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Old 02-01-2010, 18:03   #1
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Best Time for Mexico to Hawaii and Hawaii to Alaska

We're planning to head from Cabo San Lucas Mexico to Hawaii (departing late March/early April) and then from Hawaii to Alaska (departing sometime in June) and just wanted to see if those months make sense for being typically good weather-wise?

I know boats leaving from California tend to leave more May/June but some cruisers I talked with last time we were down in Mexico said you want to leave Mexico earlier than you would California. Not sure why that is but wanted to get some other opinions on the best timing!

Thanks,
Todd
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:06   #2
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Welcome to the forum,
I know that the departure dates are of utmost importance. You have come to the right place if you have questions.
Spencer
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:39   #3
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simple logic

Quote:
Originally Posted by thuss View Post
I know boats leaving from California tend to leave more May/June but some cruisers I talked with last time we were down in Mexico said you want to leave Mexico earlier than you would California. Not sure why that is but wanted to get some other opinions on the best timing!
The reason boats make the jump earlier from Mexico is that it's getting too hot to stay behind. This tends not to be a problem for those departing California.
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Old 02-01-2010, 19:38   #4
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my wife and I sailed our Ingrid from Mazatlan to Hilo last march 25. The pilot chart shows a little better weather pattern for April. Due to el nino, I presume, we had no weather that even resembled the pilot chart and we could have thrown it out. We had south wind and calms or high seas and winds, gale weather for one ten day stretch, and then were hit by a white squall 400 nm from Hilo and then becalmed for a week. We loved every second of it though, and made it to Hilo after 38! days on May 1. So, I don't know if it is still el nino, but it looks like you have the boat for it no matter, so I would go early April.(met some folks who sailed in one week after us,Mazatlan-Hilo, and it only took 28 days for them, and they had fine weather). Bonanza!
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Old 03-01-2010, 16:09   #5
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The reason boats make the jump earlier from Mexico is that it's getting too hot to stay behind. This tends not to be a problem for those departing California.
Hmm, we've been down in Mexico 2 seasons on our boat and April is probably the best month to be in the sea with moderate weather and warmer water. It's not until later in May that the heat really starts to kick-in. My (perhaps incorrect) impression was that you leave Mexico before May because May is when the first tropical storms start to show up and June is the start of hurricane season.
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Old 03-01-2010, 17:08   #6
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Made a similar passage June/July 2009

I left Cabo on June 3 and arrived at Kahalui Harbor, Maui 22 days later, sailing a Colvin Gazelle (42 ft. junk rigged schooner). Great sailing in tradewind conditions once we were 500 or 600 miles off the Mexican coast - light winds before that. Once we hit the trades, we were doing 150+ miles per day - two days over 170 miles. Fantastic sailing. We departed from Lihue on Kauai about July 10 and made it to Pt. Townsend, WA in 23 days - much of this was upwind but not unpleasant. I agree with the poster who said that the reasons people leave Mexico earlier than California are heat and hurricane threat. As of June 3 last year there was just one tropical storm that did not amount to much prior to our departure and we had no bad weather on the way to Hawaii. During our transit north from Hawaii, there was one hurricane that threatened Hawaii but it petered out before getting anywhere boats that were checking in to the Pacific Seafarers Net - which is a great way to stay on top of what is going on while you are at sea, by the way, if you have a ham license and appropriate radio.
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Old 03-01-2010, 19:12   #7
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I also sailed to Hawaii on a Colvin Gazelle Junk schooner,(odd coincidence) on April 18 from Puerto Vallarta,arrived Hilo May 13,conditions were similar to Paul Sommers post.According to Don Anderson you should always get to Socorro Is. area before westing,as Cabo Corrientes is almost best departure point,San Lucas is also good .We stopped at Socorro overnight.Trades kicked in at Clarion Is.We left for Vancouver from Honolulu on June13,arrived Neah bay July10.Conditions were perfect on both crossings.I am presently in Mexico,and doing return trip at about same time this spring,either from P.V. or north of Manzanillo."Thuss",we should collaborate on departures,and possibly buddy boat,as most others are heading to Polynesia.Happy to share my experience.Have SSB on board and presently in Lapaz area.I think waiting till late April is fine,weather is fine till end of May.El Nino is supposed to bring slightly lighter than normal tradewind strength.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:49   #8
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Best time from Mexico to Hawaii and Hawaii to Alaska

Thanks for all the responses, it sounds like the best time to leave Mexico for Hawaii is April/May and the best time to leave Hawaii for Alaska is June/July. All the feedback is much appreciated!
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Old 06-01-2010, 14:12   #9
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Like other posters have mentioned this year being El Nino means the trades will likely setup a little later in the year than usual. Check out noaa for up to date information

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - El Ni√Īo Arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10

so unless you are prepared to motor more or have a longer passage time you might consider a later departure date.
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Old 14-01-2010, 09:36   #10
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Hi, I am also in La Paz and am planning on making the same trip to Hawaii and on to Alaska. I met another cruiser on the dock yesterday that might also be going to Hawaii and on to Washington. I secound the motion on collaborating.
Cheers, Patrick
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Old 14-01-2010, 10:01   #11
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Seasonednovice,

Please tell us about the white squall.
Thanks, Liam.
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Old 15-01-2010, 12:18   #12
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Aloha Liam,
I've heard the blow by blow description from Scotty in person and it is a great story.
Kind regards,
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Old 09-02-2010, 20:34   #13
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It looks like I won't be alone when I sail from Puerto Vallarta to Hilo in late April, and back to Seattle in June.
Hope to see some of you out there and I hope El Nino goes away and the trade winds fill in!
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Old 09-02-2010, 21:15   #14
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Since Scotty didn't reply I'll just put www.hilo-sailing.org website out there and in one of the newsletters was a good description written by Scotty of how he came across the Pacific to Hilo from Mexico.
Hope he doesn't mind.
regards,
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:35   #15
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aloha, all!

sorry I have been away from the computer for so long. Life is interfering. Thank you, John. I hope you are well. I will have to stop by and see you soon.
Sorry Liam for not answering, but John has me covered as usual. In the August 2009 newsletter, top of page 9, I have told the story of the white squall. Although it starts out saying "on March 24", it is actually April 24, 2009, that this took place, approximately 400nm ENE of Hilo. It was very strange, as I have never seen anything like that, this being my first ocean crossing. Everything was very fast, but it was like being in slow motion. The white squall lasted about 45 minutes, then we were pounded by waves for the next 12 hours. What was amazing to me was that within 15 seconds the wind and water had completely soaked me through my foulies and in 10 minutes, I was getting hypothermic, and it was nearly impossible to breath because of the water in the air. I can only say that the most important thing to do in situations like this is not to panic, get your boat secure, and make sure you are attached to your boat securely. Oh, it was very loud, also. We suffered some minor damage but nothing to keep us from getting home(especially since we floated most of the way there in the calm that followed)
Bonanza to all!
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