Originally Posted by gbgreen59
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...
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.
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.
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.