Originally Posted by Amgine
....... I'm looking at where sailors actually cruise
, what their courses are, in hopes of updating some of the common ocean passages for cruisers.
Originally Posted by micoverde
cool -- however, most of us do following Jimmy Cornell's world routes pretty closely.........
In my own experience Jimmy Cornell's Westbound Tradewind routes are still quite useful as the old square-rigger downwind routes have not changed all that much .
However, on the Eastbound routes he either tends to ignore, or even actively discourage, any attempt to use the greatly improved upwind capability of modern sailing vessel designs in order to stay closer to the rhumbline towards one's final destination
, rather than to make large detours through higher latitudes in order to catch "favorable Westerlies". Of course, this is all vintage square-rigger gospel. However, many of us are no longer sailing these types of vessels.......
So, when Rivendel II returned to the West coast
in 1994 and the Pacific High kept moving farther and farther North, we simply turned the corner as soon as we reached 34 degrees North, i.e. the latitude of our home port Santa Barbara, rather than follow the rest of the Hanalei flotilla North to be clobbered by the long procession of polar lows. Sure, close to the center of the high we fired up the iron genny for a day or two. For the rest we were mostly close-hauled and made it home nearly a week ahead of the rest while avoiding the gales they ran into.
When we left Cairns (Queensland, AU) for Vanuatu in 2000 we did not first go hundreds of miles South to Brisbane
in order to head
for Vanuatu via New Caledonia
, as suggested by Cornell, but simply started sailing NE, hard on the wind
, while managing to pass South of Rennel and tack into Espiritu Santo from the North. It took us 14 days to cover that 1500 NM distance. Not too bad compared to the 20 days or so it would have cost us to take the extratropical route
and New Caledonia
. With regard to the direct route from Queensland
to Vanuatu Cornell's book said: "don't even think about it" or words to that effect (don't have it in front of me right now).
That same year we left Vanuatu for Fiji and again simply started sailing hard on the wind. The 600 NM took us 5 days. I don't think Cornell's book even mentioned that route.
It is not so much the desire to undertake new challenges that drives us to take these direct upwind routes but also the realization that this is exactly what our medium light cuiser/racer design with fractional B&R rig is built for, whereas long forays through the Variables are inherently more risky in terms of extratropical gale/storm probabilities.
With careful modification and upgrading most larger HunteCateBeneJeanneaus make excellent cruisers for the tropics (as evidenced by the many successful tropical charter
fleets) since they enable cruisers to sail both ways; i.e. downwind AND upwind within the Tradewind belt, rather than just downwind while having to sail back through the Variables, as most traditional vessels are doomed to do.
Unfortunately, I don't have Rivendel's precise upwind tracks with me here in the Rockies. However, I promise Amgine I will try to remember to send them when we return from Vanuatu in November.