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Old 09-08-2011, 21:36   #1
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Circumnavigation Questions

Ok, so obviously I'm not the expert on this....

but...

(Sorry for spelling)

I read lots of stories of mono's and cats coming from the USA / Caribbean, via Panama, Galapacos Islands, the South Pacific islands, to Australia (or NZ), then up to Asia, Thailand etc.

Where do they go from there to get home again???

Presumably trade winds take you from the Caribbean all the way to Australia, but how do most cruisers get back again? (Don't answer with Sewers Canal please)

When do the trade winds push you back again and which way is the common path, Japan, Midway Islands, Hawaii, USA? Or do you backtrack the South Pacific?

Thanking you!
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Old 09-08-2011, 21:55   #2
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I can help you here, very briefly, from Australia cruisers cross the Indian Ocean and some still in very small numbers in convoy, pass though the Suez Canal, others now go down around the Cape Good Hope, back up to Caribbean.
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Old 09-08-2011, 21:59   #3
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

A few go up to Japan and then across the northern Pacific to NA or over to NZ and then up to Hawaii and around the summer north Pacific high pressure area.
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Old 09-08-2011, 22:12   #4
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I was thinking Japan might be an interesting place to visit. Looks to be a fair trip across to Hawaii.

I can't find a lot of info on Midway Island other than this Midway Island

What is the best web resource that people know of for working out the "north Pacific high pressure area" and the trade winds etc? Also for example, what time of year the roaring 40's blow onto West Australia, but they sometimes blow in the reverse direction? - trying to work out the best source of information this this type of query.
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Old 09-08-2011, 22:34   #5
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Sail north to about the 40th parallel. Sail over the top of the high to North America. 40 to 50 days. Midway is prohibited I hear. Hawaii is out of the way. Don't get caught in either the permanent gales NE of Japan or the permanent doldrums in the N Pacific high. It's a May to September trip.

I think Japan is boring. But some people love it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 23:32   #6
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I've gone to Durban, South Africa then up the South Atlantic to the East coast of South America or you can head straight to the Caribbean
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:54   #7
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

Good question:
Head to the Marinas of Malaysia around Langkawi and you will find lots of yachties asking "no where".....

Some are staying put it seems until things are hopefully quieter.
Some seem to be selling up
A few brave ones are Proceeding it seems to Oman/Yemen and Red Sea
South Africa - via Chagos does seem to be an increasing option.
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Old 11-08-2011, 22:45   #8
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

Most use that big area of water called the Indian Ocean.
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Old 11-08-2011, 22:47   #9
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I'm not sure what's worse, Yemen or Cape Town!
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Old 12-08-2011, 00:43   #10
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

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I'm not sure what's worse, Yemen or Cape Town!
Most of us here are very sure, but ask MarkJ he knows the Red Sea route.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:22   #11
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I was at Midway last year on a commercial vessel. It is off limits to people as of feburary this year. I took some interesting photos of midway, they still have a bowling alley, general store, movie theatre,,beaches were beautiful, people were friendly
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:51   #12
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

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I'm not sure what's worse, Yemen or Cape Town!


You have a huge chance of dying on the Yemeni route, something like 1:25, so if there is you and your wife thats 1:12, if you have 2 kids on board you have a 1:6 chance you or one of your loved ones will be dead and your whole extended family will have all their assets, whatever they have all earned in their lives taken from them as ransom.

Or theres the South African route that is the same latitude south as Cape Hatteras is north.

What would you prefer? 1 in 6 dying or a trip round Cape Hatteras at the best time of the year?


Think about it.


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Old 12-08-2011, 10:41   #13
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

I have. Screw the Suez. I'll take my chances with the train of gales in the Roaring 40s and the Agulhas Current slapping me around a bit. My understanding is that seasonally, you can get around the bottom of Africa in a series of two-day motorsails, even given the gaps between safe harbours.

I won't be in a hurry, and Cape Town holds no terrors for me. Besides, I like the idea of visiting those isolated South Atlantic islands or even closing on Brazil.
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Old 17-08-2011, 19:50   #14
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I have. Screw the Suez. I'll take my chances with the train of gales in the Roaring 40s and the Agulhas Current slapping me around a bit. My understanding is that seasonally, you can get around the bottom of Africa in a series of two-day motorsails, even given the gaps between safe harbours...
Why do folks perpetuate this myth that the trip around South Africa is so dangerous? It's much easier/safer than going down to NZ for cyclone season, yet folks do that all the time.

MarkJ & Alchemy have it right. In 2007 we sailed from Langkawi, Malaysia, to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Chagos, Seychelles, Madagascar, & Mozambique to South Africa. In 2009 we came back the same way (the N Indian is bidirectional). Next year we hope to repeat our 2007 trip, leaving off the Seychelles (the trip from Chagos to Madagascar has to be done when the pirates have gone home - June to August). Getting to Richards Bay, NE South Africa is easy, & you often get a good current assist. The leg from Durban to East London is 250nm & the only overnight necessary all the way to Cape Town.

You do have to watch the weather. Fronts come up from Cape Town & you don't want one of those to catch you with the Agulhas Current pushing you south. But there are lots of weather nets to help.

Going around the Cape of Good Hope gives you an extra summer to enjoy, as well as following winds all the way from SE Asia to the Caribbean! (Compare this to head winds starting half way up the Red Sea & ALL the way to Gibraltar). Cape Town is only 35S but the Med is more like 40N, so somewhat colder. But as MarkJ points out, the southern route is the only feasible route for cruisers these days.
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Old 17-08-2011, 20:56   #15
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Re: Circumnavigation Questions

A lot of boats that go to SoPac come back through Hawaii. Really depends on how west they are but it's a decent sail to the not much visited Australs from NZ then up to Tahiti, through the Tuamotus and/or the Marquesas on the way north. A sail from Island groups farther west can be a bit of a slug so best to leave from Oz or NZ and go through French Polynesia.

If you are farther west, heading to Japan and then across the Northern Pacific is the sailing route. From what I hear, foreign boats are a rare novelty in Japan and the locals outside of the major commercial ports have bent over backward to make it a memorable visit. Sure is a long sail back to the US from Japan, though. Definitely not a fun trip after October.
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