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Old 19-05-2012, 17:10   #16
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

In some ways I wish I were going with him but he seems determined to go it alone.
From what you guys are saying it would be even riskier for him to try it alone past Guadalupe Island anytime before September.
I checked the historical data on NOAAs website for storms off the Baja it looks like a spider's web until September.
Malcolm has sailed across the Atlantic three times from England to the Caribbean, he did have a crew then.
Has never used a radar and still has no radar, crazy or what?
Thanks for all of your support and information.
Catman
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Old 21-05-2012, 17:55   #17
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

I've been on the water in Washington State since I was a kid and I'd never leave the Straight of Juan de Fuca for open ocean past the middle of September. Expert sailors die all the time off the western coast of WA/OR in October and November. July would be ideal.
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:13   #18
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

July is best month to sail from PNW to California,we sailed in August last time and winds were light,except for south of Mendocino and near Pt. Conception.(cape effect).August brings a bit more fog.Sailing south of Ensenada before October(at the earliest)is not recommended.The BajaHaHa waits till end of Oct. for a reason.
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:19   #19
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season isn't supposed to open up until June 1st. However, Tropical Depression TWO-E
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:32   #20
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Thanks BASH for the link.
From what I can gather, it is okay to sail south from Vancouver Island
July and August but not to go south of 30degrees N until November?
The reasons are: bad weather off the oregon coast after Sept and bad weather off Mexico from June till November.
I talked to Malcolm today and passed on the collective intelligence that I have gathered from all of you in the Cruiser's Forum, many thanks for that. He is giving it some serious thoughts and probably will heed your cautions.
Thanks Jason(Catman)
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:49   #21
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

This past year was la nino year and fought storms all the way to Pt. Conception. Was caught in two, was not much fun. We left in The first week in July. However, la nino is over, so should be a warmer summer south. We never seen water temp above 58 deg. all the way until we got to the Santa Barbara channel. The fog was very bad too. A nice place to stay waiting for Oct. south is Santa Barbara. Following the coast off 20-30 miles makes for a better trip, the scenery is fantastic. If following the coast, clear all capes by a min. of 30 miles. Cape Blanco, Cape Mendoncino,and clear Point Aquello & Pt. Conception well offshore. South of Mendoncino is a place called Punta Gorda, it can get really nasty there.
Hope this helps, as I have sailed this route many times..Michael..
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Old 04-06-2012, 14:09   #22
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

thanks to all of your inputs on sailing the west coast from vancouver island to panama.
My friend has decided, based on your comments, to wait until september to sail south.
Thanks again.
PS any more information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
catman
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Old 04-06-2012, 14:14   #23
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

this is time to sail to san diego or ensnada. after nov 1 is time to sail south to panama, unless you seek more wind than necessary to move your boat--even i hesitate to sail in hurrycame season here.
this is an el nino year and storms are forming early.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:26   #24
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Here is a book that your friend will find as an excellent reference to sail safe and choose the right sailing areas at the right time. For $43. it is a book that is interesting and could save his life.

Dave.

World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition: Amazon.ca: Jimmy Cornell: Books
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Old 05-09-2012, 17:31   #25
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Good day all.

I know this thread is a few months old, but one has to return from Panama to Vancouver at some point!

So, same question, but the other way around. Best time and route to go from Panama to Vancouver!

I have a 38 foot sloop in Martinique and have to move it to Vancouver. I guess that doing some of the trip from Martinique to Panama after hurricane season is OK but then I don't know from Panama to Vancouver. I read that some go the coast route, others via Hawaii.

What do you suggest ?

More info on the boat. A steel sloop 38 foot in length equipped fine with everything (but no radar yet). The boat is in very good shape, the standing rigging over sized and new (2012) and all sail are A1 (some new, some almost). Way sturdier than a production boat, but evidently with less creature comfort. Can sail at 7-9 knots and motor at 6.5, but prefer 5.5 for fuel efficiency. I have good experience and knowledge, with some short crossings (few days) and a lot of mileage.

All suggestions are welcome.

Jacques
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Old 05-09-2012, 17:51   #26
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

The way my father, brother and I did it back in 1989 was Panama to Hawaii, then north until we could catch the Westerlies. It's best to make it a summer voyage leaving in April or early May. You could go up the west coast, but you will be motoring quite a bit of the way. Whichever way you go, plan on getting there before the fall temperature drop.
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Old 05-09-2012, 18:16   #27
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Assuming your vessel is well found and offshore capable I would be inclined to sail north to the approximate border of Honduras and Costa Rica then hang a left towards Hawaii until you pick up the Pacific high which should begin to slide south around late September. Invest in a weatherfax if you don't have one which will give you sea buoy info from about 30 degrees north out around 1000nm and will steer you around much of the severe lows (TS) that might develop off the Mexican coast based on a September departure. Most favorable time to leave would probably be around Christmas in my experience.
Trying to drive north coastwise will become increasingly more difficult the further north you get and once you hit (pass) Point Conception, you will, in all probability, have a head on buck all the way to Cape Flattery.
It will be a much more comfortable and easier trip to head west to pick up favorable winds with any luck.
The most important issue you face is preparation and planning.
I've made the trip a couple of times but every trip will be different... fair winds, Jacques, Capt Phil
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Old 05-09-2012, 22:44   #28
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Tantinet, this probably should be another thread but I will chime in anyway. What is your personel time frame? Are you doing this on time off from a job, or are you retired? What is your experiance level? What is the experiance and time frame of your crew? I am sure you are familiar with the Northern hurricane season and the dangers between northern Panama and almost to southern California during that time. Are you willing to do the trip as a real windward slog to get there, or (if you have the time) would you like to make a lifetime adventure out of it? The summer sailing season is wonderful above 30 degrees north, but is the worst time to get from Panama to 30 degrees north. The Northern sailing season is also the prime Southern sailing season, since Southern hurricane season is over. I am going to make my slightly crazy suggestion in reverse. You need to get to Vancouver by mid September or earlier, which means you need to leave Hawaii by mid August or earlier.If you have recovered and restocked in Hawaii for a week or two that means you would have left Panama in late June or early July. OOPS, that is the most dangerous time to go from Panama to Hawaii. This is where I differ from most people on this trip. If you arrive in Hawaii from the Marquesas in late July or early August you will have left the Marquesas sometime in July, and allowing for a wonderful month or two in the Marquesas you would have left Panama in mid to late April. The trip from Panama to the Marquesas will be about the same duration as from Panama to Hawaii, and you get to see a relativaly untouched tropical paradise as opposed to sailing to Hollywood West(sorry Hawaii, but I look at it that way). You will have had the adventure of a lifetime and not sailed in hurricane waters at the wrong time of year. The trip from the Marquesas to Hawaii should be about a 3 week close reach, and fairly easy. Oh yes, on the part of the trip between the ITCZ and Hawaii you do have to pay attention to hurricanes forming, but it gives you plenty of warning to go back down into the ITCZ or carry on to Hawaii. Arriving in the Marquesas after 4 or five weeks at sea is far more rewarding than arriving in Honolulu after the same length of time. ____Good Luck in however you do it._____Grant.
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Old 09-09-2012, 20:56   #29
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Re: Sailing West Coast Vancouver to Panama

Good day Astrid, Capt Phil and gjordan. Thanks a million for your inputs. Sorry for the delay in replying, I had to be away for a few days.

I had a feeling that sailing along the coast towards Vancouver would not be a fun ride. So I will follow your suggestions to go more west, the Marquesas or Hawaii if I do decide to go to Vancouver. But here is my current take on this.

I will be retiring in a progressive manner over the next 3 years. Since I have about 4 months next year (2013) from September to January, it is not a good timing to sail the Caribbean towards Panama. The following year (2014) I will be free from May till January so would be able to sail from Martinique to Panama starting in May as most have suggested, and maybe a little further. The third year (2015) I am free for life starting in May !!!

I love Grant's idea to then sail to the Marquesas instead of Hawaii. It was a plan for the future, but what the heck! Why would I sail to Hollywood West (love this one as well) when I can sail to the Marquesas ? Then, once there, why sail to Hawaii and then to Vancouver, when I could keep on west and see the world ? My life dream is to sail around the world slowly and visit as many countries as possible.

The reason I wanted to sail to Vancouver is that my wife got a new job there and we thought we could bring the boat out there. After some fun discussions, she agrees that I should sail some other fun places instead of fighting my way to Vancouver. I'll find my way to Vancouver at a later time.

The question now would be about the possibilities of letting a boat in the area of Panama, or in the Marquesas for a few months at the begging of 2015 ? Have you had any experience with that ?

As for the boat and it's captain, were doing OK. The boat has circumnavigated already (previous owner) and is a steel sloop design for Cape Horn and equipped adequately. I have changed the standing rigging and revised and rebuilt most systems. The boat will be up to any challenge. The captain (me) has some experience sailing the Great Lakes, the St-Lawrence river and down the coast to the Bahamas, and more recently the WIndwards islands. Must have 2000 miles at sea, but not many long hauls (a few days to a week at a time only). A friend with a lot more mileage will join me.

I do not have a fancy weatherfax but have a HAM licence and a fixed SSB radio with some software to do this.

If I was to consider a weatherfax, what would you recommend ?

Thanks again

Jacques
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