General Sailing

The most dangerous areas for navigation

5 August 2021

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The most dangerous areas for navigation

Have you ever seen images of sailors facing storms in the middle of the ocean? Some sailing areas around the world are known to be very dangerous. On the occasion of great ocean races, experienced captains will venture there and produce incredible images. Certain passages are scary, even for the most knowledgeable sailor.

Why are certain areas considered dangerous?

Some navigation areas are quite undesirable, but they are still very attractive. Between huge waves, sea storms and even pirates, we must keep vigilant in these areas.

The 7 most dangerous areas for navigation in the world

If you are a thrill seeker and an experienced sailor, you can venture into one of these 7 most dangerous areas in the world. Between strong winds and rough seas, your crew and your boat will be put to the test.

Remember, you should always adjust your sailing route based on your knowledge, experience and your boat. Also check the weather report and check your ship’s equipment before departure.

Cape Horn

Cape Horn is a promontory located at the southern tip of Horn Island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the same level as Chile. This unique landscape features a 425-meter high cliff. It is the southernmost point of South America and marks the northern border of the Drake Channel that separates South America and Antarctica.

Cape Horn is still the most dangerous sailing area. In fact, between strong winds, strong storms and rough seas, the wind accelerates at the cape and can reach 100 km/h. You must also be very vigilant in the face of icebergs and waves that can reach 30 meters.

Today, it is the main venue for major sailing competitions around the world. In the sailing world, this route is likened to crossing Mount Everest because it is particularly difficult and has a reputation as a sailor’s cemetery. In fact, it took the lives of many sailors, and an albatross sculpture was built there to pay tribute to the sailors who died near these shores.

The Bermuda Triangle

The mythical Bermuda Triangle has never stopped being talked about because hundreds of planes and ships disappeared there. There is no obvious danger in this area near Miami, but recent studies have revealed that a wall of water of about 15m can be formed due to rogue waves. The pressure of these waves is so strong that no boat can resist it. The area is also so dangerous that no insurance company will agree to provide insurance for the boats that venture there. In the most recent disappearance, no wreckage or body has ever been found.

Cape of Good Hope

This area was once called “Cape of Storms” and is the meeting point of the cold Atlantic Ocean currents and the warm Indian ocean currents. Located on the Atlantic coast of South Africa, this cape is frightening because of its ocean currents. It is the most frequently recorded area in the world where huge waves as high as 18 to 20 meters are recorded.

The roaring 40th

The area is located between 40 degrees and 50 degrees north latitude. It is located in the southern hemisphere and is so called by sailors because of the strong wind from the west. This part of the earth is far away from any land that can disrupt the formation of the ocean and slow it down, which creates a very rough and violent ocean.

The Doldrums

The Doldrums is also called the intertropical convergence zone. The area is characterized by extremely unstable winds, with very calm periods and periods of violent squalls. The Doldrums are unpredictable and often change shapes, and changes are too difficult to predict.

The screaming 50th

This area in the center of the Southern Ocean lies between 50- and 60-degrees north latitude. Due to the temperature difference between ice and water, direct proximity to Antarctica will result in many depressions. Air flows around Antarctica, creating a series of depressions. A famous marine saying is also devoted to this area: ” Below 40 degrees south there is no law; below 50 degrees south there is no God. “.

The Bay of Biscay

The Bay of Biscay is a large navigation area of ​​223,000 square kilometers between the coasts of Brittany and Cantabrian in northern Spain. This area is very susceptible to heavy waves and strong winds, so it has a bad reputation.

Which areas of the world are affected by maritime piracy?

Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what piracy will look like today. Pirates are rampant mainly in very poor areas of the world and attack pleasure craft as well as commercial ones. These are usually the kidnappings of material goods or the sabotage of boats, but in the worst case, they may choose to kidnap the crew in exchange for ransom. These people are usually heavily armed and violent. The brigands do not hesitate to use their guns to put pressure on the crews and hijack their boats. The purpose of pirates is to control the attacked ship and then seize the cargo. This is the reason why it is better not to encounter pirates and avoid these areas as much as possible.

List of the main piracy zones in the world:

Gulf of Aden

Gulf of Guinea

Off the Peruvian coast

Strait of Malacca

But don’t worry, although it is strongly advised to bypass these areas, strong measures are being taken to limit piracy, and these waters only occupy a small part of the earth’s navigable waters.