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Old 16-01-2016, 12:17   #16
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Debzz
I have made this passage four times, well, one of them I went down to Easter out of the Galapagos, but it is pretty much the same. After about four days at sea I find people start to relax and get into the reality of the passage. This means you start to leave the stress and hassle of shore life and start to live in a world where what happens ashore is not important. Things like meals, weather reports, and watches become important. There is time to bake bread, read, and contemplate things. You become aware of the phase of the moon and watch it rise later each day it as it waxes or wanes. You stop and watch porpoises when they come to play, occasionally you hook up a tuna or mahi mahi and everyone is thrilled with the prospect of fresh fish for dinner. The motion of the boat becomes natural to you and you do not even think about it when moving about. In the mornings, when you come on deck, (or awaken in the cockpit), there is no rush, you gaze around and enjoy the dawn breaking and the peace and serenity of your passage. You pleasure yourself with a cup of coffee or tea and the time you are given to enjoy it planning your day without traffic, commercials, telephones, deadlines, noise, or the multitude of distractions that plague you ashore.

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

There is little bad weather, and if it does kick up it will soon be gone. The most irritating can be traveling across the doldrums as sometimes it is squally then calm, then squally then calm, which gets old quick.

The best advice I can give, (other than GO), is to relax and enjoy what will be one of the most memorable times of your life. Adventure awaits, new places, people, food, experiencesÖ and getting to them is more than half the fun.

Michael
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Old 16-01-2016, 12:33   #17
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Did Costa Rica to Galapagos, then nonstop to the Marquesas (21 days). A must for cruisers. Really recommend a third crew member for night watches (4 hours on and 8 hours off) vs. two alternating shifts. Be ready for intermittent squalls that show up nicely on radar if you have it. Made it as far as Fiji, and it took us 10 months with relatively short layover/country visits. You should definitely plan on one year to complete the adventure.
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Old 16-01-2016, 12:48   #18
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Debzz,

i suspect there a number of issues here. How do I get to safety if something happens to hubby? If you have made a practice of flying to join him, you're afraid of the unknown (as many of us are), you really dislike sailing, or there's something greatly missing in your relationship. No way a forum like this can offer marital therapy. If it is weather phenomena that are bothering you, not to worry. As written above, it is an easy journey, and the experiences so great that we returned to Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu many times. On a 36 foot monohull. You don't mention the size of your Prout. We met a little Heavenly Twin that had made it out from England. Even if you have enhanced trades, it will not be bad. I haven't made the run from Panama, but have come from Cabo San Lucas to NZ in one season, then we went back out to Tonga.

If you are afraid of the sailing part of it, step back and take some lessons so that you feel competent in your own right.

If it is fear of the unknown, let me reassure you that fear is not only normal, but you have a record within you of different means you have used to combat it. For me, knowledge and preparation lesson anxiety, so IME, when I was fearful at sea, it was often a warning to me to go do something now, like change the headsail or reef. Fortunately, I had already learned to do those things, so the fear was easily overcome. My general technique is to confront it as soon as possible. The lady who suggested you naming your fear to confront it also made a useful suggestion.

If you dislike the sailing part, then look at why? There are some things you can address: boring? get a Kindle or bring books, knitting, pastels and art paper, whatever appeals to you. Do study up on what to investigate in new places. Thing about what you might have to offer the strangers you meet, locals and other cruisers. Uncomfortable? If you are prone to motion sickness, find out what works for you. Meclizine HCl is over the counter and works for many. Jim and I use Stugeron. You can get it from Mexico, if you're in the US, and also possibly by mail from Canada. But whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable, bugs, too much sun, address the issue forthrightly. Build your confidence.

I can tell you, I'd have given up a whole lot to stop in the Galapagos! reed1v mentioned beautiful and mysterious together all at once, and for me, that was the Marquesas, and the island groups all have their own personalities.

We enjoyed the South Pacific so much that we've spent the last 26 years out here in the SP Eddy.

You'll almost never regret the things you do, but you do regret the things you want to and don't.

Now, if you find you don't want to be married to this man and support him in what matters to him, perhaps you do fall in the "outside the scope of this forum" spot, and I would suggest separation counseling, so that, as Lizzy Belle wrote, you can each have your freedom to move on. Life's too short to stay stuck. And it is better to leave someone you love before you become bitter, if the relationship doesn't work for you. It is painful either way, though.

Ann

Ps: Of course you could manage Panama to Australia...if it is what you want to do.
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Old 16-01-2016, 12:52   #19
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

The only bit I would be hesitant about and may be fly would be the last bit going south to Australia. The rest of the trip is a breeze and you will see some of the remotest and extraordinary parts of the world, memories of which will last you a lifetime. Have fun and enjoy it. I had such a wonderful time I am thinking of doing it again.
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Old 16-01-2016, 13:19   #20
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

We did it with a 3 and 6 year old. Greatest sail ever. 50' Cat, 7 days Galalagos, 18 days Marquesas.

Wish we had spent more time in Taumotos and less in Society Islands.

Trust your heart.
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Old 16-01-2016, 14:56   #21
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

The Pacific was called that because some idiot from Europe saw it on a calm day from a beach. The Pacific can be anything but, especially the North Pacific. Brutal place at times.
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Old 16-01-2016, 15:28   #22
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

This sort of thing is something I've put some thought into quite alot lately. I find there are alot of women out there that really don't want to be cruising, they do it for their partner for various reasons or are fearful of living without their partners. Personally I believe people need to be honest with themselves and live the life they want to live, and as inconvenient as it can be ,people often get to a point in time where the life they want is different from the one their partner wants to live. Personally I don't want a partner onboard that is doing it for me and not really living the life she wants. I've tried this ( and about to do it again, don't ask!) . Ive had ladies onboard that are doing it for them and it just changed everything! People have to be honest enough and strong enough to live the life they want . Cruising isn't for everyone. Some get meaning from life enjoying their home, garden, kids etc in the comfort and safety of the society they know, and that's ok! Others need to move, experience and be more free which the cruising life can provide, no more right than the other. There's not enough time to live someone else's life!

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Old 16-01-2016, 15:31   #23
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

The passage is only a small part of your whole life. Only a small proportion of the time will be spent at sea. I am doing the same trip this year in my boat and I admit i am a little nervous. But it is a once in a lifetime event . If it scares the living daylights out of you don't go. But if you can just handle the first leg you will never regret it . Who said , it is not the things you do that you regret , it is the things you don't do . Good luck with the decision Glenn
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Old 16-01-2016, 15:59   #24
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

G'Day Debzz,

I understand your concerns; crossing an ocean requires not just a well-prepared vessel. My husband and I crossed the Pacific from Panama to Australia during the last El Nino in 2009/10, which was considered a moderate El Nino event. Before we left from Key West, the longest passage we'd ever done was 2-1/2 days from Maine to the Chesapeake; so your crossing of the Atlantic far exceeds any of our prior experiences. When asked in hindsight how I felt about the Coconut Milk Run, I tell people that I wish I'd banished my fears about such a voyage decades before I did. If only I'd known it would be so easy! - 'easy' because my imagination had built into a potentially horrific experience that it was not. Sailing across the Pacific was one of the best things my husband and I have done together; it was nine months of pure joy and freedom.

Our route, departing Panama in February 2009 was first to the Las Perlas, then to Galapagos, Iles Gambier, Tuamotus (Amanu, Tahanea), Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Maupiti, American Samoa, Vanuatu and arriving in late October at Bundaberg, Queensland. Most of the boats that crossed from Galapagos to the Marquesas that year had difficulty finding enough wind to keep their sails filled; on the other hand, our point of sail further to the south made Gambier a perfect choice that year... however, we had to forgo Easter Island because of the increased chance of encountering a gale.

As others have accurately described, after three or four days out - a long passage falls into a gentle routine. Checking in twice a day with the Pacific Passage Net on the SSB keeps you in touch with cruisers along the same route - and we liked to plot other boats' progress against our own on the paper chart. We stood 6 hour watches overnight (that close to the equator, the days and nights are about the same in length). Six hours gave each of us a reasonable period of time for sleep; during the day, there was a less formal watch-standing, depending on what each of us was doing. On some boats along this stretch, no one stood watch at night - the crew just went to bed and let the autopilot keep them on course; we were not comfortable with that plan - and our diligence paid off when on Day 9 we encountered two large fishing boats (Japanese?) at dusk - and had to divert to miss them and their nets. During passage, I enjoyed baking - sticky buns, scones, french bread, muffins, focaccia; then there was always books to read, laundry to do, chafe repairs and courtesy flags to sew. Probably one of the biggest surprises of the Galapagos to Gambier leg was how cloudy and cool the weather was for those 23 days; we slept each night wrapped in a down comforter. Weather information via Sailmail was readily available so any adverse conditions could be anticipated days in advance and preparations made. The sea was never boring - it always provided entertainment, whether it be whales or winged visitors. The atmosphere was so clean that the stars rose directly out of the water at the horizon; there were times when we were fooled into thinking they were the navigation lights of ships. In our wake, luminescent points of light bloomed and exploded as if reflecting and magnifying the stars. What else can I say? - it was pure magic.

Obviously, I don't know your specific situation; but, for myself - I am so grateful for having had this amazing down-wind journey, and all that has transpired since while living on the opposite side of the world.

Cheers, Katherine
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Old 16-01-2016, 16:18   #25
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Great post, Katherine!

Glad to see someone doing 6 hour watches! Yay! 6 hours off twice per day gives you excellent sleeps

My watches when with someone else:
0000-0400
0400-0800
0800-1300
1300-1900
1900-2400

Person ON watch does the cooking.

Try that or the 6 hours idea. But never short watches because your sleep time is too short and the On Watch time is too short to be fun cos you don't get anywhere in 2 or 3 hours but in 4, 5 or 6 hours there's always some nav or something interesting
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Old 16-01-2016, 17:41   #26
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post


I don't know what movies you're watching or which blogs you are reading, but saying most passages are terrifying is just plain old BS.
Just how much sailing experience are you basing that comment on?
There's a difference between "all passages" and "all passage stories"

You are far more likely to hear stories from the few who have terrifying trips than from the vast majority who have uneventful ones.
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Old 16-01-2016, 17:52   #27
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Great post, Katherine!

Glad to see someone doing 6 hour watches! Yay! 6 hours off twice per day gives you excellent sleeps

My watches when with someone else:
0000-0400
0400-0800
0800-1300
1300-1900
1900-2400

Person ON watch does the cooking.

Try that or the 6 hours idea. But never short watches because your sleep time is too short and the On Watch time is too short to be fun cos you don't get anywhere in 2 or 3 hours but in 4, 5 or 6 hours there's always some nav or something interesting
We're possibly getting OT here, but my preference for two watches is
2 x 6 hours during the day
5,4,3 hours during the night

1200-1800
1800-2300
2300-0300
0300-0600
0600-1200
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Old 16-01-2016, 17:56   #28
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronsky View Post
SNIP
Almost all ocean passage stories are exhausting and terrifying experiences, SNIP.
yep, no one ever sold a book that says " Sailed across the pacific. everything went fine- the end"

Unless there is some drama, there is nothing to report :-D
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Old 16-01-2016, 19:09   #29
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

This is such a chance that only comes along several times in a lifetime. It is a chance for u to grow and become more confident in your dealings with life. You absolutely can do this. Do it in your way. Maybe you like to read, play a guitar, yoga, etc.! Maybe it is time to learn knots, celestial or electronic navigation, hook fish, creative Asian dishes with fresh mahi
Mahi. Maybe photography peaks your interest. There are many ways to kill time.

There are deep beliefs that humans came out of the brine and we have a deep need to 'go to the ocean'. Try to teach yourself that it is a beautiful and enriching thing to feel your vessel skim over the surface of the ocean by only the power of wind in her sails. Get yourself in synch with your environment instead of mortal fear of every lurch and bang.

That this world is covered by 75% water obviously means we were meant to sail. Someone said that long ago. What a joy you will be for each other to be true companions. He will love you for your strength and committment. I know I would
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Old 16-01-2016, 19:09   #30
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Re: Could I manage Panama to Australia?

Hi Debz,

I did this passage in 2011 with my 2 teenage daughters. It was almost totally uneventful and took us 17 days from The Galapagos to Fatu Hiva. We did have a 50 foot mono which will be much quicker than a Prout Cat but most boats were taking around 20 to 30 days in anycase and the people we met didn't have any real problems. Keeping a lookout constantly is the biggest challenge as it is a long way. Although the ocean seems like a desert you can't really let your guard down. The first few days drag on a bit but after awhile the days meld into one another and you lose track of the time. This passage was the easiest of the entire So-Pac crossing as the weather was very consistent, 15-20 knots SE trades. As previously mentioned an option is to fly to The Marqueseas or Tahiti and meet up with the boat. A better option would be to take on an experienced crew member. This would make life easier re watch keeping and probably alleviate much of your concern. I know several boats that did this.

Hope this helps





A





lthough it was a LaNina with better winds
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