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Old 16-07-2009, 10:14   #1
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Hawaiʻi: North Pacific Crossroads

In the age of commercial sail, Hawaiʻi was the intersection for most routes going east or west between the continents. Shipping from the west coast of North America to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand usually stopped here, and often routes to New England and Europe via Cape Horn made a break here. From the west coast of South America and Cape Horn it was an obvious choice when making for the west coast of North America, Japan, and China. Australian and New Zealand departures heading to the west coast of North America made their route to Tahiti, Hawaiʻi, and then north.

It was a particular destination for whalers - good supplies and water, and on the routes to northern and southern whaling regions.

So why is it that very few modern texts on world cruising routes discuss it as the very important crossroads of sailing routes that it is? Almost every departure from the west coast of North America is faster and shorter by heading downwind and down current to Hawaiʻi rather than working down to Central America before going west.

So here are my questions:
  1. What are the best routes from Hawaiʻi to either the Red Sea or Cape of Good Hope? Stops, way points, weather issues, etc.
  2. What passages have you made from Hawaiʻi?
  3. There are a number of primary destinations from Hawaiʻi going west, what are the best routes to: Japan, Guam, Philipines, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore?
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Old 16-07-2009, 12:39   #2
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I can't believe how many "sailors" talk about fighting the wind and current to get back to the PNW.When I sailed to Mexico with my folks many years ago, we never even considered this.Hawaii is the sensible route I was always told.With modern weather forecasts,better understood sailing seasons,routes,GPS and all the rest,why not?We had no problems at all,and the trip to Hawaii has to be some of the best tradewind sailing anywhere,along with mild temps.The homeward leg was a little more miserable,but still not bad.In 2 weeks we will embark on the trip south.
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