I've been following two boats (Anima and Delta) that just sailed from Sri-Lanka via Maldives to the Red Sea. Both are Russian crews on circumnavigation. I wrote to captain of Delta about the piracy issues when they were still in SE Asia but he seemed to be very cool about it. He seemed to think that the piracy threat is overblown by Lloyds and Hollywood, possibly as part of a conspiracy to keep the shipping rates up

One boat stopped in Salalah and Aden, the other on Socotra. Apparently cap knew a guy who spent the last few years living on Socotra, organising tours and working as a guide there.

Now, the media had me believe that Socotra is infested with Somali pirates, that it is one of their main lairs and a base of operations. Apparently nothing can be further from the truth. They say it's a gem, magical land forgotten and ignored by most, and made me want to take a trip there before it's overrun by tourists like so many other beautiful places.

Both boats reported heavy-ish military presence along shipping lanes and did not report any threats to them.

Jimmy Cornell's Blue Planet Odyssey is routing through the Red Sea as well. So, perhaps this route is once again open for yachts...

For anyone interested, their blogs are:

http://yachtadelta.livejournal.com/

http://alexdem.ru/

Both are in Russian though.