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Old 26-03-2015, 11:23   #1
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Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

Hi All,
I am thinking ahead a couple or three years, but I am interested to get information on a route entering the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal and then getting to Easter Island. Without knowing much about wind and current patterns along the South American coast, I would like to coastal cruise along Columbia, Ecuador, and then Peru. I would stop along the way at various point to enjoy the culture. Then, I would go from Lima, Peru to Easter Island.

I found one report on Noonsite that says the wind and currents are not favorable when following this route. Also, it was said to only check in at Lima, because the smaller ports only know how to check in commercial vessels. For the route I want to take, I would check in at the first port when enter each one of Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.

If this is very much an unfavorable route, is it reasonable to start at the Galapagos and continue on to Easter Island?

Any insights are appreciated...
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Old 26-03-2015, 11:57   #2
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

Interested as well.

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Old 26-03-2015, 12:17   #3
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

You might try to borrow (or buy) a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes, even the first edition, which literally shows & tells you the prevailing conditions on major routes all over the world. Will show you the options in detail, best times of year, etc.
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:41   #4
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

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You might try to borrow (or buy) a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes, even the first edition, which literally shows & tells you the prevailing conditions on major routes all over the world. Will show you the options in detail, best times of year, etc.
Thanks for the reference. I will definitely do that.
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:41   #5
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

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Originally Posted by gbgreen59 View Post

If this is very much an unfavorable route, is it reasonable to start at the Galapagos and continue on to Easter Island?

Any insights are appreciated...
I would give Callao ( Lima) a miss, in fact I would give all of Peru a miss.
I was planning to go there late 2013 but the costs and non sense involved put me off. Some yachts report a good time, some a bad time but the last word I had was that not only were the entry and agency fees charged at big ship rates but the yacht club , having had their hospitality abused, have upped their rates as well eg $10 or $20 a day for dinghy service to your mooring whether you use it or not.

Getting to Easter Island? LAN flies daily from Santiago.....

Seriously... I reckon that a departure from Galapagos would be ideal... make lots of westing before turning south. We departed Antofagasta ( abt 23*S) bound Papeete in May last year and had to work our way up to about 17*S to get above the high and find a decent ESE'ly breeze. Even at that lat depressions passing well to the south were pushing troughs up into the high and messing with our wind.

A good idea would be to check some of the blogs that have info about wx in the
Gambiers.. I found one that gave a good picture of the weather patterns in that sort of latitude written by someone who had over wintered.

Another idea is to start getting gribs of the south eastern pacific and just watch the weather for the next few years....

All that said... its quite an achievable passage.
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Old 26-03-2015, 13:02   #6
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

El Pinguino: I've been wondering about how the wind is affected when getting closer to the latitudes where the wind changes from West to East. Very useful information, thanks
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Old 26-03-2015, 14:46   #7
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

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Originally Posted by gbgreen59 View Post
Hi All,
I am thinking ahead a couple or three years, but I am interested to get information on a route entering the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal and then getting to Easter Island. Without knowing much about wind and current patterns along the South American coast, I would like to coastal cruise along Columbia, Ecuador, and then Peru. I would stop along the way at various point to enjoy the culture. Then, I would go from Lima, Peru to Easter Island.

I found one report on Noonsite that says the wind and currents are not favorable when following this route. Also, it was said to only check in at Lima, because the smaller ports only know how to check in commercial vessels. For the route I want to take, I would check in at the first port when enter each one of Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.

If this is very much an unfavorable route, is it reasonable to start at the Galapagos and continue on to Easter Island?

Any insights are appreciated...
Howdy!

I am no expert and I have not traveled that route before, so take my comments below with a splash of salt water. But, I have considered it and have read about it many times too, because I was interested in what is there (and I studied oceanography) and I thought of sailing there (and hope to visit the island too). Obviously Easter Island is very remote (known as one of the most remote locations on Earth).

My Pacific Chart shows 4254 miles from Valparaiso (Chile) to Tahiti (great circle route). Easter Island is about half way to Tahiti on that route. To be accurate, Easter Island is 2291 miles (great circle) or 3,759 kilometres from Valparaiso Chile. IF you wanted to sail from there on to Tahiti, you would have another 2,000+/- miles to go! That is "out there!" But, you could stop and see Pitcairn Island on the way.
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Currents?

Good luck going down the SA West coast. Be aware of currents, such as the famous Humboldt Current (aka Peru Current) that extends about 500 miles West from South America. It flows North, so you would be fighting that current going South all the way down the West coast of SA, especially if you stay somewhat close to the coast.

Here are a few charts showing the currents in that part of the world.

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South Pacific High? South Pacific Gyre? Becalmed?

Notice the position of Easter Island is about in the center of the South Pacific Gyre (location of the South Pacific High) and you must cross opposing currents to get to it (Easter Island) from Peru.

Interesting Factoid: The South Pacific Gyre is known as an "oceanic desert" because it does not support as much sea life as other ocean waters. Put simply, there is not as much plankton or other small life in the water and so fewer species of life at all there.

Over the course of history, many sailing ships were becalmed out there. Whalers and explorers were stuck there (prior to engines on boats) sometimes for weeks. If you have seen the film "Master and Commander" there is a scene where the ship is becalmed for a length of time. That is fiction of course, but it is based on real accounts.

I was becalmed on a sailboat (no working engine) for about a week in the similar North Pacific High. It can be a frustrating experience for sailors who are used to moving. Or worse, if you do not have enough water with you. So, (my advice) make sure you have plenty of fuel, spare filters and parts for your engine, and a water maker and plenty of water.

Good luck! And if you make that trip, I hope you will come back to the forum and tell us about it.
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Old 26-03-2015, 15:12   #8
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

I think a lot depends on plans beyond Easter Island.... if heading west its straightforward, just work you way back up to about 15*S.
Wanting to go to Pto Montt, head due south to get under the high and budget on +/- 40 days. All the people I have met who have made that trip reckon it was a real bugger....
Want to go from Peru or Ecuador to Chile inshore?... don't worry about the Humbolt... you will be daysailing close inshore and the biggest issue will be the afternoon sea breeze which fair whistles parallel to the coast north of Valpo... I've had up to 40 knots where it gets 'pinched' by the high offshore from Coquimbo.
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Old 27-03-2015, 09:36   #9
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

I have made that trip, Galapagos to Easter, it was a great sail. I think it was late February. No wind the first few days, but after that it was a spinnaker reach all the down. Great sail. Had to anchor out beyond the surf, and had a local fisherman run us in and out. Friendly people and a good time. Also a good departure point to Pitcairn. I had no problem with customs/immigration, they came out to where I was anchored.

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Old 27-03-2015, 11:33   #10
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

Here is a map showing the distance from Panama to Easter Island (direct) is 3023 miles.
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Old 27-03-2015, 12:00   #11
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

These folks are sorta kinda in the area. Perhaps they might share their knowledge.
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Old 27-03-2015, 12:08   #12
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

Just don't wind up like La Rose!



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Old 27-03-2015, 12:15   #13
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pirate Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

I'd go straight from the Galapagos.. else you'll have wind and current on your nose for a coupla thousand miles..
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Old 27-03-2015, 12:20   #14
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Re: Getting to Easter Island After Panama Canal

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I'd go straight from the Galapagos.. else you'll have wind and current on your nose for a coupla thousand miles..
This is what we will likely end up doing. I'd love to see the Pacific Coast of South America, but it seems that the better path is to head North starting somewhere in Chile. Also, I wouldn't want to miss the Galapagos.
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Old 27-03-2015, 12:30   #15
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This is what we will likely end up doing. I'd love to see the Pacific Coast of South America, but it seems that the better path is to head North starting somewhere in Chile. Also, I wouldn't want to miss the Galapagos.
Yup.. were I wanting to get to Panama from Oz it'd be N. Island, NZ and next stop S. America..
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