The prevailing winter wind is South East. For most of the year visiting yachts may moor safely off the north facing Wimbi beach in front of the Complexo Nautilus. Gales from the north occur during summer, which is also the rainy season, and yachts may then need to seek shelter inside the bay near the container berth. A visiting yacht may stay for only 3 months. After that period import duty must be paid or else the vessel must leave Mozambique waters. A 300 kms run to Mtwara in Tanzania, or 400kms miles to the Camores (preferably Anjouan) will ensure the necessary exit stamp, after which the yacht may return to Pemba for a further 3 months. Import duty is 65% plus IVA (Mozambique VAT) of 17% for a sailing vessel with auxiliary engine or power boat. Every Mozambique vessel, right down to the 10 foot dugout caixqinas, has to be registered with a number.
The current in the Mozambique channel determines the roughness of the seas outside the bay. Recent research has demonstrated that for about 50 days the current runs south, and then for another 50 days runs north or does not run at all. If the wind blows from the south then a north running current will produce relatively calm seas, and vice versa. There is no way to know which direction the current is running at any point in time other than to sail out into the open sea and see what is happening.
This north/south current phenonomenon is particularly important for those who wish to visit Lazarus bank, the fishing mecca 80 nautical miles north east from Pemba Bay. A northerly set to the current usually means flat conditions on the bank.