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Old 17-09-2010, 17:48   #16
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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
...If you go any further west than that it starts to get difficult to go direct to Hawaii and you have to use the 'Japan and over the top route'
Perhaps difficult is to strong a description. I might say "slow". And what is wrong with that? The have-to's completely stop once you leave the dock in the USA, the "Land of No". We should never use words like schedule, direct, and have-to.

Other routes to Hawaii from the west are described in the literature. None of them are comfy-easy like the Coconut Milk Run. I'm heading generally that direction from SE Asia now. There are hundreds of seldom visited places along the equator to explore. It will be slow. It will be fabulous.

But your "grand tour" seems to be limited to maybe Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and the PNW. That makes a fine tour and the winds are generally in your favor.

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Old 17-09-2010, 18:20   #17
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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
But your "grand tour" seems to be limited to maybe Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and the PNW. That makes a fine tour and the winds are generally in your favor.
The "limited to" was not at all the intent. What I outlined was a template to start with, given that we'd probably want to spend 3-4 years to complete it (again as a starting template, not a plan).

The main thing we'd want to avoid is a downhill run that leaves us at a dead end or in an "on the nose" position that will be un-enjoyable to get out of.

All the inputs and suggestions add up to exactly what we were looking for so thanks to everyone.


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Old 17-09-2010, 20:42   #18
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It's all good and some great ideas.

I'd head south from California and do baja and parts of central America. I wouldn't want to do the grand tour and miss the galapagos. Then I'd do the marquesas and Oceana for 6 months, continue on to Oz (at least Brisbane but why miss Sydney?), head north and spend 6 months toodilng around SEA starting with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. North to Japan with stops in the Philippines, Hong Kong and then prolly heed the advice to avoid the Aleutians and go direct BC.

Down the coast to finish up.

Basically a clockwise trip around the ring of fire.
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Old 17-09-2010, 21:52   #19
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If you plan to go east after the Pacific tour, skip central america, including Mexico, you can pick them up on the way to Panama.

If I had time to burn, 3-4yr, then it would be

A) galapagos, Easter Isl, Pitcairn, Gambier, Marquesas and/or Tahiti, Samoas, Tonga, Fiji, Oz and/or NZ.

B) Hawai'i, Line Isl, Marquesas and/or Tahiti, Samoas, Tonga, Fiji, Oz and/or NZ.

Then comes the decision.

North to New Caladonia, Solomons, PNG, Guam, Japan, AK, PNW then SoCal. According to Cornell's WCR, April-May is the time to make the passage to Japan. This gives you a fairly short window in Japan as the passage to AK should be Jul-Aug. A short time in Japan may not be a terribly bad thing. Though the people can be very hospitable from what I read, it can also be a bureaurocratic hell and it is outrageously expensive.


East to the Astrals, Tahiti and/or Marquesas, Hawai'i, PNW and/or SoCal.

Tuamoto's are known to be comparatively dangerous. They tend to be very low so visual navigation is best done during the day, anchorages tend to be very mediocre and the atolls are comparatively congested. They can be very idylic, but the constant tension over the safety of the boat would probably limit my length of stay. 'Visual navigation' you say, 'Hah, I have a GPS and a backup or two.' Nice, they can tell you very accurately where you are in relation to the world at large. A lot of the South Pacific is based on very old surveys (read late-1700's), so the relative positions of the islands and atolls is accurately mapped, but not so much in relation to the rest of the world, at least not to many of the modern datums. If you haven't hung out on atolls a lot I would leave them for the eastward return route after getting more experience. If you are not coming back that way and don't have the prior experience, I would skip them.

The B) option would be primarily if you really wanted to hit Hawai'i, were going to go north on the way back and didn't mind missing Galapagos etc.

If you wanted, everything, the Galapagos ect, Japan and HI & AK, then: do A), go north to Japan (6mo stay, depart Feb-Mar), HI(stay 1-2mo, depart June-July), AK, PNW (stay the winter, depart May-Jun)
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Old 17-09-2010, 22:22   #20
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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
A) galapagos, Easter Isl, Pitcairn, Gambier, Marquesas and/or Tahiti, Samoas, Tonga, Fiji, Oz and/or NZ.
After Fiji, you really should visit Vanuatu. These islands have great sailing, friendly and interesting people, and some powerful WWII history. Of course, you could spend many months exploring the Vanuatu chain...
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Old 19-09-2010, 08:05   #21
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Adelie pretty much nails it for routes,although with either plan A or B you would enjoy the benefit of stopping in Mexico.The trip to Galapagos or Hawaii would be more pleasurable.
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Old 19-09-2010, 08:55   #22
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We left San Diego in November of '96 and sailed as far south as Zihuatenejo in Mexico. Then we sailed back up to Cabo San Lucas and in April of '97 jumped off from there to Hawaii. We sailed the Islands for 6 weeks before we left Waikiki for Sitka, Alaska and then spent the next two months working our way back to San Diego. The whole trip took a year. It became a defining event for our family and I firmly believe that it was significant in helping them to become the independent and resourceful adults that they are today.

People still ask us what part of the trip we liked best and still to this day we have no answer.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 11-09-2013, 22:49   #23
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Re: If You Were Doing a Pacific Grand Tour . . .


Dave and I have been planning for about 5 years, to go from BC to Australia, likely take 16 months and aside from not knowing exactly which beauty little islands and Atolls we will venture to, the route and timing for us is all out of Jimmy Cornells "Bible", which shows the (historically) safer routes and times. We plan on leaving Vancouver, BC area and heading south in late Aug, spend several weeks hopping down the coast of the US, hang out in San Diego, likely and join the Baja haha, for some fun and get to know some other cruisers, spend the winter in Mexico...likely hopping south at least as far as Zihuatanejo.... (maybe as far as Costa Rica, depending on how relaxed we get, then in Jan head to Galapagos). If we get ourselves too relaxed, skip Galapagos and head to Marquesas in March....then 8 months of island hopping through paradise til we get to Australia, where Dave is from. I think the key is to pay close attention to the safe times to travel I certain areas. Good luck! Any day of boating is better than your best day at work!!!
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Old 11-09-2013, 23:39   #24
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Re: If You Were Doing a Pacific Grand Tour . . .

Try the easy peasy route down the west coast to Mexico, then to Panama, then over to the Galapagos then to the Marquesas then Tuamotu's then follow the milk run but don't go to NZ or AUS instead head up to Fiji and then the Marshall Islands (spectacular) then over to Midway then over to Alaska. Should make for a nice trip. I traveled a similar course but didn't go further south than Mexico and headed for Vancouver rather than Alaska on my return....great trip.

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