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Old 27-08-2013, 13:34   #1
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Best times to leave for South America?

Hello all!
I have been invited aboard a Nordhavn 46 and I have been given the task to plan our rout. Our original plan is to shove off from Portland OR in May and head down to the panama canal and then cruise around South America down to the cape up the Valporiso, over to Juan de Fernandez, Eastern Island, and then island hopping to New Zealand. Anyways what I came here to ask is whether or not May is a good time to be leaving from Portland? We would like to hit the cape during the summer months (Dec-Feb) and we have about 15-18 months of time to end up in Australia. In the interest of season should we do the trip backwards and head from the US west coast over to Hawaii then Asia and Australia, New Zealand and then over to Chili and the horn? Should we wait a few months before leaving?

We are not 100% sure on how our timing should work. If it is recommended that we wait a few months in order to hit specific areas during the right seasons we may just head up to Alaska and explore that area a bit.

Thanks!

Josh
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Old 31-08-2013, 06:05   #2
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Re: Best times to leave for South America?

If I understand correctly, you plan to cross the Panama Canal from the Pacific to the Caribbean.
From there until Fortaleza, Brazil, you have 3000 mi to travel uphill, against wind and current (!!!).

From Fortaleza to Cape Horn the navigation is more or less normal, and is a well traveled route, plenty of blogs and info about it.

If, on the other hand, you stay on the Pacific, wind and currents are going north near the SA coast. I remember a boat named Sequitur has a blog about this route.

Winters are not always gentle south of 40S.

Good luck with your planning.

PS: I just realized you are in a motor boat. In this case wind and currents are less critical.
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Old 31-08-2013, 06:44   #3
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Re: Best times to leave for South America?

Hey Josh,

Sounds like a great trip!

Your post isnt clear if you are staying in the Pacific or coming into the Caribbean and doing Brazil (highly recommended!).

Need to watch Hurricane season off Mexico in summer.
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Old 31-08-2013, 06:50   #4
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Re: Best times to leave for South America?

after mid november pacific will be a goood place to motor down the west mexican coast. many gorgeous coves to visit as you go--- south of banderas bay mexico is awesome cool place...... enjoy your trip!! sounds like a fun one
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Old 31-08-2013, 06:55   #5
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Re: Best times to leave for South America?

The pacific hurricane season starts May 15th which is 2 weeks earlier than the Atlantic side. Most of these are born off the coast of Mexico and you would be cruising right through there. Here's a pic of the 2011 tracks. Good Luck.
2011 Pacific hurricane season - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 31-08-2013, 07:57   #6
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Re: Best times to leave for South America?

Past April it can be very rainy in Panama.

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