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Old 18-05-2011, 11:01   #1
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Exclamation LA to Panama This Summer . . Crazy ?


Thinking about taking a 45' sailboat from LA to Panama Canal leaving late June /early July. Hurricanes, doldrums and opposing current aside...any negatives?
Any tricks to keeping moving and relatively safe?

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Old 18-05-2011, 11:03   #2
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Re: LA to Panama this summer....crazy?

hurricanes are not usually an issue in the pacific...

I understand the nicest passage is a bit later in the season, but don't know any reason why you shouldnt hop down the coast over the summer... just pay attention to weather windows.


ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 18-05-2011, 13:23   #3
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Re: LA to Panama this summer....crazy?

There was a boat checking into the Amigo net a few years ago trying to make the coastal passage down the coast to Panama in July. He didn't make it any further then Manzanillo (about 100 miles South East of Puerto Vallarta). He got stopped by storm after storm coming up the coast.

The problem with doing the route coast-wise is once hurricane season gets going the storms go up the coast a bit before heading off shore. So you will have the very real possibility of a tropical storm threatening fairly often.

On the other hand I have no idea how you'd do this passage offshore without getting completely clobbered. Just take a look at the latest sat picture of the area:

All those red and yellow blobs are big thunderstorms just waiting for you off shore. It's all this convection that will turn into tropical storms from June thru October.

I think your best bet is to fuel up and beat feet as far down the coast as you can make it. Get a slip in PV and wait for a 'break'. Then motor-motor-motor as quick as you can to Huatulco (about 700 miles), stopping in Zihuatanejo and Acapulco for fuel. Once you get South of Huatulco the likelihood of a tropical storm is diminished (though not completely absent) and you can continue on down the coast at a more leisurely pace.

Good luck!

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Old 18-05-2011, 15:50   #4
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Re: LA to Panama this summer....crazy?

Hi John,

Great real-life advice, thanks.
After looking at last summer's storm summary I had that sinking feeling:
File:2010 Pacific hurricane season summary map.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaNot sure I will be able to do the trip in the fall, but why start in June only to get half way then sit for two month waiting between tropical storms...?? hmmmm

Great blog by the way..and great boat!

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Old 18-05-2011, 17:03   #5
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Re: LA to Panama this summer....crazy?

Are you making a delivery? Or are you going down the coast on a voyage of adventure? What is your reason for leaving in July?
During hurricane season a hurricane can ocurr anywhere in the area, and sea conditions willbe affected for 100's of miles.. Comparing one year to another is folly as the El Nino and La Nino conditions that create different weather conditions world wide are born here in the Pacific.
There really is a valid reason that Latitude38 conducts their Baha ha the latter part of October.

IMO Sail with the seasons and take two years to get to Panama. I won't address the subject of "thinking" of leaving LA for Panama in early July, when its already mid-May. .
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Panama, panama

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