward after having actually been driven right into the Bay and also often ports came to be inaccessible since of the rapid develop up of Atlantic Swell. Modern-day yachts, through their much more efficient rigs and the aid of an excellent weather forecasting, need to not have actually quite the exact same problems, however there have actually nevertheless been several occasions of yachts acquiring into challenges with sometimes fatal consequences.

Cook Strait, between North & southern Islands of brand-new Zealand

Cook Strait connects the Tasman Sea ~ above the northwest v the southern Pacific ocean on the southwest. It is 22 kilometres broad at its narrowest allude and is considered to be among the many dangerous and also unpredictable waters in the world. The is topic to belts of solid wind that circle the globe approximately 40 levels south, well-known as the Roaring Forties. These produce big waves and also the chef Strait “wind tunnel” effect, which way that the birds elevation in ~ the end of the strait room out that phase through one another, resulting in a boat being pelted through high water ~ above one side and low water top top the other. Although the tidal rise should circulation in each direction for six hours, a particular surge could last eight or ten hours, followed by a feeble turning back surge. In an especially bad weather the turning back surge can be nil bring about a circulation remaining in the exact same direction through 3 surge durations or longer. The ocean circulation is further complex by submarine ridges to run off from the coast. A southerly gale deserve to blow increase a large swell very quickly and also there is a phenomenon referred to as the Kaori Rip, a patch of unnatural water wherein the wind and seas accomplish the birds head-on. That is when watercrafts can have actually a rough trip.


(Wikimedia Commons)

The strait is named after James Cook, the first European commander to sail with it in 1770. It was the scene of 2 of new Zealand’s worst marine catastrophes; the Penguin disaster in 1909 and the sinking of the ferry Wahine in 1968.

Drake Passage, Southern reminder of south America

This is just one of the world’s most renowned stormy seas, also known as the “Sea that Hoces”. The 800 km wide passage is the shortest cross from Antartica to the rest of the world, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans between Cape Horn and also the south Shetland Islands. V no large landmass all over at the latitudes the the Drake Passage over there is one unimpeded circulation of present carrying a substantial volume of water v it. This, in addition to the region’s naturally high wind speeds, commonly rough waters and risk the icebergs, ensures its stormy reputation.


(Antarctic iceberg – Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith, Wikimedia Commons)

Though bearing the name of the well known English seaman sir Francis Drake, whose ship to be blown much south ~ passing v the Strait of Magellan, the passage was very first traversed in 1616 by a Flemish expedition led through Willem Schouten.

It offered to be considered the most dangerous delivery passage in the world, cruising vessels taking weeks just to round the Horn and also even today, rounding Cape Horn is still considered a major accomplishment by today’s sailors. Violent, chaotic, notorious and unpredictable space all words provided to explain this sea passage in which end 20,000 sailors have lost their lives.


(HMS Endymion rounding the Horn – illustration by Herbert Roxby, Wikimedia Commons)

Irminger Sea, in between southern Greenland & Iceland

The Irminger Sea is situated south the the Denmark Strait i m sorry separates Iceland native the east shore of Greenland by 250 miles of rough water. That is thought to it is in the windiest stretch the salt water ~ above the globe and also one of the stormiest places in the world. Ocean scientists have actually been researching the Irminger because that the critical 10 years. Hampered by its storms, powerful complicated currents and convoluted seafloor topography, much about the sea remains unknown. Interesting way the sea is a small passage on the doorstep of the Arctic Circle and also is a bottleneck on the “superhighway” that the oceans’ an international circulation. It is the key route because that waters flowing south from the Arctic s to the north Atlantic Ocean.


(Explorer that the sea waves – Bing pictures –

Maracaibo Lake, Venezuela

This large, brackish lake or bay is the biggest lake in south America, in ~ 13,210 square kilometres. Storms develop over the northern part of this lake on about 140-160 nights a year, giving extraordinary lightning displays. The renowned “Catatumbo Lightning” phenomenon is named after the river that flows right into the lake and also where the storms are many frequent. That is a nearly constant thunderstorm with up to 20,000 flicker of lightning per night and also lasting about 10 hrs long. That produces 10% the tropospheric ozone in the world.


(Catatumbo lightning, Lake Maracaibo – Ruzhugo27, Wikipedia)

There are number of theories explaining the continuous storms. The high winds sweeping throughout the lake crash into the cool wait spilling under from the Andes, forcing the upward as thunder clouds. An additional factor might be the boggy marshes which release methane gas.

The lightning phenomenon has become a component of the story of the indigenous world of the area and a huge draw to tourist who currently come on distinct trips to watch the herbal display. The local anglers profit from the light display screen as they space able come navigate at night without any problem.

Port George lV, west Australia

Australia’s stormiest place is top top the shores that the Timor Sea where 100 thunderstorm work a year is the norm. In ~ the sea lie considerable reserves the oil and also gas, leading to a variety of offshore petroleum projects and also considerable exploration activity. Through so plenty of storms and also cyclones passing v the area oil and also gas production are often interrupted. Back petroleum production facilities are designed to withstand the effects of cyclones, production is often decreased as a safety and security precaution and also workers are sometimes evacuated come the mainland.


(Oil pour out from Montara offshore oil communication in the Timor Sea – DLR, Wikimedia Commons)

South China Sea

The weather in this component of the Pacific s is tropical and also largely controlled by monsoons. Tropical typhoons and cyclones are additionally frequent and also have brought about some serious calamities in the area. What renders it even much more dangerous is the “Dangerous Ground”, a large area of short islands, sunken reefs and also barely extended atolls. The annual rainfall different from about 2,000mm come 3,000mm about the southerly basin. The area is poorly chartered and also rife v territorial problems making that an area ideal avoided at every costs.


(Satellite snapshot of the south China Sea – Serglo – from NASA human being Wind Globe, Wikimedia Commons)

Southern Ocean

The southern Ocean, likewise known together the Antarctic s or the Austral Ocean, circles ring Antarctica and comprises the southern-most parts of the world’s oceans. It is wherein cold, northward flowing waters native the Antarctic mix v warmer subantarctic waters. The is subject to frequent huge swells, countless rough seas and also the frequently developing threat of icebergs at any time the year. Part may have drafts of numerous hundred meters, yet even smaller ones, along with iceberg fragments and also sea ice, additionally pose troubles for ships. The truth that that is much less well travelled and documented than any other ocean makes the even more hazardous and its remoteness provides sources the search and also rescue scarce.


(Antarctic Blue – Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons)

Lake Victoria, Uganda, Africa


(Sail top top Victoria Lake, Uganda – Damiano Luchetti, Wikipedia)

The north of this lake is the area that experiences the many thunderstorm days in the world. In Kampala thunder is heard on an typical of 242 work of the year. This is caused by the convergence of land-breeze end the lake throughout the night, releasing instability that the moist lower layers of air and also the advancement of cumulonimbus clouds and also thunderstorms end the lake.

The substantial lake straddles three eastern African countries, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya; the stretches some 70,000 square kilometres and is the world’s 2nd largest freshwater body. It gives a livelihood because that the many fishermen navigating its waters and the companies lining the shores, but with that livelihood comes a an excellent risk. That is thought that about 5,000 people are killed yearly on the lake, victims of the erratic weather conditions and a mix of bad communications and also lack that resources. This renders the lake maybe the many dangerous stretch of water in the human being in regards to fatalities every square kilometre.

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Those using the lake space hoping that a brand-new mobile alert device aiming to enhance the delivery of weather forecasts, will certainly give much more guidance top top what type of storms to expect ever before the lake and also what action they have to take.