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Old 19-01-2015, 17:37   #1
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Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Hi all!

While reading Noonsite I came across Jimmy Cornell's response to someone asking whether it was possible to complete a circumnativation in 16-18 months. Here it is:

Advice on Quick Circumnavigation — Noonsite

I have also read several long, often heated, discussions here on CF about the feasibility, saneness, stupidity, naiveness, etc etc etc, of sprint circumnavigations (this one was particularly informative:
How to do a 18 month circumnavigation from San Francisco?).

I'm wondering about some issues usually not discussed when the topic of sprint circumnavigations come up. Here is my question for the group.... Assuming a relatively fast 45-50ft Catamaran (think Atlantic, St Francis, Outremer) and that all weather windows cooperate (yes a HUGE assumption), what are the non-weather related logistical, navigation, seamanship, or even general life issues that make Jimmy Cornell's suggested timing difficult for that particular route?

I'm asking this question not because I want to do this (you all know I barely know how to pull the lines on a hobbie cat!) but to learn about some of the other non-weather issues that impact the timing and feasibility of such long voyages. So, in order to keep the thread focused, let's avoid discussions about "why would anyone want to do this" or whether doing a spring circumnavigation is worth it (since you'll barely get to spend any quality time on each place).

So what are the non-weather related issues that make Jim Cornell's suggestion for a 16-18month circumnavigation likely extremely difficult if not impossible?

Looking forward to your thoughts!
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:57   #2
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

I think you would have to go west to east rather the normal cruising route of east to west to do it and keep way down low below Australia for a lot of the trip.
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:21   #3
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Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Thanks clownfish. I'm particularly interested in non weather related obstacles that make jimmy C routing and timing suggestion (see link above) unfeasible. Any thoughts anyone?


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Old 20-01-2015, 06:19   #4
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

The World ARC does this every year or so. I was in the marina in Panama one year when they all came in after their first leg from St. Lucia. Well over half of them were running around looking for sailmakers, welders, mechanics, etc to fix all the broken stuff for the next leg.

I suspect they were doing the same after every leg.

You can check the WARC website for dates, itineraries, boats, blogs, etc.

Mark
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Old 20-01-2015, 09:00   #5
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

its supposed to e about the voyage not the destination.


shore time can only get you in trouble
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Old 20-01-2015, 09:31   #6
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

If you throw enough money, time and other resources at any problem it tends to be solvable. The ultimate being the round the world races. Speed exponentially increases cost and tends to reduce enjoyment/quality of life (excepting competitions for the second bit but not the first!!!)
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Old 20-01-2015, 11:19   #7
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The World ARC does this every year or so. I was in the marina in Panama one year when they all came in after their first leg from St. Lucia. Well over half of them were running around looking for sailmakers, welders, mechanics, etc to fix all the broken stuff for the next leg.

I suspect they were doing the same after every leg.

You can check the WARC website for dates, itineraries, boats, blogs, etc.

Mark

Thanks! Oh yes waiting for broken parts and repairs is likely the main non whether related issue that can derail such a rushed sprint!! I'll read the WARC blogs. I'm sure they probably have some interesting stories!!


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Old 20-01-2015, 12:14   #8
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

An illness or injury could slow things down. As for another rather more positive 'sickness' one could meet someone in port that was, ah distracting.
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Old 20-01-2015, 20:08   #9
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyo View Post
An illness or injury could slow things down. As for another rather more positive 'sickness' one could meet someone in port that was, ah distracting.
Ha! The wife said if I get "distracted" I'll have to swim to the next island.

So far, the most likely challenges for a sprint circumnavigation (a la World ARC) are:
- Weather delays
- Breakdowns (waiting for parts or repairs)
- Injuries
- If you are Sammyo, getting "distracted"
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:42   #10
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Regrets. Most sailors I've met said they did it too fast, so yeah, it's likely you would regret the decision to do it in under 3 yrs. Most want to go back and spend more time and see the things they missed. And why would you want to do it? To tick it off a bucket list or as some kind of personal challenge maybe. I say most sailors because I've met a few that have done it fast and enjoyed the experience, but they were in the sail round the world/ climb Everest / swim across the English Channel kind of personality that thrives on personal challenges. Most wouldn't repeat it for at least 5 yrs once the memory faded of how difficult it was...
One of the worst reasons would be because you think you can just afford 18 months because of work/life/money issues. If that's the case I'd suggest a more leisurely itinerary of half the world (Europe to caribbean or USA to Australia) where you would see a lot more along the way and have the time to enjoy it. Apart from those points, it's entirely doable and jimmy knows his stuff. Get a copy of world cruising routes for the boat and it has lots if options on round the world trips in varying time frames. I'd look into doing it in a rally purely for the support and logistics they provide. Applying for visas and permits, checking in and out of countries and even arranging marina berthing is a huge pain in the ass to organise from sea. On a tight schedule you would be spending most of your time ashore in a wifi bar trying to arrange visas and permits for the next country..
The other downside is weather. I know you didn't want to discuss it and the fact is you can do it in the correct seasons, but on a tight schedule your personal sailing preferences have to take a back seat. We have waited at anchor for weeks at a time for a weather window that suited us. We wait for wind we can sail in without having to beat to windward for days at a time and for swells under 3m Unless headed downwind, and wind strengths under 35K and over 5K with no major disturbances predicted for the duration of the passage plus a day or so after. To get those conditions you sometimes have to wait around but on a schedule you may not have the luxury or sailing in your preferred conditions.
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:56   #11
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Thanks Monte! I'm in total agreement. I have no plans of doing this. I was curious after seeing Jimmy C suggestion about why (aside from being an unwise idea) such a pace is very difficult if not impossible to keep-- from a seamanship perspective. I was interested in the type of issues that impact the timing of long voyages aside from weather and wanting to spend time visiting the islands/countries. For our 18 month Sabatical we will most likely do US to Australia, spending most of our time in Society Islands during the right season . Are you guys in the Bahamas yet? I Just remembered you guys were spending the season south of the bahamas and not going there till May. Hope you are enjoying it!
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Old 21-01-2015, 06:11   #12
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

I did half a World Arc and it was fine.
My complete circ was 2.5 years. Theres nothing wrong with doing a quick one and then a slow one.

In my mind its crazy to only do one and spread it over 10 years. What happens if the best places for you dont occur till you are 75? You could have been there a decade ago and stayed longer... Etc.


18 months was easier with the Red Sea route as once into the Med theres boat parts, but the southern route theres no chandlery from Australia until the Caribbean, except for South Africa.

It doesnt matter if you go fast or slow, if you break stuff you are in trouble. But if you go fast you need a satellite phone for wearther so you can orgpder parts for your arrival.

Fast is a great adventure.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:15   #13
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Currently in Guadeloupe BB, headed toward Antigua maybe tomorrow. Taking it slow. We will probably spend April,May around the Bahamas.
Cheers
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:18   #14
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

Jimmy Cornell's 18 months plan is a cilivilised one; you can do it in much faster way, sailing east to west via 3 capes without worrying about cyclones, check in check out formalities and the Panama canal.. All you need is;

-above all; solid, fast and seaworthy boat,
-3-4 fit crews with a decent sailing ability
-reliable satellite connection and $$$$$$ to be spent for communication,
-finally, a lot of passion for sailing..

The benefit of such routing;
-you will avoid the admiral, there are very few who would like to join you for such a trip..
-you will have the opportunity to see not just the palm trees but icebergs, pinguens and albatros as well, it won't be boring for sure..
-you will always have a wind (sometimes more than you wanted..)
-and in the end, you will have the ring on yr left ear on yr way back as you will have rounded the Cape Horn ..

Is it worth or not is another discussion.. I personally, would love to do it..

Cheers

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Old 22-01-2015, 09:39   #15
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Re: Sprint Circumnavigation Non-weather challenges

You simply cannot eliminate weather from the conversation (as you would like to do) because with a SCHEDULE (another bane of a good, prudent sailor) weather WILL (most likely) become an issue.

Help me, please, understand otherwise.
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