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Old 03-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #1
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Question Panama > xxx > Asia

Howdy everyone!

I'm now researching stuff about a Transpacific passage.
Yes, it's already been discussed at length elsewhere, but I have a few technical questions on specific issues...

Some interesting pages/threads I saw on this topic:

Questions!

1. Overall, how likely am I to reach Asia around the beginning of June this year, if I'm in Panama around mid-April?

2. Keeping speed a priority, should I try to hitch a boat ride to Hawaii from Mexico or California instead of Panama, given prevailing currents and winds?

3. Probability of finding a boat crossing from Hawaii to Guam/Saipan like this one did, at this time of the year?


All advice warmly appreciated!
Dorian
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Welcome back.

First, please let us know how your passages went last year. I see you asked the following:
http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/f12...bean-5122.html

Did you make a trip? how did it go? It's been a year so I figure you've been out crewing by now.

1. Less likely than you would be if you'd been there in February.
2. Yes.
3. Unknown. Not so many people going from H-to-G as elsewhere.

Fair winds, Looking forward to your contribution here with a report on how your passages have gone so far.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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Hi!

Yes, my trip across the Atlantic went fine.
I'll post some more feedback in that thread you mention, but let me just state that I sailed from the Canary Islands to Venezuela and that it was a wonderful experience.

But let's come back to the Pacific leg of this overland round-the-world trip

Regarding your reply to question 2, what ports of departure/marinas would you recommend specifically, in order to find a trip to Hawaii?

And from Hawaii itself - Honolulu?
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorearendil View Post
Howdy everyone!

I'm now researching stuff about a Transpacific passage.
Questions!

1. Overall, how likely am I to reach Asia around the beginning of June this year, if I'm in Panama around mid-April? Not a chance. From West Coast US or Panama, two months will get you to Hawaii or Tahiti, still thousands of miles from your destination. Sailboats just can't go that fast unless they're racing, and then they don't go around the fat part of the globe, they head for Antarctic seas.

2. Keeping speed a priority, should I try to hitch a boat ride to Hawaii from Mexico or California instead of Panama, given prevailing currents and winds? The Los Angeles - Hawaii Transpac is in July, but that's for serious racers, and they work hard to get to Hawaii as fast as they can. Otherwise, I'm not so sure, since June to December is Cyclone season in the North Pacific.

3. Probability of finding a boat crossing from Hawaii to Guam/Saipan like this one did, at this time of the year? I'm not familiar with North Pacific cruising, so can't even guess. Maybe another voice will chime in.

Dorian
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Jeanne
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Hi Jeanne,

Thanks a lot for your input!

- Are you sure 2 full months are needed from Mexico to Hawaii? Seems like a very long time... From what I gather elsewhere, 2-3 weeks seem to be all that´s necessary from the West coast of the US...?
(and according to that post, only 31 days of travel could be necessary between Hawaii and Guam)

- If June to December is indeed the cyclone season in the North Pacific (I´ve read elsewhere that this season was actually all year long in that region, contrary to the South Pacific...? ) - then wouldn´t that mean I have more chances of finding a boat in April or May?

Cheers,
d-
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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Sorry, Dorea, I shouldn't have been so flip in my answer and I should have called up Google Earth to better track the distances you are considering.

So, a different way to help you judge sailing time: The average cruising sailboat will travel about 125 nautical miles per day. So Gallivanter covered 3500 miles in 31 days, or about 125 miles per day (since they had an overnight stop on Wake Island). Gallivanter is crewed by two very experienced circumnavigators. Not many cruisers are interested in crossing the North Pacific the way they did that time.

The distance from Mexico to Hawaii is 2,500 nautical miles. From Hawaii to Guam is 3,500 nautical miles. (leaving from San Diego, California would cut almost 500 miles from that distance)

Then on to Asia. Where in Asia? Hong Kong, Japan, China, Malaysia, Where? The closest "Asia" destination would be the eastern islands of the Philippines, 1,200 to 1400 miles from Guam. Total, non stop, 7,300 miles. divided by 125 miles/day, almost 60 days. But nobody but a racing boat would be doing that kind of sailing. And that is not the kind of destination sailing that the average cruiser does. I would guess that you would find no cruising boats heading nonstop for Asia from North or Central America.

More information. For the North East Pacific, cyclone season matches pretty much hurricane season in the NW Atlantic. The big dangerous storms in the North West Pacific are called typhoons, and they do occur any month of the year, though February/March seems to be when they are least likely to form. The average cruising sailor is bent on avoiding cyclones, hurricanes, and/or typhoons like the plague. So their sailing is based upon the seasons, the best chance of not encountering a bad storm, and plenty of stops along the way. And few want to make month-long passages through the heart of typhoon territory, so they don't. They usually do shorter legs from island chain to island chain, usually heading up from Australia, sometimes heading across the northern pacific with dips towards the equator and the doldrums - i.e., little to no wind - safety from severe storms there (no tropical storms between 10 degrees north and south of the equator). That can add several thousand miles to a crossing of the Pacific.

so generally, cruising sailors will leave Mexico, Panama, or California headed for the South Pacific, and take from April or May until December to reach Australia or New Zealand. That's the usual "pacific milk run".

Sorry to be such a wet blanket.
Jeanne

Addition. I just read your narrative about the Canaries/Cape Verde/Guadeloupe trip. The Cape Verde to Guadeloupe leg, about 2200 miles, took 18 days, or 116 miles/day. That's very slow for a 17-meter catamaran - even considering the time spent in the doldrums ("surprising lack of wind" - that's what the doldrums are). I think you can extrapolate from there.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:15 AM   #7
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OK, so what's the interest in getting to Guam vice anywhere else? I personally know folks who have delivered a boat from San Diego to Guam. In that case, it was a military person getting a change-of-station and his friends got together to bring his boat to Guam. The trip took far longer than expected--I've emailed one of the crew for details but he hasn't gotten back to me yet. They went via HI and that leg took over a month.

If you're not on a schedule, you're so much more likely to catch a ride if you just offer yourself up for a trip to the South Pacific and to Australia. You'll eventually make it to Guam simply because you will find people in Australia who wish to go up to the PI, Guam, Northern Marianna Islands and so forth.

If your desire is to stay in the Northern hemisphere, then you can hop a ride from PV Mexico to HI or from CA to HI. Many boats, during the spring and summer months, go from California to Hawaii. However, people leaving from PV or Panama to HI should be doing so in early spring. From Southern CA, it is an easy trip taking between 2 weeks and 2 months depending on the capabilities of the boat, weather conditions, and the ability of the skipper to straddle the weather in such a way to move quickly. Once you make it to HI, I don't know how long it would take you to progress your trip, though. You could be in HI for quite a while before having the chance to move on. That's why I suggest the Southern Pacific routing. You may spend the same time but have a lot more fun island hopping in the South Pacific. And, you'll run into many more cruisers, too.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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Dear Jeanne and Brenda,

Thank you so much for this mind-blowing advice. Looks like I should've asked those questions a long time ago (or even looked at Google Earth myself...).

So if I get it right, 2 options are now left for me:

1/ Stick to the Northern Pacific plan, and sacrifice a whole flock of auspicious animals to the gods of boat-hitchhikers, so that I get at least the beginning of a chance of finding a boat heading straight to Guam (or that region anyway) from Hawaii, across storms and typhoons.

or

2/ Try the normal 'milk run', where I'm bound to find boats if I'm at the right places long enough, then head north from Australia to the Asian continent -- which would take me more or less until the end of this year...

Correct?


(time to start looking into plane tickets )

--

@Jeanne: yeah, 18 days from Cape Verde to Guadeloupe was pretty slow indeed. Genova + spinnaker destroyed halfway through, main sail too small for the boat, and 6 entire days on the motor around the end of the trip (are there often doldrums like these in January, just a little to the north-east of the Antilles?) -- among other reasons...
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #9
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Correct! Personally, I wouldn't want to sail from Hawaii directly to Guam or the Philippines even if i could find a boat headed that way. It's a long investment in time with a bunch of strangers - could be great, could be dreadful, and if it's dreadful, there's no place to get off!
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post
Correct! Personally, I wouldn't want to sail from Hawaii directly to Guam or the Philippines even if i could find a boat headed that way. It's a long investment in time with a bunch of strangers - could be great, could be dreadful, and if it's dreadful, there's no place to get off!
There are numerous folks who have done it--all of the ones I know (HI to Philippines (3 boats) or Guam (1 boat)) were active military or former military with ties in the PI or Guam. They had buddies willing to take the long trip.
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