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Old 03-05-2012, 15:24   #1
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Is it too late?

Hi all!
I am planning on a journey to the South Pacific but have been majorly held up by "last minute" boat fixes. We ought to be ready to go (from S.Cali) in a couple of weeks but I am wondering, is it too late in the season to leave? May 1 marked hurricane season and we have kids on board. I have my opinion but want to know what other people are thinking.
Thanks for your input!
Macha
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:10   #2
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Re: Is it too late?

we're leaving Curaçao the end of this year to go SanBlas, Cartagena etc, then through the canal in January, stay a bit in Panama City (PC), visit their islands, then Galapagos ...
leaving Galapagos on your ± 30 days sail (3000 NM) to the Marquesas is march / april ... friends of ours just left Galapagos 5 days ago, a bit too late ... winds are slowing down, and they don't have that much diesel with them ... but there's more than enough info everywhere ...
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:12   #3
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Re: Is it too late?

p. s.: it took friends who did it in march / april ... "only" 3+ weeks ...
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Old 03-05-2012, 16:27   #4
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Re: Is it too late?

We did the trip in late June without a problem. The hurricanes that head west almost always stay between 10N and 20N. Keep track of any lows developing in the Gulf of Panama and make a decision when you get close to 20N. If there is anything going on, bore holes in the ocean above 20N till the low passes. Shouldn't have to hang out more than a few days. If it's clear, you only have 600 miles to get through to be out of the storm channel which is plenty easy to do before a storm could develop and move west. Just in case you lose your wind, having a 600 miles of fuel on board would be a good idea, however.

We did have a low develop into a force 3 hurricane after we made the decision to continue on beyond 20N. By the time it got to our vicinity we were well below 10N and several hundred miles below its projected path. It dissipated over a 23 hour period before it got anywhere near us
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:43   #5
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Re: Is it too late?

^ No Kids on board but as Rover says above, watch the weather. We cant leave until July 1 next year from up North. We are going to be prudent but head south as quickly as weather permits. I am no hero but by heading further towards Hawaii if we have to I think we can find our weather window. With Kids bigger decision, no point in having them scared crapless on the first leg of a great adventure.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:52   #6
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Re: Is it too late?

You could head to Hawaii then drop down that way. Almost the same distance from Cal to Hawaii as it is from Hawaii to Tahiti. Plus you can always island hop on the way down. You'll have some company that route also. Check out sailblogs.com and check out the map of bloggers.
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Old 02-06-2012, 14:49   #7
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Re: Is it too late?

The sail from Hawaii to Tahiti is doable but not the most pleasant sail. It's probably going to be a close reach into strong tradewinds down to the ITCZ and then a beat in SE Trades down to Tahiti. You can lay the Marquesas under favorable conditions with a very weatherly boat but it's not a voyage for fair weather sailors and not often doable.

Most people who leave from Hawaii heading south go more to the west hitting the Line Islands and then on down to the Cook's, Tonga, and/or Fiji. You can then hit the Austral Group, Societies, Tuamotus, and Marquesas on the way back up from NZ or Oz.
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