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Old 08-06-2010, 19:13   #1
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Cruising the Pacific West to East

I plan leaving Australia for the South Pacific, but I donít want to get cold.
I would like to end up in Mexico and know I need to get to Hawaii before going south. I have been researching this and though the winds are predominantly south east there does seem to be quite a bit of winds with west in them at times. Can it be done?
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Old 08-06-2010, 20:59   #2
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Hi Simon

Everything is can be done. Jimmy Cornell's book titled "World Cruising Routes" is available from most good boating bookshops in Australia and will tell you everything you need to know.

Cheers, Greg
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Old 08-06-2010, 21:16   #3
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Hi Simon

Everything is can be done. Jimmy Cornell's book titled "World Cruising Routes" is available from most good boating bookshops in Australia and will tell you everything you need to know.

Cheers, Greg
I am waiting on my copy, coming from the USA at half the cost here in OZ. What I was after was some first hand views. When I sailed from Fiji to Vanuatu (2008) I had light winds from the west for most of the trip and I was hoping this would be a regular occurance even though the prevailing winds are south east. once in Tahiti then that would be my jump point for Hawaii
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Old 08-06-2010, 22:42   #4
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Howdy Simon...as always good to have you posting.

What your contemplating was the hardest sailing of their nearly 2 year trip for some friends of mine.
The Rard Family Ocean Adventure

They did not do the direct return Hawaii/Mexico transit like you plan though.

Jim is a supper guy ....email him and ask away.
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Old 13-10-2019, 14:52   #5
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I plan leaving Australia for the South Pacific, but I donít want to get cold.
I would like to end up in Mexico and know I need to get to Hawaii before going south. I have been researching this and though the winds are predominantly south east there does seem to be quite a bit of winds with west in them at times. Can it be done?
Hey Simon

Did you ever do this trip? I just got to this thread from Google and was wondering how/if it could be done in a Nordhavn 43 (or 41).

Cheers
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Old 13-10-2019, 15:35   #6
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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Hey Simon

Did you ever do this trip? I just got to this thread from Google and was wondering how/if it could be done in a Nordhavn 43 (or 41).

Cheers
No, I never did. Spent my time delivering boats from and to South East Asia. Now in the Mediterranean fully retired, doing the east west around the world in my new to me Bavaria 50. Plan on being in the Caribbean December 2020.
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Old 13-10-2019, 16:36   #7
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

How cold is cold? You don't need to go that far South to pick up the variables with more W'lies. Maybe 30 to 35, sometimes as high as 25. The further South in general the greater the chance of westerly or South westerly winds.

We have used those W'lies to make hops from French Polynesia to Pitcairn and various hops within French Polynesia. Two of our friends made very comfortable passages West to East without going beneath 35S. One from New Zealand to the UK via the Austral Islands, Gambier Islands, Pitcairn, Rapa Nui, Galapagos etc. and the other went from Tahiti to Europe via Tuamotus, Gambier Isl. , Pitcairn, Panama etc. without going below about 26S. They both preferred that route compared to crossing the ITCZ. None of these passages required any motoring.

Not sure about the Western Tropical South Pacific from a personal or close second-hand perspective but yes, it can be done. The key, I think, is to have time on your side and/or diesel unless you're willing to leave the tropics.

Edit: oops, I just realised this thread is nine years old. Oh well!
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Old 14-10-2019, 18:24   #8
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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How cold is cold? You don't need to go that far South to pick up the variables with more W'lies. Maybe 30 to 35, sometimes as high as 25. The further South in general the greater the chance of westerly or South westerly winds.

We have used those W'lies to make hops from French Polynesia to Pitcairn and various hops within French Polynesia. Two of our friends made very comfortable passages West to East without going beneath 35S. One from New Zealand to the UK via the Austral Islands, Gambier Islands, Pitcairn, Rapa Nui, Galapagos etc. and the other went from Tahiti to Europe via Tuamotus, Gambier Isl. , Pitcairn, Panama etc. without going below about 26S. They both preferred that route compared to crossing the ITCZ. None of these passages required any motoring.

Not sure about the Western Tropical South Pacific from a personal or close second-hand perspective but yes, it can be done. The key, I think, is to have time on your side and/or diesel unless you're willing to leave the tropics.

Edit: oops, I just realised this thread is nine years old. Oh well!
I opened the thread again as I searched for anyone doing the west to east pacific crossing and found Simon above.

I asked the same question in the trawler forum with regards to doing the trip in a Nordhavn, with bladder tanks etc. 26S would suit me!
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Old 14-10-2019, 20:03   #9
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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I opened the thread again as I searched for anyone doing the west to east pacific crossing and found Simon above.

I asked the same question in the trawler forum with regards to doing the trip in a Nordhavn, with bladder tanks etc. 26S would suit me!
Hmm, yea, cool. I'm afraid my comments are probably useless to you though. With the Nordhavn no doubt your priorities, and therefore route choice, would be rather dufferent from a sailing yacht. Hopefully there's someone out there who's a bit more useful than me in that respect!
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Old 14-10-2019, 20:23   #10
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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Hmm, yea, cool. I'm afraid my comments are probably useless to you though. With the Nordhavn no doubt your priorities, and therefore route choice, would be rather dufferent from a sailing yacht. Hopefully there's someone out there who's a bit more useful than me in that respect!
Sure. But I'm glad to hear from all comers! One of the trawler posters suggested I post in this forum because it's more likely someone will have done the west to east route. I am finding the odd few and I suspect I'll find more.

Thanks
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Old 17-10-2019, 23:53   #11
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I plan leaving Australia for the South Pacific, but I donít want to get cold.
I would like to end up in Mexico and know I need to get to Hawaii before going south. I have been researching this and though the winds are predominantly south east there does seem to be quite a bit of winds with west in them at times. Can it be done?
I've spent the past 19 months living in the South Pacific. Certainly, the wind will occasionally shift to come out of the North/West. It is always in association with a passing low pressure system or a trough. And typically lasts about 1-3 days (but sometimes more). But.... you will not be sailing in tradewind conditions, you will be sailing in squally weather with gusty winds and often quite a bit of lightning. Sailing in troughs, you will experience periods of calm with confused seas after a squall passes. In my opinion, miserable sailing conditions.
If I were going to do this (and really, I wouldn't) I would find a way to pick windows as the trade winds vary from ENE to SE to tack upwind. Sorry, I hate lightning, its the only thing I'm afraid of at sea, can't do anything about it and it can sink your boat.
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Old 18-10-2019, 09:03   #12
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Re: Cruising the Pacific West to East

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I've spent the past 19 months living in the South Pacific. Certainly, the wind will occasionally shift to come out of the North/West. It is always in association with a passing low pressure system or a trough. And typically lasts about 1-3 days (but sometimes more). But.... you will not be sailing in tradewind conditions, you will be sailing in squally weather with gusty winds and often quite a bit of lightning. Sailing in troughs, you will experience periods of calm with confused seas after a squall passes. In my opinion, miserable sailing conditions.
If I were going to do this (and really, I wouldn't) I would find a way to pick windows as the trade winds vary from ENE to SE to tack upwind. Sorry, I hate lightning, its the only thing I'm afraid of at sea, can't do anything about it and it can sink your boat.
Agreed, but bear in mind that the OP has a Nordhavn - a motor yacht. Furthermore, the weather patterns you describe are generally associated most strongly with low-latitude tropics, convergence zones etc. where most people sail, but there are other routes.

The previous owners of M/V ieta had a very pleasant trip East from New Caledonia. We met them in Marquesas. Not sure what route they took but it is definitely doable and definitely need not be a great chore.
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