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Old 25-11-2014, 01:11   #16
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

Also, I sometimes hear people say 1 year wouldn't be enough for them to go to Mexico and back (like a couple people have said in this thread) and that's what makes me wonder if I need to totally reassess my understanding of pacing. Are those people staying anchored in the same harbor for more than 3 days or so, for reasons other than repairs or weather issues? I like to sail, and see new places, so it's hard to imagine passing up good sailing to sit on the hook in one place for weeks at a time.

Passage time is pretty easy to estimate, and coastal cruising time is also straightforward to estimate (say 30nm/day). If you add that up, SEA->MX->SEA doesn't add up to anywhere near a year. So that leaves accounting for the times where you're not sailing. That's what I'm looking for help with I guess. Is 2 months out of the year for full-time repair work about right? (15-20% of your time, and probably spread out of course).

It's about 2500 miles to La Paz, so for some really rough SWAGs with a conservative 100mi/day offshore and 20mi/day coastal cruising pace: that's 25 total days on passage + say 25 days to prep and wind down from those passages, and let's say 25% of the coastline involves coastal cruising - 625 miles = 31 days coastal cruising. Now double that to provide 1 day chilling for every day of coastal cruising - 62 days. So we're at 25 + 25 + 62 = 112. Now add 60 days buffer for repairs, weather waiting, or just being lazy. 112 + 60 = 5 3/4 months. (note I'm conservatively double-counting the coastal cruising time, modeling making no progress towards your goal when harbor hopping, since in some cases it wouldn't be on your direct passage line).

That's only one way, so at that conservative pace round-trip could come close to a year. Obviously if you want to see all of Mexico or all of California you need more time, but I don't see how just going to Mexico takes more than a year.
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Old 25-11-2014, 02:10   #17
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

Lot's of folks made cruiseing plans !! before leaveing!! That's why theres so many boats for sale in Mexico!! a lot of them cheap !! Maybe plans are to expensive ???
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Old 25-11-2014, 02:10   #18
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

Tessellate,

It comes down to what's a comfortable pace for you and for your significant other, what your interests are, how well your vessel is prepared, attention to the seasons.

IMO you will not be able to do Mexico in depth in one year, but you may well be able to visit it "enough" for you. Very different things.

Cruising is unlike tourism by other methods. It is like you become the turtle inside the shell. You venture out, experience, enjoy, etc., and then return to your safe shell to consider it all. And venture out again. And of course, it all depends on what you like.

A64pilot, a man who is capable of great attention to detail, put it quite well in his post #10 in this thread, you pay attention to the factors, like hurricane season, and the coming of winter in the PNW, you do whatever is necessary to keep the vessel tip top, and then, within those parameters, go forth and explore and experience. It will be good, if you let it. Read up on *stuff* (places you might like to visit, like canon de cubre, or Guadalajara), or activities you might like to try (spear fishing? hiking? exploring cemeteries?), and make a loose plan. It has to be loose to allow for the unexpected.
And it has to take into account your personality. We have some cruising friends for whom the sailing is the best part, and they keep moving a lot, do many miles, but that is their pleasure. Other people like other things. What do you like? That's what you'll want to spend most of your time on.

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Old 25-11-2014, 02:49   #19
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
Also, I sometimes hear people say 1 year wouldn't be enough for them to go to Mexico and back (like a couple people have said in this thread) and that's what makes me wonder if I need to totally reassess my understanding of pacing. Are those people staying anchored in the same harbor for more than 3 days or so, for reasons other than repairs or weather issues? I like to sail, and see new places, so it's hard to imagine passing up good sailing to sit on the hook in one place for weeks at a time.

Passage time is pretty easy to estimate, and coastal cruising time is also straightforward to estimate (say 30nm/day). If you add that up, SEA->MX->SEA doesn't add up to anywhere near a year. So that leaves accounting for the times where you're not sailing. That's what I'm looking for help with I guess. Is 2 months out of the year for full-time repair work about right? (15-20% of your time, and probably spread out of course).

It's about 2500 miles to La Paz, so for some really rough SWAGs with a conservative 100mi/day offshore and 20mi/day coastal cruising pace: that's 25 total days on passage + say 25 days to prep and wind down from those passages, and let's say 25% of the coastline involves coastal cruising - 625 miles = 31 days coastal cruising. Now double that to provide 1 day chilling for every day of coastal cruising - 62 days. So we're at 25 + 25 + 62 = 112. Now add 60 days buffer for repairs, weather waiting, or just being lazy. 112 + 60 = 5 3/4 months. (note I'm conservatively double-counting the coastal cruising time, modeling making no progress towards your goal when harbor hopping, since in some cases it wouldn't be on your direct passage line).

That's only one way, so at that conservative pace round-trip could come close to a year. Obviously if you want to see all of Mexico or all of California you need more time, but I don't see how just going to Mexico takes more than a year.
We're a couple that really like to be on the water, sailing. So we probably don't stay on the hook or in marinas as much as many. OTOH, if you nose about where you are, you'll invariably hear about things to do/see that you want to do and end up staying a few extra days.

Your personality will decide this. We enjoy sitting on a beach with a fire and drinking a bottle of wine.

Most cruiser find that their life tends to slow down after a while
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Old 25-11-2014, 03:30   #20
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

We have been out over 7 years now and currently in the med after seeing most of the caribbean. I can only tell you what kinda works for us.

First last year we intended to go to Sardina, Italy, Albania, Montenegro and Southern Croatia before returning to Tunisia for the winter. Well things have a way of changing as we went along. First we blew out a mainsail and had to order a new one. We had already planned to go to EuroMarine in Dubrovnik for some repair work but had to now order and wait on a new sail. Then the weather really did cooperate and winds were lite when we left Dubrovnik so we headed north. A look at the charts and well Venice is doable if the weather holds. So we headed north toward Slovenia to cross over to Venice. When we got to our check out point in Croatia the weather was not good to head to Slovenia and while we could have gotten there it was not clear when we would have gotten out. By now it was late September and we did not want to be sailing the Med in November so we skipped Slovenia and went directly to Venice. Once we checked in we knew we had 25 days left on our Schengren visa to get to Sciliy and check out before our 90days expired. Plenty of time as the cruising guide said there was not much to see heading down Eastern Italian coast; wrong. But we decided not to stop except to see friends in Brindisi and we did but at the same time on the way to Brindisi out alternator decided to stop working. So we had to get a new one in Bridisi but they did not have one and had to have it shipped in. Once the boat was repaired a look at our schedule both in terms of Schengren and the sailing season and we knew we could not spend time in Sciliy so we changed our plan and head to Malta for a couple of days which turned out to be a week as a nasty wx front moved in to herald the beginning of the winter with winds to 60k. Once the wx settled we decided to sail to Lampedusa to check out of the EU and then on to Tunisia.
As you can see a bit we do plan but they are flexible and never written in stone.
We are now planning for next year and going to Greece. I started a week ago looking at timing as we only get 90 days in the EU so we will again go to Albania first then to Greece. I am right now doing some what we may call free thinking by going over the cruising guides and marking down interesting places we may want to visit. Then I will use opencpn to put mileages down and begin to look at the locations in earnest and relook as to why we may or may not want to visit. Then we will redesign the trip a bit and the first few ports after leaving Albania where we will stop. If they become redundent we may decide to skip some of the later stops and head to new islands in a different area.
But we must keep in mind our Schengren days and the Med sailing season so we are in Turkey by about Oct 1 -15. We have no desire to challenge the winter sailing season in the Med and will tuck in early.

The long and short of it is yes we plan but our plans are flexible and very changable as we weigh weather, places of interest or not, boat condition and for us visa issues.
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Old 25-11-2014, 03:55   #21
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

It's a good question, one which I've struggled with myself.

I'm not retired, so time constraints always exist. It's easy to say "forget schedules"; "schedules kill", etc., etc., blah blah, but the reality is that most people just don't have unlimited time, if for no other reason than simply the season. Therefore, while of course you have to have flexibility in your schedules to account for wind and weather and spontaneous desires to hang out somewhere, most people do have to actually have at least kind of an idea about how long it will take them to get from A to B.

For many years, I used to do month-long cruises in some kind of circle from somewhere and back. For 5 years it was some or another circuit of the English Channel; last year down into the Bay of Biscay.

I soon learned that it is a big mistake to move every day -- you don't see anything. So I started organizing those cruises more like -- one good long sail (100 miles on my boat), then stop for a day or two, then another long sail, stop, and with time to stop for three days in the most interesting places. That pace worked well for us with that kind of time frame -- a month. If one were doing a whole summer's cruise (a month is too little!) in that format, then you have the luxury of spending a whole week or two in particularly interesting places.

This year was very different -- I was on the boat for four months from May through August. And I had to get somewhere 1500 miles away, and back.

And I made mistakes in planning this! On the way up (UK to Finland via North Sea and entire Baltic) I was short handed, single handed across the North Sea, and in the Baltic with a guy who didn't like to sail at night. So it was done mostly as a coastal cruise mostly day sailing. This was tough -- 1500 miles in a month is an average of 50 miles a day, day in and day out. If you have to stop every night (or almost every night), it means you are doing a lot of 100 mile days, getting into port, tying up, then waking up at the crack of dawn to do it all over again - exhausting. And you don't see much.

You can also knock out 200 or 300 miles at time by spending a night or two on a longer passage, but this is also no improvement -- you arrive after a passage like that and everyone wants to sleep for 24 hours. By the time you feel ready to go on, a day or two has passed and your average is no better than it was when you were day sailing.

I find that only on the third day at sea do you really start to get into the rhythm of being offshore, so next year I'm planning to do this differently -- weather permitting, I'm going to sail, with a full crew, nonstop from Southampton to Helgoland, about 450 miles. Rest a day in Helgoland, then on to Kiel via the Kiel Canal. That should take about a week altogether, weather permitting. Kiel is a good place to rest and do any crew changes. Then cruise the SW end of the Baltic in a leisurely fashion for a week or so. Then do another long nonstop passage all the way to the Finnish Archipelago -- another 400 or 500 miles. That should leave a week or so for leisurely cruise along the S coast of Finland.

For what it's worth -- that's my plan to make 1500 miles in a month and still get some cruising enjoyment. Of course, weather can and will screw with that, but that plan can be switched around quite a bit to adapt to WX. The only thing which can really screw up a plan like that is a long period of persistent headwinds -- which unfortunately is exactly what happened to me last year with almost a month of perverse NE winds instead of the prevailing SW-erlies. Here's hoping next year will be different

Good luck.
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Old 25-11-2014, 04:23   #22
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

Given the Mexico, Hawaii and back in a year...you are on a schedule.


It can certainly be done but it's far different than something like an ICW run where there is a stop available every 10-15 miles and you can just wander at will knowing there is almost always a nearby stop and if you only make it as far south as northern florida you can get by for the winter before meandering back north in the spring.
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Old 25-11-2014, 05:36   #23
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

I can't comment on your specific Pacific routes Tessellate. You've already got a lot of good advice from people who have been there, done that. But I've spent some time mulling over your general question. I've learned that my spouse and I like to go slow.

My observation is that it comes down to who you are, and what you find fulfilling. It's all about knowing thyself. Some people need to be in constant motion, to always be "doing", to "see" as many things and places as possible. Others (like me) can happily be still for days, weeks, months, maybe years. I have no need to see anything specific. I find beauty and mystery everywhere, so I don't need to be anywhere in particular. Perhaps this is connected to the introvert/extrovert personality axis, but some people simply can't be still, while others of us get exhausted just watching all you busy people .

There are times when schedules and keeping a pace are required. Seasonal weather patterns, trying to beat that incoming front, or just the reality of falling darkness on a coastal journey, will force me to maintain a faster schedule that I like. But mostly we go as slow as we can. We don't schedule beyond the big picture, and we always have earlier bail out options.

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Are there any analogies to land-based travel? I've traveled in Europe a handful of times in the last 10 years, usually 1-2 week trips, and I usually prefer a relatively fast pace - I'm usually ready to move on to a new city after 2-4 days. Of course, that might just be the go-go-go mode of short trips.
I'd say that from your own observation you will be happier keeping a rapid pace. Know thyself, and move at the pace that brings you joy. Don't succumb to peer pressure to move faster than you want, and don't be seduced by people like me who will always suggest we have another beer and think about moving tomorrow .
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Old 25-11-2014, 06:01   #24
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Re: How to plan your cruising pace

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Are there any analogies to land-based travel? I've traveled in Europe a handful of times in the last 10 years, usually 1-2 week trips, and I usually prefer a relatively fast pace - I'm usually ready to move on to a new city after 2-4 days. Of course, that might just be the go-go-go mode of short trips.
For most it is very much the go-go mode of short trips. If you only have a week, you hate to "waste" a day just relaxing and enjoying the ambiance. When you have months, taking a couple of days without a lot to do each week is very nice.

We split time with our RV and a common thread among full timers is making the transition from vacation mode to living while traveling.

Racing from one destination to the next can be fun for a few weeks...then it starts to wear you out. By 3-6months in most people either learn to slow down or they quit.

Slowing down doesn't necessarily mean sitting quietly at anchor for a week never even going to shore but rather not having to plan to see the next big thing every single day.
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