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Old 16-09-2010, 23:46   #1
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If You Were Doing a Pacific Grand Tour . . .

We're thinking that we'll set off on a grand tour of the Pacific, starting from S. California, heading south, then out to Hawaii, then north to Alaska (staying south of icebergs but otherwise as far as the bearing straights), then hop on back down the coast to S. California.

If that was the very rough plan and you had a few years to do it, how far south would you go, Mexico, Central America ? Would you cut out to Hawaii or first head for islands way further south and stop by Hawaii on the way north ?

We're in the very early stages of planning so we're really open to suggestions and would appreciate them.

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Old 16-09-2010, 23:51   #2
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I haven't yet read up on the cruising routes, but I like to think that I'd include soma Asia & Russia in a Pacific circumnavigation.
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Old 16-09-2010, 23:51   #3
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I'd go wherever I felt like. Your plan is all good in any of its variations. The winds start working against you if you get very far south. But it's no big deal to just go another way. That said, that's many long legs between stops. You've chosen a big piece of water.
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Old 16-09-2010, 23:59   #4
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straight for the marquesas, through the south pacific, up through asia, back across. the aleutian islands are absolutely no joke. seriously, i'd feel safer in antartica. Aleutian Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 17-09-2010, 01:06   #5
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G'day, mate. As rebel heart, we went straight from San Diego to the Marquesas, and we have no regrets. From there, you can head north to Hawaii or continue on the Milk Run. All the best with your decision process. Cheers.
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Old 17-09-2010, 01:43   #6
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Why not? What iceberg's? (What part of Alaskan waters do you wish to go?)
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Old 17-09-2010, 07:21   #7
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As far as the Aleutians go, those waters that "Dangerous Catch" fish are pretty serious...but thats in the late winter.
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Old 17-09-2010, 07:39   #8
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We too are planning a similar trip sometime in the future. There are some serious issues with timing if you do decide to head for Japan, Russia and home via the Aleutians.

Illywhacker - Russia to Alaska is an excellent website with tales of their trip.

Also Alvah Simon's blog on Cruising, Chartering, Sailing, Sailboats Reviews from Cruising World magazine has some interesting posts about their trip.

This route involves some isolated places, long passages and challenging sailing but I guess that's why I want to do it!

Good luck.
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Old 17-09-2010, 08:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
I haven't yet read up on the cruising routes, but I like to think that I'd include soma Asia & Russia in a Pacific circumnavigation.
That is an option to consider. I'd left it out for now because looking at the World Cruising Routes it wasn't obvious how to piece together downwind passages and seasons.

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
I'd go wherever I felt like. Your plan is all good in any of its variations. The winds start working against you if you get very far south. But it's no big deal to just go another way. That said, that's many long legs between stops. You've chosen a big piece of water.
We definitely want to avoid avoidable uphill passages and that was indeed part of the reason for asking here.

It is a big piece of water but we want to give it some good exploration time before we cross the Americas through Panama to spend the next decade (?) in the Baltic, Atlantic, Med, and Caribbean.

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straight for the marquesas, through the south pacific, up through asia, back across. the aleutian islands are absolutely no joke. seriously, i'd feel safer in antartica. Aleutian Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The rain, cold and fog of the Aleutians do make them seem inhospitable, especially without a pilothouse.

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G'day, mate. As rebel heart, we went straight from San Diego to the Marquesas, and we have no regrets. From there, you can head north to Hawaii or continue on the Milk Run. All the best with your decision process. Cheers.
Two votes in such a short run must be an indicator of something :-)

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Why not? What iceberg's? (What part of Alaskan waters do you wish to go?)
With a fiberglass hull even small ones would be no laughing matter. With that said, it might not be an issue anyway.

My far superior half spent part of her childhood in Alaska and we'd like to explore its archipelago going down the coast. Suggestions are welcome.

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As far as the Aleutians go, those waters that "Dangerous Catch" fish are pretty serious...but thats in the late winter.
Time to look at cruising notes to see what the "pros" are and if they balance out the cold fog and rain.

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We too are planning a similar trip sometime in the future. There are some serious issues with timing if you do decide to head for Japan, Russia and home via the Aleutians.

Illywhacker - Russia to Alaska is an excellent website with tales of their trip.

Also Alvah Simon's blog on Cruising, Chartering, Sailing, Sailboats Reviews from Cruising World magazine has some interesting posts about their trip.

This route involves some isolated places, long passages and challenging sailing but I guess that's why I want to do it!

Good luck.
Thanks for the links. When do you expect to cast off ?


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Old 17-09-2010, 09:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
We're thinking that we'll set off on a grand tour of the Pacific, starting from S. California, heading south, then out to Hawaii, then north to Alaska (staying south of icebergs but otherwise as far as the bearing straights), then hop on back down the coast to S. California.
It's hardly a grand tour of the Pacific if you don't leave the US of A

If you have a few years, why not see some more. Mexico is not my cup of tea, but it may be yours. I hear Costa Rica is nice. Galapagos, Marquesas, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Kiribati. Can't see going towards the Aleutians unless coming from Japan or Russia - if Anchorage is a desired stop, then I'd beeline it from Hawaii. If generic Alaska is all you want, then I'd go to the West coast of Vancouver Island then up to the Queen Charlottes and on to Ketchikan and Juneau before heading South via the inside passage.
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Old 17-09-2010, 09:46   #11
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Mexico is grand. It is quite easy to get there and not want to go anywhere else. It is quite easy to spend a few seasons in Mexico. The Marquesas and the South Pacific are wonderful. I was there 20 years ago and It was really fun.
If you really enjoy the passage part then the Pacific Circle you mention sounds good but I would head for Japan. Hal Roth wrote a book about doing a Pacific Circle like you mention but I can't think of the name right now.

You have included some long passages on your trip. Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes is a good place to start planning your trip.
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Old 17-09-2010, 09:56   #12
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"Two on a big ocean", is Hal Roths book.I think Mexico's westcoast is great.From what I have read,I agree the leg from Japan to the Aluetians would be the most challanging
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Old 17-09-2010, 10:44   #13
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"Two on a big ocean", is Hal Roths book.
Just ordered it :-)

Have been studying the World Cruising Routes (?) for the last year or two.

Thanks to all, once again.



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Old 17-09-2010, 14:14   #14
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Sven,

We are planning on returning to the Great Satan via Japan and the N. Pacific. I originally thought to break up the trip by island-hopping in the Aleutians, but I checked Passage Weather and the NOAA weatherfaxes for the N. Pacific every day this summer and have changed my mind. The lows continue to march across the pacific all summer long, tracking directly through the Aleutians most of the time. A friend who spent many summers fishing for salmon in Kodiak mentioned that 40 knot gales were common and he saw as high as 80 knots. We now plan to follow Jimmy Cornell's route to B.C. and avoid the wear and tear.

Mike
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Old 17-09-2010, 15:51   #15
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Mexico is decent.

The two places you must go are the Marquesas Islands & Tuamotu Archipelago - some of the best tropical cruising in the world.

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'

Hawaii was better than we expected, but we had low expectations.

The PNW is very nice and very different than the above.
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