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Old 10-12-2012, 14:23   #1
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Honolulu to Panama

I am considering a Honolulu to Panama trip next month, any information appreciated regarding this route, I have seen a couple on going the other way. Any information appreciated, thanks in advance, Ken
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Old 10-12-2012, 21:01   #2
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

in response to your pm
,about the only way you have any chance of making any headway in the right direction,is first to head north to about 35-40n,untill sw winds are encountered, and then aiming for the us mainland west coast,continue till about 50 miles offshore before heading south east, closely following the us and central american coast where the winds will be mostly northerly.

if heading south from hawaii your next possible land falls would be christmas island and the marquesas islands,but a departure in march april would be needed to avoid s pacific cyclones.
from the marqueses you would need to head south till 35-40 south before picking up the westerlies to reach the s american coast before heading north to panama.

all the planning info you need is here.
Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World
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Old 10-12-2012, 22:54   #3
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

That's one hell of a voyage. You would have to allow for 8 weeks at sea. I guess with good weather you might make it in 6 weeks.
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Old 10-12-2012, 23:08   #4
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

atoll, thanks for your reply and the Atlas reference, I went there and viewed the chart. At first look at the chart, around Honolulu, it seems the predominant wind is from the east, with counter currents but only slight showing .5 on average. Currently the winds in Honolulu were from the north, why could you not just stay just north of the great circle from Honolulu to Balboa? That seems a long way north to go south, I am just trying to understand your logic to learn. I was thinking with north winds just head east till about 50 off Mexico and turn south with the northerly's. What is wrong with that logic? Next you mention the cyclone season, if January a bad month? Do you think I would be better to wait till Feb, then go to LA and truck it to the east coast, which is the ultimate destination? Thanks greatly for your input and advice. Ken of KC
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Old 10-12-2012, 23:20   #5
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken of KC View Post
...if January a bad month? Do you think I would be better to wait till Feb, then go to LA and truck it to the east coast, which is the ultimate destination?
Have you considered that this is winter in the North Pacific Ocean? There are regular series of low pressure systems that race down the coast from British Columbia all the way down to Southern California. These produce southerly winds along the coast, followed by high north winds after the fronts move through. The "standard" return trip from HI to the mainland is, as suggested, the "go north" trip, but usually followed during spring to summer months when the Pacific (weather) high is north of the northern California coast.

Winter weather lasts here until April, like, you know, winter.

Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2012, 23:26   #6
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

your best bet would be to truck it from LA or ship it from hawaii.

on a direct route the wind is predominately ENE 15-25kts,getting more easterly the further south you go,you also have 1 knot of current against you.

even if panama was due south of hawaii it would be a tough trip,(which it is not,you still have 75 degrees of longitude to get east to panama against the prevailing winds and currents.)

see to days wx map
sailing america pacific-route wind (gfs) + 0 utc
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Old 10-12-2012, 23:59   #7
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

Ken...What kind of vessel would you be doing this in?
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Old 11-12-2012, 00:40   #8
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

I suppose you could go westabout but still need to get the cyclone season(s) right. Do you really need to go to Panama?
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:49   #9
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

Savoir, my original estimation was at 6 weeks.

Stu, Yes, I do understand winter, I am predominatly an East Coast Sailor and run up and down all winter, but one has the advance of ducking in if bad, no such option that I'm aware of out west. That's why I was inquiring to learn the nuances of the left side conditions. Getting weather input from you guys over there is tremendously appreciated for sure.

atoll, that was actually my first impression and instinct, I will visit that site you suggest right after I complete this.

Celestrialsailor, it would be in a 93 Hunter Passage 42' Center Cockpit.

Ainia, the purpose of going to Panama it actually because it will end up in New Jersey, once I pass Panama, I'm back on home court.

So ultimately it would seem I need to plan farther out for a higher probability of both success and comfort.

Thanks to all, Ken
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:11   #10
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

atoll, I had seen that site before but had forgotten about it and didn't really utilize it, great resource. Thanks again, Ken
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Old 11-12-2012, 14:16   #11
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

I have to echo what others have said. The direct route from Hawaii to Panama is over 5000 miles dead against the prevailing winds and current. You may be seeing local winds in Hawaii from the north but that is most likely a temporary situation due to a passing front and will certainly not be what you see offshore, long term.

If you're lucky you might have winds on the direct route that give you a strongly favored tack but you will almost certainly be hard on the wind the entire trip and tacking a lot to make the destination with the corresponding increase in miles sailed. Under these conditions I think you would be lucky to achieve 100 miles course made good per day, so allowing for tacks you could spend 8 weeks beating to windward.
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Old 11-12-2012, 15:13   #12
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

Skipmac, thanks, I hate what you guys are telling me, it's not going to be well received, if only I could tell Mother Nature to be reasonable and do it my way! Thanks, Ken
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Old 11-12-2012, 17:53   #13
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

You might get lucky and encounter an el Niño year. I think one year the trades actually reversed.
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Old 11-12-2012, 18:06   #14
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

In case you haven't had enough yet, here's another web site to dampen your enthusiasm.

Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
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Old 11-12-2012, 18:28   #15
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Re: Honolulu to Panama

on the brighter side of things,at this time of year on heading north from hawaii your westerly winds will be reached sooner at around 30-35N,though it will be cold and stormy!
also sailing south once the us coast is reached,and in the caribean there are no hurricanes till june!

though i would really only reccomend the route in april may june for you
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