October was made for far flung adventures, from the jungle-fringed, emerald-green Andaman Sea to the swirling sands of Australia's Whitsundays. These are the best sailing areas off the beaten track.
Thailand – For something a little different, you can’t go wrong with Thailand. We sailed out of Phuket and around the Andaman islands last year, and they are almost otherworldy. The sea is an eerie emerald, the people couldn’t be warmer, and the sailing area is spectacular, taking you past giant limestone karsts in the middle of the sea. Thai food is another absolute highlight, and the snorkelling is top notch, too. October is drier than the recently-ended monsoon season, but still with a little occasional rain to help break the humidity. temperatures average 27˚C, with winds an easy WNW 5/6 knots.
The Seychelles - The Seychelles is simply stunning in October. At this time of year, the remote indian Ocean islands really show their true colours - there is a little less wind than from June to September, and temperatures are a little warmer (26˚C), but not at full summer yet, so there's a lot less tropical rainfall than you'd find from December to February. The sailing area is astonishing, and moorings are mostly anchorages, with some mooring buoys, particularly near built up areas like Praslin and Mahe. Navigation is straightforward, with line of sight sailing and longer passages possible between islands. The coral reefs and gorgeous scenery create superb snorkelling conditions all around, in impossibly clear waters.
The Whitsundays, Australia - This laid-back sailing area, sheltered by The Great Barrier Reef, is characterised by year-round breezes, with a stable trade wind blowing throughout. Visits in the Autumn give you a great chance to see pods of humpback whales, who arrive in the warm, sheltered waters ready to birth their calves. October is the Whitsundays' driest month, with warm, rather than hot, weather, and average winds of 15knots ESE.