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Old 22-10-2018, 13:43   #1
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New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

hi all,

we are in the marquesas and beginning to think about how we will get our baot back to europe. Shipping her from singapore is one option as is sailing around cape hope.

going through the red sea is not an option.

we've also looked at the pacific loop. We're not thrilled about the journey up along the philippines to okinawa and then crossing the northern pacific to canada, mainly because it is a hell of a lot of water and also because there really isn't any "safe season" from cyclones etc.

But there is any option of coming up from New Zealand to say Samoa (?) and then onward following the Hawaiian high pressure around and on to canada.

Does anyone know this route? best times to avoid cyclones? best starting point? If we make landfall on hawaii is that going to give us problems getting back onto the high pressure

approximate sailing times etc. etc etc

thanks ahead of time

carsten
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Old 22-10-2018, 13:47   #2
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

I have sailed from Hawaii to Canada 4 times. Count on three weeks. I stock up of fuel in order to deal with the Pacific high.
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Old 22-10-2018, 14:47   #3
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

Here's the track of boat that just completed NZ to Victoria BC
https://www.yit.nz/yacht/siri
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Old 22-10-2018, 19:54   #4
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

Among CF members, Sapient Sue and mikem have done the NZ to AK run. SS and husband, and 2 other vessels with couples aboard went under HI. mikem went the equatorial route and then North to HI. Possibly a PM to each of them, would elicit some useful info, too.

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Old 22-10-2018, 20:11   #5
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
hi all,

we are in the marquesas and beginning to think about how we will get our baot back to europe. Shipping her from singapore is one option as is sailing around cape hope.

going through the red sea is not an option.

we've also looked at the pacific loop. We're not thrilled about the journey up along the philippines to okinawa and then crossing the northern pacific to canada, mainly because it is a hell of a lot of water and also because there really isn't any "safe season" from cyclones etc.

But there is any option of coming up from New Zealand to say Samoa (?) and then onward following the Hawaiian high pressure around and on to canada.

Does anyone know this route? best times to avoid cyclones? best starting point? If we make landfall on hawaii is that going to give us problems getting back onto the high pressure

approximate sailing times etc. etc etc

thanks ahead of time

carsten
I can only comment on the Hawaii -> Canada leg...you can leave as late as September, although earlier would allow you to reach a bit more than beat. You'll head north, and just don't turn east until the wind is well and truly shifting to your port beam. If you turn too soon, you'll fall into a wind hole. Don't ask how I know..... The turn can happen as far south as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, or as far north as Prince Rupert. The earlier you leave, the further north you'll go before the turn east, but the more you'll have to beat to make northing without falling into the dead center of the high.
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Old 22-10-2018, 20:11   #6
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

I sailed with my parents from NZ (Whangarei) via Tahiti and Hawaii to Victoria BC. We arrived in early September, so given our 100nm average day’s run and not a lot of time at either intermediate location we must have left NZ in April or May. Basically you squeeze between cyclone season ending up north and winter gale season starting down south for that first leg to Tahiti.

The route from Hawaii to the PNW skirts the Pacific High and there’s no way to avoid that and no reason to avoid Hawaii unless you want a really long passage. To be west enough to totally avoid the high you may as well have sailed from Japan.

The alternative route from NZ to Hawaii is via Samoa, Tokelau and Kiribati. Slightly shorter route and avoids the Southern Ocean, but could be more on the wind, particularly north of the equator.

Check out Cornell’s Pacific Crossing Guide and similar works for detailed descriptions.
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Old 23-10-2018, 13:19   #7
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

just FYI....

Large NORTH SHORE surf and swells will be arriving in Hawaiian waters , Sept thru Nov and big surf can last into end of April, usually, the boats return to Hanalei Bay ( North Shore ) about May. North Shore anchorages could be problematic even without a named hurricane.

Kauai, ( The most north of all the Hawaiian islands ) .

Nawiliwili Harbor :

Due to Hanalei Bay, on the Tahiti Beautiful NORTH SHORE being closed out due to the very large surf , NAWILIWILI Harbor SSE shore is used by boats staying in Kauai waters during winter months.

Nawiliwili Harbor , Lihue Kauai, will be open for anchoring all year long. Nicely protected by Kipu and Ha'upu mountain ranges and break waters. But, can be problematic during hurricanes. Otherwise, very peaceful, easy going, and great for replenishing water, fuel and supplies.

Actually, Kauai is Tahiti Beautiful, friendly people with aloha, no freeways, and very few stop lights. Might want to spend a few days exploring, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, beaching it, kicking back, fixing what ever is required, and having a good time. Taking a bit of a break from the long passage. Very special place.

All of the islands will have large winter swells rolling in and slamming on to their north shores. They are storm generated up in the high north latitudes around Alaska, and continue to barrel across the ocean until something stops them, like the Hawaiian islands.

The Big Island of Hawaii, during hurricane season, usually gets hit first, even when the hurricanes down grade to a tropical storm. The hurricanes / storms sometimes start to disapate after traveling over The Big island and Maui. But, that path is up to the weather kahuna. Hurricane season is opposite that of those places south of the equator.

Oahu, has marinas near Honolulu, and Waikiki area, but do not know much about them as we did not travel or visit Oahu except flying Hawaiian Air for any major medical situations at the VA hospital .

But, you can research hawaiian island anchorages, read up where you might want to replenish on your epic passage. More boat supplies, and maintenance, haul out, etc. on Oahu.

Denny and Erica

Kauai Visitors for 13 yrs.. then ....Residents for 10 yrs. Took stay-cations to all of the neighbor islands, except Oahu. Moved back to the mainland 3 yrs ago.

Kauai was Land based, but lived across the road from Nawiliwili Harbor and marina for 7 yrs.

Walked to beautiful Kalapakai Beach, hikes up and around kauai lagoons, shopped at Costco and Time markets, about 2 miles up the road. Also, plenty of places to walk to for any and all meals and happy hours. Small Shops, etc. Central location for touring all shores, mountains to oceans , windward to the leeward side.

Got our sailing fixes, bare boat sailing vacations world wide...annually.
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Old 23-10-2018, 15:08   #8
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

Can't help with the sail up from NZ. If I had the time would love to do it to see the Australes and southern Tuamotus. Kind of semi virgin territory that doesn't get the horde of boats that pass through the northern Islands.

If you don't want to go to weather in 10' seas and 25k winds get as much easting as possible leaving Tahiti. We left FP from Ahe in the Tuamotus and it was a reach the whole way. The farther west you hit the NE trades the more the wind will be forward of the beam. I wouldn't want to have to go hard on the wind into trade winds and seas. Something about 30k wind and waves on the nose isn't appetizing. Most cruisers leave Hawaii from Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Thinks that's because they are cruising the islands and prevailing winds make an east to west tour easy. If you want to have an easier passage north and aren't interested in touring the Islands, I'd sail north from FP to Hilo and leave from there for the sail north. If you needed to haul the boat or professional help for repairs, you could sail around the Island to Honokohau where a travel lift and tradesman are available then leave from there.

Hurricanes between June and November can be easily avoided by careful monitoring of the depressions in the Gulf of Panama that develop into named storms and either head West toward Hawaii or turn North and hit Mexico. The west bound storms stay pretty much between 10 and 20 degrees North Latitude so if a storm tracks west just hang out south of 10 degrees till it passes and then boogy north to the islands. Seems most of the storms that head west do it in June and July but Kauai got wiped out by a storm in November. We sailed south from San Diego in June and crossed the danger area between storms

The large waves that hit the Islands over the winter are not a problem sailing on the open ocean around the Islands. They are long period swells that only cause issues when they hit shallow water around the islands. They can close out harbors but at sea not a big thing. The issue with them is the storms in the N Pacific that generate the swells. From mid October through March Lows generated in the Western Pacific march east in almost weekly proscessions. If you leave the Islands to sail North around the high after September you will get dusted. These are storms to take seriously as they often generate hurricane force winds.

It is possible to sail under the High but you'll be hard on the wind for about half the distance to the mainland and could be driven into the wind hole of the high depending on the direction of the trades which are prevailing NE to E winds. Do know of one boat that left Hilo in January and sailed under the high to San Diego. Said they had a wonderful fast passage with moderate winds and no hard on the wind sailing. Don't know how much of a fluke that was. They were using a weather routing service and hung out in Hilo for at least a month waiting for favorable conditions. The Weather service called them one night out of the blue and said if they wanted to take advantage of the conditions, they had to be gone from Hilo by sunrise. Think they may have gotten lucky.

If you have large fuel capacity, sailing north on a close reach till you run into the no wind High then turn on the motor east toward your West Coast destination. It's a week or so of motoring till you pick up the prevailing NW winds on the other side of the high. Know of a few boats that have done that route with a 55 gallon drum of diesel lashed in the cockpit. It cuts out nearly a week off the passage if your engine doesn't quit.
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Old 23-10-2018, 17:01   #9
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

The easiest (and least well known) route from NZ to Europe is to depart around the start of June, sail due East from Tauranga until you can reach NE up to Rapa Iti (be one of their average 4 visiting yachts per year - get a very warm welcome and experience a beautiful island with a fascinating history. About 2 weeks sail from NZ.

From Rapa Iti it's a 4 day sail to the Gambier islands which are paradise and you can relax there for a month or two and socialise with the herd going the other way. Now you wait for a weather window to head East with fair winds and preferably good enough conditions to anchor at Pitcairn after two days. If you're lucky (as we were) you can then broad reach pretty much all the way to Galapagos (3 week passage) or mainland Ecuador if you prefer. If you don't pick your weather for departure you might need to go a bit further east before turning North, in which case you'll get to stop at Easter Island.

You're likely to be the only visiting yacht in Galapagos as it's out of season for boats going the other way and this route is missing from all the modern yacht routing guides! It can however be found in the old admiralty sailing directions for square rigged ships as it is a reliable downwind route if you start at the right time of year.

After a month or so in Galapagos you can head direct for Panama city. Dead down wind at that time of year but don't leave it too late as the ITCZ starts to drift south and bring heavy thunderstorms.

You can then go through the canal and spend a month or so in the beautiful San Blas islands. That takes you to November when the hurricane season ends and you can head north to enjoy a full season in the northern Caribbean (going via Cape Town you wouldn't arrive in the Caribbean until the end of the season). This will be the only windward leg, about 3 days San Blas to Cayman Islands or Honduras (without tacking if you time it right). You've then got the choice of Jamaica (highly recommended) and Cuba, the lesser sailed parts of the Caribbean. Nip through the gap to enjoy a relaxed cruise through the exceptional cruising grounds of Turks & Caicos, Bahamas. Come the end of the season you can head for Bermuda and then onward to UK/Ireland. Follow the ARC fleet if you like company! A bumpy ride but it's the only way back across the Atlantic.

We took the above route a couple of years ago and highly recommend it. Half the sailing distance of going via Cape Town and you get to visit some very interesting places off the beaten track. We never saw another boat for three weeks from Gambier to Galapagos (and we were looking!) Nothing even within AIS range.

It's very surprising this route is missing from the cruising guides such as Cornells World Cruising Routes, it is a very useful route indeed, especially now that Somali Pirates are getting in the way of the Red Sea route. Contrary to popular misconception you'll have moderate wind on or aft of the beam all the way from NZ to Panama if you time your departures to the weather patterns. June departure from NZ is about right but later is fine if you don't take such long stops. Plan on a year from NZ to europe, that gets you there with all your passages in sync with the weather patterns and plenty of time to enjoy places along the way.

There seems to be a misconception that going via Hawaii is a good idea, it's a bizarre route if heading to Europe but OK if Canada is your final destination. Otherwise take a diversion to Canada on the Atlantic side, the great circle from Bermuda takes you surprisingly close to Newfoundland (icebergs permitting).
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Old 23-10-2018, 18:37   #10
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

Like chris14679 we went from NZ to Rapa Iti but from there went to Honolulu and then on to Vancouver island. We left NZ in April 2010.

Chris is correct that you will receive a warm welcome in Rapa Iti. It is a very isolated place with few visitors. We were invited to a big party on the island to celebrate several birthdays. We also weathered out a storm with 74 knot winds. There is a French Meteorology office there that told us it was 74 knots but more important they gave us daily weather briefings. They are French speakers with very few that can speak English. We found a school teacher and a visiting satellite communications technician - that was it. Rapa Iti is visited by a supply ship about once a month and supplies run low on the island prior to the ship's arrival so don't expect to provision there. We also expected to find an unspoiled society but the French had done their work. People were living in concrete block houses and even though they only had four miles of roads there were about forty cars.

From Rapa Iti we set sail for Honolulu, sailing quite close to Tahiti but did not detour there. We stayed at Alu Wai (sp?) harbor - a very run down state run marina back in 2010.

Then on to Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver island. It was a 21 day passage and the North Pacific high kept moving ahead of us so to turn east we ended up motoring for many days at low power and arrived with ten gallons of diesel remaining.

From one day out of NZ all the way to Honolulu we did not see a single vessel.
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Old 23-10-2018, 19:30   #11
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

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I have sailed from Hawaii to Canada 4 times. Count on three weeks. I stock up of fuel in order to deal with the Pacific high.
Having done this route, I am very confused... the route from Hawai'i to Canada does not go through the pacific high at all, unless you are foolish enough to try to sail the rhumb line course but even the most elementary weather analysis would steer you away from that.

Timing is right though, in a 40 foot boat, 20 days would be a really fast trip, 28 would be rather slow.

And this is seasonal. Don't even THINK of it in the winter... April, maybe. May--better.
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Old 23-10-2018, 21:01   #12
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

The sailing directions for Hawaii to Canada are to sail due north until you are north of the north pacific high, then turn east. When we sailed this leg the center of the north pacific high was due north of us and tracked north as we did, we could never get around it.

We were in very calm conditions for a long time. We ran the engine at 1400 rpm for days on end. At 1400 rpm the engine is very stingy on fuel. Left Hawaii with 100 gallons, Arrived in Ucluelet with 10 gallons left.
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Old 24-10-2018, 15:30   #13
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

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Like chris14679 we went from NZ to Rapa Iti but from there went to Honolulu and then on to Vancouver island. We left NZ in April 2010.

Chris is correct that you will receive a warm welcome in Rapa Iti. It is a very isolated place with few visitors. We were invited to a big party on the island to celebrate several birthdays. We also weathered out a storm with 74 knot winds. There is a French Meteorology office there that told us it was 74 knots but more important they gave us daily weather briefings. They are French speakers with very few that can speak English. We found a school teacher and a visiting satellite communications technician - that was it. Rapa Iti is visited by a supply ship about once a month and supplies run low on the island prior to the ship's arrival so don't expect to provision there. We also expected to find an unspoiled society but the French had done their work. People were living in concrete block houses and even though they only had four miles of roads there were about forty cars.
A bit more on Rapa Iti - while we were there they installed a new containerised fuel dispensing system on the wharf so it's very easy to refuel there. You can tie up alongside the wharf and only have 20m to relay the fuel in cans. They have both petrol and diesel, the petrol tank is brand new and the diesel tank is the same which runs the mains generators which power the whole island so it's fresh and good quality. Refuelling in Gambier is challenging and don't even think about buying fuel in Pitcairn so, surprisingly, Rapa Iti is where you can and should fill all your tanks and cans for the whole route to Panama. Don't miss the opportunity!

The shops do get sparse if the ship hasn't been for a while but basic staples were always obtainable and there were unlimited free sweet grapefruit (pamplemoose) and berries to be had, the best we'd ever tasted. There's a small medical facility staffed by French nurses. Stunning walks to the abandoned forts on the volcanic peaks. There's a communal baking oven which delivers french bread to everyone every morning. If I remember rightly because it's communal they don't seem to have a system for selling it so they gave us bread for free no matter how hard we tried to pay!

The harbour is deep and sheltered but subject to random squalls. You can tie up to the wharf for free if the ship isn't expected (it comes every 6 weeks or so) but the fendering is awkward there.

And yes, learning a little French will go a long way in Rapa Iti and Gambier but in Pitcairn they speak a very special form of English called Pitkern.
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Old 24-10-2018, 17:38   #14
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

A good link for the North Pacific weather.

Ocean Prediction Center - Pacific Marine
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Old 25-10-2018, 12:12   #15
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Re: New Zealand over Hawaii to Canada?

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A bit more on Rapa Iti - while we were there they installed a new containerised fuel dispensing system on the wharf so it's very easy to refuel there. You can tie up alongside the wharf and only have 20m to relay the fuel in cans. They have both petrol and diesel, the petrol tank is brand new and the diesel tank is the same which runs the mains generators which power the whole island so it's fresh and good quality. Refuelling in Gambier is challenging and don't even think about buying fuel in Pitcairn so, surprisingly, Rapa Iti is where you can and should fill all your tanks and cans for the whole route to Panama. Don't miss the opportunity!

The shops do get sparse if the ship hasn't been for a while but basic staples were always obtainable and there were unlimited free sweet grapefruit (pamplemoose) and berries to be had, the best we'd ever tasted. There's a small medical facility staffed by French nurses. Stunning walks to the abandoned forts on the volcanic peaks. There's a communal baking oven which delivers french bread to everyone every morning. If I remember rightly because it's communal they don't seem to have a system for selling it so they gave us bread for free no matter how hard we tried to pay!

The harbour is deep and sheltered but subject to random squalls. You can tie up to the wharf for free if the ship isn't expected (it comes every 6 weeks or so) but the fendering is awkward there.

And yes, learning a little French will go a long way in Rapa Iti and Gambier but in Pitcairn they speak a very special form of English called Pitkern.

Thank you for suggesting this route, which looks very interesting. Did you run into many pressure fronts on the NZ to Rapa Iti run? The wind maps we have say that in June we can expect 15020 knot winds on a broad reach. But in this part of the ocean there are frequent pressure systems that push through.

how much did you experience? was the passage a rough one?

thanks
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